Secret Jeep Location | Moab, Utah

the hearnes » adventure elopement photographers

Kim + Mike’s Adventurous Jeep Elopement in Moab, Utah

Kim and Mike’s adventurous jeep elopement was such an amazing example of how well things go when our couples trust us on their elopement day! When Kim first reached out to me, she explained that she grew up going on road trips with her dad, and something about my photos on instagram felt nostalgic and really reminded her of those road trips out west. Neither Kim or Mike had ever been to Moab, but our photos of the red desert and vast landscapes really drew them in! They trusted our guidance and handed us the reigns to plan out their amazing day, from vendor recommendations to their location (which changed last minute — more on that later!) and even their decision to rent a Jeep. It was also super important to them to include Kim’s beautiful daughter, Chloe (when Kim sent a photo of them together, I was blown away by how much they looked alike!!), and they invited Mike’s closest friend to join them as their officiant and “honorary best man.”

When we began planning wedding locations in Moab, I suggested a few different options including spots in Canyonlands National Park, Arches National Park, and various BLM spots around the area. Kim mentioned they wanted to go somewhere remote, and when I asked how they felt about renting a Jeep to get out far away from people, they were down! Our original spot was down a long dirt road, then a shorter 4x4 Jeep road, and then a mile hike out to the edge of a cliff that I knew would almost certainly be void of any other people. We planned out their timeline, prepped them for the hike out and the hike back in the dark after staying out until sunset. But the desert has a mind of its own, and as their wedding date approached we all watched the spring forecast bring in occasional storms all week. The day of their wedding the forecast was still pretty unpredictable, but Callen and I had a few back-up ideas in mind if a storm came in.

The day of their elopement, Kim met up with Lesley Lind, one of our favorite hair and make up artists in Utah! Kim is a wedding hair and make up artist herself, so the fact that she loved working with Lesley should be a testament to how amazing she is! They picked up their Jeep and met us at a park north of Moab so we could show them the way out to their ceremony location. As we stopped at the turn to gas up our Jeeps, we saw a storm rolling in from the west but hoped it would stay out there and not come our way! On the drive out to our dirt road turn-off, it rained a little on us and we discussed how miserable it would be to be a mile from the cars in the event that a heavy storm rolled in. Callen and I pulled off and I ran over to their Jeep with a back up plan. I showed Kim and Mike a few phone photos from a spot nearby we’d scouted a couple weeks prior. It was of course still possible we’d get rained on at the second spot, but we’d be right at the cars if it did come, so taking shelter would be easy. They loved the second spot, so we changed the plans! We led them out to this beautiful secret spot, where we drove right up to the edge of the canyon and, as we guessed, had it all to ourselves. It turned out the rain decided to hold off for us and we had all afternoon to explore the wild area! As we walked around soaking it in, Kim and Mike couldn’t get over how glad they were they trusted us to pick their location, and how beautiful this “plan B” was!

They picked a little ledge for their ceremony and as both Chloe and Kim came down the “aisle” between our two Jeeps (so Moab!) it started to hit Kim and Mike just how momentous this was. Mike hadn’t seen her dress until their ceremony, and he was absolutely blown away. Side note, Kim had originally fallen in love with her Ines Di Santo dress, but decided it was out of her budget, so she went with one she still loved but wasn’t “the one.” When Mike learned about this, he insisted she go back and get the dress she loved. Such a small gesture in the grand scheme of things, but it was SO sweet to see him look at her in that dream dress, and know for a fact there were no regrets! Their vows to each other were so sweet, and Chloe read her own words on family and commitment — I’m pretty sure we all cried. After their ceremony, we all hiked around, taking photos and exploring the beautiful sandstone landscape! Mike was a ball of energy, doing back flips and handstands, and scrambling on rocks that make all of our hearts skip a beat!! We settled down for a little picnic of french friends, pretzels, and burgers compliments of the Moab Brewery, and amazingly, the rain never came! After a few final moments soaking in the views at their desert ceremony location, we packed up the Jeeps and took the adventurous route to town, stopping at a few overlooks along the way and finally stopping just before the pavement to sign their marriage license in the moonlight and do one final dance in the Jeep’s headlights. Kim and Mike had such a beautiful, adventurous elopement day in the Moab desert, and as we drove home afterwards Callen and I kept talking about how much it means to us when our couples trust us to such a high degree. None of this would have been possible without that trust, and getting to help people have their dream adventure wedding in a place they’ve never been before, and have it fully exceed any expectations is such an amazing thing!

Also, all Moab weddings are better with Jeeps!


Photographers: The Hearnes Adventure Photography

Bride’s Dress: Ines Di Santo

Bride’s Hair + Make Up: Lesley Lind

The Hearnes Adventure Photography is run by Abbi and Callen Hearne, a husband & wife wedding photography team with an emphasis on adventure. They live on the road as full-time nomads, allowing them to serve a large portion of the western US. You can typically find them in Moab, Utah or Yosemite National Park, California, with side-quests to Patagonia and Alaska. They believe love is the greatest adventure and strive to create photos that are epic, romantic, true, and timeless.