I love Joshua Tree. It’s such a funky place with it’s cartoon like trees and massive boulders, gorgeous light and wide yawning skies. I was pretty over the moon to photograph this Joshua Tree wedding inspired shoot there. I’d driven in early from Phoenix and I knew the day would be rad, but really, I had *no idea* what a magical, amazing experience was ahead. I am a firm believer that every love story is special. But this adventure wedding? Broke the love story richter scale.
These two. It was like watching the Notebook happen right in front of my eyes. Chad and Sophia are two of the most in love, connected people I’ve ever met. Full stop. They’d started dating and almost immediately dove into a long distance relationship-Chad served as a missionary in Spain for *two years* and he and Sophia could only communicate via email once per week, and have a phone call a couple times a year. It sounds like such a trial but the way these two handled it with grace and love, the came out the other side even more in love (if that’s even a thing that was possible).
The couple got ready in an adorable airbnb in the town of Joshua Tree (pro tip! If you aren’t keen on having your elopement “get ready pictures” be set in the wilderness, getting ready in a really cute airbnb nearby to your destination is an awesome alternative).
It was here at the airbnb we had the tearjerker of a first look and the couple composed love letters to one another. While the photographers prepped for departure, we were interrupted by, all things, music. Upon investigation, and I am not making this up, Chad had picked up a guitar for an unprompted, impromptu serenade session for Sophia because he knew she loved his playing (he used to play guitar for her via their there very rare and previous Skype session while he was in Spain). Remember how I said this was like watching the Notebook unfold in front of me? Yeah. Wasn’t kidding.
We then hopped on over to Joshua Tree National Park and Chad and Sophia read love letters to one another at the ceremony site and yet more tears were shed. By everyone. Then we had some fun while the sun started to dip behind the dry desert peaks. It was a little chilly but Sophia and Chad were total troopers and too busy having the time of their lives to notice a nip in the air. As Sophia and Chad danced and laughed, the breeze carried hollers from nearby rock climbers, cheering the happy couple on. Little moments like that make the day, and really add an extra spark of adventure during this Joshua Tree Wedding inspiration 🙂
I gotta be real with you. Every wedding is a privilege, truly, but I was so honored and grateful to be in the presence of such pure, unchecked joy. The kind of joy that makes your cheeks hurt, or makes you cry because you just can’t deal with how happy you are. This is what I love about an adventure wedding and why I think they are so worth it. Because this kind of happiness doesn’t just… happen. You have to chase it. And it’s so worth it.
It was a Peak Existence day for sure.
Love a good sunset session? Check out this sunset Sedona Adventure Session.
— Ryan + Styhiln