jessica + aaron
moab adventure elopement at hurrah pass
i have been dying to get this blog post up for a long while. jessica and aaron love moab – the beauty of the desert, the wildflowers, the long dirt roads – and they wanted to share this special place with their closest friends and family. an adventure elopement at hurrah pass was just the way to celebrate their love.
“We were in the middle of planning a traditional wedding when we decided to drop everything and elope. We already had deposits on a venue, a caterer, a photographer and a DJ but none of it felt right and planning was adding unnecessary stress to our lives. We had to make compromises where we didn’t want to and once we were starting to see our budget disappear, we decided to consider other options. I heard of these “adventure weddings” but I knew I couldn’t invite 150 people on a hiking trip to our wedding location and initially, I felt bad about leaving anyone out of our celebration. The more we talked about it, the easier the decision became- we don’t have to invite everyone to our wedding, we don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on something we don’t want and we are allowed to make our wedding exactly how we want to- so we decided to go on a 4wheeling adventure to one of our favorite locations in Moab to elope.”
not only did they plan an adventure wedding in moab, they planned an adventure wedding in moab at sunrise. a photographer’s dream! corie (my badass second shooter) and i met the two of them at their hotel bright and early. hello 4:15am alarm! mimosas were poured, the dress laid out, and preparations made. we headed out to their first look location to watch the sun come up, the groom and corie in his ATV, myself and the gorgeous bride in my subaru. we drove out a dirt road, the dawn creeping it’s way through the colorado river corridor as we drove past. we spent the better part of an hour in the best light imaginable, playing (safely) on the cliffside as their friends and family started to congregate and watch from the road.
I am so glad they decided they wanted to do their first look this way. Here’s what they each said when I asked them individually what their favorite part of their day was:
bride: “Can I say ALL OF IT!? If I really have to choose, I would say the best part was our first look photo session at sunrise. It was so quiet and peaceful all alone out in the desert, it made it easy to take it all in. To have that intimate time with Aaron before the ceremony was unforgettable, I don’t think it would have been the same anywhere else.”
groom: “Definitely the first look, it was well planned out and ended up being very special as it was the first time seeing Jessica in her wedding dress. I was especially excited that we spent as much time at our first look location taking photos together all dressed up but out in the middle of the desert. It really gave us time to let the joy of our imminent marriage soak in as we waited for the sun to rise.”
the day continued just the way it began – beautifully, with lots of celebrating, and all the love. i’ll leave ya with their words of wisdom for all you couples trying to plan your wedding or elopement. congratulations jessica & aaron! thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for asking me to come along.
“Seriously question what it is YOU want for YOUR wedding. If you want to get eloped on the side of a cliff, but you’re worried because your mom doesn’t agree, just do it! It took awhile for my mom to get on board, but if you ask her now, she will tell you it was the best wedding she’s ever been to. Important people in your life can still come to your elopement, my 93 year old grandma managed to make it from Iowa to Utah and then several miles up a dirt trail and it was the best day of her life. I HIGHLY recommend finding a good local photographer, especially if you are not from the area. Emily knew what she was doing and where she was going, she was able to provide recommendations for other vendors and had knowledge of other locations just in case ours didn’t work out- but it did and it was perfect. Just go with your gut, do what you want, it’s your wedding day and you deserve to make it how you want it!”
dress: Zalia by Maggie Sottero
shoes: both wore amazing Chacos
HMUA: bride and her BFF
second shooter: Corie Spruill