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An Arizona Desert Elopement | Cody & Emily

Bride and groom walking through Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona for their desert elopement.

Cody had his eye on Emily before she even knew who he was. They grew up in neighboring cities, but he never thought he stood a chance. Years went by, and a few relationships later they were both single at the same time. Cody finally worked up the courage to shoot his shot and messaged Emily. As you might’ve guessed… the rest is history!

After a sweet proposal on their back porch, surrounded by family, they were so excited to plan their dream wedding. They set a date for June 12th, and a summer wedding was in the works. Unfortunately, as we all know, Covid-19 had other plans.

With thoughtful consideration, the two of them decided to scrap the traditional wedding, and elope out in the Arizona desert.

Pink and peach big bridal bouquet for an Arizona desert elopement.

The Rehearsal

Both families were on-board with the idea and chose to extend the festivities into a week long affair. They rented a big Airbnb in Scottsdale, AZ where the two families came together as one. Arriving a few days early, they spent their time hiking, relaxing by the pool and visiting with extended family in the area. Everyone got along perfectly, which made it all feel so right!

The day before the wedding, we drove out to Lost Dutchman State Park, where the ceremony would take place. We did a quick run through of the plan, and then made our way back to the house for a mini rehearsal dinner with the group.

Family standing on the lawn of their Scottsdale, AZ Airbnb for a rehearsal dinner.

Getting Ready

After a few days of fun, the wedding day had finally arrived! Cody and Emily spent the morning getting ready in separate parts of the house. Everyone was on cloud nine with the anticipation of the events to come.

Emily and the girls got their hair and makeup done, while Cody had a few drinks with the guys. The two exchanged thoughtful gifts and then we headed out to the ceremony location.

Wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses hanging in the doorway of a white desert themed Airbnb in Scottsdale, AZ.

The Ceremony

It was a scorching hot day with temperatures in the 90’s (which according to locals is “cool!”) The air was dry and the sun so bright that Cody could barely keep his eyes open. With the Superstition Mountains in the background, and an A-frame arch that blended seamlessly into the landscape, it was a picture perfect setting.

Bride walking arm-in-arm with her dad for down a trail for her Arizona desert elopement.
Bride and groom standing at the altar in the middle of the Arizona desert for their intimate elopement.
Bride and groom kissing in front of their A-frame arch in the middle of the Arizona desert after their elopement.

Emily made her way down the dusty aisle, arm-in-arm with her dad before joining Cody at the altar. They recited their heartfelt vows and were officially pronounced husband and wife by Emily’s brother-in-law Kyle. The extraordinary desert view combined with the unconditional love and support, made for a truly magical experience.

Bride and groom with their family standing in front of the Superstition Mountains in Arizona.

Bride & Groom Portraits

After the ceremony, we took a few portraits with the group and then they headed off to prepare for the reception. Cody and Emily stayed behind so we could capture the two of them under the gorgeous setting sun. Just as we thought it couldn’t get any more beautiful, a full moon rose behind the mountains and lit up the sky. It was an unexpected, but much appreciated, cherry-on-top!

Under-the-veil portrait of a bride and groom after their Arizona desert elopement.
Groom holding up his bride in the middle of the Arizona desert after their intimate elopement.
Bride and groom standing in the Arizona desert with a full moon and the Superstition Mountains in the background.

The Intimate Reception

When we got back to the Airbnb, everyone clapped and celebrated as the newfound Mr. and Mrs. Ballard walked through the door. Everyone sat down to a deliciously prepared meal, and a few speeches were given in honor of the newlyweds. There were laughs and tears and all of the mushy-gushy feelings for the happy couple.

Bride and groom's family clapping and smiling as the couple walks in the room after their elopement.

Although the guest count was minimal, their was no shortage of wedding festivities. The intimate reception included cake cutting, dancing and of course a champagne pop under the stars. Cody and Emily’s day couldn’t have been more perfect!

White buttercream wedding cake with a slice taken out and a custom last name cake topper.
Bride and groom having their first dance in their Airbnb in Scottsdale, AZ after their elopement.
Bride and groom with their matching Mr. and Mrs. mugs having a toast after their elopement.

Cheers to the Ballard’s as they embark on their journey together as husband and wife! I can’t wait to see where life takes them, and feel incredibly blessed to have captured their Arizona desert elopement.


If this sounds like the wedding of your dreams, let's chat!


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