A Quintessential Death Valley National Park Elopement

Devan and Lewis have always loved the desert. They knew they wanted an intimate elopement with just the two of them and thought this was the perfect opportunity to do a bucket list trip to Death Valley National Park at the end of October.


Devan and Lewis live in Kentucky, so they hired me to help plan and document their day. If you want to learn more about how to elope in Death Valley National Park check out this blog post.


Adventure elopements come with a little bit of risk (hello, weather!) and their's was no different. About two and half months before their elopement date the park received a year's worth of rainfall in a single day thanks to remnants of Hurricane Hilary. The rain caused widespread damage of roads and park infrastructure. The entire national park was CLOSED to the public for two months... finally reopening just a couple of weeks before their elopement date.


In addition to the park closure, there was a looming government shutdown. That, too, was resolved at the last minute. But these things come in three's right?


The day before their elopement date the temperatures dropped significantly which is always accompanied by high winds. The morning of their elopement we were discussing alternate locations that would be less exposed to the winds. But thankfully the winds died down with just a couple hours to spare, and we proceeded with Plan A!

A couple holds hands outside their hotel before their Death Valley National Park elopement

Portraits at The Inn at Death Valley

While they were in the park Devan and Lewis stayed at The Inn at Death Valley, a beautiful upscale hotel (and one of the only hotels in the park). I met them in the lobby of The Inn and we took some beautiful portraits around the property.


Can we take a moment for their stunning wedding attire?! I love it when couples embrace their unique style! Every detail was lovingly chosen and coordinated, and I was obsessed with the color palette they chose. I almost fainted when I realized Devan's chartreuse dress was actually a JUMPSUIT! Shop the jumpsuit here.

A couple walks a palm tree lined pathway before their elopement in Death Valley National Park
A couple holds hands seated at a table inside their hotel before their Death Valley National Park elopement
Groom adjusts his cuff links as he gets ready for his Death Valley National Park elopement
A couple stands on a balcony of their hotel before their Death Valley National Park elopement
A couple poses in their wedding attire at their Death Valley National Park elopement
A couple slow dances among palm trees during their Death Valley National Park elopement

Exploring Badwater Basin

Then we hopped in the car and drove down to the salt flats at Badwater Basin. Remember the historic flooding that almost derailed this elopement? Well the rain left behind an incredibly rare LAKE! It's been rapidly shrinking for months but there was still a good amount of water on their elopement day.


Devan and Lewis took their time exploring the otherworldly landscape. It was a joy to document their awe. This is the perfect example of why I love adventure elopements: you can schedule time to just BE in the landscape! No stress, no expectations.

A couple walks along the water in Badwater Basin during their Death Valley National Park elopement
Groom picks up bride and spins her near the water in Badwater Basin during their Death Valley National Park elopement
A couple kisses on the salt flats during their Death Valley National Park elopement
A couple kisses behind the groom's hat on the salt flats during their Death Valley National Park elopement
During their Death Valley National Park elopement a couple looks into each others eyes
Couple walks along the water's edge during their Death Valley National Park elopement

Sunset Ceremony at Artists Palette

After a while at Badwater we moved on to Artists Palette at sunset for their ceremony. Devan is an artist, so a location called "Artists Palette" was just too perfect to pass up. According to the park website the colors are from "volcanic deposits rich in compounds such as iron oxides and chlorite, which creates a rainbow effect."


They chose a secluded area amongst the colorful hills to say their vows. It was absolutely beautiful. Once they were officially married (!!!) they took time to watch the rest of the sunset and explore more of Artists Palette. By the time the sun was down they had the whole place to themselves.

A couple says their vows at sunset in Death Valley National Park
A couple kisses in front of the setting sun at their Death Valley National Park elopement
During their Death Valley National Park elopement a couple walks uphill with the sun setting behind them
A couple walks along colorful hills during their Death Valley National Park elopement

Ending Their Adventure Elopement Under the Full Moon

After their ceremony Devan and Lewis enjoyed a celebratory meal back at The Inn. Then, we met back up to take some night sky portraits! They were lucky enough to have a full moon on their wedding night. That means fewer stars, but a very fun opportunity to make "ghosty" pictures. We had a lot of fun trying different dances and movements to see what photographed well in the dark.


The full moon looked like a midnight sun shining above them amongst the stars. The perfect end to a perfect elopement!

A couple holds lanterns under a night sky full of stars at the end of their Death Valley National Park elopement
A couple dances under the full moon at the end of their Death Valley National Park elopement
A couple kisses under the full moon at the end of their Death Valley National Park elopement