Adventurous desert elopement in Moab, Utah
With all of the elopement inspiration popping up in the 100LC inboxes as of late, it’s really lovely to hear from a real couple who can tell us firsthand what influenced their decision to elope and all of the things that made it so special. Lucky for us, Kristen Kaiser captured these two so beautifully, and our bride Erika was kind enough to share their amazing journey to I Do along with their parents and 15-month old boy Kainen in Moab, Utah:
Isn’t Erika’s June Bridals gown so lovely? The low price tag almost deterred her, but she took a chance and is happy to report that her dress came and looked + fit even better than she imagined!
Erika + Drew dated in high school, and then reconnected several years later. Erika tells it, Our story isn’t like most—we didn’t just effortlessly fall in love and everything around us didn’t just fall together afterwards. I got pregnant two months after we had been back together and for a long time we were just trying to make it work because of the baby. It wasn’t until after our son was born and we surrendered our lives to Christ that we really fell for each other. Our relationship required a lot of effort to get to where we are today and we both bring an amazing testimony of letting God shape our hearts to the table. Rebuilding a foundation on His love through some extremely tough times gives us confidence for any adversity we may face in our marriage.
Hi, Kainen! They spread their elopement adventure over two days. They spent the first getting ready and taking portraits together. On the second, they had a sunrise ceremony with just their son, her mom, dad, and stepdad, and Drew’s parents. Btw, couples with kiddos—they totally recommend a sunrise ceremony. That way the little ones aren’t exhausted from a full day of preparations and can relax together afterward.
Clearly, we hadn’t gone the traditional route for anything together thus far, so a big traditional wedding just didn’t seem fitting. Even as a little girl, I never could picture myself as a bride walking down the aisle in front of so many guests. We knew we wanted intimate and something focused on just the two of us since we hadn’t ever really had that time as a couple.
Fun note: K + D hadn’t actually been to Moab before, but an adventurous elopement seemed right up their alley. Kristen threw out a ton of good locales, but after doing a bit of research, they were sold! It’s easy to choose a place that has a lot of history for you as a couple, but it can be just as meaningful to experience something completely new together.
We definitely wanted Kainen to be there, but we didn’t want him for our whole trip so our parents flew him in and back home. Drawing the line on who to invite was the biggest struggle—under ten guests was ideal and we both have big families so we kept it at just parents! Kainen was 15 months old when we said “I do”! When the idea of getting married first came about, I really wanted to do it when he was under a year because I didn’t want him to remember his parents ever not being married. Turns out, he was still clueless and even if he had been old enough to remember, what a special thing to have a childhood memory of! Our ceremony was at sunrise, and it probably saved us. He is SO busy, so still being so tired kept him from running off into the cacti.
So, SO sweet to see this little trio creating such beautiful memories. Pop into our gallery below to see more photos from their Moab elopement!
Big thanks to these two for sharing their story today. Cheers to the happy couple!
Photography: Kristen Kaiser / Location: Moab, Utah / Planning, Design, & Florals: Annie Spring / Officiant: Dave Jane with Connect Washington / Gown: June Bridals / Boots: The North Face Ballard Lace / Necklace: Kendra Scott / Ring: Ben Bridge / Groom’s Attire: Express / Tie: DAZI / Ring: Revolution Jewelry