An elopement is something intimate, sacred, and personal. For Gabby and Grant, getting married surrounded by God’s creation was something that was the main priority for them. With that said, these two had a spiritual elopement at Horseshoe Bend and photo session at Antelope Canyon in Arizona.
“We wanted to be fully surrounded by God’s creation during the most important day of our lives. Grant and I love the trends of today with formal weddings but knew we would look back and say, ‘Remember when we thought that was in style?!’ We wanted depth, something that man or no trend could alter. Thus, we wanted creation in its purest form.” [Gabby]
Something pure and beautiful is definitely what this elopement is. We can easily see not only the love between these two in Savanna’s photos, but we are also in awe with mother nature.
For Savanna, this day was extra special for her because she is friends with the bride and groom. “I’ll never forget the drive from Phoenix to Page, the way friends felt like family, and family felt like heaven. Also, I’ll never forget how timeless and un-rushed it all was,” she says.
Have you heard of say yes to the dress? Gabby and Grant said yes to Horseshoe Bend after seeing an inspirational picture on social media months before the engagement even happened!
Gabby tells us that it was that moment that she couldn’t imagine her wedding to be anywhere else but the desert curves of Horseshoe Bend.
Photography by Savanna Kaye
Challenges When Eloping
Planning elopement doesn’t require much planning. Right? This couple sheds light on one detail many forget to count on as they plan their adventure wedding. Gabby explains how the difficult part of planning an elopement is the distance. Horseshoe Bend is in the middle of nowhere, and Phoenix, the closest big city, was 4 hours away from their elopement destination.
Gabby suggests finding a wedding coordinator that knows the area. They were all so overwhelmed with not knowing the area that having someone who knew the landscape helped to plan the day out.
“It was a very much go with the flow type of planning for this wedding because it was so foreign to all of us,” says Gabby.
Savanna tells us she didn’t know what to expect on this elopement at Horseshoe Bend. Since she was traveling with the couple and the wedding party, she didn’t have time to scout the location beforehand. “I did create a mood board before flying out to Page, Arizona. I included colors that inspired me, dessert textures and pictures of Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon,” she says.
After cramming 7 bridesmaids, luggage, and a ton of flowers into a car, Gabby and Grant’s special day was finally ready to happen. Their special day began with an intimate photo shoot at Antelope Canyon.
A Day About the Bride and Groom at this Horseshoe Bend Elopement
Having an intimate wedding was Gabby and Grant’s favorite part of their special day. With 40 guests, including the bridal party, they celebrated a day entirely focused around them.
“We didn’t have to worry about pleasing anyone or living up to a traditional standard of what a wedding was supposed to be. We made it our wedding. It was the most peaceful day of my life. There was no stress and we were constantly reminded of the Lord’s goodness with his creation surrounding us.” [Gabby]
Gabby and Grant had a Spanish guitar player meet them at Horseshoe Bend to play as she walked down the aisle. Her Rue de Seine wedding dress flowed in the air as the two exchanged vows.
Between having a slumber party with the Bride, and long talks with the groom about fun memories and the stock-market, Savannah tells us she has a hard time picking her favorite moment. However, one of her favorite moments was during and after the ceremony.
“Standing on the edge of Horseshoe Bend listening to both Gabby and Grant tearfully read their vows to one another. Also, when Gabby went to throw her bouquet and Make It Rain by Fat Joe blasted through the speakers, and when we danced our faces off. It was all just so beautiful, fun, joyful, and Christ-centered.” [Savanna]
Advice from The Couple
The biggest mistake many make on their big day is focusing on what other people will think. Before deciding to elope at Horseshoe Bend, Gabby and Grant were going to sign a contract at a venue in Georgia. Although it was a beautiful venue, and they had already planned what arrangements would look like, they realized it wasn’t the right choice for them. “It wasn’t until one day it hit us both and we thought, ‘are we doing this for other people or is this really us?’ We canceled all plans, booked our flights, and took a chance on a landscape that will bring you to tears. It was nothing short of perfect.”
Savanna’s Advice to Other Photographers
Being a part of someone’s elopement is one of the most special feelings in the world, according to Savanna. She wants to remind photographers to live in the moment when capturing intimate events.
“This opportunity is not for you to build your portfolio, get featured on a big profile, or even get more clients. In reality, this opportunity is one of the most precious invitations to celebrate two people creating a forever covenant with one another before the Lord. Marriage is so sacred, and as photographers documenting the moment, we need to protect that aspect of the day.”
Savanna’s Advice for Couples
Savanna feels that it is also important for couples to do something true to who they are as a couple for their wedding day.
“Whether you have a wedding with 300 of your closest friends and family or an elopement with you, your significant other, and the officiant in the mountains, this day is a day meant to serve you two and your relationship as you say ‘yes’ to forever. You’re not going to be able to make everyone happy, so you might as well do something that makes you and your fiancé happy.” [Savanna]
Invitation Suite| Carleen McCarty
Videographer| Brandon Dugai
Planner, Cake and Florals| Debra Joaquim w/ Monumental Arizona Weddings and Events
Ceremony| Horseshoe Bend
Reception Venue| Antelope Point Marina
Dress| Rue de Seine
Thank you to Savanna for sharing this session, and congratulations to Gabby and Grant!