These two. Where do I even begin.

Ara and Matt contacted me about three weeks ago telling me about their plans of eloping in Joshua Tree on their month long road trip across the US all the way from the Outer Banks of NC. We instantly connected because if you know Ara, you know sunshine and warmth. Then began planning all the details and timeline of the day. The adventure began when they picked me up, took me out to dinner the night before their big day and spent hours with me talking about their lives, the depth behind who they are as human beings and together as one. Ara told me how choosing to elope was one of the easiest decisions they’ve made together, that it was just obvious and true to them. This meant so much to me and seeing how much trust and how they opened their hearts, allowing me to capture what made their love so real and unique, that was special. This is the trust I look to build and have with all of my bride and grooms. They’ve been together for six and a half years and you could feel how much love and depth were between these two. With vulnerability comes the real, honest and gritty moments. That’s what I want to capture and I think I got just that. They spent the morning of their wedding day drinking coffee, making drinks and bathing in the tubs outside of their airbnb. SO THEM. I got to run around in the desert and photographed so many beautiful details that normally would go unnoticed. It was freaking amazing to have full trust and creative ability to tell their story and I hope you feel that through these stills. I hope these make you feel and encourage you, if you’re trying to decide on skipping traditions and production timelines of a wedding day and are wanting to make your day revolve around the importance of becoming one, I hope this encourages you to do so. Soaking in the little moments and embracing everything that makes your relationship so real, that’s SO important. Here are so many of the special moments I was able to capture throughout the day. I may be sharing way too many but I just couldn’t help it. They’ve got something special.



Then off to the desert until the sun went down and moon came out. IT WAS MAGICAL.

Montana Pennala