Adventure Marriage in Moab

Photo by Desert Paintbrush

I recently was married to my life partner Sadie Skiles in adventure-style with a few close friends at an Elopement in Moab / Canyonlands. I normally don’t write about such things but I thought it might be useful to others looking for an active-elopement ideas and a great way to share some stunning photos.

We kicked the whole thing off by hopping in the car and driving from Mammoth Lakes, CA to Canyonlands, UT with the following schedule:

  • Saturday – Convoy with friends from Mammoth
  • Sunday – Arrive in Moab and scout arches for ceremony
  • Monday – Location scouting and climbing in Indian Creek
  • Tuesday – Marriage Ceremony 
  • Wednesday – Canyoneer Pritchett Canyon
  • Thursday – Climb in Indian Creek
  • Friday – Climb in Indian Creek
  • Saturday – Petroglyph hike and start driving home
  • Sunday – Back home!

Arrival in Moab

On our first day scouting we knew immediately that we didn’t want to have our ceremony at one of the famous arches because of how busy they were. Alternatively, we did a short hike out to Morning Glory Natural Bridge from Grandstaff Canyon where it felt like two miles was too far to hike in the dress, etc.

Too Many People by Tom Kelly at North Window, Arches National Park

Eventually we decided to search a little more South of Moab with Looking Glass Arch and immediately thought it was the place. It was a cool arch, down a short gravel road, there was four other people there (who were doing a rope swing off a rappel) and a 5.4 route to the top of the formation. We didn’t even stop by roadside Wilson Arch afterward for another option.

For the scouting and ceremony days we stayed at the upstart location of The Domes in Canyonlands as our home base. We used this location to get ready with hair and makeup as well as the location for our first look. Each dome had its own bathroom behind a drawn curtain and a loft that could sleep two more people. Also a private, short dirt driveway lead to each dome which could support a van or two for extra guests. The domes had infinite hot water so no worries about too many showers.  There was no kitchen but we got by with a two burner camp stove and amazing cooks among the whole crew.

Our dome. Photo by Desert Paintbrush

The Ceremony Day

Sadie had a challenge finding someone to do hair and makeup, but luckily we booked All About Looks Image who drove down from Fruta, CO. Meanwhile Jaymie (our good friend and photographer) helped us with a wedding day schedule that looked like this:

  • 8am – French toast and Mimosa breakfast
  • 10am – Hair and makeup start
  • 12pm – Hair and makeup finish
  • 1pm – First Look at The Domes
  • 2pm – Games in The Domes
  • 4pm – Marriage ceremony at Looking Glass Arch
  • 6pm – Photos in secret slot canyon
  • 7pm – Dinner at The Domes

Our ceremony was short with a speech from our officiant Jia followed by our own vows touching on love, adventure and emotional connection. Culminating in the ring exchange and closed by a minute long kiss.

Photo by Desert Paintbrush
Photo by Desert Paintbrush
We married!

After tying the knot we took a few more pictures before we went off to a secret slot canyon Jaymie found which we climbed into for some more wedding pictures.

Photo by Desert Paintbrush

We returned to dinner and appetizers at the Domes made by our friends who left early after the ceremony to cook. After some wedding pie, we retired for the night after a wonderful day.

The Credits

Our amazing friend and rock star photographer Jaymie Shearer with Desert Paintbrush organized all the scouting of locations and even found that random off the path slot canyon to take pictures in. I was surrounded by photographer and videographer friends including Lucas and Sierra who helped interview, document and capture our experiences all week. Jen captured a bunch of behind the scenes shots, Jia officiated us and Claire helped keep our dogs company while the ceremony was happening. If you want an adventure wedding you should seriously message Jaymie to work with as they are fun, engaging, and an amazing person. Also, her professional work is bomb.

Behind the seen shot of teamwork making the dream work
Lucas interviewing an emotional Brice while Sadie is getting ready
Behind the scenes photo of us in the secret slot canyon by a pothole

The best expression of my gratitude to this small group of very important people is through the tears of joy I shed many times this trip. From the pictures to the interviews to the campsite concert to stove cooked breakfast and dinners to canyon adventures and climbing stoke. I have amazing friends and my love cup overflowith my love and appreciation for them. The whole experience felt like I was with my tribe, my family. Everywhere we went we convoyed with radios whether in town or Canyonlands. We had people drive with us from the Eastern Sierra, Zion and others flew in from California.

A very special musical camp-side performance by our friends Sierra and Jen

The Adventure-Elopement was filled with experiences to remember for a lifetime and I love each and every person who was there. If you weren’t there, know I love you too and we will all have a beautiful experience in June at our Western Rave.

Photo by Desert Paintbrush