Bride hugs her groom tightly to stay warm from the wind in the desert. Oregon elopements can get a bit chilly with the wind at sunset

Intimate Desert Elopement by Oregon Elopement Photographer Black Salt Photography

Intimate desert elopement at sunset in the middle of nowhere.

This desert elopement session was one of the sweetest sessions I’ve ever done. Alex & Jayson are kind people. And I mean really kind. Their whole beings are just a joy to be around and their love is contagious. This intimate elopement session was only a couple of hours, but there’s something about being surrounded by nature that makes it feel like time has stopped.

Stopped just for you, just for that moment, so you can live a bit longer.

Even if time doesn’t stop for you on your elopement day, I encourage you to remember to live in the moment. Your wedding isn’t supposed to be about performing for other people. It’s about experiencing every second to the fullest. If you’re still trying to figure out if eloping is right for you, check out this blog post. I cover 10 reasons you might want to elope and explain how eloping is different than a traditional wedding.

Or if you find yourself with tons of questions in your planning process, be sure to check out my frequently asked questions blog alllll about everything you might be wondering about elopements.

Elope In The Sand Dunes

The sand dunes are an adventure all on their own. When you first start hiking, you don’t really know where you’re going to end up. Every new hill you hike shows you 10 more you couldn’t see before. Alex & Jayson were excited about the adventure. We didn’t really plan all the little bits down to a T. They just wanted to begin and see where nature took them. That’s one of the best benefits of choosing to elope. You can’t really “wing it” on a traditional wedding day, but for an elopement, there aren’t any rules.

Another thing I love about the sand dunes is how casual and effortless they feel. It almost seems like a sin to wear shoes when you’re walking through the sand so we all took off our shoes immediately. Once your shoes come off I think you feel like a little bit of a kid again. There seems to be less inhibition and more playful joy. The joy on your elopement day is what I love to photograph.

We saw someone flying a red kite, all by themselves high in the sky. To me, kites are such a quintessential part of childhood even though I don’t remember flying one that often. How cool is it to have both ideas, the childlike laughter of a kite and the immense love and passion of your wedding day, at the same time?

How To Elope In The Desert – tips and tricks

There are a few things you want to keep in mind, though, when you decide to elope in the desert. Like anything, it’s important to plan ahead when arranging your elopement day.

1. It will always be windier than you expect.

The wind whips in the desert and will make you cold. Your hairstyle won’t be able to stand up against it and your dress will undoubtedly go between your legs like a weird diaper. Don’t try to fight it, just embrace it.

2. Don’t wear heels.

MAYBE you can get away with some thick wedges but don’t even try stilettos. The ground in the desert is either sand or really, really dry dirt. Neither holds up against any weight and will move underneath you. You don’t want to risk breaking an ankle just for the look of high heels. Honestly, just wear flip-flops and take them off as soon as you’re in the sand.

3. The sun will be full force one minute and GONE the next.

Sunsets are always really interesting in the desert. Very rarely will you get an extended sunset with time to enjoy, especially if you’re in a desert that is surrounded by mountains. As soon as the sun passes the mountain, the light will drastically change. It’s important to keep this in mind when planning your ceremony so you don’t run out of good vibes.

If you’re completely obsessed with these desert vibes, check out this sand dunes couples session in Vegas!

Desert Elopement Dresses – what to wear when you elope

If you’re choosing to have an adventure elopement you might be wondering what the best kind of outfit is to wear. I know that it can seem odd to go to a regular dress shop knowing that you plan to walk in the dirt with a gown on but, trust me, that’s what they are there for. There is no reason to spend thousands of dollars on a gown if you’re not going to use it. And I mean really use it. So go to a bridal shop or find your outfit at a thrift store. Whatever you choose will be amazing because it’s your day.

Head to my blog about where to find sustainable elopement attire!

I always suggest to my brides who still want to wear a dress to find something that feels like them. Everything else will fall into place. Usually dresses that offer movement, like the one Alex wore, work best because you’ll have more free-range with your body. On a selfish note, I love photographing dresses that whip in the wind because capturing movement is one of my favorite parts about photography. Those images sing with true emotions.

If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the planning, I made a guide just for you. After being a wedding planner, photographer, and bride myself I’ve learned a lot about what it really takes to plan your big day. You can check the guide here.

Thinking you might want some more one-on-one time, the photographer of your dreams, your new wedding confidant? Send me a message and we can plan your elopement or intimate wedding together.

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