Backstory on the wring: Ethan had secretly spoken to my parents and got permission to ask me. He also designed the ring with my love of lace (hence my wedding dress 🙂 ) in mind. The stone that was used is a family air loom that was actually my great grandfathers yellow diamond. Ethan actually went to the same local jeweler in his home town of Ann Arbor, that his father used when he got engaged to Ethan’s mother. We would love for my engagement ring to become a family air loom as it is a perfect mix of both of our families.
We had planned a trip up north for my birthday at a family cabin a few hours from home in our home state of Michigan. Just a quite, private weekend. Nothing crazy.
Ethan had made a huge birthday dinner with cake included for us (which was amazing!) Just as we sat down for dinner, Ethan recommended starting one of our audio recordings, which was not out of the ordinary. Ethan and I had started keeping an audio journal together. We enjoy just keeping a catalog of conversations with each other to our future selves. The idea of listening back on the recordings as we grow our lives together is pretty special to us.
We reminisced, we talked about the future, we talked about each other. It was a perfect conversation. Then, as Ethan was speaking words that have been saved just for our ears, for years to come, he got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife.
We never wanted a large wedding to begin with which was inevitable as Ethan comes from a very large family. We knew we wanted to be outside and I knew I wanted a lace wedding dress. Other than that, everything was just options. After more than one year of searching for venues, playing around with the idea of destination wedding, talk about finances and talking with family, we realized we always kept coming back to just wanting it to be ours. Our private moment.
We originally just planned a quick birthday trip to Vegas. Our wedding was not a part of the plan.
THE PLANNING PROCESS:
Ethan went to work one day and met a gentleman who he spoke with for a while and got to know more. The longer they talked, the more similarities between our lives and coincides would pop up. Ethan took these as a sign and came home to talk to talk me about eloping in Vegas while we were there. All of the stars aligned and we figured out together that this was something that both of us really like the idea of for many different reasons. We knew we didnt want the Elvis, white chapel, drive thru wedding. We started researching different ideas for getting married in Vegas that fit us. And that is when we found Emily and Desert Elopement.
YOUR OUTFITS AND ACCESSORIES
Since we planned the elopement in roughly 1 month, we had limited options. I found my dress at Davids Bridal that was purchased off the rack and thankfully didn’t need any alterations as we didn’t have the 6 weeks needed for any!!! My dress was actually the first dress I had tried on, meeting the idea and vision I had. My accessories were a borrowed wedding veil from our sister in law Randi. The pearl necklace used in my hair was my left to me from my late Grandmother.
The weather forecast leading up to the date was showing showers and high winds. It had rain just minutes before arriving at Red Rock Canyon for our ceremony. We had arrived late to our ceremony as I always am. When driving in the skies had cleared and the sun was shining. The breathtaking views from the overlook were magnificent. We could not have envisioned a better background.
During the ring exchange, I tried to place his ring on the wrong hand in overwhelming excitement in which he whispered, “my other left hand.”
Our photographer Ashley was incredible. She was so down to earth and had so many great ideas for our photos which all turned out so beautiful.
Angie, our officiant was perfect. She was so welcoming and made us feel like we have known her forever.
We realized we couldn’t get our cake back with us to freeze as some people do so we offered it to our driver who graciously accepted.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES
The day is 100% about the two of you.
Most married couples laugh and say, “If we could do it all over again, we would just elope.” Take their advice. 🙂
Photography by: Ashley Parade