Saguaro Lake was one of the first adventures I took when moved out to Phoenix so it has a special place in my heart. The Salt River feeding massive lake, the desert mountains, the saguaro’s waving hello from the shore, and the wild horses that sometimes stop by for a drink. It’s a pretty magical place. It is also notoriously busy. In the warmer months and even shoulder seasons it can be absolutely mobbed there, especially at the beach. Families with their kids and dogs, massive beach umbrellas, towels, boom boxes, etc etc etc. It’s not exactly a perfect haven for a private desert elopement.
Unless… you know where to look. If you kayak out into the water you can find some quiet, but better still, there’s a trail that starts at the beach and follows the shoreline for quite a ways. The first half a mile can be fairly clogged with the curious and beach visitors, but the further you get from the beach the more privacy you have. Is it totally isolated? No. Will your private ceremony be drowned out by nearby boomboxes? Also no. It’s a place I really like, if only for nostalgia sake, so it’s a place I’ve been eager to shoot at.
Enter Riana and Jesus. Listen, I love the desert but adventuring amongst the cacti (I admit) is not for everyone. But Riana and Jesus were just as taken with the desert lake (and Four Peaks painted in alpine glow) as I was. Riana was unbothered by the errant prickly pear that tried to hitchhike on her skirt. They got a kick out of hiking in their formal wear. They were stoked on the gorgeous sunset. As a desert lover and desert elopement photographer I always love connecting with folks who love the desert. Who see it for it’s beauty, not for it’s prickles 😉
Also shout out to La Vie Floral Co for providing the absolutely GORGEOUS flowers for the day. Those COLORS. I mean can you even?
-Find out more about eloping in Phoenix here! I write a whole blog post about it 🙂
If you’re looking for elopement planning resources check out 9 Reasons to Elope!
— Ryan + Styhiln