JUSTIN + CHELSEA: LAID-BACK NEW MEXICO HIKING ELOPEMENT

I don’t even know where to start with this epic New Mexico hiking elopement. Justin + Chelsea are some of the sweetest, genuine, and most fun people I know! They also both serve in the Army! They chose Veteran’s day of all days to elope, which I find very special (and an honor to document). My brother is in Air Force and was based in New Mexico too! What a small world. I thoroughly enjoy photographing couples that serve in the military – hint hint! I had a wedding the day before this, and usually avoid double header weekends, but Justin + Chelsea wanted me to be their photographer despite the tight timing. So we did the dang thing! With careful planning and little sleep of course…

I made it safely to Las Cruces, New Mexico and hurried to their chosen trail head, where I met up with their small group of friends + family that would be joining them. It was a sunny day with big puffy clouds. Not too hot, and there was an excitement buzzing the air as we began to hike. These two had a first look after they got dressed (out in nature), and then had an emotional ceremony led by Chelsea’s mother. It was so freakin’ special; I teared up, despite just meeting these people. Afterwards we wandered back down the trail for more photos and enjoyed the scenic mountain views. These two soaked up being just married and we had A LOT of laughs!

Their day was relaxed, because we planned it that way! I helped them come up with the day-of schedule for their New Mexico hiking elopement. Why? Because my couples trust me as an artist/person + when you hire me we become a team! Elopements provide endless flexibility/opportunity for what YOU want to do + how you want to celebrate on your day. Plus we get to explore a beautiful outdoor landscape together; making an unforgettable experience to kick your marriage off! This is why I love to photograph adventurous elopements so much! After the hike, we all cleaned up and reconvened for an intimate dinner reception at St. Clair Winery + Bistro. The food/drink was delicious, and I can’t thank Justin + Chelsea enough for inviting me in like family to be a part of it all. I am truly grateful.

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Emily Hary is an adventurous outdoor wedding + elopement photographer.
Although based in the Midwest, she is available for worldwide travel.

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