Heather and Brent began their wedding day long before the sun was up.
They met photographer Traci Edwards at 3:15 in the morning, ready to hike to Devil’s Bridge to share a private moment and exchange sweet love letters. “Head lamps on, it was a quiet, beautiful morning… We hiked through the woods under stars, enjoying the trail to ourselves,” Traci recalls. “[They read the letters] to themselves, stopping in between to share moments or laugh or giggle or remember a memory… Heather wanted them to be read during a secluded moment so that they could feel free to be emotional together and not have to worry about their friends and family watching them… All of a sudden, the red canyons lit up [with] light behind them. It truly was a gorgeous, stunning sunrise, and they got to share it all themselves… I can’t imagine anything more special to start off your [wedding] day together.”
That afternoon, Traci led the couple, their three dogs, and 25 of their nearest and dearest to Doe Mountain. She had invested months into researching potential ceremony locations, mindful that many of the guests were less accustomed to hiking and needed a more easily accessible trail. “I hiked through Sedona for several months looking for the perfect spot,” she says. “I just wanted to provide for them the best view with the most privacy.” Reaching the plateau, Heather surprised everyone – including her groom – with a wedding gown she had secretly stowed in a friend’s pack. “She came around the corner from the trees where she changed and everyone was crying – there wasn’t a dry eye. Brent had the most pleasant smile, and she was grinning away as she made her way to him,” Traci shares. “It was a super sweet ceremony – lots of laughter [and] lots of tears and special moments with simple, sweet vows.”
This adventure wedding has us in complete awe, and it’s not hard to see why!
Photography by Traci Edwards Photography
CHOOSING AN ADVENTURE WEDDING:
“Our choice was a combination of a couple different variables. We wanted to keep the number of guests very low so that we would have more of an opportunity to spend quality time with the people who were able to come join us. Many of our married friends have commented that their ceremonies and receptions happened so fast, and they wished [they’d] had more time with their guests… We were able to spend the entire weekend on vacation with all of our closest friends and family.
We also didn’t want to feel stressed from conventional wedding planning – we just wanted to enjoy the experience and be able to get completely wrapped up in each other and in the experience instead of the planning.”
[Heather, The Bride]
“They romped around together on the bridge and shared a lot of quiet moments. Heather and Brent have that kind of love that’s just really in tune… It’s private, deep-rooted, and it was so sweet to watch them just be with each other.”
[Traci Edwards, Photographer]
CHOOSING A WEDDING LOCATION:
“We wanted an adventure wedding, and I had traveled to Sedona before and knew how beautiful it was… Even though we wanted a small and intimate crowd, we still wanted close friends and family to be able to come. I knew there would be something for everyone in that area. We wanted the experience to be memorable and safe for everyone.
Sedona is a place where you can be as adventurous as you want to be – it’s kind of a ‘choose your own adventure’ type of place. We chose our location based on prior experience but also based [upon] how accessible adventuring can be there for all of our guests. We both love nature, and there is so much beautiful nature to see and experience in Sedona.”
“Brent and Heather are one of the sweetest couples I’ve ever met. Their love is just so beautiful to watch.”
PLANNING AN ADVENTURE WEDDING:
“We set out to have a stress-free wedding that required very little planning on our end… however it was a lot more planning than we thought it would be… Our amazing photographer, Traci Edwards, took away all the stress of the unknown. She provided specific location options with photographs, researched how difficult each hike would be by doing trial runs at each potential location, advised us on a timetable that would work best for our group of 27 and for our schedules, and helped us problem-solve a few of the intimate and unique ideas that we had as a couple… Mother Nature covered the decoration…”
“After family photos and a champagne toast, the family decided to walk back down and give Heather and Brent some more alone time… They took in the view together [and] shared kisses, hugs, and excitement that they just tied the knot.”
THE ADVENTURE WEDDING EXPERIENCE:
“The ceremony was by far the best part – I loved how stress-free it was. I loved being surrounded by so much beauty, I loved that we had a group of people that had made the effort to be present and to help us feel celebrated, [and] I loved that my dogs could be there… As corny as it sounds, I loved how it felt like it was just me and Brent standing on that mountain, even though we were surrounded. Everything else really did melt away.”