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Desert Adventure Wedding at Joshua Tree National Park, California

cap rock joshua tree california desert elopement wedding

This intimate Joshua Tree wedding was the ultimate compromise between a bride and groom with vastly different visions for their big day.

Although Charlie had always envisioned a traditional wedding, his bride longed for a private elopement. They decided to incorporate elements of both, combining the parts that were most important to each of them to create the perfect Joshua Tree adventure. “They had a very sweet intimate wedding where the only guests were immediate family,” photographer Evangeline Lane recalls. “Their community is so supportive, and you could literally feel the love that surrounded them… We picked the spot a few minutes before the ceremony started, and they managed to not see each other for the whole day until Victoria walked down the dusty aisle between the trees. Victoria’s father officiated their ceremony and could barely hold back the tears.”

Both the bride and groom agree the most memorable moments of the day took place at Keys View where they took in their first sunset as husband and wife. They held onto one another as the wind whipped around them and they braved the cold. “After their ceremony, we headed to watch the epic sunset and snap some portraits as the mountains changed color,” Evangeline shares. “The wind really picked up and the weather turned cold quickly, but they were so game to keep going, trusting my vision on how to end our time together – surrounded by the desert mountains at sunset.”

Want to elope? Start with our How to Elope guide to plan your adventure wedding or elopement.

Photography by Evangeline Lane


“I think I always envisioned a formal wedding until I met Tori. She had very strong feelings about doing something smaller and more intimate that felt like a genuine experience, not a huge production. So, being as in love with her as I was and still am, I shifted my idea of what our wedding could and would look like. In the end, I don’t think I’d do it any other way than how we did it. It really felt like a unique way to celebrate our unique relationship. This location was perfect for our Joshua Tree wedding.”

[Charlie, The Groom]


“I’m not a planner at all. It was minimal compared to most weddings, but we were also trying to pull it off within four months so that added some challenges. For the most part it was pretty simple. Charlie had the ideas, and I carried out the details. He chose Joshua Tree, Workshop Kitchen + Bar for our reception, and found Evangeline, and I got the permit, booked the Airbnbs, and made the payments. We make a pretty good team I think.”

[Victoria, The Bride]


“Make sure you know what your main values are. I wanted a super laid-back vibe and to be in the moment. For me, that made me think just the two of us eloping would be the best option. I’m so grateful Charlie helped me to think long-term. At the end of the day, having my family there was exactly how it should have been, and we still kept it pretty relaxed.”



“Do what you know is best for you and your partner. For us, there was nothing that could compare to the peaceful ambience and powerful intimacy of that moment, surrounded only by our close family and the vast beauty of Californian desert. This is your day, so don’t let expectation or obligation twist it into anything other than exactly how you guys want it to be.”


Thank you to Evangeline Lane for sharing this session, and congratulations to Victoria + Charlie!

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