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shannon + mackenzie

lake powell wedding

i just delivered shannon and mackenzie’s wedding photos and i couldn’t wait, i had to blog them immediately.

these two love adventure, their dogs, and just being outside together. based on the fact that all of our instagram stories are 95% images and videos of our dogs doing cute things, i knew we’d be fast friends. not only that, but their both driven, intelligent, and talented individuals. mackenzie is an incredible interior designer and an overall badass boss babe, owner of mackenzie collier interiors. shannon is basically a genius and created the internet. she even was kind enough to believe that i was smart and tried to explain coding to me. thank you shannon, i’ll have the whiteboard at the ready next time. 🙂

they wanted to share their love of the outdoors, specifically the gorgeous desert surrounding lake powell, with their closest family and friends. what better time to get everyone together than your epic wedding weekend camping extravaganza?! anytime i travel outside of moab for weddings i like to arrive at least a day early. this gives me time to meet everyone, scout of some new locations if need be, and be prepared just in case my travel doesn’t go as planned. i arrived to glen canyon national recreation area on friday evening with the intention of just parking the van somewhere along the beach and meeting up with shannon and mackenzie the following day. i messaged mackenzie to let her know i had arrived and she, without hesitation, let me know where they were all camped. i thought maybe i’d just go say hi then find my own spot, but as soon as i rolled up everyone was so welcoming and friendly (plus there were dogs running around so i wasn’t going anywhere, obviously). i pulled up my camp chair and within 20 minutes felt like i had 10 new friends.

most of their friends and family camped at the beach the whole weekend, getting to enjoy some kayaking on the lake, volleyball in the water, and just the best kind of lounging in the summer sun. that’s one of the perks of having an adventure elopement like these two planned – you’re basically planning a vacation getaway for your friends and family to enjoy, with a wedding in the middle. after all of us got to enjoy the beach (and i had scouted out a few of their locations earlier in the day), the big night had finally arrived. i met mackenzie at a nearby hotel where she and shannon were getting ready. cause i mean, camping is great and all, but sometimes it’s nice to shower on your wedding day. 🙂

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once we were all good to go, shannon headed up to their first look location and we all followed close behind. they chose an incredible spot for their ceremony. perched high above lake powell, overlooking nothing but a mars-like landscape and the beautiful desert, there was no one else around the entire evening we were up there. we snapped a few sunset shots before heading to their ceremony site for a couple family photos. then we got to take advantage of that low light just after the sun went down, roaming around what really felt like another planet. i just loved the pastels in the sandstone and the sky that seemed to match each of their bouquets perfectly. i headed back to ceremony site to get ready while they took some time to just be alone. i love when couples plan these little moments into their day – 5 minutes before their ceremony or maybe 10 minutes after, just to share a drink, watch the sunset, or slow the whole day down so they can remember everything about how special it all really was.

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one of the big reasons they wanted to get married at lake powell was for the stars. if you’ve never been to this area, the night sky is really unlike anything else you’ve ever seen. it’s almost like there are more stars than empty sky, and that’s right where these two wanted to say “i do”. they made sure to check out what the moon was doing when they were planning their day so that they’d have the darkest sky possible. we got so lucky to have such a gorgeous, clear, warm evening, i couldn’t have imagined it going any better!

after the ceremony we all caravaned back down to the beach for s’mores, toasts, and stargazing. needless to say, i didn’t want the weekend to end!

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something else i highly, highly recommend to couples is to plan a day after (or 2 days after) photo session with just the two of them. you can get dressed in your wedding attire again, or wear something else you love, but this is usually when we take some of my favorite photos. there’s zero stress, it’s all about you two, and we get to choose the best time of day. shannon and mackenzie wanted to get some shots of them doing something they love to do together – kayak out on lake powell. we wandered around the area where we had spent all weekend camping, hangin’ in their super cute trailer for a bit, getting out on the water, and finally finishing just after the sun had dipped below the horizon. but not before we took some ridiculously hilarious shots of them frolicking on the beach with several families gawking in the background. i laughed so hard the entire time we got to hang out, my face literally hurt from smiling so much!

congratulations you two! i feel SO incredibly lucky to have been the one to capture your lake powell weekend. let’s do it again next year? xo

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