Jordan and Ashley’s intimate Valley of Fire wedding in the Nevada desert was a truly feel good start to my December 2020.
Despite the fact that they scrambled to re-plan their elopement after COVID travel restrictions to Hawai’i disrupted their plans less than A WEEK before their wedding, they made the absolute most of the change.
Jordan grew up in Las Vegas (and her parents still live there), so when she and Ashley had to rethink wedding plans, they immediately gravitated towards Nevada and the beautiful desert and rocks that surround the city.
Cactus and Lace Weddings helped them pull off the last minute switch and beautifully brought together the ceremony space, florals, and officiant to make their intimate wedding a success.
The guest list of about 15 family members was the perfect compliment to the intimate feel of their day. While they waited for the last guests to arrive, Jordan and Ashley stayed tucked away from each other, each trying to control their nerves. When it was go time, Jordan’s mom walked Ashley down the aisle, then Jordan took the walk through the desert with her dad. I love that each family member present was totally in the moment with the brides and there were definitely a few tears shed.
After their ceremony, there was time for a group champagne toast and some good quality time with friends. Then we headed off for couple’s portraits. Jordan and Ashley had pointed me towards the Fire Wave Trail, which turned out to be the most spectacular spot for portraits. Thought the hike was only about 15 minutes, this location felt so different from their ceremony location that it was the perfect compliment to their earlier photos. After trekking through sand and rocky came to the highlight of the hike, just as the sun was starting to meet the horizon.
To say it felt awe-inspiring is an understatement. We had a soft breeze that wasn’t too chilly, soft sun rays to kiss their skin, warm rocks to walk on barefoot, and very few people to navigate around. We basically had the sunset to ourselves and we milked it for all it was worth.
I’ve said it before, but I think desert light is unicorn light and is the perfect compliment to late afternoon portraits on a winter wedding day.
As the sun set and the skies turned blue around us, Jordan and Ashley cuddled up for their last few frames on their wedding day at our second portrait spot. I had found our second spot randomly on a hike the day before and immediately knew it was a spot I wanted to return to. I thought maybe we’d do family portraits here, but we ended up saving it for the end and I don’t think it could have been more perfect.
Jordan and Ashley, it was amazing to spend 2019 and 2020 getting to know you, cheering you on in your lives, and celebrating together on multiple occasions.
Love and hugs always.
*Want to see more of Jordan and Ashley? Check out a styled shoot we did together at the Eldorado Dry Lake Beds in 2019
Considering planning a destination wedding of your own? Here’s some tips to help you make the most of it!