Rainy Desert New Years Eve Elopement

This is such a great example of why weather on your elopement day isn’t a bad thing. There were lots of moving parts and changing plans to accommodate for the rain but ya know? The day was still total magic.

A + R reached out to me only a few weeks before their elopement day. The end of the year is notoriously fickle when it comes to the weather, but we’d had a suuuuuper dry fall and winter here in Arizona, so a Near Years Eve elopement sounded like a dream. And wouldn’t you know, the weather held…. all the way up to the day of their elopement. Cue facepalm.

Everything was planned over email to accommodate for funky time differences and conflicting schedules- and as I normally do was watching the weather with an eagle eye in the week leading up to the big day. A chance of rain developed, then increased, then became a total certainty. We’d originally planned on doing lots of hiking in the morning, taking advantage of quiet trails and dreaming morning light, but instead we got moody skies worthy of the PNW instead of Arizona.

A word about weather in the desert. It can (and does!) rain. Reaching waaaaay back in time I remember the very first time I visited Arizona over spring break while I was in grad school. I journeyed to Sedona with a friend and fell in love on site- the incredible sunset may have had something to do with it. And then, the next morning…. it was raining. Every local I encountered that day was like, “Oh so lucky you have some weather today!”

And I was like, no! Not lucky! Escaping the Chicago winter here, rain was decidedly *not* what I was envisioning.


Ya’ll it was so so beautiful. There’s something about rain in the desert that feels like such a gift, and the rain turns the rocks and even deeper shade of red. Low hanging clouds cling to the desert buttes and it’s just… so stunning. So when we discussed a new plan, I wanted to be careful. It’s normal to feel disappointment if rain shows up for your elopement day…AND I wanted to balance it with the absolute truth that the rain can make the desert even more beautiful.

So we pivoted our plans, opting to hang out in a local art gallery spot instead of a second hike, and beautiful it was. Not despite the rain. Because of it. It was a cozy and intimate day made even more magical by the weather. And to R + A’s everlasting credit, they rolled with it. It’s the most important quality to embrace on an elopement- taking hiccups with a smile. With hand warmers a-plenty we hiked in the rain, they exchanged sweet and meaningful vows with personal touches during their ceremony (like playing their favorite game Uno!), and took in the stunning moody desert views.

Then they danced, ate donuts, and enjoyed mimosas as we explored a cool art gallery space. It was perfect.

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— Ryan + Styhiln

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I'm Aimée Flynn, Southwest based adventure wedding and elopement photographer, mega nerd, former therapist, and taker of the epic pics. But don't think I'm here just to take pretty photos (though there will be pretty photos a-plenty) I’m here to guide you through every step of your elope elopement experience; I’m your location scouter, gatherer of all in info, formal wear wrangler, & hype committee. 

I’m also a storyteller. Your storyteller. And while I'm here for the epic, magazine-cover-worthy, totally bananas moments, I'm also here (and to be totally honest, live for) those goofy, silly, unexpected moments that adventure always seems to bring. I'm here to tell your story in the honest and epic fashion it deserves.
Hey friend, I'm so stoked  you're here!

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