Yaaaaa’ll this elopement. I remember exactly where I was when I got their inquiry- hiking with some friends outside of Phoenix. I remember seeing how G + S wanted to do a backpacking elopement in Canyonlands and from that moment on I *knew* their day would be epic. And it so was.
G + S’s elopement is such a perfect example of combining an experience that includes family while not sacrificing your own wedding dreams. G + S wanted a beautiful ceremony in an easily accessible place, followed up by backpacking into a super remote area of Canyonlands- a place that is extremely meaningful for the couple.
The day of the ceremony started out sunny and beautiful. G + S stayed at Under Canvas, one of the coolest lodging options around. I got to meet their amazing dog Tiva (fun fact- the couple actually switched their ceremony location to a dog-friendly spot once they adopted this sweet girl. They couldn’t imagine their day without her… and after meeting her I could see why! Such a sweetheart) and hang out with the couple while they leisurely got ready.
They had the sweetest first look ever (that their parents spied on from a nearby tent) and then we all caravanned over to their their location. They had a short and sweet ceremony surrounded by their parents (and Tiva!) then enjoyed a lovely dinner at a nearby picnic table. The couples parents shared sweet toasts and surprised the couple with a slideshow (which I sneakily conspired along with- I stole away during dinner and quickly edited and sent along a photo of G + S with Teva at Under Canvas). Some clouds rolled in while G + S explored the cliffs together and watched a while sunset together.
The next day we all switched gears and the hiking part of this hiking elopement commenced- backpacking into the back country together. G + S initially planned wearing their wedding attire for their hike, but the threat of rain demanded more practical attire. We wandered through canyons and spires, and the rain (and thunder) did eventually descend. Total troopers, G + S were unfazed but the rain and by the time we got to camp and settled in, it let up and the sun came out. G + S enjoyed a typical backpackers meal before we set off to one of their favorite spots where they could exchange their own personal vows. It was in damp hiking attire on soggy desert dirt but it was beautiful and meaningful and in a place that meant so so much to the couple.
The next morning the couple enjoyed coffee at their favorite overlook before I packed off and headed out. It was… incredible. I never lost that awe of how dedicated G+S were to having a day (days!) that fit them like a glove. This hiking elopement had it all, from their ceremony surrounded by loved ones to their own private vows surrounded by the place they love most… I feel so lucky to have been a part of it. A 2021 highlight for sure 🙂
— Ryan + Styhiln