When we first started planning this Moab elopement styled shoot at Arches and Canyonlands, I knew immediately that Kimani and Bri would be super fun to work with. Both are actors, and they were so excited to have the chance to model while and while exploring their love in a beautiful place. When I asked what was unique to them as a couple, they immediately mentioned that they hoped to include skateboarding and roller skating into their day. I almost fainted from excitement! This is what elopements are all about: incorporating your special passions to create an amazing, one-of- a-kind experience.
We started the day before sunrise at Arches National Park. The parking lot was cold, dark, and still empty when we arrived. As Bri and Kimani got dressed, the sky started to get a little lighter. As the sun rose, I noticed that the Tunnel arch was perfectly lit up with light shining all around the arch, highlighting its stunning beauty. So we just had to climb up and have some fun. Bri and Kimani immediately jumped in, basking in the glowing sun, and playing in the shadows and light.
After a little while we pulled out the vow books to show what a real Moab elopement would look like. The two shared sweet and funny words of love with each other, then some epic kisses. Of course, this incredible-looking couple soon attracted quite a crowd!
After the vows, we went off to a more secluded space to have some fun by ourselves. We then headed over to the Windows Arch, one of the main and most recognizable arches in the entire park. One of the awesome things about eloping here is that many of the popular arches are accessible. Tunnel, Windows, and Double Arch are only 5 – 10 minute walk from the parking lot.
The area can start to get busy before sunrise and then only explode in popularity after the sun comes up. By this point the place was starting to see an uptick of people, but we still had room to do our thang. At Windows, everyone was great and moved aside so we could take our photos and have our fun.
Our next stops was Double Arches. Most people head straight to the arches, but we took time to explore the gorgeous surroundings, finding a cave that was used in the opening of one of my all-time favorite movies, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. (Seriously, if you wanna get your Indie Jones and Sean Connery vibes on this is the place to do it!) From there, we began exploring double arches, which is my favorite. These two MASSIVE arches span across a major opening, a gorgeous testament to the beauty of this national park. After playing for a bit more in the Arches, we decided to call it a morning and rest up for the second part of the shoot later that afternoon.
For more Arches photo inspiration, be sure to check out this full-day adventure engagement!
April is an ideal time to elope in Utah. The mornings are often cool enough to require a jacket. But as the sun rises it quickly heats up, easily getting up to 90 degrees. So it’s best to elope in the mornings and evenings, saving the middle of the day for rest. You can go for a pool swim or just hang out and relax. I happened to grab lunch with Bri and Kimani. ?
For more of the best tips on planning an elopement in Arches or the surrounding areas, check out our Ultimate Guide to Your Moab Elopement.
We met up again later for the most special and unique part of the day – Kimani and Bri skateboarding and roller skating together. So, we found two awesome spots: the first underneath towering red Utah rock walls, the second on an empty road in the middle of the Utah desert. We got out their skateboard and skates, and just let them roam around the roads, playing, laughing and having fun. As the sun dropped in the sky we left for our last stop of the day, Canyonlands National Park.
The spot we chose at Canyonlands overlooked the stunning Green River. Everywhere you look, you’re surrounded by deep gorges through the red Utah rocks. As the sun dipped below the horizon, Bri and Kimani took the time to just relax and enjoy the sights. We had spent the day talking about life – the twists and turns that brought us along on our paths. What brought them to each other and to Utah, and what brought us there that day. They keep God close to their heart, and as the sun illuminated the gorgeous red canyons and gorges before us she shouted out in the distance, “God is Good.” As her voice echoed through the canyons, we all felt the power of this incredible day.
Hey! I’m Adam and I live for helping couples just like you make their elopement dreams come true. If you were inspired by this shoot and want to learn more about how to elope in Moab, I’m your guy! I can help you find the best Utah elopement package and share all the best tips for eloping in Moab.
If you’re ready to start planning or just have some questions to decide if a Moab elopement is right for you, I’d love to hear from you.