Viewing entries in
intimate weddings

canyonlands national park elopement anniversary session | moab wedding photographer

Comment

canyonlands national park elopement anniversary session | moab wedding photographer

Canyonlands National Park | Moab, Utah

the hearnes » adventure elopement photographers


katelyn + david’s elopement anniversary session in canyonlands national park

Sometimes people decorate their wedding with flowers and lights. They pick a venue and bring in a DJ with speakers and set up hundreds of chairs. Other times, they bring their wedding to where the flowers grow (on cacti), and the only light is natural. The venue is the best looking platform above a cliff they can find, and the only seats are boulders and the only sounds are that which nature chooses. Katelyn and David decided to go the route of having mother nature be their wedding planner (with a little location scouting help from us) and weren't disappointed.

The week leading up to their big day was filled with storms and some pretty harsh fall weather in Moab. Thankfully, their wedding day brought a break in the clouds which resulted in some epic photo ops. While weather seems daunting a lot of the time, I love how some of our favorite memories and photos come from conditions most people worry about. This was the case with David and Katelyn as the wind ripped through canyons and pushed storms across the desert floor in the distance.

I found out when we first started talking that a less traditional route was natural for these two. In fact, this wasn't exactly a wedding at all, but rather an announcement! David and Katelyn's wedding actually happened two and a half years before in a courthouse ceremony. They had kept it under wraps the entire time since (if I ever need to keep a secret safe with someone, I'm calling Katelyn)! So the whole day felt more like an adventure and celebration!

Honestly, though, the whole day felt perfect for them. They met while working at the same grocery store. Actually, Katelyn trained David as a service specialist, and they started dating almost a year later. In the ten years since then getting outside had become a place for David and Katelyn to get away together. They'd taken annual trips together to Montana and were stoked to get out into Moab.

We were really excited to work with a few of our favorite vendors again too! Katelyn chose a BHLDN dress (some of our favorite elopement dresses are BHLDN!), hair + makeup by Lesley Lind, and the bouquet came from Tellurian Events. I love Tellurian because they're perfect for elopements as they work with locally available florals to make amazing, one of a kind, eco-friendly bouquets. Katelyn's was perfect! The flowers were lightweight which made for easy hiking, but it still looked stunning in all the photos!

Getting our couples out into the desert is my favorite part of the day. I'm always super excited to get them to the location(s) we picked for their day. It's kind of like waiting for someone to unwrap a present you're really excited for them to open. Katelyn had told me how much she and David are "opposites, but perfect for each other." I definitely saw that come out in them and thought about how a rainy day in the desert fit them perfectly.

We hiked out to a beautiful vista. I watched from a distance as they stood on the edge of a mesa to read their vows, clouds rolled by in the distance, rain trailing underneath. Days like this in the desert create a contrast of dark and light. Reds turn shades of crimson as they soak up the rain and the whites come alive and almost seem to glow against the desert floor. As dusk arrived, the light began to dance against the distant cliffs. The clouds made scale of the deserts massive reach and towers sticking up all around.

The storm in the distance was wild, our couple matching its quiet intensity with theirs. They walked along the edges of the cliffs as opposites yet perfect together - Katelyn and David, a black suit and a white dress, loving each other like the desert loves the rain.

At the very end of our time together it started raining, so we all piled into the camper for hot tea. Some of my favorite times with couples are spent sipping tea or coffee, unpacking the day, hearing stories and dragging our time out into the night. Katelyn and David were so thoughtful, they even gifted us a Yosemite scented candle (Yosemite in Moab... tears).

Eventually, we said goodbye, but days like this are ones I won't soon forget. I'm so glad the everything turned out how it did for these two. It's a story they'll get to tell forever about how they stood on a cliff's edge to officially announce their love to an audience of castles and clouds.

Elopement Location: Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Photographers: The Hearnes Adventure Photography

Bride’s Dress: BHLDN

Bride’s Hair + Make Up: Lesley Lind

Bride’s Bouquet: Tellurian Events


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.

Comment

jeep wedding in canyonlands National Park | moab elopement photographer

Comment

jeep wedding in canyonlands National Park | moab elopement photographer

Alley and Jacob traveled to Moab, Utah for their adventure elopement wedding last fall. They invited their parents to join for their intimate ceremony in Canyonlands National Park and then rented a jeep so they could explore more of the 4x4 roads around Moab. Alley’s Chantel Lauren wedding dress perfectly complimented the desert environment around her!

Comment

yosemite wedding first look and portraits | national park elopement photographer

Comment

yosemite wedding first look and portraits | national park elopement photographer

Yosemite National Park, California

the hearnes » adventure elopement photographers


heidi + gordon’s first look + wedding portraits in yosemite national park | sunrise at glacier point and sunset at taft point | adventure elopement photographer

We love it when our couples have a tie to the place they decide to have their adventure wedding pictures taken. In the past, we’ve had a couple choose to elope in Zion National Park because they met on a hike there, or road trip together through Moab, and they want their adventure wedding or engagement to take place there. However, when Heidi and Gordon reached out, they told us about their connection which goes back longer than any we'd ever heard of before.

Shooting their adventure wedding in Yosemite brought with it a sense of depth, history even, as the attachment goes back over 148 years ago! Her family had settled here, among the first to do so, in 1870.  For perspective, this means they were neighbors with John Muir, who lived here from 1868-1874. Her Great Great Grandpa Mcauley built the trail which connects the valley to Glacier Point and lived here well before the park even had boundaries (which happened in 1889). We joked about how this was Yosemite's "Royal Wedding" which would make Heidi the Princess of Yosemite, but seriously, her connection to this place was absolutely amazing.

We shot in the park at sunrise and sunset, Gordon and Heidi walking among the very granite her family had for generations. At Glacier Point, she pointed out a plaque with her Great Great Grandfather’s name on it, commemorating all he'd done for this park. Gordon and Heidi held hands, walking to the edges where he started the tradition (which lasted nearly 100 years before ending in 1968) of the Yosemite Firefall. We snapped some shots of them silhouetted above the valley. I imagined the silhouette of her ancestor, pushing glowing embers off the cliff in the same golden light, letting them fall for the spectators below.

They brought their beautiful German Shepherd, Chelsea, along for some portraits (Yep! Yosemite has a couple of dog-friendly places!), and we took our time strolling around the upper valley before their wedding the next day. The ceremony was set to be an intimate little wedding in the Yosemite Chapel where her uncle had been the pastor for a few years in the 1970s (crazy we actually have to state which century that was in). I imagined the likelihood of Ansel Adam's walking around the valley with her family there, stopping in at Degnan's to grad some food prepared by her ancestors which started the iconic restaurant. Maybe he even snapped a few photos of their family back in the day or talked with one of her great grandparents, asking what it was like before his first trips to the valley in the early 20th century.

Gordon also has a connection to Yosemite, having grown up visiting and even through-hiking while doing the PCT with his friend (best man). He had no idea on those initial visits he'd one day be "marrying into" the Yosemite lineage. Obviously, this was all just special because it was Gordon and Heidi's wedding day, their love, the personification of their personalities, interest, and style in one day, but the weight of it all was undeniable.

With a connection like this, I imagine some far-off day in the future, Heidi and Gordon's Great Great Grandson maybe walking with his girlfriend, dropping down to a knee and proposing, or maybe holding his fiance's hand as they get married here. Someone will write about their wedding and talk about how much this place has meant to his family over the past 250 years. And they'll put in one of the photos from today and underneath will be a little caption that simply reads "They were engaged right where this photo of his Great Great Grandparents Gordon and Heidi had was taken, the day before their wedding, on September 6, 2018".


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.

Comment