Clifton and Jennifer chose a gorgeous day at the Grand Canyon for their intimate elopement. Surrounded by their
The moments right before the wedding are some of my favorites with elopements. I get to hear about their story, how they met and why they chose the Grand Canyon. Most of the time, as was the case for Clifton and Jennifer, it was the beauty and peace that drew them there. And I would have to agree, I don’t think there is a more beautiful place to be married on earth.
After their ceremony I heard about their hopes and dreams, challenges and obstacles in getting to this day. I found out how kind they both were as Clifford told me about going to Puerto Rico after the hurricane to help restore power to the island. As he spoke of befriending many of the native islanders and helping them get back to normal, I knew why Jennifer adored this man so much.
I say it every time, but I mean it every time with my whole heart. It was such an honor to have been there for you both and I wish you a lifetime of love, adventure and happiness.
Getting married at the Grand Canyon is beautiful, but also presents some challenges. The permitting process isn’t very transparent and for visitors who have never been to this National Park, simply picking out a location for the ceremony can be daunting. If you’re considering an elopement at the Grand Canyon, check out my blog post on locations and the necessary permits and marriage license requirements.
Grand Canyon National Park is situated in Northern Arizona. The nearest cities are Flagstaff and Williams. To get married in the park, you’ll need the necessary permits and a valid Arizona marriage license.
Officiant: Phil Waring, Arizona Ministers
Photographer: Melissa Dunstan, Tangled Lilac Photography
Laura and TJ met two decades ago when TJ hired Laura for a job at a video store. TJ said he hired her because he fell in love with her instantly…her smile, laugh, and beauty immediately stole his heart. But, he said, it was her kindness, her strength and her boundless love for her family and others that made him love her forever. Laura and TJ were friends for a long time before they got engaged just two months ago. And once they realized the beautiful love that had grown between them, they didn’t want to waste any more time.
Originally, this sweet couple was going to get married on the San Francisco Peaks, but scheduling problems with their wedding party changed the plans and Laura and TJ decided to elope in Casa Grande and drove up immediately after for our photo shoot. It was Veteran’s Day, so traffic was heavy and they didn’t arrive in Flagstaff until just before sunset. We got some great photos downtown into the night, and the next day headed up to the peaks near Snowbowl for more.
I loved spending time with Laura and TJ and hearing about their love story. Congrats you two! Thank you for including me in your special day! ~ Melissa
The Grand Canyon at sunset is something magical, and the evening of Julie and Jason’s ceremony was perfection. Together with their mothers and two daughters, this sweet couple exchanged their vows while overlooking some of the most magestic views in the world. This beautiful couple picked one of the most beautiful overlooks at the Grand Canyon, Shoshone Point. This was the first time at the Grand Canyon for the entire family and it couldn’t have been a more perfect evening. As Flagstaff and Sedona Photographers we are so lucky to get to go to some of the most beautiful places in the world. It’s evenings and families like this that makes our jobs so fulfilling! We wish you Julie and Jason a beautiful life! Congratulations!
This past Saturday started out cold and windy and ended up absolutely perfect for Helen and Ricardo’s intimate wedding at Lipan Point. Helen and Ricardo were joined by their parents for their stunning nuptials on the rim. The ceremony was simple and sweet, the couple couldn’t have planned their day better. Congrats Helen & Ricardo!
Since I’ve been a wedding photographer, I’ve come to expect the unexpected. I’ve seen couples panic from big issues like lost wedding gowns at the airport, incorrect catering and floral orders the day of the wedding, to small things like missing shoes, spray tan disasters and the dog-as-the-ring-bearer chasing a duck into the golf course pond. We, at Tangled Lilac Photography, always tell the couple to release all their expectations and to just embrace their day as it unfolds. More likely than not, a little something will go wrong, and more times than not, the couple does not even notice. That’s because it’s usually something so small and insignificant that in the big scheme of things, it doesn’t really matter.
I wasn’t expecting this latest hiccup however. This morning at 12:01AM in Washington DC, the government shut down.
But, what does this have to do with anyone’s wedding?
We at Tangled Lilac Photography photograph a lot of destination weddings at the Grand Canyon. If you’ve seen any of the photos there, you can see why so many couples from around the world are drawn to this majestic wonder of the world. It is a scene that conjures no words to adequately describe the beauty, serenity and magic of this place. We’ve had couples from Germany, Switzerland, New York, Maine, Florida, Kansas and all states in between that have been married while looking over the rim.
So, when we were contacted by our friend, Andrew, at Heart of Sedona, to photograph a Grand Canyon wedding at Shoshone Point, we were delighted. It’s definitely one of our favorite places to photograph in the world, and to have it in our own backyard is a fortunate blessing afforded to us living in Northern Arizona.
What we didn’t anticipate is the Government Shutdown. This morning, the gates at the Grand Canyon were closed, permits revoked and a “I’m truly sorry” was issued to the couple from New Jersey who we were scheduled to photograph tomorrow as they exchanged vows overlooking Shoshone Point.
Lucky for the couple, they had the foresight to hire a great team of professionals. Andrew and I brainstormed and decided that a different location, not too far from their original destination, Merry Go Round Rock, would be a beautiful option. It offers a beautiful overlook and heartstopping sunsets. It’s going to be the perfect solution and, more importantly, gives the couple the peace to know they are going to have that perfect wedding after all.
We’re looking forward to going to Merry Go Round Rock tomorrow and helping our new friends celebrate their life together. Thank you for trusting us to be part of your new life together! ~ Melissa
As Arizona wedding photographers, the Grand Canyon is one of the most beautiful and scenic places to get married. Meredith and Miles traveled from New York because they knew the Grand Canyon’s Moran Point would be a perfect spot for their intimate I do’s. This sweet couple invited just their parents to join them on their big day, keeping a secret from the rest of their family and friends until they returned from their honeymoon. After their beautiful ceremony they celebrated with their family at the El Tovar and then backpacked into the canyon to Phantom Ranch for their honeymoon. What an amazing wedding and honeymoon! Meredith was nice enough to share how her and Miles met and some fun stories about their big day!
Tell us about how you met?
Miles and I met at a McDonald’s on the upper east side after a night out with friends. Miles approached my friend and I asking ” hey ladies what’s good here”. He claimed to be a lawyer but my friend and I didn’t believe him telling him we were both lawyers. He then told us that he went to Brooklyn Law School which we replied no we went to Brooklyn Law School. He then started naming professors and we finally were convinced. It turned out that miles and I lived near each other and ended up sharing a cab home to Brooklyn and have been together ever since.
Tell us about your wedding planning and honeymoon:
We had a small wedding at the Grand Canyon with just our parents. No one else knew we were getting married until we got home. It was tough for everyone to keep the secret but thankfully we had only planned the wedding a month prior so everyone was able to hold out. Meredith’s parents and Miles Dad and girlfriend had never met each other prior to the wedding weekend but were like old friends almost immediately.
Our honeymoon was at Phantom Ranch at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. We hiked to the bottom the morning after our wedding and spend two nights at the bottom of the canyon before hiking back up to the rim. We explored Ribbon Falls and Phantom Canyon while we were down there.
What type of things/hobbies/interests do you both have in common?
Hiking, Biking, Swimming , Travel, Pizza , Roast Beef sandwiches at Brennan and Carr in Brooklyn AND mutual dislike of cruises, we were once left behind by the boat in Bermuda