Modern Desert Elopement in the Sand Dunes

May 23, 2022

The USA is a dramatic landscape and has some of the most impressive deserts in the world. Sunrise and sunset weddings/elopements/engagement sessions in desert locations are hands down the most breath-taking of all. Natural light bounces off the diverse earth formations and fills the open space surrounding the gorgeous bridal couple. Desert vastness and seclusion create a genuine intimacy for wedding pics, that in my opinion is hard to match. Natures wonder beckons bridal couples with adventurous spirits to take the plunge and plan a desert wedding. Arizona, Utah, and California are all USA West, desert wedding destinations. Each one is unique with its own spectacular desert landscape, accessible location, and excellent wedding venue options.


USA West Coast wedding destination

Congratulations, for making a lifelong decision and marrying the one you love. I hope your special day is everything your dreamed it could be and more. Are you both undecided on what wedding style suits best? Do you have difficulty narrowing it down? Believe me the bridal attire etc will get sorted. First things first. Start with the wedding destination. Do you love city, beach, forest, country, desert etc? Where you say “I DO” matters, it just does.

If you can marry on the landscape that your heart loves most, you will automatically feel comfortable, relaxed and enjoy. Imagine and envisage where you want to be and what ambience you want to experience on your special day. This is your ultimate wedding day, and you can make it as simple or as extravagant or any perfect place in between.


Wedding & elopement desert locations

Below are a list of popular locations for a desert wedding/elopement

Arizona desert wedding – Sonoran Desert

Arizona is the only state that includes all 4 deserts of the surrounding states. Part of the Californian Mojave Desert – New Mexico/Mexico Chihuahuan Desert, the Nevada – Great Basin Desert, and the Sonoran Desert. The Sonoran Desert takes up the largest portion of Arizona land. Neighboring towns that are surrounded by the Sonoran Desert are Phoenix, Tuscan, Gila Bend and Yuma. The Sonoran Desert is truly majestic and unique. It is the only landscape in the world where the saguaro cactus thrives in the wilderness. Wedding portrait backdrops include the rugged mountains, tall cacti forests, wildflowers, and a floor of red desert sand. Arizona is filled with excellent desert wedding venues.

Utah desert wedding – Zion National Park

Zion National Park is 100 percent a magnificent desert wedding destination, located in southwestern Utah. Boasting enormous mountains, plateaus, sheer cliffs, deep sandstone canyons, natural arches, and picturesque virgin rivers. This natural feast for the eyes will have you in awe at just how seamlessly the diverse landscape merges. Zion National Park is a desert that is perfect for the bridal couple looking for an overall nature experience, immersed in authentic beauty. I promise that once you have been to Zion National Park it will have a special place in your heart forever. Discover more information on wedding permits for Zion National Park, Utah


California – Mojave Desert

Have you ever been to the Mojave Desert in south-eastern California? It is where Joshua Tree National Park is located. WOW! 800,000 acres of Californian glorious desert beauty. Conveniently located only a few hours from the busy urban life of close by cities. The Mojave Desert landscape is a blend of rugged rock formations, golden desert sands, beautiful panoramic views, and unique Joshua trees. One of the ultimate US west desert wedding destination options. Spring and fall are the most practical and popular seasons for a desert wedding. Extreme temperature conditions in summer and winter can be avoided at the beginning or end of the hot and cold seasons.

About Monica + Thomas: Silver Lake Sand Dunes Bridal Portraits

These adventurous and romantic bridal portraits are taken on the shifting sand dunes of Silver Lake State Park on the west coast of Michigan. Silver Lake sand dunes are not miles from anywhere they sit above the lovely beach towns of Hart, Mears, and Pentwater. 2,000 acres of amazing sand hills ensures a private location for your wedding portraits.

In addition, wedding venues and photographic opportunities are also available on the gorgeous shoreline, traditional style churches and classic, rustic barns. The proximity of sand dunes, forests, beach, towns, and lake add to the options for your own unique wedding dreams. Wedding guests will appreciate the vast variety of places to stay and things to do in this wonderful wedding location. Silver Lake Sand Dunes requires all vehicles to have an ORV and Trail sticker, and a Recreation Passport or Non-Resident sticker. As a professional traveling wedding photographer/videographer, I have these already on my vehicle.


I literally love these barefoot photos of the bridal couple. The gentle sand hills and the peeking blue waters beyond make a serene landscape. We lit a couple of blush pink and sage green colored flares, which enhanced the intimate vibe and beauty. The natural light shined through in all the right places.

Monica and Thomas look fabulous in their formal bride and groom attire. Monica wore a creamy white, floral and diamond print boho style wedding dress. Thomas looked chic in a black tux and tie with white button-up shirt. These photos capture the essence of this wedding couple. Fun, adventurous, romantic, and clearly deeply in love.

Let’s connect

If you would like to chat about my wedding/elopement photographer & videography packages (yes, I do both!), please contact me via this link. Let’s make your wedding dreams happen!

Looking for more wedding & elopement inspiration?

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