COVID Ruined their Wedding Plans, So They Eloped Instead

Jess and Andy had been planning their beautiful destination wedding in Sedona, Arizona for over a year before the COVID pandemic hit. They were put in a very hard position, along with thousands of other couples around the world, to make a tough decision regarding their wedding day. COVID caused them to cancel their big wedding, and they eloped instead. Their day looked very different than their original plans, but it was still an epic experience that was SO special. This proves that love can conquer all, even a pandemic!

Before Their Wedding Day

Jess and Andy met in medical school and were connected with each other through their friends. Their official first date was watching the Star Wars movies, so it only made sense for them to get married on Star Wars day! When COVID threatened their wedding day, Jess and Andy were determined that they were still going to get married on their day. We worked together to make a backup plan for if their original wedding plans weren’t going to happen. 

Sadly, the pandemic only progressed and gatherings became illegal. They were forced to reduce their guest list to below 10 people, while also considering the health of themselves, their loved ones, and their vendors. It was a tough decision, but they stayed optimistic through it all. 

When we determined that their big wedding day plans were not going to happen, we had to make a backup plan that would hopefully make up for it. After all, this is still their wedding day! I wanted to do everything that I could to make sure that it was still a beautiful, special day for everyone involved.

Their Elopement Day

Jess and Andy’s wedding day began at the beautiful Red Agave Resort in Sedona, Arizona. This was their original venue for the day, and luckily they were able to work together to still hold their elopement right on a public trail nearby. Their florist put together a beautiful wedding set up for them that overlooked the red rocks. It was the perfect desert scene! You can’t beat the cacti, red rocks, and vivid blue sky.

One of the biggest misconceptions about eloping is that it only consists of a ceremony and photoshoot. That’s not the case! Jess was able to still have very special getting ready moments with her parents. While Jess may not have had a her dream custom dress due to production being shut down by COVID, she still had an absolutely beautiful dress from Lulus. The simplicity of the dress was complimented by Jess’s copper glittered veil and flower jewelry. 

The main star of the show was their huge French Mastiff, Brutus! He was the honorary best man, with his own suit and boutonnière. He is Jess and Andy’s absolute world so it only made sense to have him a part of their elopement day!

Their ceremony was simple, personally and absolutely meaningful for Jess and Andy. They participated in a knot tying ceremony and also shared personal vows. It was so beautiful and perfect for them. Following the ceremony they shared toasts and cut the cake with all of their loved ones on zoom. Thank goodness for technology! We snapped some photos with Jess’s parents and then it was time for the adventure portion of the day!

The Off-Roading Adventure

When COVID interfered with Jess and Andy’s wedding plans I knew that we needed to find a way to make their day extra special and unforgettable. One of the biggest features of Sedona, Arizona are the epic red mountains and the off-roading opportunities! People come from all over the world to drive their Jeeps on these roads. I’m a fellow off-roading lover so I offer private Jeep excursions to any of my couples that are interested! The best part of driving with me is that you don’t have to go through a private jeep company… aka we have full freedom! 

We drove down one of my all time favorite 4×4 roads in Sedona. This road is super private, but that privacy comes with a cost! It takes about an hour of rock crawling to get to the most magnificent canyon views. A Jeep ride is by far one of the best ways to really see Sedona!

Contact me here for to plan your own off-roading elopement in Sedona!

Once we arrived to the perfect canyon overlook, Jess and Andy shared their first dance. What better way to share your first dance than on a cliff edge watching the sunset!? It was the so magical.

Riding off into the sunset to end off their wedding day was the best way to end off their adventure. COVID may have changed the way that their wedding look, but it didn’t take away from how special and beautiful it was. It was so special to have been the one to capture it all!

Special thanks to all of the vendors involved:

Florals: I Do Rentals AZ 

Venue: Red Agave Resort in Sedona, Arizona

Videographer: Leslie Allred Films

Cake: Dessert First AZ

Want to see another Sedona elopement? Check out this adventurous elopement in the red rocks!

Need some more elopement planning tips? Check them out here!

Schedule your free elopement consultation here!

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