Are you planning a short-notice, small wedding or elopement?

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIOS ARE OPEN - Many couples don’t want to wait. They are planning to get married in the very near future, eloping, or rushing a small ceremony with their photographer, some close friends, and family but dispensing with or postponing the reception party. 

View WPJA photo stories from smaller weddings - WedElope | Choose love, not fear!

Mojave Desert - Joshua Tree National Park, CA Adventure Elopement Photo Story Award

A Sunrise National Park Adventure Elopement Photo in the Desert by Kate Hagerty

Desert Wedding Elopement Photography | A first dance as a married couple

Paige and Cam share their first dance as a married couple.

In October of 2020, I traveled to California to photograph Paige and Cam’s elopement after the pandemic caused them to delay their original big family wedding plans. They picked me up from LAX with the maid of honor Maddie and videographer AJ in tow. As we were in Los Angeles, we immediately stopped at In-n-Out (huzzah!) and a wholesale flower market to buy a couple of buckets of stunning fresh flowers for the wedding.

The wedding itself took place at dawn, with the sun slowly rising to illuminate the Joshua Trees and majestic, rocky terrain. Though this wedding was an elopement in the desert, it was remarkably traditional, with Cam’s brother officiating the ceremony and the couple performing a foot-washing ceremony. I feel honored to have been there to capture this beautiful, joyful occasion and to have been taken in by such a loving group of people. 

Twentynine Palms, CA Wedding and elopement image of early morning elopement preps for the bride and bridesmaid

Twentynine Palms, CA Wedding Photographer | Early morning elopement preps for the bride and bridesmaid

The bride's mom checks in while Paige and her bridesmaid Lindsay get ready for the sunrise wedding ceremony.

Mojave Desert Joshua Tree National Park pic of bride and groom before ceremony at sunrise

Mojave Desert - Joshua Tree National Park, CA Wedding Photographer | The bride and groom before leaving for the ceremony

Paige and Cam share a moment before leaving for their ceremony.

A Joshua Tree National Park Desert Wedding Ceremony Image of Elopement couple family members arriving at remote location

Joshua Tree National Park - Desert Wedding Ceremony Image | Elopement couple family members arriving at remote location

Cam's parents, grandmother, and brothers arrive at the ceremony location in Joshua Tree National Park.

Joshua Tree California Wedding image at sunrise showing a traditional foot washing ceremony

Joshua Tree California Wedding Photography | a traditional foot washing ceremony

Paige and Cam remove their shoes for a traditional foot-washing ceremony. Cam's brother, an ordained minister, officiated the ceremony.

Joshua Tree Elopement Image by a CA Photographer of a sunrise wedding ceremony in the desert

California Desert - Mojave, Joshua Tree National Park Wedding Pics | the brightening sunlight from beginning to end

The couple chose to have a sunrise wedding ceremony, so they could see the brightening sunlight from beginning to end.

SoCal Desert Elopement Photo from a relaxed wedding dinner party with dad speeches

California Desert Wedding Photographer | The group at their rented cabins for an elopement reception party at the venue

The group reconvened at their rented cabins for a relaxed dinner and party. Cam chuckles as Paige's dad makes a speech.

Joshua Tree Mojave Desert California Destination Wedding Pic of bride and friends toasting with shots

Joshua Tree, California Destination Wedding, Mojave Desert Pics | The bride and her friends toast with shots

Paige and her friends toast with shots of tequila at the afterparty.

CA Wedding Photo from a Joshua Tree outdoor venue Illuminated by the red light from a convertible car

CA Wedding Photographers for Joshua Tree Events - Illuminated by the light from a rented convertible

Illuminated by the light from a rented convertible's tail lights and a cell phone, guests inspect the contents of Paige and Cam's destroyed piñata.