Brigitte + Dan // Flagstaff Elopement Wedding Journalism
This wedding was too special for me to try to put it into words. Instead – read Brigitte’s thoughts followed by my images. If I could give any future couples any advice – it would be to learn something from Brigitte and Dan.
“When I reflect on our wedding day my whole being shifts – I can sense the goodness of that day filling me up. It was such an intimate time that it is challenging to find the right words to explain. Throughout the process of planning our day and then experiencing it, we helped each other stay grounded by coming back to our intention. The excitement we had, and our family and friends had, for our wedding sometimes made us feel disconnected to the whole thing, like it was just moving forward through all the typical traditions without us actually being a part of it. It was important to us to slow down, take time together to reflect and make choices for our day that were grounded in who we were together as partners in this life. Slowing things down and constantly clarifying our intentions was work and our loved ones did not always understand – there is no getting around that. AND it was absolutely worth it! As we slowed down we were able to see that for us our wedding was about gratitude – for our family, for the land, and for each other – and about being present to savor all the moments. With these ideas guiding us, we made several choices that some would say were unconventional.
One of the choices we made was to only invite 24 of our closest family members and friends. On the day we were able to fully be present with each and every one of them, share a meal at the same table, dance together, laugh and cry with them and hold them. We also chose to write our ceremony from scratch, literally making up our own weird rituals, and asked Dan’s dad to officiate for us. Every moment in our ceremony was tender and meant something deeply to us and to our loved ones. Dan at my side, looking at everyone gathered together holding each other, holding us with their presence under the beautiful aspen tress – that is a moment that sums up why it was worth the effort. I have the embodied memory of that and our brilliant photographer Abbey captured numerous photos of the same moment. We were fully present in the moment, able to savor it, and were not pulled away to be worried about making sure we got a certain photo.
Working with Abbey was another choice driven by our intention. We knew Abbey would be able to capture the intimate moments without disrupting us delighting in them. She supported us to spend our wedding day however we wanted. We spent an hour together before the ceremony with our dogs adventuring through the forest, taking in the awe of the land, connecting to each other and skipping posed photos. We skipped the dozens of posed photos with family members after the ceremony as well. Instead, we trusted that since we were enjoying our cocktail hour with our loved ones that there would be plenty of candid moments Abbey would catch with our family – and she did! The day was absolutely perfect, not because nothing went wrong (many things will always go other ways than planned) – it was perfect because we were able to be present for all the goodness. My hope for all the other beautiful people experiencing this weird, challenging, wonderful chaotic thing called loved is that you are empowered to celebrate in whatever unique way is most authentic to you and that you lean into all the moments.”
I feel so incredibly lucky to have been witness to this wedding. It was – so special. Please enjoy.