You’re eloping in Arizona!
I can’t wait for your big day, can you?! It will be here before you know it! I want to thank you again for choosing me to photograph your elopement. Please use this guide to help you plan and prep for your big day. In the mean time please reach out via email, text or call with any questions you may have about prepping for your elopement!
Vows/Paper Goods Vendor
Hey! So have you thought about your vows?! I hope so :)
What you may not have thought about is how you will read them to your partner or preserve them. I LOVE working with Lauren Yvonne Design. She makes vow books and sheets. I love the sheets because later you can frame them with a print in a tri frame and they are always preserved and visible in your home. The books are great if your vows are longer and still make a great keepsake. She is located in Phoenix, but she can ship your items to you or they can be picked up here in town.
There are so many floral options out there! I highly recommend Moelleux Events for flowers. Her work is AMAZING and she is super reliable. I also work with AZ Fleuristas very often and they are easy to work and produce beautiful arrangements. The other florist I have worked closely with is I Do Rentals and you guessed it, they also have rentals!! They have beautiful arches, chairs, benches and more if you need to rent anything as well. Her flowers are also unique and stunning.
Now, you do not have to hire a florist, you don’t even have to have flowers if you do not want them :)
If you want to make your own floral arrangements I recommend going to the floral wholesale in Phoenix where the florist buy their flowers. If you do not want to do that you can always go to Trader Joes or Whole Foods to find pretty flowers that you can arrange yourself!
Okay, one of the most important things….gear! I will ALWAYS recommend wearing hiking boots for safety purposes. If we will be in snow or ice I recommend getting specific shoes for that or getting the add ons to put on over your regular hiking shoes. I wear Oboz, but you can get whatever works for you! I recommend going to REI to get fitted and test them out. It is important to hike and wear your wedding day shoes prior to the day of so you feel comfortable in them. If you want a boot with tred, but not hiking shoes check out this blog post from June Bug weddings. You will also need a pack to carry water, snacks, flowers, possibly your dress, sunscreen and anything else you may need for the hike or elopement. You can carry a day pack if you do not need to carry that much, but I recommend getting a bag that’s at least up to 30L. Same as the shoes, you can go to REI to get fitted for your pack and I recommend hiking with it several times before the big day! Other things to not forget: if it’s cold a nude tight to go under the dress, gloves, thick wool socks for your hiking shoes, sunscreen, water in a re-usable container and hiking polls.
Prepping for your Elopement!
At LEAST one month out
Book all your vendors - florist, hair, make-up, food, officiant, car, flight, etc. Be sure you have purchased everything you may need like shoes, dress, packs,etc. Select your specific locations for activities and the “ceremony.”
Make a draft timeline of activities, hikes, starting time and ending time. It is your elopement day, which means you can do what ever you want! Activities can include a hike, picnic, rock climbing, jeep tours, etc. I am here to help you organize your timeline!
The week before
Be sure you have everything you need!! If you’re traveling by flight, verify everything is good to go with travel schedule. If you have booked an Airbnb and I will be coming to do getting ready photos please message the home owner and be sure we have permission to photograph on their property. If you’re camping be sure you have a reserved camp site. Test out packing your pack with everything you will need. We will hope on a Facetime/Skype the week before to say “hello” and go over any finalizing details. Be sure to have a plan in place to get your marriage license, the state of Arizona requires an officiant and two witnesses. Both you and your partner must be present to obtain your license, visit the courts website and give them a call for official information. Freshen up on Leave No Trace guidelines, if you have friends or family hiking with you on your elopement I also recommending sharing the guidelines with them!
The night before & Morning of…
Go to bed early! Be sure to hydrate the day/night before and in the morning. Check the weather so you can prep for any layers you may need to wear, the desert can be hot during the day and very cold in the evening and morning. I will text you a meeting place in case we do not have service where we will be meeting. If we are meeting at where you are staying please text me the address. Most importantly, have an amazing day!!!! This day is all about you two, soak it in and enjoy :) Do not worry about anything else, that’s why I am here!!!
I will be photographing pretty much from the time I arrive until we are leaving. I will be capturing a lot of “behind the scenes” shots of you finishing getting ready and hiking the trail in. I may stop you in a couple of places for some rad photo opportunities. For the ceremony I will be giving you as much privacy as possible for your vows, but still capture those sweet moments. If there are shots you want or ideas you have don’t hesitate to let me know! It is all a collaboration really! I always try to shoot a couple of super creative shots for my clients, so bear with me these take time, but end up being magical!