Abby and Bruno drove from Virginia to Utah for an epic Moab elopement and a mind-blowing adventure. The first part of their road trip expedition spanned over 5 days and met us in Arches National Park. We were to meet them early morning at 4:45 am for an intimate sunrise ceremony surrounded by a red-rock wonderland. At that hour it feels like you are on the moon, under an infinite sky with twinkling stars, a gentle breeze, and what felt like loud silence at the bottom of the ocean. Arches is something like the Sistine Chapel. Absolutely stunning. As they approached us in pre-dawn darkness we could hear Abby’s infectious laugh echo while they walked hand in hand underneath the massive natural wonder known as the “windows section.” Abby and Bruno knew they wanted to elope in a National Park, Arches National Park, specifically the “Windows Section” which includes Turret Arch, Double Arches, and the eponymous windows. This Moab elopement was the perfect fit for these two, especially since Abby works at the National Park Conservation Association and Bruno works for National Geographic. They looked at several national parks out West and settled on ANP because it’s “beautiful and because there’s something grandiose about exchanging our vows underneath a giant, ancient, naturally formed a stone arch.” The setting couldn’t’ have been more awe-inspiring! Also having our good friends Jesse & Moira with J. La Plante refer us to Abby & Bruno inspired us to go to the ends of the earth to capture this in the best possible light.
Arches is truly a sight to behold, one that demanded a test-shoot the morning before so we would know the terrain and have a well-thought-out plan. After zoom calls with Abby and Bruno, we learned they wanted “dynamic/organic images captured with genuine emotion, all while managing to incorporate the setting and landscape.” Together with our great friend/photographer/adventure-queen Devon Knudson, we explored the entire surroundings test-shooting as many pre-dawn, midday, sunset, and moon-rise compositions and lighting scenarios as possible. The night before we stayed up brainstorming all the possibilities. Teamwork makes the dream work! We were ready!
The morning of their elopement Abby and Bruno took time to take it all in. During pre-dawn, they walked in hand and hand with wide smiles, deep breaths, looking all around, and poised themselves for their sunrise ceremony. We decided the best spot for their ceremony was off-trail behind the 2nd arch which was more private and allowed the sunrise light to touch them as the sun came up. With incredibly personal and intimate vows (a must-read! see photos) they opened their hearts to one of the most captivating sunrises we’ve ever witnessed. It’s fair to say every one of us had streams of tears flowing down our faces! They blew our minds! Champagne popped! Fancy cheese! More tears, laughs, and hugs. Abby and Bruno continued to walk through the landscapes celebrating their day as all three of us divided and conquered different angles crawling up boulders, running far back, sneaking up close, diving deep underneath, and searching for as many angles as physically possible. They enjoyed lunch in Moab and that evening we took them out for a second exploration to witness the moonrise and a secret cave where rock climbers were repelling. A surprise saxophonist even played as the music bounced everywhere off massive rock walls. Their Moab elopement experience was absolutely epic. They spent 5 weeks driving and hiking through favorite destinations including Escalante before circling back to Virginia. Wow!
Photographers: Jos & Tree | 3rd photographer: Devon Knudson
Fortuitous introduction to Abby & Bruno by: Jesse & Moira with J. La Plante
Venue: National Park Service & Arches National Park
Rings: Alexandco Jewelry Air B&B: 225 east mount peale drive, moab, UT 84532 Wedding
Permit: The Windows Section (Turret arch)
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