Elopement photographed under the stars in Sedona, Arizona

This week I’m reminiscing on photographing Christy and Dustin’s elopement in Sedona, AZ under the stars.

My drive to the elopement, dreaming of the starry skies

To start the week of right, I drove from Phoenix to Flagstaff. Personally, I love getting away from Phoenix to other local spots when able. Truly, the drive is the perfect length. Most importantly, there’s that perfect amount of drive time for any road trip. I had taken this drive, but never during golden hours. It’s breathtaking!

While driving, I saw the sunset and a bit of the stars, foreshadowing the beautiful elopement. I couldn’t wait to capture it!

Flagstaff is a cool little place (literally and figuratively) where you can escape the heat. It’s beautiful and green and is surrounded by mountains and ponderosa pine forests. Fun fact (because I love a good fun fact): It also has Arizona’s tallest mountain, Humphreys Peak.

Payson also belongs to The Coconino National Forest:

“The Coconino National Forest is one of the most diverse National Forests in the country with landscapes ranging from the famous red rocks of Sedona to Ponderosa pine forests, from southwestern desert to alpine tundra. Explore mountains and canyons, fish in small lakes, and wade in lazy creeks and streams.” (Source: fs.usda.gov)

Our picturesque stay in Flagstaff

The home we were staying in was a picturesque a-frame home set between the tall trees. I’d always seen these homes on HGTV and dreamed of staying in one. So perfectly quaint. Adorned in symmetry and greenery.

Bride and groom pictured on balcony of a-frame home in flagstaff, Arizona Bride and groom pictured on balcony of a-frame home in flagstaff, Arizona Christy and Dusting leaning over balcony of the rental home in Flagstaff, Arizona

Getting ready for the elopement

There, Christy and Dustin got ready together. It was perfect, intimate and uniquely them. Christy’s wedding day details were absolutely perfect: a pair of black block heeled boots, a special made leather jacket, really amazing wedding day sunglasses, and several perfectly detailed rings.

Dustin helping Christy get into her wedding dress Up close shot of Dustin and Chrity's hands interlocking as they get ready Christy happily all dressed for her wedding day

Bucket-list drive through Sedona

Worth nothing, if Flagstaff doesn’t take your breath away, your draw will drop as you round the curve from Flagstaff mountains into Sedona. In my opinion, being surrounded by incredibly rad red rock is one of the best experiences. The diverse landscape is breathtaking. Even if you’re not from Arizona, this is a drive I recommend to everyone! It’s well worth the visit to Arizona alone. The view was plucked straight from the movies–pinky promise.

The elopement

To start, we easily hiked part way up Cathedral rock to a wider flat area to marry the two. If you go up higher, it gets a bit scarier. In my opinion, the best views are from the mid-point where Brandi officiated the ceremony. Brandi Potter actually got certified for the sole purpose of marrying them! She had her camera at her feet to get the perfect photo of the two as they had their first kiss.

Photographing the couple under the stars

Later, we made our way to a perfect little Thai restaurant in downtown Sedona, Arizona. There, we sat under the most perfect lights. Also, the weather was a remarkable in between temperature. After dinner, we made our way to the stars and shot the two. There, Christy and Dustin danced into the night with everlasting love.

Bride holding camera taking a photo of cathedral rock Christy and Dustin standing at the base of cathedral rock under the stars Christy and Dustin dancing at twilight double exposure of Christy and Dustin under the stars

More Importantly, the People

To top it all of, I spent this time with a handful of other, amazing, heartwarming, genuine photographers all learning from the amazing Brandi Potter. Please, please, please do yourself the favor of checking out their work, and if your in their area (or even not in their area) booking then for a shoot.

@rachaeldkatsur / @wendy_m_escalante / @kentuckysongbirdphotography / @marykateandthemoon / @madelinefayep

Brandi snapping a photo of Christy and Dustin during their elopement ceremony

Want to see more love?

Head back over to the blog or view more galleries.

Dress and suit hanging in home while getting ready Dress and suit hanging in home while getting ready Dress hanging from tree of Flagstaff home Close up of dress hanging from tree of Flagstaff home Dress hanging from tree of Flagstaff home Dress hanging from tree of Flagstaff home  Wedding shoes and rings in the flowers of home in Flagstaff Wedding shoes and rings in the flowers of home in Flagstaff  Elopement day ring detail shot Elopement day getting ready details Dustin helping Christy getting into her dress before elopement Close up of Dustin and Christy's hands and their rings while getting ready Christy standing in her dress ready for her elopement Christy soaking up the sun on the balcony of Flagstaff, Arizona home  Christy and Dustin standing on the balcony of the Flagstaff, Arizona home before their elopement

Christy and Dustin standing on the balcony of the Flagstaff, Arizona home before their elopement Christy and Dusting leaning over balcony of the rental home in Flagstaff, Arizona Brandi Potter officiating the elopement Christy and Dustin  Christy smiling during elopement Christy and Dustin during elopement Christy in her dress standing at the base of Cathedral Rock in Sedona Arizona Christy in her dress standing at the base of Cathedral Rock in Sedona Arizona Christy in her dress standing at the base of Cathedral Rock in Sedona Arizona Christy in her elopement dress looking up at Cathedral Rock in Sedona Arizona Christy in her elopement dress looking over her shoulder while at Cathedral Rock in Sedona Arizona Christy's bouquet Bridal portraits of Christy on her elopement Close up of Christy's elopement bouquet Christy sitting on Cathedral Rock just before her elopement Christy and Dustin sharing a sweet kiss just after eloping Christy barefoot at Cathedral Rock Christy throwing her wedding dress up in the wind Dustin reading his vows just before eloping Christy and Dustin embracing each other under the moon at Cathedral Rock View from Cathedral Rock Dustin reading over his wedding vows Brandi snapping a photo of Christy and Dustin during their elopement ceremony Dustin reading over his wedding vows Brandi officiating the elopement ceremony Brandi officiating the elopement ceremony   Christ and Dustin embracing each other following their elopement ceremony Christy and Dustin with Brandi Christ and Dustin embracing each other following their elopement ceremony Christ and Dustin embracing each other following their elopement ceremony Christ and Dustin embracing each other following their elopement ceremony A shot of Christy and Dustin through the twisted tree at Cathedral Rock Bride and Groom happily looking at each other after just being wed double exposure of bride and groom at cathedral rock in Sedona, Arizona silhouette of bride and groom staring at the moon at Cathedral Rock in Sedona, Arizona Christy and Dustin walking at the base of Cathedral Rock silhouette of bride and groom staring at the moon at Cathedral Rock in Sedona, Arizona silhouette of bride and groom staring at the moon at Cathedral Rock in Sedona, Arizona Christy taking a moment to photograph the night sky following her ceremony Christy and Dustin sharing their first dance under the stars Christy and Dustin sharing an embrace at their reception Christy and Dustin sharing an embrace at their reception Christy and Dustin after their elopement under the stars Christy and Dustin after their elopement under the stars Stars captured after the elopement Christy and Dustin bathing in the night sky after their elopement Christy and Dustin's first kiss and bride and groom

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