John + Lauren, Horseshoe Bend Arizona, Destination Wedding + Elopement Photographer

This wedding was just so special for me. I got to be a witness, a ring bearer, and a photographer all in one day! I've known Lauren for years and it was just an honor to bear witness to such a fun and sweet elopement. And did I mention this was at Horseshoe freakin' Bend? Because that was dope. 

I asked Lauren a few questions about how they met, how they decided to elope & on their location, and what they love about each other. Scroll through to view their photos & her answers. 

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"So, we met on Tinder and I had a ton of dates lined up for weeks. We talked for about a month before I finally cancelled a date and went out with John.

We met at a pub (it was supposed to be a coffee shop, but we couldn’t find it) and we just talked and talked and laughed. We were both really apprehensive because we had recently gotten out of bad relationships, but he asked me out again, for the following Thursday. I said yes."

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"We went to Orpheus and drank way too much. We got caught in a rainstorm (I mean a DOWNPOUR) and we kissed in the parking lot. I knew then I was in trouble. We were together after that."

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"About a month later, we drank too much (at yet another pub)... and we took a walk. I knelt down to look at some roadkill (it was the bones of a poor little possum) and pretended to read its bones. That’s when he accidentally blurted out he loved me."

 
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"I was scared, so I didn’t say it back, and we both just laughed. Fast forward a year and a half later, he proposed to me in the same spot.

He proposed at the first place he (accidentally) told me he loved me, by singing “Horse With No Name” (because we both love Breaking Bad) and he put my ring in a wedding chapel Polly pocket because Polly pockets were my favorite childhood toy."

 
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"We’d already picked Horseshoe Bend, a few months earlier (in the summer), so we started planning. It was the last place on our list, and we nearly missed our flight back to Atlanta because we decided to see it the literal day we had to fly back.

When we were hiking (to Horseshoe Bend), I was nervous. We didn’t know we’d have to hike a mile in the stupid sand! But when we climbed the last hill and saw the view, I immediately burst into tears. We hugged, we kissed, we knew."

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"My advice to people eloping is to stay true to your start. Don’t go for the TV wedding, or even the Instagram elopement. Everything about John’s proposal and our elopement had a symbolic connection to who we are as a couple. The locations, the songs, the colors, our vows."

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"And seriously, plan as much as you can beforehand, but let go once you’re there and it’s time. Just enjoy the chaos; that’s why you’re eloping!"

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John to Lauren: “I will always be with you, like that Polly pocket, even when others might not know. I promise to be your greatest advocate and ally. I will be there with you when you feel alone, and I will always find you and your light.”

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Lauren to John: "In me, you began a revolution: all the fears I once possessed, you turned to fire; all my former apprehension, you changed to absolution; all the leeriness, you transformed into love.”

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John's take- "I cannot in good confidence give any advice on eloping, but maybe that is the advice I would give. Let things fall into place. The right place will manifest itself, probably when least expected."

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"What I love most about John is his balance. He’s passionate and practical; he’s spontaneous and he’s reliable. He’s fun, but he understands boundaries (even if he does constantly push them). He’s lived a complicated, at times conflicted, life, and he’s the strongest, most resilient person I’ve ever met. There’s no one like him."

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John says, "My favorite thing about Lauren is her level of passion and commitment to the things she loves. She is, and always had been, a fighter. Lauren fights to get what she wants while also building up those around her. She persists and yet maintains an elegance about herself. When we first met, I was floored by her depth of compassion and that is something I will forever admire and strive to emulate."

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And then John made me cry, "My favorite part of eloping was getting to spend so much time together and seeing so many new places. The shared experience of eloping was priceless. Knowing we get to elope together for the rest of our lives is even better."

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John says this is one of his favorite pictures. The other? See below.

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"This is my favorite photo. It’s just so us. People tell us all the time that we don’t need anyone but each other. My family picks on us because we forget to talk to anyone else. This photo embodies who we are: alone, together."

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I hope you love the photos, the words, and the sentiment behind this elopement. I'm so honored to bear witness to these two souls joining together. Love is magical. Looking forward to chasing dreamy light, sweet couples, and beautiful photographs around the globe & into the sunset forever and ever.