arches national park wedding
in one of Rachel’s first e-mails to me she described where she and her now husband, Jamie, are from, and how they came to fall in love with the the outdoors together, especially this little town of moab. she knew she wanted their ceremony location to be at delicate arch, but she was open to everything else. i knew i liked her right away, the way she described all the places they’d travelled together, but this was what really struck me:
“we want a small, simple ceremony. having it in a venue like this is US and it is what WE are about. so capturing the beauty and magic of the place and event is what we hope for. :)”
YES. so much YES. that is exactly what i hope to do for couples, capture the magic of the place and the connection of the two individuals in it. they wanted to make the hike up to delicate in their full wedding attire, both because they knew it’d be something they’d always remember, and also because the walk wouldn’t be easy, but the view at the top would be one hundred percent worth it. an apt metaphor for relationships I’d say.
when the day finally came this past march i picked Rachel up in town where she was getting her hair done by the amazingly talented Lindsey Knowles Vaccaro (check her out if you are looking for a hair stylist!). Lindsey did a fabulous job, as always, so Rachel and i hugged and hopped in my car to go meet Jamie at double arch for their first look.
afterward, hiking boots and all, we made the trek up to delicate arch, receiving tons of “oh my gosh are you getting married now?!” and “you look amazing!” comments. i love this about weddings: they are centered around pure joy, and it felt like the two of them were sharing that elation with everyone we passed along the way.
when we got to the top we took a moment to take in the view. no matter how many times i’ve hiked up to that famous arch, it still leaves me in awe when i turn that final corner. i could tell it did the same to Rachel and Jamie, which made me love them even more.
Rachel told me that she’d really like to have their short ceremony directly under the arch. i told her that i was absolutely up for it, but in all honesty i was a bit nervous! if you’ve been to delicate during the high season then you know there’s literally a line of people in the bowl, waiting to have their photo taken beneath it. i was worried that folks would be rude and try to hurry them along, which is definitely not something you want on your wedding day.
we set all of our bags down nearby and got ready to get in line. but the thing was…there wasn’t a line. for some reason at that very moment everyone sort of stepped away. the two of them walked out to meet Christy, their officiant, beneath the arch all by themselves. they had a short and beautiful exchange of vows, taking in the wonder and appreciating the place they were in. and THEN! when it was finally time to make it official, Christy raised her voice and announced to the 50 or 60 people who were watching that these two were now man and wife and would Jamie please kiss his bride. the crowd cheered and I got to witness one of the most unique ceremonies i’d ever seen!
thank you, Rachel and Jamie, for sharing your day with me. if there’s one thing i learned from you two it’s that true love undoubtedly exists. i can’t wait to hear about the adventures in store for you both! xo