Epic Dry Lake Bed Micro Wedding in the Nevada Desert

August 24, 2021

Justine and Cody wanted an elegant yet simple wedding day in Las Vegas, opting in for a crimson palette and lots of fresh florals. Their breathtaking ceremony location in the outskirts of Las Vegas came about because they wanted something unique and different. An intimate setting with brightly colored florals and Cody’s crimson suit allowed the natural beauty of the desert shine through.

WHAT WORDS WOULD YOU USE TO DESCRIBE YOUR WEDDING?

Joyful and Serene. From the moment we arrived at the Dry Lake Bed, we couldn’t stop smiling. We were filled with happiness and felt relaxed as we laughed and celebrated with our family and close friends.  

dry lake bed wedding

THE PROPOSAL:

Cody and I met April 27th, 2014. He proposed to me 5 years later, on the anniversary of the day we met. We typically enjoy quiet evenings at home with our 3 huskies. On this night he lit our firepit our back, poured me a glass of wine, sat beside me and after several moments of talking, he asked if I would be his wife as he pulled out the ring from his pocket. The night was perfect and of course I said yes, this was my person, and I knew it. 

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THE VISION:

We both wanted to keep it simple, an intimate gathering with friends and family. We wanted something…. different and special, romantic and serene out in nature. 

elopement las vegas
elopement las vegas

THE PLANNING PROCESS:

We live super close, in Arizona, so we thought Vegas would be a great venue for a getaway, and why not ask our friends and family to “Elope with Us”? That is when I began to discover the newer concepts of micro-weddings. I looked at places on the strip and the locations were not really resonating and then I found Elopement Las Vegas. The venues in nature were simply perfect. It was, us. In the outdoors, I could envision it, surrounded by those dear to us, away from the everything else in the world, just connecting in that moment with one another to exchange our vows. I had so much fun researching restaurants, booking my hair and makeup, going wedding gown shopping. And the stress of planning an entire wedding was nonexistent because of the resources and support provided by Emily and her team. So easy, so simple! 

Unfortunately, due to the pandemic we did have a small hiccup but that was okay because health and safety comes first. Our original date was 10.20.20 and we made the decision to push Vegas back 6 months. But synchronicity is a beautiful thing! We had a small backyard gathering to maintain our original date and married on the same spot where Cody proposed to me in our backyard. Our 3 dogs, Nobu, Aros and Paprika wore collars made of flowers! Our planned Elopement at the Dry Lake Bed was now scheduled on another very special date, 4.27.21 – 2 years from when Cody proposed and 7 years from the day we met. We hoped the time frame would also be a support for our guests to be able to attend and it worked out well! 

When the day came everything went seamlessly.  It was as if we knew Emily’s team for years. It was such a relaxed environment for photos and coordination. Everyone was so professional and kind. We ordered small succulents for our guests as a thank you for attending, which included small stakes inserted that read:  “Let Love Grow” with our initials and date. We also provided assembled paper cones as toss bouquets that held dried flowers so that guests could shower us with flowers as we came down the aisle after being pronounced husband and wife. I wanted something biodegradable and safe to wildlife and knew we were on parkland. The day was a dream come true. I continue to smile each time I view our photos. 

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YOUR OUTFITS AND ACCESSORIES

I purchased my gown online without trying it on and upon arrival, it fit beautifully. I then took it to a local seamstress to hem the length as I am 5’3” so she worked her magic.  I loved that it was a cream color. Cody wanted a unique suit color that would pop versus the traditional black or grey. He also found the red suit online and only needed minor alterations which he completed himself. The color just popped against the mountain backdrop.  My diamond earrings were my Nana’s, diamond necklace and bracelet both gifts from Cody over the years. 

desert elopement

MEMORABLE MOMENTS

The wind! When we arrived to the Dry Lake Bed, it was quite windy! We are no strangers to wind, living in the desert we have high winds & monsoons. My hair and makeup held up, we rolled with it & enjoyed the breeze! Our photos looked incredible, and we laughed throughout the entire shoot.   Our vows- that was the most memorable part of our ceremony. Cody, as he pulls out his phone, begins with “I’m a 90’s baby” and continues on after the group laughs. Then I am handed my vows written on index cards, I pause and in unison he and I say “80’s baby,” as we look out onto the group! And the laughter continued with our personal vows to one another. 

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 ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES

Try not to stress the small details, things do not always go according to plan but as everything sorts out, often the outcomes are even more incredible than you could have envisioned. It is great to be organized but also trust in the process. Also, ask questions and communicate with your team, they are there to be a support to you during this wonderful journey. 

las vegas elopement
elopement las vegas


Photographer : Kristen Joy Photography 

Videographer: Imprezza Films

Florist: Amy Wong Events

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