USAF Thunderbird Pilot Elopes At Red Rock Canyon | Elopement Las Vegas

January 29, 2020

WHAT WORDS WOULD YOU USE TO DESCRIBE YOUR WEDDING?

Perfect, low key, beautiful, laid back, boho! We couldn’t have asked for better weather or a more beautiful day out in Red Rock. Just our family was there so the ceremony was intimate, but relaxed. We wrote our own vows and made sure to include John’s son Milo as an important part of the ceremony. It felt personal and unique and was a great experience for us and our families. 

las vegas elopement
las vegas elopement
red rock canyon wedding

THE PROPOSAL

John and I met on Bumble only a year ago! We both knew we wanted to marry the other person after the 2nd date. It was unlike any relationship either of us had ever had and serious talk of the future quickly followed. Five months after we met we went on a vacation to Costa Rica with some of our friends. I knew a proposal was coming soon, but John insisted he didn’t want to travel with the ring and it wasn’t going to happen on the trip. Unknown to me he had already told our friends he was going to do it and they were waiting with bated breath anytime the two of us were anywhere remotely romantic. Toward the end of our trip we had a starlit dinner on the beach with just John and I. The dinner was great and was kept exciting when a random skunk ambled up to our table during the 2nd course. Luckily we avoided getting sprayed and were waiting for our check to come back when I got a text from our friends asking how dinner was. They were shamelessly fishing for whether or not we were engaged. John finally popped the question as we stood to walk back up the beach, alone (the skunk had wandered off),  under the stars and on a tropical island. Neither of us could have been happier. We Facetimed our friends and lots of congratulations were yelled through a broken pixelated call before we hung up and enjoyed the rest of our night floating on cloud nine. 

las vegas elopement
las vegas elopement
las vegas elopement

THE VISION

John and I both wanted a small intimate wedding that was focused on our families getting to know each other. We share a love for the outdoors and Red Rock is one of favorite places to go locally. It was a natural choice for venue. We both love cooler weather, changing leaves, and the transition of the seasons so Fall was definitely the time of the year we wanted. Along with our love for the outdoors comes a laid back vibe, opposite the the glam commonly associated with Vegas. These factors formed our vision of an intimate outdoor wedding with a relaxed bohemian feel. 

las vegas elopement
las vegas elopement
las vegas elopement

THE PLANNING PROCESS

We are both very busy with work most of the time. I’m a pilot for the USAF Thunderbirds and travel 8 months of the year performing shows. This left us with almost no time to dedicate to planning. I researched wedding planners that could make our vision come to fruition and was pleasantly surprised to find Emily. I had already researched photographers on Instagram and found Nicole Hernandez who had the most stunning photos. Once I found out Emily would take care of the permits for Red Rock, the officiant, the cake, chairs, music, etc. I felt much less overwhelmed with the planning process and my schedule. Emily asked us several questions to make sure she understood our vision and that was it. I found my dress, did an engagement shoot and reserved the reception venue. Emily had several recommendations for vendors for anything she wasn’t already taking care of. We used her recommendations for our guest shuttle, my hair and makeup, and our florist. They were all amazing. Everyone was where they were supposed to be the day of and all we had to do was get ready and show up. It was low stress and fun!

las vegas elopement
las vegas elopement

YOUR OUTFITS AND ACCESSORIES

I had the most stunning dress from BHLDN. An open backed, form fitting, lace dress, with long boho style sleeves. I wanted every other part of my outfit to be low key since the dress was so beautiful on its own. I did teardrop shaped turquoise earrings from Aria Lattner and no necklace. I wore simple leather gladiator style sandals and had an intricate braid in the top half of my hair so no hair piece was needed. John wore a navy suit he already had with no tie and an open collar, complete with a pocket square. His white shirt and brown leather boots gave the outfit a timeless look without feeling too formal. My bouquet was absolutely gorgeous full of shades of purple, white and green and accented with succulents. John’s matching succulent boutonnière was the perfect touch. 

las vegas elopement
las vegas elopement

MEMORABLE MOMENTS

Since Emily handled all the planning there were many “first looks” throughout the day and this was one of our favorite aspects. I didn’t see my bouquet until she handed it to me right before I went to meet John. We hadn’t been to the exact site of the ceremony so the first time we saw it was hiking in with our families. It may seem stressful to not have laid eyes on these details before, but we found it fun and exciting. Of course the real “first look” where John and I got to see each other for the first time was amazing and happened right as the sun started to dip below the mountains. It was breathtaking. Some funnier memorable moments were the tarantula that crossed paths with our guests on their walk in and me needing to use the bathroom before the ceremony. There is no bathroom in Ash Springs so finding a bush to go behind in my wedding dress was definitely memorable!

las vegas elopement
las vegas elopement

 ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES

Relax! Your wedding is about you, not your family and not your friends. Of course you want them to be part of it, but ultimately do what is right for you as a couple. We have many friends in Vegas and across the country that would have loved to come to our wedding. We originally made two lists, one of just immediate family (less than 20 people) and one with all of the people we would ideally have there or we imagined would want to be there. The second list rapidly became 150 people and we knew we didn’t have the time to plan for something that big and really wanted something small and intimate. We did get some pushback from our extended families and friends that were disappointed they weren’t invited. However, in the end they all understood and no one held it against us for doing what was right for us! The day was so much less stressful having just our immediate family and allowed us to have quality time with all of them.

ash springs red rock canyon

Photography by Nicole Hernandez http://nicolehernandezphotography.com

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