An hour before Taylor & Eric’s elopement ceremony, Taylor read the note Eric left her earlier that afternoon (complete with an uncanny stick figure drawing) as we watched the Sedona desert become engulfed in a monsoon. With lightning striking erratically over the distant mountains we all felt strangely calm & confident that whatever the hour brought would be perfect. And you guessed it, it was. Within the hour the monsoon let up & we were right on time. The five of us – Taylor, Eric, Jessica the planning guru, Steven their officiant, and myself – trekked our way to Cathedral Rock. We waded through the newly formed red mud river (thx rain), hiked through the spiky cactus field, and landed at a God-made stage just off of the trail. With a tear-filled moment where Eric saw his beautiful bride for the first time, we all tried to hold it together as they climbed up the red rocks to hold hands and start their new life.
The clearing of the skies directly above our heads brought a distant view of the dark storm, creating a jaw-dropping moment as Taylor & Eric shared their first dance on the top of the mountain with lightning flashing behind them. It was a scene that couldn’t hold a candle to their first wedding plan (a large ceremony & reception back in Maryland that seemed to get lost in the logistics & details) which filled the depths of my heart with joy for them. After climbing down the mountain path, they were met with a gorgeous surprise of cake, cookies, & wine designed by the fantastic Jessica J Events with an unplanned drum circle gathering for the lunar eclipse. Talk about an ideal post-hike post-wedding situation amiright?
Making this commitment to one another in the staggering solitude of the Arizona desert suited these two adventurous souls in a way I’ve never seen before. And honestly I could write pages about how incredible they are, how unimaginably epic this day was, and how I feel like part of their family, but let’s be honest you want to see these photos as much as I want you to see them. ENJOY.