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

check out my rad adventures with my couples for their elopements, engagements and proposals. or, click the 'free resources' to get great engagement or elopement planning tips!

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Weddings + Elopements

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Stunning Horseshoe Bend Winter Elopement

The story of Sara and Nate and their stunning Horseshoe Bend winter elopement is nothing short of absolutely breathtaking. Through clouds, rain, snow, ice, strong winds and sunshine – these two (literally) weathered all the elements and embraced every dang second of it. Here’s their story:

HOW THEY MET:

Sara said: “I like to say we met at a bar, Nate says I was his dog sitter, but really, we were just two friends who fell in love. We first met in 2013. Nate had just got out of the Navy and was meeting up with his cousin and her friends in Cincinnati for a night. I didn’t know his cousin directly, but we had a mutual friend, so I joined my friend and this group of girls out one night. Nate happened to be a part of that group and we sat next to each other at dinner and met there. The rest of the night was spent at a bar where a live band was playing and we all just had so much fun. We exchanged numbers at some point that night, but he lived in Lexington, KY and I was finishing an internship in Cincinnati and moving back to Alabama. We kept in touch randomly over the next few years. In 2016, Nate got a job and moved to Cincinnati, I was hired in Cincinnati after I graduated college, so I was living there again when he moved to the city. He reached out after he moved, and we started hanging out as friends. He asked me to watch his dog a couple of times and we started hanging out more. We had so much fun together and got along so well. It was always friendly but then one day it just changed. Nate told me he loved me before he ever told me he liked me. Now we are married. Life is wild.”

THE PROPOSAL:

Nate said: “I knew I wanted to marry Sara when we first started dating. Her laugh and smile are contagious, and I loved spending every moment with her and knew she would be my wife. I started thinking about proposing when we moved in together. We had talked about rings and marriage here and there, but then we stopped talking about it because I wanted it to be a surprise. I know Sara thought the day was never coming because she said that lol. I bought the ring in May and just held onto it until one night, cue the romance, we were sitting on the couch and she was watching a TV show and I thought, hell, let me just do it tonight. I walked and got the ring and brought it to her and said, “I’ve waited long enough..” and a bunch of other stuff, and just asked her to be my wife. She was in her pajamas and robe and was in complete shock. I don’t think she looked at the ring or said yes for at least 5 minutes because she was crying and asking questions, which is Sara. I know she would not have wanted anything extravagant or public and I knew how her dad proposed to her mom, so incorporating any piece of him would have made anything special and perfect for her.”

WHY ELOPE?

“On a personal note, my dad (Sara’s) died when I was in high school. Years after, I remember thinking about how he would never be able to walk me down an aisle and the thought of doing something like that without him made me think I never wanted to get married. Meeting Nate changed that for me. But, when we got engaged, the feeling of my dad not being there to walk me down an aisle didn’t change. I didn’t want the pressure and emotions of having everyone but my dad there to cloud that day. I knew Nate didn’t want a big wedding, but with our friends and family it would have been hard to limit and not go big. We talked through many different scenarios on how to share this with everyone we love, but also stay true to ourselves, and we quickly realized we were working to please others and that is not what this day is about. We had to think about our intent. So, when it comes down to it, we chose to elope because it is us. We wanted to be the most present on that day and for it to be intimate, personal, and for us to only have each other to worry about. COVID has put a damper on our party to celebrate with everyone we love, but we wouldn’t change a thing about eloping.

WHY HORSESHOE BEND?

They said: “When it came to choosing a place to elope, we knew exactly where to go. Nate didn’t care where we went, but this spot was more personal for me. My dad traveled a lot when I was younger and when he would travel, we would write letters back and forth to each other, like pen pals. When I moved to Cincinnati when I was 22, I found the box of letters he wrote to me. One of the letters talked about the Grand Canyon and how he wanted to take my mom one day and “end at the bend.” Well, he never got to take her. After reading this letter, I always kept in the back of my mind how I wanted to visit Horseshoe Bend and take my mom to the Grand Canyon someday, so when we decided to elope and invite just our parents, there wasn’t a question about where we would go. It was a decision that was extremely emotional and special, but one that incorporated my dad but also remained intimate for Nate and me.”

FAVORITE PART OF THEIR ELOPEMENT:

“With this question, Nate initially said his favorite part of our stunning Horseshoe Bend winter elopement day was Horseshoe Bend because of the breathtaking views and being better than he expected. But, as we sit and talk about it more, we don’t know how to explain how amazing everything about that day was or how to choose a favorite part. It turned out to be an unpredictable day and better than we could have ever imagined it to be. I love how we got blasted by rain, snow, sun, and wind and just rolled with it, like it was so fun and we couldn’t stop laughing. I love how Nate and I got to spend the entire day together and I did not feel one second of anxiety. We were present and felt so much joy. Every single location we stopped was beautiful and breathtaking. I love that we ended our day at Horseshoe Bend and sat down and took it all in. We were so blessed that we had our parents there to be a part of our joy and love and to experience something so unique. That day will be one that we never forget and will talk about always.”

Sara and Nate were the absolute most intentional behind every reason why they eloped and where they wanted to say ‘I do’ – creating the most authentic and memorable day. That’s the true reasoning behind eloping – having the ability to make the decisions that you want to make, and being able to be totally present with one another the entire day long. 

Cheers!

Allison 

 


Want to book with me for your stunning Horseshoe Bend winter elopement?

Click here to read all about my pricing and collections!


 

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  1. Amber Howard says:

    Allison, these are stunning! I am so thankful for such a glorious day!! You took her vision and made a dream come true!! God is so good to have brought you to us! One of the best days of my life being in such grandeur and glory in the beauty of His creation. A holy day. Take care

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