Dannie and Kole’s epic off roading elopement in Arizona was one that will steal any adventurer’s heart! Not only was it such a fun experience, but it was one that was filled with so much love and joy for everyone involved. You would have never guessed that this whole adventure was planned in ONE MONTH. This was not the wedding they had been planning all along, but it turned out to be the perfect day in the most perfect place.
Read more to hear all about this amazing wedding experience!
Dannie and Kole had been planning their wedding in the Redwoods for many months before COVID came along. Their original plans included an intimate ceremony amongst the giant trees with all of their friends and family to share the celebration with. Two months before their wedding date they were forced to change their plans due to their state closing down due to COVID. To say that they were heartbroken was an understatement. Imagine planning your dream wedding for months just for a pandemic to make it all come crashing down. Sadly, that was their reality.
After taking time to process the fact that they were going to have to cancel their original wedding plans, then it was time for us to work together for a plan B. Dannie and Kole’s first adventure together happened to be amongst the red rocks, and they always considered getting married in either Utah or Arizona. It felt very serendipitous for them to be brought back to the red rocks for them to become husband and wife. At this point we had a month to plan their new red rock adventure, and I was determined to help make it the best day ever for them.
To say that COVID made their elopement more difficult to plan was an understatement. State parks were shut down, as well as many of the most popular trails in Arizona. Luckily I have a whole list of off the beaten path locations up my sleeves, perfect for the couples who are feeling adventurous.
My first suggestion to Dannie and Kole was this private cliffside location in Sedona, Arizona. This spot has the most epic views of the red rocks and gets the BEST sunsets- it’s every desert lover’s dream! This spot requires an hour of off roading on a bumpy, rocky road. This was right up Dannie and Kole’s alley! They loved everything about the spot, so then the planning began.
Kole and Dannie’s wedding experience consisted of two main things: adventure & their loved ones. They both are huge lovers and have the best group of friends in their lives. Leading up to their elopement day they hiked around Sedona and traveled up to the Grand Canyon. They shared lots of mimosas, did plenty of yoga, and made so many special memories.
One of the most special moments of the day was their first look and vow reading. They chose to share a first look before beginning their off roading elopement adventure so they could spend more of the day together. Their friends and family surrounded them, and many happy tears were shed!
Elopement Planning Tip: A first look = more time spent with your partner on your wedding day. It’s a great way to relieve some stress so you can enjoy your best day ever with your partner!
After their first look it was time for everyone to hop into their off roading vehicles for the adventure. This particular road in Sedona requires a high clearance, 4×4 vehicle to get to red rock cliff edge. It takes about one hour to arrive to the destination, but it is so worth it! This cliff edge requires a short hike for epic views- what more could you ask for?
Elopement Planning Tip: If you want to add an extra spark of adventure to your wedding experience but don’t have your own 4X4 vehicle, no worries! There are tons of local companies that you can rent a Jeep through, or you can have a private jeep tour. A private jeep tour is a great option for elopements with more guests. My favorite jeep company in Sedona is Pink Adventure Tours.
Dannie and Kole had one of the best friends officiate their elopement ceremony.One thing about their ceremony that I won’t forget is that it rained while being completely sunny! Talk about a crazy phenomenon! We all stood in disbelief as the sunlit raindrops fell around us. Luckily this only lasted for a short while so the ceremony wasn’t affected.
After the ceremony we all hiked around the red rocks to take in all of the breathtaking views. This particular spot in Sedona has the BEST view of the whole town. It also is the best place to watch the sun set over the red rocks as they change from orange to a deeper purple red color.
Dannie and Kole shared their first dance right as the sun dipped below the horizon. They truly felt like they were on top of the world as they loudly sang along to Leon Bridges. It was such a special moment of the day!
We drove back in the dark to go back to their airbnb for a yummy dinner catered by Picazzos. If you’re ever in Sedona you have got to try this Italian restaurant! It’s vegan, gluten friendly, and has so many options. Pizza is always a GREAT way to end an off roading elopement adventure. Trust me, I’m an expert LOL. Friends and family shared toasts over cake and they concluded their best day ever.
“Caitlyn was the best choice we made for our wedding, hands down. I knew I wanted her as our photographer as soon as we got engaged (April 2019). She was adventurous, light hearted & passionate- exactly what we love in our people. We planned a northern California wedding for June 2020. From the start Caitlyn was professional, reassuring & so involved in getting to know US, learn what we were looking for in our day & ensured quality service. Once the Pandemic hit in the beginning of 2020 our wedding plans were in limbo, we were unsure how to proceed and Caitlyn consistently reminded us that she would do her part to make it work however we needed her. We knew we didn’t want to change our wedding weekend date and within three weeks of it, changed our 75+ person redwood wedding to a 15 person intimate elopement in Sedona & it was the best thing we could have done. As a bride who spent months planning, I was stressed but Caitlyn gave so many resources, suggestions & essentially helped plan every detail and make our day as seamless as possible.
It felt like we knew Caitlyn so well by the time she spent our day with us, which made things so much more comfortable, enjoyable & special. Our friends and family loved her, her presence is so calming & pure. She led us to a beautiful site, guided us through the flow of our day and on return of the photos in such a timely manner; we realized she truly helped express our love in photo form. She’s dependable, adventurous, & brilliantly talented. Theres nothing more you could ever ask for on your wedding day. 15/10 would recommend.”
Elopement Photography & Planning: Me!! (Caitlyn Jennings Photo)
Flowers: Sedona Fine Art of Flowers
Catering: Picazzos Sedona
Check out this Sedona hiking elopement at Cathedral Rock here!
Want to learn how to elope in Arizona? Check out my Arizona elopement guide!
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