rebecca + casey
dead horse point elopement
there’s a very good reason that dead horse point is so popular for engagement photos and elopements. i mean, it sort of goes without saying, but look at that view! i always tell people it’s like the grand canyon, but better, because you feel like you can actually see the depth and breadth of the canyon. now, don’t get me wrong, the grand canyon is nothing short of epic, but sometimes when i’m there i just feel so overwhelmed by it’s sheer size. dead horse point on the other hand feels a little more accessible to me. there are some fabulous trails that are great for hiking (with dogs on leashes!), trail running and mountain biking, so you can really get a feel for the mesa top and all the views it offers.
rebecca and casey wanted to keep their elopement simple and personal. they wanted gorgeous views so of course i knew just where we should go. we met in the parking area a few hours before sunset, gathered everything we needed (mainly water, you can never have enough in my opinion!), and hit the trail. it’s a very short walk to the canyon edge, but i like to get away from the crowds so couples have more personal space and privacy while reading their vows. i have a few favorite spots, and this is one of them.
after their short, beautiful ceremony, we took a few family photos and big hugs were had all around. their family trekked back to the parking lot so that i could sneak rebecca and casey away for sunset. this is so important, carving out the time around sunset when the light is best for photos of just you two. i feel like it’s so important to note that most of the photos you see on my social media and a lot on my website were either taken around sunrise or sunset when light is low. i can absolutely shoot in any kind of light (i’m really learning to love harsh, midday sun), but those glowy, dreamy, golden images are sunset magic. if you’re planning your elopement or wedding, make sure to carve out 20 minutes at least for photos around this time! you’ll be so glad you did!
as is often the case in moab in the spring, we had a windy evening on our hands. i was beyond excited. i love moody clouds, storms off in the distance, and wind for photos. it just adds so much drama and really gives a visual feel for what your day was like. these two fully embraced it, and i am madly in love with their photos because of it.
here’s their advice for other couples planning their wedding or elopement:
“First, we decided what was extremely important to us on that day and what exactly to invest our money in for the day. We both knew, a huge wedding wasn’t for us and the thought of planning a big wedding was daunting and took the joy away from the day. For us, it was investing in a great photographer for us to remember the day by and formal wear.
Second, we researched and decided where we wanted our ceremony to take place. After deciding on Utah, based mainly on videos and pictures, we started researching different parks. For us, we wanted to visit all 5 national parks, but we knew the crowds would be thick during the spring in a national park and wanted to avoid that extra stress. After researching a ton (and I mean a ton!) of state parks, we found Dead Horse Point State Park and knew it was the perfect spot. We also decided on a week day to avoid any extra crowds in the park, which really allowed us to fully explore the park.
Next, we started researching the different photographers around the Moab area and Emily definitely stood out to us. We knew it was extremely important to find a photographer who was familiar with the area, since we were across the country and had never visited Moab. Once we found Emily, we reached out about a year before our date, which helped decreased stress associated with the day. She went above and beyond to help us plan every aspect of our small wedding! You basically are getting a photographer, as well as, a wedding planner for the day. Emily sent us multiple suggestions and recommendations for vendors that we wanted for our day, which can be really hard to find in such a small town as Moab.
We absolutely LOVED eloping and having a very small intimate wedding! It was super easy to plan, especially with Emily by our side. If there is one piece of advice, we would give any new couple it would be to start early. Starting early gave us the best options before vendors and a photographer were already booked for our date. Find someone familiar with the area and who is willing to answer questions you may have, especially in a small town like Moab, since some vendors don’t have websites.
Emily was by far the best decision we made for our wedding day! She made both of us feel extremely comfortable in front of the camera and captured our personalities perfectly. She knew the Moab area, specifically Dead Horse Point State Park, extremely well and knew exactly how to avoid any crowds in order to give us a completely private ceremony and photos. I would 100% recommend anyone who is interested in a small ceremony or elopement to start by contacting Emily and see just how perfect she can make your special day.”
thank you, SO much, rebecca and casey for asking me to be your lucky photographer on this day. xo