winter mountain elopement in front of mount timpanogos in utah

Winter Elopement in the Wasatch

Winter Elopement in the Wasatch | American Fork Canyon, Utah

Halie West Photography | Utah Elopement Photographer

 

Winter in the Wasatch

Haydn + Jordan's winter elopement in the Wasatch Mountains took place at a beautiful frozen lake. We began our adventure by warming up with coffee and hot chocolate to combat the bitter cold. The day was full of snowshoeing around the lake, laughing a bunch, embracing the cold, and taking in the beauty of the area. However, Haydn's gaze was more likely to be on Jordan as she looked so beautiful in her dress, white like the freshly fallen snow.

Mount Timpanogos, and the couple's loyal pup Sykes, stood witness to their love. Haydn + Jordan's vows were filled with lots and lots of laughter, big smiles, and long embraces. Sykes was the Best Dog as their ceremony. He stood witness to their love, filled us with laughter, and showed how much he loves his parents. This goofy pup had a blast in the snow and kept us smiling while he got out his zoomies.

There's nothing more beautiful than this- a joyous experience to remember your partner and your pup.

Tips for Planning Your Winter Elopement

A winter elopement calls for peace and serenity. An adventure for those willing to brave the cold has quite the reward. Trails were empty and at times we seemed to have this grand view all to ourselves.
Landscapes look so vastly different when  blanketed in snow. While beautiful, they can also be treacherous. It is so important to be familiar with snow conditions in the area you want to elope in, follow the weather, have a backup plan, and know whether you need to use crampons, snowshoes, microspikes, or even a backcountry ski setup for your journey.

When planning a winter elopement it is important to find a dress that is easy to move in. A dress you can hide base layer pants under is a plus, and long dress sleeves can ensure that your arms are nice and warm. A thicker suit, or one you can layer under can also help you to keep warm. Being wound up in the arms of your love is also really great way to stay warm!

Thick jackets, hot drinks, hand warmers, gloves, beanies, and earmuffs are also necessary for keeping warm on your adventure. The cold doesn't have to stop you from having your greatest adventure yet! The cold doesn't have to stop you from looking your best on your wedding day either. Jordan's sweater complimented her dress and the snow, and kept her comfortable while the two read their vows to one another. A winter wedding day is an incredible adventure when you are well prepared and stoked to frolic through the snow.

 

Want to go on a winter adventure of your own? Get in touch! Let's adventure together.

 


halie west photography instagram rounup

Here's to the Adventure of 2019 | Instagram Round-Up

Here’s to the Adventure of 2019 | Instagram Round-Up

Halie West Photography | Adventure Elopement Photographer

 

With 2020 quickly approaching it’s hard not to reflect on all that 2019 had to offer. From moving to a new state, to a new job, new adventures, new highs, and new lows; 2019 will leave me will so many memories. I’m so grateful for all the places I have been this year, all the couples I have gotten to know and photograph, and all the stories I am able to tell. Many of these stories have been shared over on my Instagram, so here is a Instagram round-up from my most impactful adventures of the last year. Read on to see these stories and my goals for the new year!

Shout out to Abbi Hearne for this great idea!

 

January 3rd | San Gorgonio Wilderness, California

So far this new year has been full of a bunch of new things. I began the year in the best of places: the wilderness. I went on my first backpacking trip. I snow camped. I woke up to snow covered mountains. I melted snow for drinking water. I wore frozen boots and suffered. I learned to use crampons and an ice ax. I lost a crampon. I glacaded down a snow hill. I got to spend it with great friends. And I got to share it with my incredible partner. Here’s to the adventures this year will bring. I hope that you make it outside and explore this new year. It’s always humbling to try something new.

February 25th | Alabama Hills, California

If there is anything to be said about photographers it is that they create a beautiful community. As I enter the world of adventure weddings I’ve found that fellow photographers really want to help each other to become more successful and informed, for we all have a common goal of giving our couples a wonderful adventure while respecting the places we wander in. I really enjoyed learning from and getting to know everyone from a little desert styled shoot that I was so lucky to be a part of over the weekend. You all make me excited for the photography adventures that are to come. Shout to @christinajoyh for bringing us all together

February 27th | California to Utah

See you soon California. Thanks for raising me these past 22 years. Thanks for your constant sunshine, your lack of seasons, and your ever surprising landscape and for your wild places, the adventures, and the start of passions. You’re a rad state, but you’re a bit too busy and freakin expensive.
Thanks for all the people who cannot be described in just words. While I will miss you all dearly this is not goodbye.

I would be lying if I told you I wasn’t scared for this move. I’ll be moving from the only home I’ve ever known, but I’m doing it with the only person and only pup who has ever felt like home. So maybe I’m not leaving home behind after all.

I look forward to what Utah has to bring and to the adventures and the real seasons, the challenges and the triumph. I look forward to the growth I will experience with a new job and a new start to my business.

So see you soon California. Your wild places and wonderful friends will have me visiting real soon.

March 23rd | Red Rock Canyon, Nevada

It still blows my mind that I climbed all 1100 feet of this wall. My first big wall climb was a success, and I never thought I would ever do anything like it.
When I was younger I was that kid that got stuck half way up on the rock wall. I would grip the plastic holds for dear life until some poor gym attendant would climb up to pry me off. Then I would sit and watch all my friends climb and give up because I was too scared.

While my fear of heights came out a few times during this climb I’m real proud at how far I’ve come. Face your fears. They can end up being pretty thrilling with the right people.
Shout to my man for bringing me on this great adventure, for the constant support and encouragement, and for talking me through some panicked moments during the down climb.

April 20th | Joshua Tree National Park, California

Woah I graduated a year ago and I’ve done so much since. I went abroad with my soulmate @emily_wilt and visited two incredible countries, got one of those job things, photographed my first wedding, moved away from home, fell deeper and deeper in love, got fired from my job (yikes), wandered through seven different states, went on ten different roadtrips, expanded my love for adventure, reevaluated what I wanted from life, committed to my photography business.

Then I felt more grateful for good friends than ever before, moved even further away from home, found a new job, and learned a lot of little things about myself and that we always have room to grow.

I graduated having no idea what I wanted to do with my life. The path I had always thought I was going to take crumbled at my feet after receiving vet school rejection letters and realizing that it wasn’t where my heart was.
So maybe you’re graduating and you have no idea what comes next. That is ok! You are not alone. You have not failed. Be patient with yourself. Go out and do what you are passionate about. You may be scarred. I sure was, but life has a funny way of falling in to place.

May 21st | American Fork Canyon, Utah

I sat in the car the other day admiring the passing landscape through a rain splattered windshield and thinking about how grateful I am. Grateful to have gone on so many adventures. Grateful for a car that takes me where my heart desires. So grateful for the people who help me to feel whole.

To a partner who is both patient and honest. Who loves me in such a way and pushes me to go after my dreams, while being able to peruse his own goals. I only hope that soon I can love myself as he does and see myself as he sees me through his kind and thoughtful eyes. To family who has supported me. Brought me up to chase my dreams no matter how obscure, off the beaten path, or difficult.

You’ve accepted that my life will be full of challenge and not the norm. The acceptance and excitement you share means the world. To friends who are so much more than just that. Who welcome me with open arms, visit when I need it most, include me in their biggest triumphs and challenges, and take the time to care. To myself for working harder than ever before on my dreams, art, and self care. Right now I feel grateful. Right now is what matters most.

July 8th | Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

I tend to measure solo roadtrips in albums. Every hour or so, a new story is told through the poems of another. The Wasatch Mountains shrunk in my rear view mirror as Wish You Were Here played on. Pink Floyd’s iconic lyrics flowed through open windows, while thoughts of my love and the sweetness of my return to him lingered on my mind. My voice soon rose over the stereo like Nevadan mountains on the horizon.

The Lumineer’s Cleopatra left me thinking about the paths we walk down that shape who we become. Zeppelin’s Mothership took me rambling across open fields and forgotten places with promise of when to hold on and when to move on. The Bahama’s Earthtones had me contemplating the pain and passion that has led my wheels to hit this very road. Silence followed for time to reflect. Six hours had gone by. Half way there. (1/2)

From the Next Post

With a full tank of gas, the stories resumed. An Awesome Wave’s tempo raced with my wandering wind across the seemingly endless grassland. Hozier’s melody haunted the car as I drove deeper into canyons. The grassland soon became forest. A few hours went by filled by more silence until broken by the somber sound of Culberson County. The stories left me thinking of the struggles we all face and the solace that our public lands bring me.

The Lumineer’s first and newest albums brought me as far as the open gates of Oregon’s only National Park. They tell so many stories of their own. What lives we are able to live. With windows down and the stereo silenced, the song of the wind followed me as I wound myself around steep roads to the viewpoint. Behold. A place of beauty created by ash. A place of solitude and joy formed by time. There is more to learn: more stories to be told by the trail so along it I went. (2/2)

Photos from this series were taken on the trail and drive home so that the journey would come full circle. The story could be told as a whole.

August 7th | Home

It’s hard to describe how grateful I feel. Life is short. Hold those who matter most

October 7th | Yosemite National Park

It’s funny to think that my first visit to Yosemite was anything but memorable. Sometimes I don’t believe that I went before college. That I never witnessed those towering granite walls. The flocks of tourists. The windy roads. All I can kinda remember is the hike to Vernal Falls. And a younger kid in my group crying because he saw a squirrel and he didn’t get ice cream. Classic. Since it wasn’t memorable it wasn’t enjoyable. Luckily, my second trip was much, much different.

We took those windy roads, came through the tunnel, and I was in awe. The valley sprawled before us. El Cap, Yosemite Falls, and Half Dome seemed to rise out of the valley floor as they came into view. It was hard for me stop starring out the window. It’s a good thing I wasn’t driving. I starred in wonder at those granite faces, took in the change in scenery from one part of the park to the next, and got excited over every waterfall.

Yosemite left me with feelings of wonder and inspiration. Maybe my first trip tried to leave me with these same feelings. Maybe I wasn’t ready for them, so they waited in that valley for six years until my return. Those feelings hit me so hard that I was back in Yosemite the next weekend despite only getting to spend half a day in the park. Funny what a stretch of land can do for us. How it can make us feel and how it can invoke passion and wonder by just being itself. How we can feel a place so deeply in our bones that it must simply be part of our soul. I think that we can learn so much from the places we visit. The places we feel rather than simply see.

November 27th | Memories from Alabama Hills, California

Film has a way of making memories appear timeless. They take you back to that moment with a different feeling than digital photographs. Maybe it’s that these moments seem like they came from so long ago. Back when Ansel Adams photographed what would become Yosemite National Park. Back when William Eggleston used color photography to make waves in the fine art world. They invoke a deeper feeling of nostalgia and peace.

Film is especially fun when I find rolls from nearly a year ago, have them processed, and relive the memories in more detail and vibrance than before. Here’s the last time we went to Alabama Hills as a lil family before moving to Utah. I can feel the morning chill getting out of the car at dawn. I can hear the crunch of snow as Lilly chases after her ball, and feel the soothing water of the hot springs.

December 18th | Moab. Utah

The beauty of the desert is endless

 

I love that this Instagram round-up allowed me to go back over my year and take in some of its most inspiring moments. 2019 led me to so many fun and exciting adventures with some pretty amazing people. I’m so grateful for all the memories I made, and for all the couples who I got to photograph and become better friends with. Sharing your stories made my year so much richer, and I can’t wait for the stories that 2020 allows me to be a part of.

For 2020 I hope to

  • visit more places in nature that inspire me
  • get outside more and have fun with the new sports I’ve been learning
  • help more couples create their own adventurous wedding days
  • show more people the places I love
  • grow more as a person and as a partner, and learn some new things
  • pet all the dogs!

What do you hope to do in 2020? I hope that you go out there and explore as part of this new year. Bring the ones you love most with you and make some amazing memories!


watchmen tower of southern utah's national park zion and wedding or elopement desitination. Perfect spot for a wedding in a utah national park

The Mighty 5 Elopement Guide | Utah's National Parks

The Mighty 5 Elopement Guide

Planning Your Wedding Day in Utah’s National Parks

 

Why You Should Elope in Utah

Eloping means that you get to have an intimate and meaningful experiences with who you love most. Choosing to elope is a brave decision that allows you to create a wedding day that is truly yours. Your wedding day should reflect your love. Eloping will ensure that your wedding day is full of adventure!

Southern Utah is home to Utah’s 5 national parks. These parks are full of unique rock formations, gorgeous sandstone, and adventurous experiences for everyone. With so many great options it can be tough to choose which park to elope in. This guide is here to help you narrow down what park is right for you.

Southern Utah’s Seasons

Utah’s national parks experience a range of seasons. Each season brings different adventures in each park. Here are some things you should know about each season in Southern Utah. This can help you to decide when to plan your wedding day!

Spring

  • temperatures range from 60-90 during the day, and 30-60 overnight
  • rain is likely and canyon hikes may be off limit because of it
  • get ready to see spring blooms

Summer

  • temperatures can get well over 100 degrees
  • hiking in the early morning or for sunset is wise
  • you have the perfect reason to go rafting or visit a lake

Fall

  • temperatures range from 60-80 during the day, and 30-50 overnight
  • fall foliage is present and beautiful
  • rain can happen so pack layers

Winter

  • temperatures range from 20-50 degrees and can drop below freezing at night
  • some trails and roads are closed due to snow. Other trails or roads may be impassable
  • parks will likely be less crowded
  • the contrast of snow against sandstone is absolutely beautiful

The busiest times in the parks are from April to June and from mid-September to October.

How to Get Your Utah Marriage License

Marriage licenses are important for making your elopement legal. While it is an easy process, it is best to know what you need before you go. The coolest thing about a Utah marriage license is that you can get it the same day as your wedding!

What to know about your marriage license:

  • both you and your partner must be present, have legal ID, and know your socials at the time of application
  • your full names, your dates and places of birth, your addresses, parents names, and parents places of birth will be needed for the application
  • fees range from $30-50 and may be cash only
  • your wedding needs an officiant
  • two witnesses must sign your license

 

Arches National Park

 

Why You Should Elope in Arches

This park likely has more arches than you can count! It is amazing to see what nature can sculpt and how sandstone arches can inspire.

Permit Information

Wedding permit applications cost $185. This includes a non-refundable $55 application fee. These permits can be applied for up to a year in advance. You should apply within 28 days before your wedding to get consideration for a permit, but permits are typically processed within 10 business days. . Permits can be applied for here.

Wedding Guest Accommodations

Arches can allow up to 80 guests for your wedding day. Most ceremony locations allow up to 25 guests, so it is best to submit your permit earlier if you plan on having a larger wedding.

The Greatest Things to Do in Arches

  • see Delicate Arch at sunrise or sunset
  • go on a 4×4 tour
  • try to count as many arches as you can
  • visit Balancing Rock, the Windows, and Double Arch
  • hike in Devils Garden
  • do a ranger guided hike in the Fiery Furnace

 



Canyonlands National Park

 

Why You Should Elope in Canyonlands

Standing on a cliff edge and seeing the creation of time, wind, and the Colorado River is simply incredible. Each overlook tells a new story, and the colors of the sandstone in the changing light is so beautiful.

Permit Information

Wedding permit applications cost $185. This includes a non-refundable $55 application fee. These permits can be applied for up to a year in advance. You should apply within 28 days before your wedding to get consideration for a permit, but permits are typically processed within 10 business days. Permits can be applied for here.

Wedding Guest Accommodations

Weddings can have up to 25 guests at any of the three ceremony locations.

The Greatest Things to Do in Canyonlands

  • go off-roading or mountain biking on White Rim Road
  • see Mesa Arch at sunrise
  • hike or have a picnic at one of the many overlooks
  • hike to Upheavel Dome
  • check out Elephant Hill

 


Capitol Reef National Park

 

Why You Should Elope in Capitol Reef

Capitol Reef is geologically incredible. From a 100 mile geological monocline, to red and golden sandstone, towers, and natural bridges this park has a lot to see and learn about.

Permit Information

Wedding permit applications cost $50. These permits can be applied for up to a year in advance. You must apply within 7 days before your wedding to get consideration for a permit. Permits can be applied for here.

Wedding Guest Accommodations

Weddings at Capitol Reef can include up to 100 people. Most ceremony sites are more suitable for 15-20 guests.

The Greatest Things to Do in Capitol Reef

  • hike to Capitol Gorge
  • go for a scenic drive
  • hike to Cassidy Arch
  • enjoy a piece of pie at the Gifford House
  • rent a 4×4 vehicle and see Cathedral Valley
  • find a slot canyon

 



Bryce Canyon National Park

 

Why You Should Elope in Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon is a wild place. Hoodoos are some of the coolest sculptures made by nature! Bryce Canyon offers stunning overlooks and awesome hikes into the canyon.

Permit Information

Wedding permit applications cost $100. These permits can be applied for up to a year in advance. You must apply within 14 days before your wedding to get consideration for a permit. Permits can be applied for here.

Wedding Guest Accommodations

Bryce Canyon can hold weddings with up to 30 guests at either of its two ceremony locations.

The Greatest Things to Do in Bryce Canyon

  • hike the Navajo Loop Trail
  • see the sunrise at Inspiration Point
  • go for a trail ride
  • hike the Rim Trail
  • go on an ATV tour
  • hike the Peek-A-Boo Loop
  • see a waterfall on Mossy Cave Trail
  • go snowshoeing, sledding, or cross country skiing in winter

 


Zion National Park

 

Why You Should Elope in Zion

Zion is breathtaking. With its towering rock formations and rushing river, Zion’s contrast between the desert and greenery is quite stunning. There are so many adventure you can have in Zion!

Permit Information

Wedding permit applications cost $100. These permits can be applied for up to a year in advance. You must apply within 21 days before your wedding to get consideration for a permit. Permits can be applied for here.

Wedding Guest Accommodations

Zion can hold weddings from anywhere for 2 to 100 people! The type of ceremony area you can reserve is dependent on how many guests you will be having. Be sure to get your permit early to get your desired ceremony site and date.

The Greatest Things to Do in Zion

  • hike angels landing
  • see petroglyphs
  • hike the narrows
  • go rock climbing or canyoneering
  • take a jeep or ATV to a slot canyon
  • go for a trail ride
  • visit the nearby town of Springdale and grab ice cream or a beer

 


As Always, Leave No Trace

Leaving No Trace on your wedding day means that the future of the park is a much brighter. We should all do our part to protect and preserve wild places- especially those that we make beautiful memories in!

 

Want to get married in a national park? Check out my 4 tips for adventure!

adventure elopement photographer halie west

Halie West is an elopement and adventure wedding guide and photographer based in Utah who helps couples create their greatest adventure yet. Let’s make a day that feels right for you and your love.

contact me!

waterfall adventure at bridal veil falls utah

Bridal Veil Falls Adventure

Waterfall Adventure Session | Bridal Veil Falls, Utah

Halie West Photography | Utah Adventure Elopement Photographer

 

A Grand Waterfall in Utah

Alaina + Jared brought their pup Dingo to spend a misty morning exploring one of Utah’s tallest falls. Bridal Veil Falls is an incredible destination for the those who want a little adventure.  At 607 feet, these falls are spectacular to visit. The trail leading to the falls was so muddy that we opted to hike through the river to get a better view at the waterfall. Alaina + Jared were all smiles as they carefully traversed across rock bridges and through cold water. The two newlyweds were in awe of the power and beauty of the falls, while their pup Dingo was enjoying all the attention his parents were giving him.

Alaina + Jared spent much of their time exploring. Jared was adamant about walking down every trail that led us to discover a sport climbing crag, and led us on a steep hike up to a spot that overlooked half the waterfall. It gave us a tremendous view of snow capped mountains and really put the height of the falls into perspective. While he wasn’t finding all there was to explore, Jared has his arm around Alaina. These two were so sweet to one another and to their pup, Dingo. Love like theirs is quiet and true; a love story compiled of so many great adventures from moving across the country to eloping in a national park. Dingo was even the best dog at their wedding! This little family has such an adventurous spirit that I was so grateful to witness and capture.




Looking for someone to capture your own waterfall adventure? Get in touch! Let’s go on an adventure together.

When you bring your pet along I donate to the animal shelter of your choice! Let’s save lives together.


flowy reclamation dress at crater lake

Why I Want To Be Your Elopement Photographer

Why I Want To Be Your Elopement Photographer

Halie West Photography | Adventure Elopement Photographer

 

Hi there! My name is Halie. I’m the girl behind the camera capturing adventure elopements of all kinds. I love exploring both new and old places and learning everything I can from them. I’ve been photographing since I was in my teens, but didn’t start pointing my camera at what filled my soul until college. It was then that I found that my passion for nature and people wildly in love had been within me all along.

A Bit About Me

As a kid I loved playing outside among the trees. In high school my favorite running trails were the ones that wove through forests. My love for nature has always been a part if my life, but it wasn’t until my fascination with National Parks that I realized this. This curiosity drove me to plan several road trips throughout college that had me exploring much of the southwest. My friends and I ran on little sleep, lots of caffeine, and drove long hours to get a glimpse of wild places. Some destinations included Yosemite, Bryce Canyon, White Sands, and the Grand Canyon.

This time on the road allowed me to form a deeper and more present connection with nature. Between road trips I spent a lot of time in nearby public lands, such as Joshua Tree or Forest Falls, to be more familiar with places I wanted to grow close to. My curiosity will forever take me on long road trips for the sake of exploration, but I also love the familiar. There is something sacred and intimate in knowing a place so well.

Adventure and Love Makes Me Happy

My love for the outdoors made me want to be a travel photographer for National Geographic. (I hope to have a shot on the cover someday!) However, my photography goals changed after I met my partner, Stephen. As cliche as it may sound, I didn’t know love until falling so hard for him. At least not the type of love you can share with a person who is so different from you. A person who makes you feel like your best self, and who inspires you to create and live your wildest dreams. You know, the type of person you really just want to kiss all the dang time.

With Stephen in my life I began to understand how we can fall so deeply in love with someone and not just dogs and nature. Much like the places that kept me exploring, I want to understand love more intimately. I want to tell love stories.I believe that your wedding day should be your greatest adventure yet.

My Beliefs on Your Wedding Day

I believe that, when it comes down to it, your love is nothing but your own. It is not traditions. It is not expectations. Your wedding day is yours. It is not other people’s perceptions. It is uniquely yours; a compilation of what makes you both so wildly in love. Your life and the events in it should reflect that. Don’t settle for what everyone else is doing on their wedding day. Be adventurous and creative. Make it all your own. What a life you will live, and what an experience you will have.

How We Will Create an Elopement Experience

So you want to go on adventurous elopement? Get excited! The adventures to be had are endless, but you can only choose one for your wedding day. Think of the places that inspire you the most. Write them down. When we get on the phone we will talk about your dream day, where you see yourself vowing your love to your partner, and where you love to explore. I’ll come up with a list of adventures that are just you, and we will plan from there! Your wedding day is truly a choose your own adventure- it couldn’t get more fun than that.

What I Will Do for You

Being your elopement photographer is a lot more than just taking pretty pictures. It means that I have the honor to work alongside you to craft a wedding day that is all your own.  I want to capture you and your partner simply. There will be no stiff posing on our adventure, just a lot of laughter and taking in the views. I believe in capturing your story together and forming a real experience that is all you. Your wedding day is for your love and nothing else. Most of all, I want to get to know you and your partner. I want to know how you first met, your favorite snacks, your dreams, and your greatest adventures. I really hope that we can form a genuine and authentic friendship.


We Are in This Together

I am your elopement photographer and guide to your greatest adventure yet- your wedding day. The day that will mark your calendar as your anniversary for years to come, yet it is so much more than that. It is a testament to your love and an outpouring of both your hearts and souls. It is one of the many adventures in your lifetime together, and a creation of your biggest dreams formed by what makes your love your own. Because your wedding day is yours. It should be. I want to help make it feel that way so when you look back you couldn’t have imagined doing anything else.

You should reflect on that day and flip through photographs thinking “This is so us.” I will bring all the stoke and tools needed to create your greatest adventure yet. You just bring your love and adventurous spirits. Want to get married in a National Park or State Park? Let’s do it. Did you fall in love with a plot of BLM land? I’m so here for it. Is there a spot that is meaningful to you or your family? Let’s incorporate it. I’m open to any adventure and I believe that every adventure is worth taking. I only ask that, like your love, this adventure is your own.

 

Want to plan your own elopement? Start here with the Elopement Checklist.

Let’s start planning your greatest adventure yet today!


adventure wedding in utah

Post Wedding Adventure Session on Antelope Island

Post Wedding Adventure Session | Antelope Island State Park, Utah

Halie West Photography | Utah Elopement Photographer

 

A Date on Antelope Island

Jordan + Haydn made a brave and exciting decision to have a post wedding day adventure session. These type of adventures are fun, stress free, exhilarating, and let the fact that you are married settle in. Why not adventure as your first day as a married couple? You just experienced your greatest adventure yet- your wedding day. There are many more adventures to come after your wedding that you might as well get started right away with new experiences!

Jordan + Haydn had their adventure in Antelope Island State Park. They spent the afternoon exploring the golden fields, the lichen covered rocks, and gazing out over the shimmering lake. They also spent the day staring at one another with a deep, deep love. We frolicked through sun kissed fields and climbed over rocky terrain for the heck of it. Haydn and Jordan took in the beauty around them with every chance they got. For awhile they just sat in the sun and enjoyed the company of one another. The two held one another so close. When you love someone that much you want to feel it. You never want to let go.

Why Choose Adventure

We watched as the sun set over the lake, setting the sky ablaze in a range of oranges and golds. Jordan insisted on staying long after blue hour to take in the beauty of the moon overhead, and to hold Haydn close. We stayed out in the dwindling light until our fingers became numb. Adventures like these should be full. They should compliment your wedding day with another adventure that is just you. Haydn and Jordan did just that, and their love for one another as newlyweds shone through much like the golden sunlight.








Vendors:

Elopement Planner: Utah Creatives

Dress: Something Borrowed Bridals

Florals: Wild Escape Creations

Rings: Shop Rom Rom

Decor: Urban Blush Events

 

Planning your elopement but don’t know where to start? Check out the Elopement Checklist!

Let’s go on our own post wedding adventure in Utah. Get in touch to book your elopement or adventure wedding!


eloping checklist for utah

Antelope Island Elopement Inspiration

Antelope Island Elopement Inspiration | Antelope Island State Park, Utah

Halie West Photography | Utah Elopement Photographer

 

Amelia + Seth’s Inspiration Elopement on Antelope Island State Park was full of fun and laughter. We were surrounded by sun kissed grasses, a shimmering lake, and a big blue sky. These two were quick to find ways to run around and have fun. Seth was up for anything that would make his bride smile. Their love shone brightly like the sun in the little moments they spent together. There was nothing like getting to enjoy some wine and cheesecake in a big, beautiful tent! Glamping is an amazing and simple option for your elopement.

We explored along the quiet roads and through lichen covered rocks until the sun went down. Sunset was pure magic. The oranges and pinks were reflected off the still lake. The grass glowed gold in the setting sunlight. Everything seemed to slow as Amelia and Seth just took it all in. I loved getting to share these intimate moments with people who are so deeply in love. It was easy to see by the way Seth looked at Amelia that she meant the world to him. Her adorable grin whenever she noticed how enamored he was showed her deep love her him. We laughed and ran around under the crescent moon until it became to cold to bear. Elopements should be like this- a whole day full of laughter, joy, and memories that will never be forgotten.











Vendors:

Elopement Planner: Utah Creatives

Dress: Something Borrowed Bridals

Florals: Wild Escape Creations

Tent: Cozy Valley Events

Decor: Urban Blush Events

Rugs: The Boheme Project

Rings: Shop Rom Rom

 

Want to elope but don’t know where to start? Check out the Elopement Checklist!

Let’s create your own adventurous elopement or wedding in Utah. Get in touch to book your elopement or adventure wedding!


how to leave no trace on your adventure

How to Leave No Trace on Your Adventure

How to Leave No Trace on Your Adventure

Halie West Photography | Adventure Wedding Photographer

 

Adventuring responsibly ensures that wild places will stay wild for years to come. For me, this is the top reason to follow Leave No Trace Principles (LNT) while on any adventure. LNT was created to educate the public on how they can be better stewards for our wild places. The world is full of so many beautiful places that are worth protecting. Not only will the places we visit benefit from our practice of LNT, but so will we. Together we can create better outdoor experiences for all to enjoy. Learn how to leave no trace on your adventure by following these 7 LNT principles.

Plan Ahead and Prepare

A well planned trip, especially in the backcountry, can result in a better trip. Knowing what the weather may be like, trail conditions, and what gear to bring is important. Spontaneous adventures can be amazing, but having some knowledge of the area you are visiting can help from something going wrong. Be prepared and have a backup plan. Adventures change and having knowledge of the area can cause a lot less stress.

Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces

Staying on trails, sand, or other durable surfaces is important to do in any ecosystem. Trails were put in place to minimize impact. When you go off trail you risk crushing vegetation or sensitive soils that are helpful to the environment. Some of this damage, like stepping on sensitive cryptobiotic soil in certain deserts, is practically irreversible. If we do our best to stay on trails we can minimize our impact and preserve places for years to come.

Dispose of Waste Properly

The outdoors is no place for waste, it is important to dispose of any waste properly. Above all this means packing out your trash and throwing it away so no wildlife can get to it. Even your poop should be packed out in wag bags. Pack it in, pack it out. Waste doesn’t stop at solid pieces of trash! Wastewater should always be dumped at least 200 feet away from water sources (lakes, streams, creeks, etc.).

Leave What You Find

The outdoors aren’t ours to take from. Natural resources you find are better used by wildlife and for preserving ecosystems. Taking cultural artifacts is definitely a huge no. Altering areas, digging holes, or moving rocks to form fire rings should be avoided- or at least returned to its natural state once you are finished. The golden rule is to leave nature as you found it.

Minimize Campfire Impacts

Fires should only be built in areas that can sustain them. This is dependent on the time of year, ecosystem, restrictions in place, and amount of wood available. Bringing locally sourced firewood and using a designated fire ring is the best practice. Be sure to put your fire out completely. Burn all the wood in the ring, pour water over it, and stir it until it is no longer hot. Campfire can add warmth to any camping trip when done responsibly.

Respect Wildlife

Remember that you are in someone else’s home. The wildlife you may, and should, be stoked to see calls the beautiful place you are visiting home. Let them be at peace in their home and enjoy wildlife sightings from a safe distance. A good rule of thumb (literally) is to hold out your hand and see if your thumb can cover the creature from sight. If you can still see them you are too close and could be putting yourself at risk.

Be Considerate of Others

Everyone should have a positive outdoor experience. Playing disturbing or loud music, or having your dog off leash can cause disturbances to others. Instead, try using headphones and keeping your pup on leash. When hiking downhill always yield to those hiking uphill. While enjoying the outdoors, and in everyday life, it is important to keep others in mind.


Practicing LNT on Your Adventure

For Lovers

Hey people in love! If you are getting married in a wild place, such as a National Park, you should carry certain responsibilities to leave it better than you found it. This place is about to become very special to you. I’m sure you will want to see it thrive for generations to come. Follow all park regulations and rules. Have your ceremony on a durable surface or in a designated area- protect the plants! Remember that confetti is a huge no-no, and that decorations may need to be kept to a minimum. I’ve heard it’s good karma to stay on trail and pick up trash on your wedding day. If you have guests, be sure to teach them about LNT too! Take the time to learn how to leave not trace on your adventure. Together we can all be stewards for the great outdoors!

For Photographers

Hey fellow photographers! Educate yourself on LNT. Educate your clients on LNT. Talk about it in your posts and show you are following it in your photos and stories. What we post has an impact. It is up to us if that impact is positive or negative on the environment. We all can and should be better together. And it’s going to take everyone to protect our wild places. These 7 principles are a great place to start.

I practice LNT by picking up all the trash that I can on the trail. The day after a hike I tend to find wrappers in the pockets of my hiking clothes, or in the pockets of my pack. I take care to watch where I step, put out my campfires, and wave at the cute little deers from afar. Every time we go into nature we leave an impact no matter how careful we are to abide by LNT. Practicing LNT can help us to minimize this impact the best we can. In the end, all we can do is to do our best.

This guide is only an introduction on how to Leave No Trace on your adventure. Read through the Leave No Trace Center’s website for more information on how you can be responsible for public lands. Park rangers can also be a great resource for rules specific to the area you are adventuring in. Together we can be better stewards and make the outdoors enjoyable for all. Now get out there and go on your greatest adventure yet.

Looking to get married in a National Park? Check out my guide on how can create your dream wedding day.


lovers on a fall adventure in utah

Fall Adventure Session

Fall Adventure Session | Ogden Canyon, Utah

Halie West Photography | Adventure Wedding Photographer

 

Time for a Fall Adventure

Nate + Kirsten’s fall adventure session really made it feel like the seasons were changing. The fall colors in Ogden Canyon in Utah were at their peak, and we were lucky to see golden and orange leaves before winter had set in. Fall seemed to be short in Utah this year. Utah really showed us it’s full beauty as the setting sun shone between the leaves. A golden light cast over the forest as the two held one another and their pups close.

We were also lucky to find a little patch of trees off the road. The trail we wanted to go on had been closed. This only added to the adventure and led us deeper into Ogden Canyon. Kirsten and Nate walked around over fallen leaves while taking in the scenery before holding one another close. It didn’t take long until it felt as if it was only the two of them in those woods. My camera had been forgotten as the two were simply lost in one another. It’s a special thing to see two souls so deeply connected as Kirsten and Nate.

After some cuddling, we took some little family photos with Nate’s pups, Athena and Coa. These adorable cuties are sisters and were so good for pictures. Athena has the greatest ears ever!

Fall is such a beautiful time as the weather cools off and the landscape around us starts to change. Fall is best when explored with the ones you love most. Especially when those you love are dogs!








 

Want to go on an adventure together in Utah? Bring your pups (or even cats) and I’ll donate to the rescue or shelter of your choice! Get in touch. Your greatest adventure yet starts here.