Guys, get ready to majorly fall for Jane + Kellen and their stunning, intimate wedding at Sunset Point in Utah’s Capitol Reef National Park. From the beginning, these two knew they wanted a very small wedding (they only had eight guests!) which helped them stay focused on each other, both during the planning and on the big day. By arranging everything themselves, every aspect felt very personal + they were able to place focus on creating the most meaningful ceremony they could imagine – complete with handwritten vows, readings by each of their moms + a “warming of the rings”. Let’s hear a bit more from J + K below before we share the absolutely gorgeous images Phil Chester captured from the day:
We’ve always felt most connected in wild places, and both grew up with a fondness for the deserts of the American West. Early on in our relationship we went on a road trip through Southern Utah, and fell in love with Capitol Reef – the unsung hero of Utah’s national parks, in our opinion. Once we decided on a small wedding/”planned elopement” (which was pretty quick), we both knew Capitol Reef was the destination that’d be the most meaningful. We also both work in sustainability – Jane at Nike, Kellen at a non-profit – but swear that getting married on Earth Day was coincidence!
On getting married in a National Park, Jane tells us, The National Park system is one of America’s greatest treasures. If you’re going to get married in a park, be sure to consult with the park rangers well in advance. They’ll help you get the proper permits, ensure your ceremony doesn’t damage the landscape, and likely give you tips on the best spots (i.e. great views, fewer tourists).
Kellen: Writing our own vows made it incredibly emotional. As we read them to each other, I just felt so...present. When Jane finished reading hers, I almost jumped the gun and kissed her! I settled for wrapping her in a big bear hug. The whole day was joyous, but that memory is the most vivid.
Jane: On your wedding day, you can't help but get a little anxious. But when we reached the ceremony location, overlooking a fantastic gorge, I felt all at once saturated with calmness and openness. As Kellen read his vows to me, all I could hear and see was him, speaking words directly to my heart. I felt the luckiest, most cherished, and most centered in my life.
Phil convinced Jane + Kellen to get up early and put their wedding clothes back on for a “sunrise shoot” the morning after the big day. Clearly the photos ended up being so worth it!
Have a plan, but be prepared to abandon it at a moment's notice. The most memorable experiences are the spontaneous ones.
For every planning decision, ask yourself - are we doing this for us? If not, don't do it. It'll just leave a bitter taste in your mouth on the big day.
The best honeymoons come before the wedding. Try to finalize your plans far enough in advance that you can take a few preceding days to just be alone together. We drove from Portland down to Southern Utah, and those three days on the road made us feel so connected when we arrived at Capitol Reef.
photography: Phil Chester // location: Sunset Point in Capitol Reef National Park, Utah // event planning: bride + groom // florals: picked from Whole Foods in Salt Lake City // wedding dress: Bo & Luca // leather jacket: Iro // hairpieces: Untamed Petals // shoes: Nike Dunk Sky Hi, in metallic bronze // hair + makeup: Jane and her bridesmaid Krista did all of Jane’s makeup // groom’s suit: Hugo Boss “Huge Genius” in Dark Blue // groom’s shoes: Cole Haan // groom’s watch: Bulova // catering: Cafe Diablo // cake: Liz, the baker at Cafe Diablo, who also bakes on the side // officiant: Alissa, the groom’s sister