Who says it’s not worth it to wake up before sunrise, arrive to Capitol Reef National Park as soon as the sun starts rising, and have the hiking trail all to yourself for your elopement? NOT ME, BECAUSE IT’S SO WORTH IT!!! (Oh and a bonus was beating the summer heat during these hours!)
I was absolutely STOKED when Anna and Richard decided to tie the knot back home in Minnesota and then come with me to Capitol Reef National Park in Utah for their wedding portraits. We had such an amazing time in the few months prior, planning their elopement day and dreaming up of all that it could be!
Scroll down below to fall head over heels in love with Capitol Reef National Park and see what kind of adventures we got up to in the early hours of the morning this last July 😉
4:45am – Meet at Anna + Richard’s cabin to start the day
5:40am – Explore the trail + take photos around Sunset Point!
6:30am – Ceremony Begins!
6:45am – First dance possibly!
6:50am – Hike back to the car!
7:15am – Drive to Chimney Rock Trail (Possibly Panorama Point too)
7:30am – Make some coffee!
7:50am – Have some fun exploring the area + taking photos!
9:00am – Wrap up!
Anna and Richard started their day pretty early with getting up around 3:45pm to make some coffee, put on their wedding attire, and getting ready to spend the next few hours with me!! I arrived to their cabin/airbnb at about 5:15am, and helped them load up all the goods into my car – including their coffee picnic set-up, flowers, bottles of water, and all the things! Then BOOM – We were OFF to start our adventures!
We arrived at Capitol Reef National Park at about 5:45am or so!! It was still incredibly dark, so we were in no rush to hike to our first location. (Pssst.. this first spot was ONLY A 300 FOOT WALK!! This just goes to show that you DON’T need to hike 5+ miles to find epic locations!!)
The sun started coming up over the horizon in NO time!! The wind started picking up so we had a LOVELY breeze to keep us cool. And before we knew it, we were laughing together as I snapped away, capturing their love story! (We were only interrupted by a GIGANTIC june bug beetle thing as it would not leave me alone – however Anna and Richard got free entertainment as they watched me take off my crewneck and attempt to whip the june bug beetle thing with it 🤣🤣🤣)
We spent about an hour adventuring around this first overlook before we walked back to the car and enjoyed a little coffee with some whipped cream, cinnamon, and nutmeg! Anna and Richard actually brewed the coffee at their Airbnb, wrapped it in towels with seran wrap, then brought it with!! You gotta do whatcha gotta do for that coffee, am I right?!
After getting our caffeine and blood sugar levels spiked, we packed up the car and drove to a whole new location in the park that was only 3 minutes away – but the change in scenery in just those few minutes was NO JOKE!! (Don’t worry, we definitely rehydrated once we got to this second spot! The smoke from the wildfires this day wasn’t playing around either – so staying hydrated was just as important!)
Wow. Wow. Wow. Isn’t crazy how all of this seemed to take 4 hours?!? But time seriously flies by when you’re having a blast and adventuring!! Are you ready to start dreaming up of your own adventure with me in Utah?? Contact me here to start planning!!!
Samantha Burke is a traveling adventurous elopement photographer for the wild and goofy soulmates that’s based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota! She’s also an educator for fellow photographers that are wanting to grow their business! Samantha is also a traveling addict that’s always looking for somewhere to travel too! Sam is also obsessed with Star Wars, Marvel, and Chai Tea! Please contact Sam if you would like to have her be your elopement photographer or if you have any questions!! She is always here to answer any questions you may have!
If you're ready to go on a wild adventure with me and get freaking married in a way that calls to your heart - let's start planning! Use the contact form here to start the process of making your dream elopement come to life!
P.S. I cannot WAIT to hear from you!!!