Hot Air Balloon Desert Elopement Adventure, NM

Hot Air Balloon Desert Elopement Adventure, NM

Kylie and Isaiah experienced an epic hot air balloon ride, intimate charcuterie board picnic, and a fun ATV ride before their desert micro wedding ceremony with their closest family and friends. The best part? This was originally a styled elopement session that turned into their real wedding day less than 2 weeks before!

Are you interested in planning a unique wedding day experience in New Mexico? Team up with one of our experienced elopement vendors to start planning your adventure.

Photography by Shutterfreek

Planned Desert Adventure Session Transformed Into a Desert Micro Wedding

According to Paul, the photographer from Shutterfreek, this was a styled adventure elopement turned into a real wedding. The couple’s original plans were canceled, and they decided 1 week before they wanted to officially get married during this styled elopement because they aligned with all the details included. Overnight this styled elopement turned into a real adventure micro wedding!

The couple got ready with their closest friends in Casita de Cati. Airbnbs are great for couples who are looking for a unique getting-ready experience together with tons of awesome photo op experiences.

“From our perspective for planning, the one thing that we see lacking in the world of traditional weddings is the element of experience and adventure! Little things like a sunrise balloon ride, a super stylish and cozy Airbnb for getting ready, luxurious charcuterie board stagings at every turn, and a hard-core ATV ride to celebrate their new commitment added layers upon layers of experience that galvanized a truly unique experience Kylie and Isaiah.” [Paul, the photographer]

Check out some of our favorite Airbnbs for your elopement.

Top Tips When Eloping in New Mexico From The Photographer

Paul tells us it’s important to first consider the weather and temperature when eloping in New Mexico. Weather, in general, is usually very unpredictable, so it’s best to be prepared. In New Mexico, it tends to be very windy, and high desert areas are much cooler year round especially in mountainous areas like Taos, Jemez Springs, and Angel Fire.

“May through early October are the most ideal months for toasty weather. Places like White Sands can be grueling hot during the mid-summer months and at times unbearably. One of the most complimentary and forgiving aspects of the New Mexico landscape any time of the year is golden and blue hour (more specifically dusk light). Our biggest tip when planning an Elopement in NM is to expect the unexpected, plan for weather shifts, and center your photos around sunsets and dusk light.” [Paul, the photographer]

Check out our New Mexico elopement guide to start planning your wedding adventure.

Deciding To Elope Instead of Planning a Traditional Wedding

Kylie, the bride, tells us how it was always her dream to have a traditional wedding with tons of flowers, family, and friends. When their original wedding plans changed, so did the dream of having a big wedding. She was afraid her wedding day would miss out on all the things that would make a wedding “special”.

“To say the least, I was wrong. I was able to have my closest friends and my family by my side to experience the most intimate moment of my life. And that’s exactly what came from our elopement. Experiencing things we may otherwise never would have if it weren’t for the opportunity. This elopement brought us closer together, because we were able to focus on each other; enjoying quality time together without imposing opinions or distractions. We were able to embrace the real meaning of love and it brought a new light to marriage and the reason for it.” [Kylie, the bride]

In the end, Kylie and Isaiah, were so grateful their unfortunate turn of events led them to the opportunity to elope together.

Are you feeling inspired by this desert micro wedding? Check out our top 10 reasons why couples decide to elope!

Change of Plans During This Styled Session Transformed To Real Elopement Adventure

Several of the vendors included in this event were scheduled in Kylie and Isaiah’s original wedding plans. However, when the pandemic hit, their plans changed. Paul tells us it was only after they started assembling the vendor list for this styled session did they realize that almost all of the original vendors booked for their original wedding were included. Once the couple brought up the possibility of changing this styled session into a desert micro wedding, everyone was on board.

“Kylie and Isaiah just had the most chill personalities. It takes a lot for a bride to let go of all her planning and design ideas and let a group of talented individuals take the wheel. They were so happy and just thrilled to be in the moment through each step of the adventure. Braving the wind and cold during the ceremony and dune rides was intense! They were troopers and were as gorgeous as they come.” [Paul, the photographer]

Memorable Moments During This Elopement Adventure

This elopement adventure is pretty epic. Shutterfreek and the rest of the vendors planned such a gorgeous adventure for this couple from the sunrise hot air balloon flight in Alburquerque to their wild dunes riding after their ceremony. Paul tells us their expressions and happiness were infectious.

“The feels. All the feels. Like I mentioned before the level of intimacy you are able to experience with your soon to be spouse is on another level. The whole day is about the two of you, instead of portions of time throughout a traditional wedding.” [Kylie, the bride]

Advice When Planning an Adventure Elopement Together

Are you planning to go on an epic elopement adventure together? Shutterfreek’s greats advice is to work with a team of creatives that know the area and that you can trust to just take the wheel.

“Planning an event like this is extremely challenging. There are so many moving parts that have to have to be perfectly timed and aligned. Working with professionals that understand how to improvise to keep the pace of a timeline and who also are willing to be present in the adventure with you is critical. True adventure eloping isn’t just showing up at the most picturesque spot for a photo op. It involves REAL ADVENTURE combined with LAYERS & LAYERS OF EXPERIENCE. Picking the right team to execute a once-in-a-lifetime experience is the smartest decision and investment you can make in your special day.” [Paul, the photographer]

Search our directory to team up with the best elopement vendors.


Photography | Shutterfreek

Venue | Kata’s Casitas
Hair + MUA | Something Ginger
Designer + Styling | @prettylittlepicnicabq
Stationary | Letterpress Made
Dress Designer |Teresa Romero
Florist: Flower Loop
Charcuterie Boards | Cuterie & Co.
Adventure Planning | Desert Harbor Retreat
Off-Road Adventure ATV | Enchanted Off-Road Rentals
Cake | Honey & Salt Cake Co.
Hot Air Balloon Ride | Fly Albuquerque
Planning | Shutterfreek & Desert Rover
DJ | Desert Disco


Photos From This Desert Micro Wedding

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