Off-Road Moab Elopement in Utah » Sam Starns | Adventure Elopement Photographer

Off-Road Moab Elopement in Utah

March 22, 2021

Getting married in Moab is nothing short of amazing. If you have your doubts, take a peek at my complete guide to eloping in Moab. Not only does it have stunning views and unique red rock formations, but you can also take your wedding to the next level by booking a hot air balloon ride or going rafting. That being said, I wanted to offer you an example of a real-life couple—rockstars Jess and Brady—and how they had an amazing two-day off-road Moab elopement.

Reading (and seeing) Jess and Brady’s story can be a springboard for your own adventure elopement. The ultimate goal, according to Brady, was to feel small, and when you get married under the vast sky with miles of gorgeous landscape, Utah is the perfect place to recognize that we are all a part of a much bigger world. So, I want to take you along with Jess, Brady, and me as you catch a glimpse of their big day.

You never know what you’ll find when scoping out your ceremony site. 

It’s always a smart idea to know what you’re getting into, especially with an adventure elopement. As your photographer, I can definitely lead and guide you to some fantastic locations, but only you and your partner know what is perfect for you.

Jess and Brady chose to scope out their site before their wedding (which ended up being perfect, by the way), but the interesting thing is that they met the people who were taking out the monolith. You know—that weird, 5th element, prism-shaped metal thing that just appeared in the desert? Getting to chat with them was really interesting, especially given the mystery surrounding the monolith. 

A two-day elopement experience? Yes, please!

Honestly, I wish most couples would do this. Booking a multi-day elopement allows us to stop and be in the moment when we can. It’s less rushed and also allows us to capture sunset and sunrise in different locations. Although the day of their ceremony was the busiest and most structured, it was still packed with memories. 

Take a hint and make full use of your Moab destination.

I highly—as in it’s really a must for the whole experience—recommend renting an off-road vehicle. That way, we can get away from the main tourist areas and capture people-free images in some of the most secluded locations. Jess and Brady chose their FJ Cruiser for their off-road Moab elopement, but an ATV would work, too! 

P.S. If you need a rental, talk to Canyonlands Jeep.

We started the day with a sunrise first look in Arches National Park. It’s a self-proclaimed red rock wonderland, but I don’t think anyone would argue with that title as the park is the perfect place to start the day. 

Jess and Brady had lunch at Dead Horse Point, which admittedly sounds awful (the backstory is kind of sad!). Despite the name, it overlooks the river and makes a beautiful stop for photos and to grab a bite to eat before getting married. 

In the evening, we off-roaded to their secluded (and secret—I’m not telling!) ceremony location so that they could have the most romantic sunset wedding. It was dreamy, and the sky in the Utah desert is breathtaking.

Sidebar: Jess and Brady’s moms were such a hoot.

Having their moms along allowed for some great moments throughout the day, and they definitely added an element of fun for Jess and Brady. After the ceremony, the couple did a whiskey blending. They took one from their home state of Oregon and another from their wedding state, Utah, and created a unique whiskey blend to enjoy. 

To end their wedding day, they came home to a dinner set up by Jess’s boss. I don’t know what your boss is like—or most bosses for that matter—but Jess’s is by far the best ever. After all, they’ve even cooked for Elon Musk and George Lucas, so the dinner was so freakin’ cool! 

“I wanted to feel small, and dude—you nailed it.” ~ Brady

The morning of the second day started out in the best way possible. Although we had the actual wedding behind us, there were more photos to take. Brady paid me the highest compliment by letting me know that his goal had already been accomplished. Of course, feeling small was heightened by the environment, but I also know where to go and how to create an experience tailored to each couple.

So, whether your goal is to have images of you in a hot air balloon, to have time just for the two of you, or simply to feel small—let’s do it! I can’t wait to hear what you and your partner have envisioned for your wedding day. And I am so excited to help your elopement dreams come to life through your photos.

Moab Elopement Vendors

Manna Floral Design
Makeup by Katina
Bridal by Caitlin
Rockstar Catering Co.

Dress – BHLDN
Shoes – Redwing

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