Abby, Parker and only their closest friends made the trek from Colorado to Sedona for their big day
Sedona is known for its beautiful scenery and spectacular hiking, but a lesser known sport is its epic mountain biking. When Abby and Parker were considering locations for their intimate wedding, these avid mountain bikers wanted to include their favorite activity.
Why Couples Choose Sedona as a Wedding Destination?
While Abby and Parker chose Sedona because it would allow them to partake in their favorite past-time, there are other reasons why couples choose Sedona to tie the knot.
1. The Spiritual Energy
Surrounded by the beauty of the red rocks, Sedona has vortexes that are swirling with a subtle energy from the earth. People have been traveling to Sedona specifically to absorb the energy of the vortexes for centuries.
If mystical energy sounds appealing, you can participate in a wedding week retreat or just a day tour to spiritually prepare you for your next chapter.
2. Down to Earth and Stress-Free
Sedona is the perfect destination for a beautiful and elegant wedding without all the fuss. The pace of life in Sedona is a little slower than most places. Sedona, with all her beauty and magic, is a great reminder to couples of what’s really important at this time – each other.
3. Sedona is an Outdoor Enthusiast’s Mecca
With hundreds of trails for hiking and mountain biking and a creek for fishing, if you love the outdoors, you will love Sedona. Trails vary in difficulty from easy to challenging and provide a variety of views of the surrounding landscape. Some couples even choose to hike to their favorite spot to exchange their vows.
4. The Spectacular Red Rocks and All Their Glory
There is no denying that the picturesque backdrops and the dramatic scenery attract visitors of all kinds. You don’t have to be an outdoor enthusiast to appreciate what Sedona has to offer.
The funny thing, though, when couples are exchanging their vows the scenery doesn’t matter. Just look at how Abby and Parker get lost in each other during their vows.
I simply adore small, intimate weddings because I always leave feeling part of the family. There is something to be said for sharing an intimate moment with those that matter the most. The emotion, love, and support for the couple shine through to the images that I capture.
Look at the images of the family and friends that traveled with Abby and Parker to celebrate with them. The love is pure and beautiful. I can still feel the love of the group as I look back on these photos.
It is easy to say couples choose Sedona because of its beauty. There are no words that truly do Sedona justice. And truthfully, the images don’t do it justice either. As breathtaking as Sedona looks in the images you see, it is even more glorious when you experience it in person.
There is something about Sedona that is timeless, just like a marriage should be. Maybe there is something to those magical, mystical vortexes after all.
Abby and Parker, may the magic of the vortexes bring you many years of happiness. Thank you for choosing me to be a part of your special day.
Meet Dana and Walter from Oklahoma. Walter’s wife of forty years passed away and he was blessed to find love again in Dana. The couple wanted to keep it simple and true to their adventurous spirit.
They chose to elope to Sedona. Hitting the spectacular red rocks wasn’t adventurous enough, though. They wanted to add some pink to their day.
A Pink Jeep Tour Elopement
Pink Jeep Tours offers unique Southwest adventures in Sedona, Grand Canyon and Las Vegas.
Dana and Walter wanted to add a little extra something to their day. And what could be more special than a private tour around the beautiful red rocks to celebrate beginning their new life together as man and wife?
About Pink Jeep Tours
Pink Jeep Tours has conducted over 700,000 tours during their 58 years in business. They offer quick treks or full-day excursions for an up-close look at Sedona’s Red Rocks, the mighty Grand Canyon, and the always thrilling Las Vegas.
Click here to learn more about Pink Jeep Tours.
The Red Rocks Glow
The famous Red Rocks are made of red sandstone formations. They change color as the sun changes its position in the sky. They can look bright red in the middle of the day, a bright orange about an hour before sunset and the purple hues come out at dusk.
As a photographer that specializes in engagement and elopement sessions, I never tire of staging a photo with the breathtaking backdrops that Sedona has to offer. There is nothing quite like it anywhere else in the world.
A Good Black and White Photo Speaks Volumes
Yes, the Red Rocks are spectacular in all their color. But a good black and white photo captures the soul of the subject. The timelessness of a good black and white holds a magic that is hard to capture in color.
Just look at these images of Dana and Walter. Their relationship and love become the focus – you can feel their emotion. It captures the true essence of that moment in time.
See for yourself.
Sunsets in Sedona are Magical
Did you know Sedona is ranked as one of the best places to see a sunset by Travel & Leisure magazine? In the world!
Travel & Leisure says:
“Watching the sunset can be a near-spiritual experience in the raw beauty of Sedona, where the desert meets the mountains. Sedona is known for its famous red rock buttes, and the sun’s setting rays make the vibrant colors of the landscape glow against the deepening blue of the desert sky.”
I’m not sure I could have said it better myself. I love late afternoon hikes that end as the sun is setting behind some of the stunning formations like Cathedral Rock or Courthouse Butte.
It also happens to be one of my favorite things to photograph. I’m glad my afternoon with Dana and Walter ended with the glow of the sun as it set on the red rocks followed by a beautiful, tranquil dusk.
I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Dana and Walter. I’m honored to be a small part of their special day.
Dana and Walter, may you enjoy each other and the beautiful images from your special day for years to come. ~Melissa
Meet Linda and Larry. They chose the extraordinarily breathtaking Red Rock Crossing and Overlook for their wedding ceremony.
A Favorite Sedona Elopement Spot
Red Rock Crossing is one of the most photographed spots in Arizona. The warmth of the red rocks and the inviting sounds of the creek making its way through lush greenery provide a majestic spot for ceremonies of any size. It also happens to be easily accessible with plenty of parking and a short walk to the creek.
Just one look at the photos and you’ll know why this couple decided to elope to Sedona and settled on this special place for their intimate celebration of love.
The spectacular image of Cathedral Rock in the background put an exclamation point on their special day and made for an array of stunning photos for Linda and Larry to share with their family and friends back home in Chicago.
The park is just a couple miles west of the center of Sedona and a perfect location to bring both Oak Creek and the splendor of the Red Rocks into your images.
Linda, a therapist, knew she wanted a professional photographer at their intimate ceremony. Larry, an aerospace engineer, wasn’t quite so sure.
It didn’t take long for Linda and Larry to get lost in the warmth of the sun, the beauty of their surroundings and the emotion of the day. Before too long, they both relaxed and enjoyed being the star of the show.
Just look at how they get lost in each other’s eyes. Something tells me, they forgot I was even there.
I get questioned all the time, why I still shoot in black and white – especially when there are so many brilliant colors found in the backdrop of Sedona.
There is something pure and deliberate about black and white photography. Shooting in black and white allows you focus completely on the subject and it gives room for the joy of the day to shine through.
Looking at Linda’s face, you can almost hear her whispering, “I do.” And Larry’s happiness is plain as day. It’s fair to say, he was comfortable with the camera by this point.
The Perfect First Kiss Photo
The perfect “first kiss” photo needs a little help from the officiant. It’s okay to ask him, or in this case, her, to step to the side for the photo op. That’s what happened here and I was able to capture a personal and private moment for their visual love story.
Here are few other tips for your perfect “first kiss” photo:
- Talk with your photographer and let them know the plan.
- Kiss for longer than you think you should, giving your photographer ample time to capture the flawless shot.
- When in doubt, kiss again. And again. And again. It’s tough work, but someone has to do it.
I adore the fact that Linda wore a proper wedding dress. The simple silhouette with beautiful beaded accents and fabric that fluttered in the wind was the perfect choice to stand up to the brilliant backdrops that Sedona provides.
Larry dressed in neutral tones, not only allowed his bride to shine (as every good groom should do) but allowed the hues of the Red Rocks to do their job and create the perfect stage for their story.
Eloping into the Sedona Sunset
It was an honor to be a small part of Linda and Larry’s day and I’m grateful to have been able to witness and document their love story as they begin their new chapter as husband and wife.
And as they head off into the fabulous sunset of Sedona, I wish them a lifetime of happiness and beautiful memories together.
Couples eloping in Sedona can walk away with a visual wedding story that will wow their friends and family and provide a stunning reminder of their special day for years to come.
Breathtaking images don’t just happen, though.
To capture the beauty that surrounds you, make sure and do a little planning ahead of your arrival.
Sure, eloping is meant to alleviate the frustrations and expense of planning a big wedding, but finding the right spot, bringing the perfect dress and friending the best photographer will take a bit of effort and research.
It’s worth the effort and it will pay off big time. The reward will be the most spectacular photos that will last you a lifetime.
5 Tips to Help Create Stunning Sedona Elopement Photos
To help minimize some of your efforts, remember these five things when planning your Sedona elopement photos.
1. Location. Location. Location.
It’s true that it is hard to find a bad photo taken in Sedona, but you don’t want your wedding photos to have the same Sedona backdrop as everyone else’s.
A photographer that specializes in elopement photography in Sedona will help you find the perfect spot that compliments your personality, enhances the emotion of the day and is unique to you.
My personal favorite spot for Sedona elopement photos is Merry Go Round Rock. It is worth the two-hour drive to capture the splendid beauty of the desert Southwest
Most couples that elope to Sedona have their ceremony and take their photos in the same location. Not only does this save money which is often a motivator for eloping couples, but it also creates a better story of the emotion and love of the day, since you’re not running from one spot to another.
That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to navigate multiple sites, you absolutely can. But the right photographer is even more critical when doing so.
Some of my personal favorite site combinations include:
- Tlaquepaque and the red rocks from Schnebly Road
- West Fork Trail and red rock views near Uptown
- Page Springs Vineyard and red rocks views off Red Rock Loop Road
Notice a theme? You absolutely must include the Red Rocks in your photos. It is what Sedona is known for, after all.
2. The Time of Day Matters
While most seasoned pros bring off camera lighting (I use it for every shot), nothing beats natural light for complimenting an image and creating the mood. In photography, there is an ideal time of day to produce exquisite photos – it is called the golden hour. The golden hour is the hour after sunrise or before sunset that provides a softer hue than when the sun is higher in the sky.
The time right before sunset is the ideal time of day for scheduling your elopement photos. Not only will you look better in your photos, but it is the perfect time to capitalize on the magical sunsets that Sedona is known for.
There is one exception in the area: Oak Creek Canyon. The best time of day to shoot your photos along the creek is about 2-3 hours before sunset. The sun is a little higher in the sky which provides for those captivating photos that have the sunlight filtering through the trees.
3. Bring Walking / Hiking Shoes
There’s a reason why Sedona offers the best hiking and that’s because there is a lot of hiking. If you want those sweeping landscapes, and trust me you do, then come prepared to hike.
You can always choose to change into your fancy shoes once you get there, but make sure your photographer captures a few images with your hiking boots. Those are always the fun images to look back on.
The Red Rocks of Sedona can be a little dusty. Be prepared for your dress to get a little dirty, but hey that’s what dry cleaners are for.
To be honest, those are the imperfections that make photos from Sedona so impressive.
4. Become BFFs with Your Photographer
When making a decision about a which photographer to hire, ask yourself if you can see yourself being friends with her. Having a connection with your photographer will help translate the natural emotion of the day to your keepsake images.
As you go through the process of selecting your photographer make a point of talking with her. Pick up the phone and dial. Better yet, arrange a Skype or Facetime call. No texting. No email. No Facebook.
There is nothing that replaces verbal (and visual if available) communication in this situation. If you don’t like your photographer and don’t feel a connection with her, you won’t feel relaxed. And if you aren’t relaxed it will show in the photos.
Take the extra time in planning here. It may be the most important thing you can do to prepare for your elopement in Sedona.
5. Discuss Your Elopement Photo Ideas Ahead of Time
Thanks to Pinterest and the Internet, most brides have some ideas around the style of photoshoot they want. They may even go so far as to have specific poses they want to incorporate into their session.
In fact, one of the best ways to communicate with your photographer (after you’ve talked to them on the phone, of course) is to create a Pinterest board.
You and your photographer can share ideas back and forth and create a plan for your elopement photos that you will love.
For instance, if all of your inspiration photos are sunsets and you’re getting married at 2:00 p.m., you are going to have a problem. The right photographer will help you work through that.
It’s important to know that not all photographers are created equal. This goes back to becoming BFFs with your photographer. When you get to know and like your photographer, you will trust her when she makes recommendations.
These discussions should happen before you arrive, so the expectations are set and your special day is captured just the way you envision.
When shooting on location, the biggest potential wrench is the timeline. Double check your elopement day hair and makeup appointments, allow for time to travel to the location and make sure everything is pressed and ready to go.
Allow for extra time for traffic and other people running late. In the end, the buffer of time you add into your schedule will help alleviate stress. And if you’re done early, you’ll have time to enjoy a cocktail.
A Little Planning Can Go a Long Way
As you can see, a little planning can go a long way. The best part about hiring and talking directly with a local Sedona photographer is the fact that they know their way around.
The right photographer can provide you advice and recommendations that you might not think of because you are not familiar with the area. If you find the right photographer it will be easy to trust that you are in the right hands.