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I'M A FULL TIME DESTINATION WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER, 100% IN LOVE WITH ADVENTUROUS ELOPEMENTS + SMALL WEDDINGS.

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Weddings + Elopements

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Intimate Wedding in the Red Rocks of Sedona

Matt and Theresa had the most incredible intimate wedding in the red rocks of Sedona – they were surrounded by their closest friends and family and all of the most amazing views. Here’s their story:

HOW THEY MET:

These newlyweds met all the way back in 2002, during their sophomore year of high school. Theresa’s friend had a huge crush on Matt’s friend – leading to the two of them meeting and getting to know one another and their eventual Sedona intimate wedding day.

HIKING HALF DOME:

Several years later, they did their FAVORITE adventure together to date: they hiked Half Dome in Yosemite National Park on 10/10/19. Here’s what they said about that adventure:

“Hiking Half Dome has been on my (Theresa) bucket list since I was a teenager and of course I couldn’t think of anyone else to take on this rock than my own rock and forever exploring adventure buddy Matt. I have tried multiple times to enter the lottery to win permits and was so excited when it finally happened. The preparation and training for Half Dome we went through together was a must but all of that still couldn’t compare to the actual day “The Beast” (Half Dome as we like to call her) had in store for us. We were so exited for our upcoming adventure trip and pretty much told everyone we knew. People were happy for us but also scared and concerned for our safety (as we kind of were). As the date was getting closer people were sending us news articles (out of love and concern) of people that have gotten seriously injured or even killed from slipping and falling from hiking the cables up Half Dome. As much as we appreciated them looking out for us, we decided not to officially read the articles before our actual hike b/c we didn’t want that unfortunate and depressing events get to our heads and discourage us. The night before and the early morning of the hike we both had mixed emotions from being nervous, excited, to anxious with butterflies in our stomachs (like it was one of our first date back in the day) to getting totally pumped. We starting hiking before the sun even came up which we knew had to happen to be able to finish the entire hike in an timely manner but I was dreading it b/c I’m definitely not a morning person. We parked in the parking lot closest to the trailhead which is a little over a mile hike away from the trailhead. So we had to to hike before our actual official hike b/c the shuttles don’t start running till 7am and we couldn’t wait that long to start our hike. As we started to officially start the trailhead incline hike, right off the bat I was thinking to myself this is not going to be easy. I was starting slow which usually is not the case for me. However, we were hiking in the pitch black with our headlamps and during this time there was a huge fire about 25 miles away but it had brought in all the smoke into the valley and I was having a difficult time catching my breath and I was freezing cold but Matt was just a little chilly. Slowly we made it to the first site of Vernal Waterfall right as the sun was coming up which was so beautiful. Once the sun came out, we were able to see and get up higher in elevation to breathe better but not necessarily easier b/c the incline just continued and wouldn’t stop for a while. As we approaching Nevada Falls (the second waterfall) the sun was out shining but the wind started to pick up. Heading up the the rocky staircase was so gorgeous alongside the waterfall. Next, we walked to and through Little Yosemite Valley which was a relief for a bit since it was flat and gave us an opportunity to take it easy and catch out breath. But little did we know just as you finish hiking through Little Yosemite Valley is when it really starts to get real!!! As we were hiking up on our epic adventure we met some pretty cool hikers that had the same end goal as we did (to climb the cables and concur Half Dome). As the day went by there were times that Matt and I would pass them and visa versa with exchanging friendly jokes and words of encouragement. But as Matt and I passed through Little Yosemite Valley on up to the incline to the last few miles to the top of Half Dome is when things started to shift; not only for us but for other hikers as well. As we were hiking up the first mile or so of incline into the trees out of Little Yosemite Valley, you can physically feel yourself getting harder to catch your breath and loses energy as we moved up higher and higher in elevation. The air got cooler and thinner; which made us move slower. That’s when we noticed hikers literally stopped to the side of the trail and crying having emotional breakdowns b/c their bodies couldn’t handle it. At this point of time Matt and I looked at each other with the same look of concern and checked to see how each other were doing but then continued on slowly to keep the momentum going. However, in my mind I was wondering how and when am I going to have my emotional breakdown? But tried my hardest not to let any of that to get to me and away we went. That is till we reached the last sign that said “Half Dome 2 miles.” As I read that sign I literally gave a deep breath of relief and said “yes, only 2 more miles.” B/c in my mind 2 more miles is not that long as I think back and relate my normal 2 miles I hike back home to what I’m hiking at that moment. WRONG thinking on my part, those last 2 miles was the longest 2 miles of my life and felt more like 8-10 miles :/ The first mile of the last 2 miles was not too bad UNTILL the trail turned and you can see THE BEAST (Half Dome) literally creeping through the tree line and see hiking climbing up the cables; they were so small from where we were they looked like tiny ants trying to make it to the top. Annnnnnnddddd that’s when I could literally feel my stomach drop and got so nervous my legs started to shake, started to sweat and could literally feel my guts stirring like I could crap my pants at that moment (Sorry TMI). At that moment I terrified and said to Matt “This is a total MIND F***, how the hell are we supposed to do this?” (Sorry for the bad language) For the most part Matt had some of the same feeling as I did. There were so many curse words, prayers and feeling racing through my mind and body that I needed to take a moment to myself before I lose it. There was a part of me that said to myself “What the hell were you thinking?!!” So I went to find a bush to use the bathroom and have a mental talk with myself to get my shit together. So I did my business, pulled myself together and we continued on upwards. We were both doing good on from that point; taking in the gorgeous views and taking silly pictures of each other….that is till we reached the Sub Dome and then another MIND F*** happened!!! The Sub Dome the area where park rangers check to see if you have a permit (which there was nobody there to check our permit) and is a series of steep and narrow switchback rocky stairs carved into the granite rock. Half Dome was the best adventure experience we shared together and tested us physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritally as a couple. Half Dome Hike: 19.2 miles, completed in 12 hours, elevation gain 4,800 feet WE MADE IT TO THE TOP!!!”

THEIR INTIMATE WEDDING IN SEDONA:

Matt and Theresa said that they knew they never wanted a big wedding. They instead planned a low key intimate wedding in the red rocks of Sedona with some adventure elements and kept it small and private with close friends, family and gorgeous views. They said: “We picked this spot in Sedona as our ceremony location because it had the best gorgeous scenic views all around of the red rocks with still a little hiking adventure added to it (without it being too difficult for others to be part of) and keeping it secluded, private and intimate in a hidden spot.”

It’s no doubt that their day was one of a kind, full of the perfect mix of their loved ones and adventuring together.

Cheers!

Allison


Want to book with me for an intimate wedding in the red rocks of Sedona, or for your own upcoming elopement?

Click here to read all about my pricing and collections!


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  1. Claudia Minich says:

    Theresa,
    These are the most beautiful photos ever. Congratulations. You and Matt make the perfect pair. The adventures definitely await.
    Living in Prescott Valley. Next time stop by.

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