A High Desert Winter Wonderland Elopement | Great Sand Dunes National Park
If I could shoot weddings like this one every (other) day of my life, I would.
I love all weddings- no doubt. But this incredibly intimate wedding day with just Jen & Will drove home how personal this journey can really be if you cut out all of the fanfare, and just focus on one another.
The day started out on a chilly morning at Joyful Journey Hot Springs. I woke up to find ice had covered every branch of every tree, and we were surrounded by a surreal desert winter wonderland.
They each dawned their wedding day hiking boots, and prepared for a first look in the geodesic dome greenhouse. *Note to photographers in this situation- make sure your camera has time to adjust from the extreme differences in temperatures.
After their teary first look and portraits, we made our way to the Great Sand Dunes National Park, where they would say their vows and make their commitment to one another “official”.
We were severely tempted along the way to stop at one of the many alien watch posts- but the snowy, unmaintained roads were a little too risky.
Instead we stopped on the way to the park for a gift exchange, where they exchanged sixpence for their shoes- something which both of them thought they were doing independently as a surprise, but it turned out that they really do just know each other better than they can even fathom.
At last we were at the Sand Dunes, where we ventured to the perfect spot for their vows. After many emotions and promises were shared, it was time for the ring exchange. And then Will realized the ring was gone! AGH! Luckily, it had just fallen in the sand by his feet and he gave a victorious sigh when he found it.
To top it all off, they had the best first kiss ever, followed by some epic sunset shots on the dunes, and a leap of faith down the soft sand. Closing the day, they shared some champagne and chocolate before signing their marriage license.
The perfect ending to the perfect day together. <3
Song : January Wedding : the Avett Brothers