Cindy & Max / Spring Zion Elopement, UT
Okay, so. Last year sometime, I got a sweet email from Cindy asking us to photograph her wedding and that she knew our work because she sat in the same photography class as David in university. A couple emails back and forth and I knew these two were special. Originally, they had planned to elope in Oregon this summer, but with much back and forth with family, they decided to have a wedding this March and that was that! We did their engagement photos in Oregon when they came up for a weekend and we were instantly friends, not to mention their photos were so darn sweet. We had the best time ever.
Early in the year I got a message on Instagram from Cindy saying "I have a crazy idea". And I responded with, "I love crazy, tell me". She proceeded to tell me her idea in the Office Terminology: "I think I want to pull a Jim". Now, as a wedding photographer, when someone references Jim and Pam's wedding, they're talking about running away and eloping before their wedding. I may or may not have screamed in excitement, and so we started planning. Cindy wanted to surprise Max with a trip to Zion and to elope, since that was their original plan, so keeping the surprise from Max, while organising to have the time off from work with his boss was a pretty tricky task for Cindy, and there were a lot of parts and things to think about, but we made it happen. Cindy and I communicated for the months leading up in only Office Gifs and hundreds of Emoji's.
The week before their wedding, we all hopped on a plane and met up in Las Vegas Airport (landing at literally the same time) and it was all hugs and giggles. We got to our Airbnb in a neighborhood in Las Vegas at 11pm and the host hung up on us as we tried to get into the gate. Like, literally hung up the phone as Cindy and Max were trying to let him know they were here. So we were stuck in the car in the weirdest neighborhood, I had just seen a streaker walking down the street completely naked, and needless to say, it was HILARIOUS, but we were all so exhausted. So we tried to book another Airbnb on the spot and once confirmed, we drove over to the address given. Also sketchy and really weird, so we got out of there real quick and ended up at the first available hotel we could find online, and take a guess where we ended up... Hooters. The perfect Michael Scott situation. "Delightfully tacky, yet unrefined".
The next day, we drove out to Utah, explored some of the amazing giant structures in the state parks in Southern Utah, did a little hiking, then checked into our airbnb and ate a cheese plater for dinner. Cindy painted on her old denim jacket "BRIDE" while we watched the Office and we all fell asleep pretty quickly, realising that we were at 7,000ft elevation, we were pretty exhausted.
The last day of our trip (elopement day), we drove out to Zion and did some walking through the canyon's, said hello to the tame squirrels that wanted food from us, made far too many inappropriate jokes, sat in the sun and absorbed the vitamin D that us Oregonians were severely lacking in, then started making our way out of the National Park into the back wilderness area, through the scariest tunnel of my life, and that's when we realized how beautiful Zion truly was. We climbed the sandstones walls at least 500ft higher than the road, all struggling to catch our breath at 6600ft high, and eventually made our way over to Canyon Overlook to see if it was the right spot to elope. We hiked in, fell totally in love, hiked out, grabbed all their wedding attire, and hiked BACK in just in time for sunset.
Cindy and Max shared their vows to each other overlooking the most gorgeous view, attracting a small crowd of courteous people who gave us one part of the overlook to have their ceremony, and we watched the sun dip over the rocks as we hiked back to the car with just enough light to make it out safely.
Having people ask us be part of their wedding day is one kind of honor, but it goes a step beyond that when you've spent 3 full days having meals and hanging out and hiking and exploring with your couples and Cindy and Max are not only some of our clients from this year, but also now dear friends, and that's exactly what we want.
Here are some highlights from the trip and their elopement.