Christina and Arnau wanted their elopement location to be somewhere that represented them, their story and where they are in this moment of their lives. They also wanted somewhere epic – somewhere that was new to them so that they could start their next season with a path of unknown that represents the foundation of marriage. Welp, I gotta say – this jaw dropping elopement at Zion National Park in Utah, absolutely took the cake as an epic-beyond-belief wedding day location. Here’s their story:
“There are two ways to begin the story of Arnau & Christina. We could begin with the first impression, that consisted of a lesson about teamwork that lead into 5 or so months of complete ignorance (solely on Christina’s behalf) of casual hellos in the hallways of the hospital that, over time, would eventually grow into a kinship that lead into conversations about patients and other things or we could begin with the “Cardiac Date”.
So let’s just cut to the cute part..the Cardiac date. After days of Arnau trying to convince Christina that she could give him a “refresher” on Cardiac and Christina making the witty remark of this becoming a cardiac date, Arnau took matters into his own hands. One evening, Christina was sitting at the nurse’s station, preparing the assignment sheet for the oncoming shift when Arnau so eloquently appeared, leaning on the desk with a small piece of paper folded in his hand. After a little small talk, Arnau passed this small, folded paper to Christina and carried on about his evening.
Christina immediately rushed into a quiet area of the unit (which is difficult to find in any part of any hospital, let alone an ICU) to unfold the paper and see what it had to say…to see if it was what she really thought it was. It turns out, it was nothing and everything she thought that it was. A prescription pad paper, filled out with a custom prescription that read as follows:
“Christina, Love, respect & adventures, PRN. Team study & good times QD. Refill times infinity. Not FDA approved treatment. Side effects of the prescription are unknown.With a small note on the back that said: “I was really busy with call today, would love to find a time for our date! Text me”.
After many schedule conflicts, it was decided that Christina would just come over to Arnau’s house (only when he was post call & too tired to remember anything Christina had to say about Cardiac, because remember, this was about studying cardiac not romance). Well, Christina arrived to Arnau’s to meet Boose (his service animal dog), the landlord, and Arnau at the door. The well-intended couple of hours went flying by and quickly turned into 5 or 6 hours of talking about life, getting to know each other outside of the hospital and simply enjoying each other’s company. Most importantly, they learned that love beats as one within two hearts. And from that day forward, everything seemingly fell perfectly into place.”
“Well, it was Arnau and Christina’s first trip together to Barcelona (Arnau’s hometown) and before the trip Arnau kept telling Christina that this was going to be a trip that they would rearmer. So many time the week before they left. Christina kept thinking, “well of course, its our first time traveling a big trip, over seas together”. Well little did she know. One day, Wednesday, to be exact, Arnau took Christina for a day together to the Brave Cost, Costa Brava. It was so beautiful. The colors of the water and trees and sky all so vibrant. As they were walking together, exploring a little, Christina said to Arnau, “if we were to get married, not that I am pressuring you or anything like that,THIS would be the place” and Arnau just kind of laughed it off. They went for a super delicious lunch, Christina’s first Paella. It was like eating directly out of the Mediterranean. SO GOOD. (Christina is spoiled now, no Paella is as good). After lunch. Arnau took Christina to a sunset hike that ended at a remote, private beach area where the water was very shallow with large boulders sticking out of the water. The water was calmly splashing against the rocks as they climbed over the rocks to be able to sit on the rocks but in the water. So there they sat, watching the sun set. Arnau with his are around Christina. Arnau began telling Christina, “I know we have talked a lot about getting married and my not wanting to marry” and then something along the lines of “today is where my past meets my future. I don’t know a better place in the world to ask you to marry me” The nerves were too high so neither of them remember what the words exactly were. Christina turned around to Arnau to find a open ring box in Arnau’s hand. Christina, in total disbelief (because literally a couple days before the trip, Christina got really upset with Arnau about not wanting to get married. Like turned over in bed an pulled the covers over her) could only get the words, “Really?!!” out about 5 times. Arnau has to say, “yes….this is when you normally say yes.” and so Christina said, “oh yeah, well of course, yes!” and embraced Arnau with a huge hug and a big kiss and they took the remaining sunlight to the car. As, they were hiking back Christina asked Arnau how he managed to keep his composure when she told him that this is where they should marry. Then said, well now this where we have to marry. It’s just too perfect.
Before all of this, Arnau’s mom and come for a visit during Christmas and one day while Christina was at work, they had gone to pick out the ring together. Then Arnau’s mom had flown the ring back to Spain on a necklace around her neck. Then his sister had gone on a day trip with her friends and boyfriend to find the perfect location where Arnau would take Christina to have lunch and propose. Arnau had used his father’s home the day of to have time alone together and his car to take them to Costa Brava. So it was a family made proposal.”
“Well, COVID, originally. We originally planned our wedding on the Golden Coast of Tarragona, Spain in a castle with our families and close friends. Castell de Tamarit it is called, if you want to see. It was literally a fairytale, dream wedding. So, because we had to cancel those plans, we thought to have a basic wedding at the courthouse and then have a romantic dinner together. Because we were crushed…we still are a little. As well as, because we want to start our own family together and we don’t want wait. BUT after talking with you, we have a new vision and a new reason. Actually, a small, elopement type wedding, was what we thought to plan in the very beginning…before it evolved into this castle wedding. (well if you ask Arnau directly this, he will say that the original, original idea was his idea…it was cumulative) [well you know now that Christina has hijacked the keyboard… oh I must run now, she’s coming back…]. We are finding that this actually aligns better with who we are and what getting married really is about. If we can’t have our families together, then we want to spend this day with each other. To spend our wedding day with each other, celebrating the first day of “The Benets” in a way that is meaningful and filled with romance.
The biggest thing is that this was an amazing day for us. We would not change one part of the entire day. In fact, we would relive this day over and over! For us, we were pretty sad leading up to the wedding day that we weren’t sharing this day with our friends and family, especially as the day got closer and closer. But we started our elopement adventure late in the day so it gave us the morning to talk with those most important to us and hear their well wishes and congratulations. The whole day was centered on us and what we, as a couple, wanted to do most. That turned out to be the highlight for us. It was such a treat because we spend so much time in our day to day lives serving others and even each other before we serve ourselves. We would recommend to everyone to get married this way and then later on do a big reception party with everyone. It was so peaceful to break from the “protocols” and rigidity of a traditional wedding. We don’t have that, “I spent so much of the day worrying about everyone else” thought as we reflect.”
Arnau: “The moment where the Earth stopped spinning – when I looked up at Christina and saw her beautiful face with the background of Zion as Matt was reading his introduction. I can see perfectly clear that moment.”
Christina: “Honestly, I loved the entire day so so much. I can’t even pick a favorite part. I loved so many parts in totally different ways. Getting changed into a huge fluffy wedding dress at the top of a mountain, exchanging vows with the most beautiful person that was set in front of a breathtaking view and a setting sun and a surprise dinner that left Arnau without words (which is near impossible). All some of my favorites parts!”
Their day was undoubtedly one of my favorites that I’ve photographed, for so many reason – their sweet and intentional hearts for one another, being one of the top reasons. Man, what a day.