Lindsey + Austin | Epic Utah Desert Adventure Wedding
Lindsey and Austin knew they wanted a Utah desert adventure wedding for their big day. These two are adventurers through and through, and the Utah desert holds a special place in their hearts. They spend their weekend’s canyoneering in Southern Utah and climbing the Grand Teton in the Teton Range. Both of them have spent their lives from an early age outdoors. Camping, hiking, and exploring new areas are what they’re familiar with. We were so excited when we first got their inquiry and heard their plans for their Utah desert adventure wedding. We knew this Utah desert adventure wedding was going to be one for the books.
Making the Decision to have a Utah Desert Adventure Wedding
Lindsey and Austin made the decision to have a Utah Desert Adventure wedding because neither of them is big on “to-do’s” (exact quote from our first phone call with them!). Their vision for their day was very clear from the beginning, “no reception, just dinner, and no eyes on us” vibes were what the couple was going for. They wanted to escape the traditional wedding day, and create a day that was a true representation of the relationship they’ve built together. They planned on inviting their immediate family members and having a short and sweet reception with the desert surrounding them. Their plan was to have no reception, just dinner, and for the day to feel like all of them were celebrating their marriage together, and not just all eyes on the two of them. Lindsey’s family was from Montana, and Austin’s is from Florida. Their family literally came from all over the country to celebrate their marriage and to participate in their Utah desert adventure wedding.
Choosing their Locations for their Utah Desert Adventure Wedding
Their original choice for their Utah desert adventure wedding location was Zion National Park. They told us they were considering Zion, but they were still open to suggestions. Alex and I spent hours pouring over their Location Scouting Questionnaire and doing tons of research. The two ended up picking an area in Southern Utah that they absolutely love. It’s filled with white sand, orange sand, slick rock, canyons, red rocks, and mountain views.
Their ceremony location was a big enough spot to fit all of their guests while still being on public land. It was also still very “out there” in the middle of the Utah desert, which was the vibe the couple was going for. Their family gathered around and they all enjoyed the views of the mountains in the background and the slick rock behind them that lay against the orange desert sand horizon. This location took months to get a permit for. We had to reach out to the field office for the county the BLM land was in. There was tons of back and forth between us and the field office. There was concern about whether or not the area was in a wilderness study area. We ended up having to send the field office screenshots off of Google Earth of the exact coordinates we planned on having the ceremony, and show them the clause in our contract with the couple that we all would be practicing Leave No Trace. After months of the back and forth, and me following up every few weeks, we finally got the permit to hold Lindsey and Austin’s ceremony in a remote area in Southern Utah.
First Look Location
Lindsey and Austin picked a dirt road just minutes from the ceremony location for their first look. We helped the couple orchestrate their first look on a desert dirt road.
Adventure Locations for their Utah Desert Adventure Wedding
Lindsey and Austin ended up picking two adventure locations for their Utah desert adventure wedding. When you go for the Full Day Package that we offer, the options are endless. Straight from the couple’s review, “I highly recommend the 12-hour day – it was enough time to go at a relaxed pace and enjoy the day while being able to document everything.”
Slick Rock Hiking Adventure
The couple chose to do a hike with their family nearby their ceremony location. We hiked over slick rock and through the white Utah desert sand. The swirls and texture in the slick rock made for some really amazing photos against the bright blue sky.
Slot Canyon Adventure
After their slick rock hiking adventure, we all went to a slot canyon in the area. We timed the lighting perfectly while the two stemmed up a narrow slot. It was so fun! The couple’s choice to wear approach shoes really worked out!
Their Utah Desert Adventure Wedding Story
Getting Ready for their Utah Desert Adventure Wedding
The day started with Alex and I waking up at 6 am at a hotel near Lindsey’s Airbnb. Alex dropped me off and headed towards Austin’s Airbnb. When I arrived, Laura from Laura Loves Hair was working on Lindsey’s hair and make-up (which was absolutely stunning!!!! Go Laura!). I finally got to meet Lindsey! She was chilling in a comfy flannel while getting pampered. (one of the best parts of any wedding day!) Every time we meet our couples for the first time it always feels like meeting up with old friends. I then introduced myself to Lindsey’s family and took some detailed shots. Once Lindsey had her hair and make-up finished, I pushed around some of the furniture to grab some shots of her gorgeous dress. Alex was over with Austin and his family capturing the calmness of the morning and the details that unfolded. One of the great things about working with a team of photographers is that we can be in two places at once. If you and your partner are deciding to get ready separately, it works out perfectly. Getting ready photos are some of our favorite parts of the day! Once everyone was ready, we all jumped in our vehicles and headed to the first look location.
When we arrived at the desert dirt road for their first look, the sky was blue, the sun was shining, and it was just a beautiful, beautiful morning. We could not have gotten any luckier with the weather that entire day, but especially that morning. We pulled out the changing tent and Lindsey, with the help of her sister got into her wedding dress. Austin waited for Lindsey to tap him on his shoulder, and just before Lindsey could signal to Austin to turn around, her dress got caught on a desert bush 😅 causing a small amount of chaos to occur. The two of them shared a moment together before it was time to become husband and wife.
An intimate wedding ceremony was held as the couple’s family stood around. The couple wrote their own vows and the ceremony was officiant by Anita Gordon. During the ceremony, the couple paid a special thank you to their mothers by gifting each of them a rose. We love when our couples incorporate their own personal touches into their big day, especially the ceremony. Their ceremony was short, and sweet, just as the couple pictured it.
Family Portraits & After Ceremony Lunch Celebrations
After the ceremony, we took the family portraits with the mountain views in the background. They turned out beautifully! After we wrapped up the portraits, lunch was served. The camp chairs came out, and the tailgate came down. Straight out of the bed of a pickup truck there was lunch meat, chips, salsa, and cupcakes. Lindsey’s brother was heating up warm apple cider, with the choice to spike it. It was perfect.
The couple picked two adventures for their Utah desert adventure wedding. First was a hike around some slick rock with their family, which was right behind the ceremony location. We walked around and looked at the textures of the slick rock, the patterns of a dried-up wash, and captured the two love birds in their element. With their dog Bailey, they hiked around the slick rock with their La Sportiva’s, exploring and having the best time.
Once the first adventure was had, it was time for the second! The couple and a few of their family members decided to explore a nearby slot canyon. It wasn’t the first time Alex and I explored this slot canyon, but it was the first time we photographed a couple in it! It was super fun. We passed some fellow hikers, and they were all so surprised to see a couple in their wedding attire romping around the slot canyon, but they were all super excited for our couple. It’s so fun running into hikers during adventure elopement days!
Dinner & Stargazing
When it came time to eat dinner, we all met at a nearby campground to follow each other down a dirt road. Lindsey and Austin had picked out a primitive campsite near where their ceremony was for dinner. We were a little surprised when we saw their original pick was blocked off. We kept driving until we found the next dirt road that looked promising. The couple pulled over while Alex and I drove down to check it out. We were looking for two things. One was if there was an established campfire ring, and two was if the drive was doable. We knew that if our Subaru could make it through, the rest of the gang could make it too. We found our dinner location!
Lindsey and Austin wanted steak, roasted potatoes, and a side salad for their Utah desert adventure wedding dinner. The entire family gathered around as the sun dipped behind the tall red rocks and the campfire glowed. Music played, the kids and kids at heart explored the area, Bailey had the time of her life nose to the ground wandering around, and the two families sat around the campfire enjoying each other’s company, and celebrating the newlyweds. With full bellies and full hearts, their two families enjoyed their time together celebrating Lindsey and Austin in the best way they knew how long into the night. Alex and I stuck around just long enough for the stars to come out and capture the couple under the milky way.
Being able to spend time like this with our couples is simply the best. It’s hard to describe how happy we are to be able to call this our job. We meet some of the best people, and we’ll never take that for granted. Thank you, Linsey and Austin for hiring us to be your photographers for your big day. We enjoyed every second of the time we got to spend with you and your family.
The Utah desert holds a special place in Lindsey and Austin’s hearts, and we understand why. The first time Alex and I explored Utah we completely fell in love with it, and go back every chance we can get. If you’re wanting to schedule a call with us to start planning your Utah Desert Adventure Wedding, get in touch today. We can’t wait to hear from you!
Utah Desert Adventure Wedding Timeline
Full-Day (12 hours)
7:30 am – Meet at Getting Ready Location, Photograph Getting Ready, details
8:45 am – Get Ready to leave Getting Ready Location *40 minutes drive from Getting Ready to 1st Look/Ceremony
8:50 am – Leave Getting ready location and head to first look
9:30 – Arrive at First Look location
10:30 am – GET MARRIED 🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉
11:30 am – Family Photos wrap up
11:30 am – 12:30 pm – Lunch
12:30 pm – Head to slick rock to adventure
2:30 pm – Leave to go to Little Wild Horse Canyon
3 pm – Arrive at Slot Canyon
5:30 pm – Slot Canyon Adventure wraps up
6 pm – Arrive at the Campsite for meats!
6 – 7:30 pm – Dinner, Campfire, star photos
7:30 pm – Photography Coverage Wraps Up
Alex and Kelly were absolutely phenomenal from day one! I contacted a few other photographers before finding Alex and Kelly and I immediately fell in love with their style and the way that they captured each moment. I reached out and they quickly responded and set up a time to talk. From our first conversation, it felt like we were talking with old friends. As we discussed our vision for our elopement day they shared our excitement and we went over a theoretical timeline of what the day would look like. It was evident that they were experienced and professional. As soon as we hung up the phone I knew that we would be booking with them!
In the months leading up to our elopement, Alex and Kelly did all of the legwork behind the scenes – getting permits, nailing down the timelines, and figuring out the best plan for the day. They were patient and worked with us even though we changed our location multiple times – always responding to us in a timely manner! Each time I suggested a new possible location they were right there to provide adventure ideas, AirBnB options, etc. etc.
When the big day arrived, they were right on time and were so prepared! They had backpacks full of everything you could need, including hand warmers which were so appreciated on a chilly October morning. I highly recommend the 12-hour day – it was enough time to go at a relaxed pace and enjoy the day while being able to document everything. They were with us from sunup to sundown and never missed a beat – literally laying in the dirt and climbing up the canyon walls to get the best angles.
Less than 24 hours after they departed, we had over 40 sneak peek photos and a month after our wedding we had all of our photos. I was thrilled with the turnaround time but more importantly, the quality of the pictures!
I can’t recommend Alex and Kelly enough! 11/10, 5 Stars, A+ people, and photographers. Book them for any of your adventure photography needs and you will not be disappointed!!!