Star Wars White Sands National Park Elopement
Jacintha and Kevin had a kick-ass White Sands National Park Elopement. They flew out to White Sands for their elopement from Philadelphia where they are teachers as well as artists. They have always been drawn to the landscape of that beautiful area. Jacintha and Kevin’s day was full of so many loving things, and that truly speaks to who they are as people.
Their day happened to be on one of my favorite days of the year –May 4th (May the Fourth be with You). The setting could not have been more fitting taking place on what looked oddly like the planet of Tatooine. The epic day started off when we met up in the Lincoln National Forest where we got some different scenery and some breath-taking views and greenery in an amazing forested gully.
After that adventure, we made a pit stop in the town of Alamogordo for a bite to eat (can you believe it’s only a 30-40 minute drive?!). Jacintha enlighted me in the art of eating sopapillas, and then she said she needed to get a burrito with “Christmas” (Christmas is essentially red sauce and green sauce mixed together). I learned that this is a New Mexico cultural custom. So, on my next trip to the area, I’ll definitely be ordering my “Christmas” burrito. Very tasty little treat!
After our lunch, we took off to White Sands National Park where we got to hang out with their awesome little 3-year-old nephew Apollo. We all enjoyed flying kites, and sledding in the dunes, fully embracing our inner child!
Jacintha is a real gem of a person. During the trip, we had planned on sledding in the sand and flying kites, which was a blast. They had brought me my own kite to fly that Jacintha had used her artistic talent to paint some florals and “Elope Your Life” on. I am also so humbled when my couples gift me anything. But make no mistake, I’m just as excited about the gift of a bottle of Diet Coke, so if you’re wanting to make my day, art skills aren’t necessary LOL!
Apollo and his other aunt Marilyn and their friend Debbie who happened to be in New Mexico at the same time took off and we set up for a beautiful heartfelt sunset/ blue-hour ceremony. The cool thing about White Sands National Park is that you can really spread out! There are no official established trails to speak of through the actual dunes themselves so if you use good judgment you can really feel like you have the place to yourself. We saw people around, but it felt like we were all alone there, which was cool.
We watched the most amazing sunset over “Tatooine” and they had their super unique water ceremony complete with a custom porcelain/clay thrown vessel. A water ceremony uses water to symbolize a couple’s unity. Traditionally during the ceremony your officiant will announce the unity water ceremony and offer a brief explanation of it, then both partners will each take a vessel filled with water and pour their contents into a third, more decorative vase. Jacintha and Kevin used a vessel that was shaped like a sand dune to represent White Sands National Park and the dunes that hold a lot of water that supports the native animals in the area.
They ended their magical adventure by lighting some luminaria candles (battery-operated!) and enjoying some bomb sopapillas. To top off the evening their aunt Marilyn gifted them a box filled with letters from lots of different people in their lives. Each letter was essentially a novel about the impact they had on all of these different people’s lives. They had so many letters, there was no way they could have read them all there.
We headed over to the visitors center to sign the marriage license, but we had one more very important stop! Kevin wanted so badly to see some stars because that’s pretty rare where he’s from in Philadelphia. So as we were leaving the visitor center, Kevin looked up and yelled “STARS”! Low and behold the stars had come out and we spent some time talking about the constellations and admiring the stars together.
It was so hard to leave the following day because we had the best time together! We are super excited to get together soon when they come over to Oregon and when I make a trip to Philadelphia. They promised to show me where to get the best cheesesteak (with or without – IYKYK)! I’m just once again so honored by the couples I get to work with and I am such a better person for knowing them.