The road to this Dead Horse Point wedding was a bit of a winding one. It’s actually funny, as I sit here writing this, it only is *right now* occurring to me that this elopement nearly took place somewhere totally different, at a nearby park. Knowing how the sunset turned out in this spot, goodness am I glad we would up here.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning. When I first chatted with H + J it was hard not to become very excited about their elopement right away. As self described rock climbing dungeons and dragons nerds, I knew immediately that we would get along *great*. We immediately clicked on their initial phone call (and continued to get along great over subsequent calls). A few hiccups occurred during planning (park rules changing in a way that wasn’t super conducive to the couples plan) so we pivoted to a back up location with ease. The week of their elopement stoke was high, and we were all ready for their desert vista and starry arches elopement.
Now, has come up during numerous elopements all over the western US, but the weather this spring has been, shall we say, *surprising*. Snow late into the season, relentless winds, flooding, low temps… it’s been a doozy! And in the week leading up to H + J’s elopement, I (as usual) stalked the weather relentlessly.
Which turned out to be a pretty maddening process because the weather forecast for H + J’s elopement day would change multiple times a day, and never be consistent across weather apps. Chance of storms, chance of clouds, chance of sun, chance of… everything. I packed up my adventure-mobile the night prior with everything I could think of (Blankets! Hand warmers! Umbrellas!) so we could all be prepared for… whatever Mother Nature threw at us.
Their elopement dawned sunny and bright, with white puffy clouds dotting the sky. The stoke was high, and we met up at their elopement location in the afternoon, smiles wide and joy just… exuding from everyone. H + J and their band of family and friends (fellow D+ D players I might add!) were all so excited when they arrived for their Dead Horse Point wedding. Truly, a shout out to H + J’s friends and family. I felt so immediately welcomed- a truly amazing group of people.
Also, can I just say style goals for both of them? Their wedding day attire was ::Chefs kiss:: And as a fun little aside, I did a mental happy dance seeing H’s dress- I recognized the designer immediately (Rue de Seine) because I’d always loved that particular dress and had always hoped for a chance to photograph it. Fun fact! H ordered this dress, and the *next day* the dress was taken out of production. So this dress was the last one ever produced. I think it got quite the send off… but more on that later!
H + J had the sweetest first look, then decided to exchange private vows just the two of them before meeting up with their family for the official ceremony. It was short and sweet, and I hid in some trees as they laughed and cried and hugged. Then we met up with the rest of the group and we hiked over to their ceremony spot, jokes flying, nerd references a plenty (I was in heaven). It was really clear to me what a close group of folks this was- it was truly such a joy to witness for the day 🙂 Wind whipped around us as everyone (and I do mean everyone) cried through H + J’s ceremony. Clouds rolled in making the skies even more dramatic, before, just as we finished family photos, the skies opened.
With what? Well, everything. Snow, rain, hail… all forms of precipitation pelted us as we made a mad dash to a covered picnic table (me still frantically clicking away) where everyone took shelter and huddled together, laughing. The wind blasted us, a rainbow appeared, and through it all a good friend soldiered on and created the prettiest charcuterie in what can only be described as the wildest of conditions.
The couple and their loved ones toasted, snacked, and continued to have a lovely time as the air cleared (the storm passing fairly quickly) and I kept my eye on the skies. Because on the horizon, past the storm clouds, was a thin band of clear sky and I knew that if that band held… magic could happen.
The couple and I wandered off for some sunset portraits, the sky starting to change colors, and I let the couple know that the sky *may* do something exciting and if that’s the case, we were gonna make a mad dash to a second spot. H + J were game and after about 4 minutes of photos *bang.* The skies went off. I am pretty sure I started shrieking as we beheld what may be one of the best sunsets I’ve ever seen. H + J were game to run off to climb a nearby rock. I knew they couldn’t hear me (too much wind) but goodness was I losing my mind behind my camera as the sky just exploded in color and the wind ripped H’s skirt around. Seriously- that skirt? Paid actor.
The skies got better and better and we took photos far into the night, before heading to Arches for some star gazing… because wouldn’t you know it, the skies cleared and the stars came out just in time to gaze up in wonder.
It was definitely one of the nights where I was up till 2:00am editing, and I was still a happy, hyper mess the next day. I’m seriously so stoked to share this one. H + J? Thank you so so much for the honor of being a part of your day. You (and your loved ones) are true gems. Thank you thank you.
— Ryan + Styhiln