Detail photography of bride and groom at Utah.


Keeping a Desert Elopement in Utah Simple and Beautiful

Most of the time, a couple decides to elope because of their love of seeking adventure, or because they want to avoid the stress and planning of a big wedding. In this couple’s case, they wanted to keep things simple and intimate. Lucas and Jordan are both teachers from Iowa who decided to have a non-traditional wedding. While on a road trip from Iowa to Arizona to visit Jordan’s family, the couple decided to self-solemnize in Colorado before continuing their journey to their desert elopement in Utah. Their adventure was over a week long and filled with memories and adventure together, according to Jordan.

Photographer: Emily Hary Photography

Session: Elopement 

Location: Moab, Utah

From the Couple:

“We had been together 5 years before eloping, and I just looked at him weeks before our planned road trip to see my family and said, ‘I’m tired of not being married to you, what are we waiting for?’ Lucas thankfully agreed, and we decided to get married on the way to Arizona. My hair was wild and un-styled, we traveled long hours in the car, so his suit was wrinkly. We didn’t have rings, I wore no makeup, but we didn’t mind! The time spent together, the laughs shared, and the tears shed on this trip meant the world to me.” [Jordan]

From the Photographer:

“They wanted to get married, so they made it happen. They didn’t even have wedding bands when they promised forever to each other in the desert. And you know what? That’s okay! I loved that they stripped a marriage down to the bare essentials – what matters. Even rings aren’t necessary right away. Do what you can, with what you have!” [Emily]



Let Your Love and the Landscape Do the Talking

Emily tells us this experience during this desert elopement in Utah, Moab was surreal for her. She was able to document two people in love while they exchanged their vows in the quiet desert.

“The sun was shining down, and there wasn’t a soul around except for the towering rocks behind them. I felt such an overwhelming sense of gratitude to just be present and witness these two in this intimate moment. When they finished, they turned towards me with tears in their eyes, smiling. I also teared up, and we then laughed about it,” [Emily].

Learning to Enjoy the Moment

This elopement makes all of us stop and think about what matters, enjoying the moment you get to marry the love of your life. Jordan tells us how many people get too wrapped up in the wedding planning process and forget to enjoy their special day. Here’s her advice,

“It’s okay if you do not have the perfect dress, venue, hairstyle, make-up, accessories, or rings. Try to think about why you want to get married and think about what would make you and your spouse the happiest. How do YOU want to spend this important day in your life? Lucas and I decided we did not want the stress revolving having guests and doing what would please them. We wanted to focus on us and celebrate our union the way we wanted to. After all, we were the ones getting married.” [Jordan]



Elopements are Eye-Opening Experiences for Photographers

Emily tells us how lucky she feels every time she documents a couple’s elopement. According to her, it’s more than just taking photos. She aspires to assist the couple in whatever they need.

“I want them to look back on their elopement experience with me and think, ‘that was a really fun time’, ‘that felt like us’, or ‘I’m so glad we did that with Emily’. The more I focus on serving others instead of myself, the better photographer and person I can be to my couples. My advice to other photographers is to try to do the same. Shift your focus away from yourself and your business, and try to be more selfless.” [Emily]

This elopement, according to Emily, is inspirational to others to skip the planning and stress of a wedding. Many couples become discouraged to elope due to social media standards. “There are many inspirational pieces and even real elopements that are ‘extra’ and put a high standard on couples,” Emily says. Jordan and Lucas’ story is proof that you just need to let your love and surroundings do the talking.

Are you thinking about eloping? Then you should read these 5 Reasons You Should Consider Eloping.



Thank you to Emily Hary for sharing this session, and congratulations to Jordan and Lucas!

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