As a wedding photographer, I’ve been lucky enough to go on some incredible adventures and travel to new places for destination weddings. One of my absolute faves was this Arizona elopement. Ontario couple Kathryn and Kyle hosted their immediate families (only 6 guests, plus Nick and I!) in a breathtaking Airbnb overlooking Page, Arizona and tied the knot on the ledge of Horseshoe Bend. Nick and I traveled to Arizona about a week beforehand, to do some road tripping and to also meet up with Kathryn and Kyle for their Phoenix engagement session!
Nick and I have done quite a few trips to the States, and we always have the best time! We’ve driven up and down almost all of the west coast, and our favourite way to explore is by hopping in a rental car, and just hitting the road! We’ve found that the best way to road trip is to not try to pack too much distance into one day, and to make sure that your itinerary doesn’t have you driving more than about 4 hours every day. We always stop so much along the way, to hike, sightsee, and check out restaurants, and we know that the feeling of having to ‘make good time’ and get to a new destination by a certain time can be stressful. Arriving at Airbnbs after dark can be challenging for parking and checking in, and I always feel better when I know what our surroundings look and feel like.
For this particular trip, we actually did a loop from Las Vegas because of where we needed to be and when, so we flew in and out of there. We didn’t spend any time in Vegas though, as we’d both been there before and didn’t feel the need to hit it up again. We drove straight to the Grand Canyon from the airport, and got to see it bathed in beautiful golden sunlight before the sun set! Because we were there in late afternoon/early evening on a weekday, we were able to find parking super easily and got to enjoy the views with almost no one around. After a one night stay in Flagstaff, we headed right down towards Phoenix, with a quick detour through Sedona! We hit up a baseball game in the city with Kat and Kyle, and stayed in Old Town Scottsdale, which is where I would definitely recommend staying. Tons of great restaurants and bars, and just a really great vibe overall.
The next day, we headed out to Usery Mountain Regional Park to photograph the session that you’ll see below! I had digitally scouted this place out before we even left home, with the help of Google Maps and Instagram! The mix of huge cacti, sandy trails, and peaks in the distance were exactly what we were all hoping for. To me it felt like such a classic AZ look and I’m so glad it worked out.
After our time in Scottsdale, we headed back up to Sedona where we spent my birthday weekend at the most gorgeous horse ranch. The views were incredible, with the red rocks practically towering over us ! We went horseback riding, and hiked the Devil’s Bridge at sunrise, where we witnessed a proposal! After that, it was time to head up to Page to prepare for Kat and Kyle’s elopement, which I’ll be sharing in my next blog post, Part 2!