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Zion Brides Planning guide for southwest destination elopements

Including Utah, Arizona, Nevada, California wedding vendors

Planning your wedding in Zion, Sedona, Grand Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands?

Romantic Desert Wedding in Arches

Jordan and Chris planned the most incredible elopement that ALMOST went awry as an unexpected desert snowstorm was predicted the day of their wedding!

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With just 48 hours notice we all worked together to pull the whole elopement back a day and it was PERFECTION. J&C tackled a sunrise hike to an enormous remote arch with not another soul in sight...

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...then explored Arches National Park before meeting their family for a super intimate and heartfelt ceremony as the sun set over the red desert.

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This is what we love about outdoor elopements! You can never predict exactly how it's going to play out but, as long as you're ready to go with the flow and embrace whatever comes your way, it's guaranteed to be an incredible adventure you'll remember forever!

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Dress Store:BHLDN  |  Event Venue: Arches National Park  |  Other Location: Moab BLM Lands  |  Photographers: The Outlovers

Want to Read This Couples' Q&A?

Q: Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day? Did you have a specific theme, style or color palette? Did you incorporate any cultural or religious traditions in any part of your day?

A: We both love to hike and are inspired by beautiful places.  While adventuring in Sedona, Arizona, we witnessed the most breathtaking cliff-side, sunset wedding. We both got chills and I think deep-down, we know that was what we wanted. Our day didn’t have a style or theme. We just wanted to witness our two favorite parts of the day (sunrise and sunset) somewhere beautiful with our closest family members. So, we started our day with a sunrise hike to Corona Arch in Moab, Utah-just the two of us and are wonderful photographers. We did a first look together, ate donuts, watched the sunrise and spent some quality time together.  We then went to Arches National Park to continue exploring. After that, we took a midday break. In the early afternoon, we met up with our families (6 guest in all!) at a beautiful equestrian parking area, called Ida Gulch, with a beautiful backdrop. Jordan shared an emotional first look with her dad and then we had our ceremony. We exchanged our vows we wrote and had family members all share advice for us. We then did our first dance, a father-daughter dance and a mother-son dance. We popped champagne, ate pizza and just enjoyed each other’s company until the sun went down. We then got to explore the area more and enjoy the beautiful sunset (with a few 50mph wind gusts) it was perfect—we included everything that we wanted and nothing that we didn’t.

Q: Let's talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception? Was any part of the decor DIY?

A: We let Mother Nature do the decorating for us!

Q: What were the florals like in your wedding? Did you use flowers in any of your design elements like the bridal bouquets, centerpieces or ceremony backdrop? Did they play an important part in the overall style of your wedding?

A: Jordan had a bouquet of fake flowers from Etsy. Unfortunately, the shop has now been closed. With the red rock background, we wanted colors that felt warm and complimented the scenery well so we opted for maroons, oranges and off white flowers.

Q: Did you personalize the day in any way (food trucks, guest entertainment etc.)? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?

A: We chose to go as low maintenance as possible. We carried donuts up for sunrise hike, ate pizza and popped champagne with our closest families at sunset. We even ate Funfetti cupcakes for dessert!  We did throw in some traditional elements such as first looks with Jordan’s dad and first dances. We also asked each guest to share their advice for us for a successful marriage.  We cared less about the “stuff” and more about the memories we were creating and the adventure we were on.

Q: Let's talk fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day look? Describe the looks in detail.

A: Jordan wore a white wedding dress from BLHD with a tight-fitting spaghetti strap top and a larger tule filled bottom. The dress had lace and a slight train. Chris had a rich blue suit from Indochino. We wanted to still feel beautiful on our wedding day so we opted for a traditional style. Jordan wore white leggings, wool socks and hiking boots under her dress to stay warm and to make hiking a little easier.

Q: How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.

A: We went to high school together but weren’t close. A few years later, we ran into each other Target.  There was something in the air when we ran into each other and were inseparable ever since our first date a few weeks later. Now we joke that you really can get everything you need at Target.  Chris proposed after watching a sunset overlooking the mountains on Skyline Drive one evening.

Q: What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?

A: We were so excited about our first look. We hiked up to Corona Arch in the pitch black and both proceeded to either side of this incredible arch.  Out of sight from each other, we slipped into our wedding outfits. We were both giddy waiting to see each other. We then walked around the sides of the arch and shared the most incredible moment. It was such a special moment that we’ll never forget.

Q: Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you'd like to share with other couples planning their day?

A: Do what you want to do!!! Find what makes you happy and incorporate that into your wedding day. It’s about your love and creating memories that will last a lifetime.

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Our online inspo publication, started in 2018, has helped countless brides find everything from how to build their dream wedding to the vendors that can make it all possible.  We've achieved our mission of becoming the top site for adventure couples and destination brides and want you to see why!  Our staff has years of experience in the industry and loves showcasing the work of the talented members of the Southern Utah wedding collective.  Need Inspo?  Need Tips?  Need Vendors?  Let Zion Brides be your guide...

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