An Elopement-Style Mountain Vow Renewal

Ten years ago, elaborate adventure elopements were far less popular and those who would have benefitted from them may not have known this type of ceremony was an option. What is so wonderful about a rise in the popularity of eloping is that people are discovering it’s not only a perfect option for those getting married, but also for those who are already married looking to renew their vows in a special and adventurous way.

Briana and Steven chose an elopement-styled vow renewal for their ten year wedding anniversary. What was so remarkable about working with them is that they are, to this day, so incredibly in love. I felt this tangible connection between Briana and Steven. As I got to know them better, I learned that Steven was injured on tour in the Army and had endured life-threatening medical complications afterward. This appeared to set a tone for his and Briana’s marriage; they do not take a single day or moment for granted. The intentionality they pour into their marriage translated directly into their elopement day. Not only did Briana and Steven select ethical products and local vendors for every detail of their day, but we worked together to make sure it was an absolute reflection of the life and bond they have built over the last decade.

Briana arrived in an eco-friendly, vintage lace Reformation dress and Steven, in a dark brown blazer paired by a bolo tie from his grandfather’s collection. Briana’s hair and make up was beautifully styled by Jackie at Betty Rose and she carried with her a bouquet of flowers, farm grown in New Mexico and arranged by Florecita Flowers. Her entire ensemble was accented by handmade turquoise jewelry curated locally at Turquoise Skies. A sweet video of their day was captured and composed by Klaus James.

Briana and Steven kicked off their celebration with a first dance among the towering trees to live cello music. It was difficult not to choke up while hearing the music to “Can’t Help Falling in Love with You” performed by Ryan Smith echo throughout the open space. They then seated for an intimate forest picnic. Dirty Dishes artistically formed their tablespace and Cuterie & Co. provided an elaborate spread of fruits, nuts, meats, and cheeses. We collectively climbed in my Jeep and made way for a lookout over the Jemez Mountains – where Briana and Steven would perform their ceremony as the sun began to set. They carried with them the most beautiful hand-torn vow books, made of recycled paper. This was particularly special because at their wedding mass, 10 years ago, they did not get to recite their own vows. They exchanged powerful sentiments as the sunlight disappeared deep into the mountain’s canyon.

We headed back to our site to be greeted by a campfire and dessert table provided by Dirty Dishes. Milk and the most delicious cookies by Jam Packed Sweets were by far the star of this show as this treat is a nightly tradition in Briana and Steven’s household- a way in which they honor the closing of their day. String lights and blazing embers illuminated the space, creating an intimacy within the openness of the forest. Briana and Steven closed their ceremonial celebration by snuggling up against one another’s warmth and gazing at the desert night’s stars. 

Elopement Vendors:

Planning + Photography | Julie Haider Elopements
Dish Rentals + Styling | Dirty Dishes
Video | Klaus James Photography
Hair + Makeup | Jackie from Betty Rose
Flowers | Florecita
Cellist | Ryan Smith
Dress | Reclamation
Jewelry | Turquoise Skies
Cookies | Jam Packed Sweets
Charcuterie | Cuterie & Co.
Letterpress Vow Books | Our Vows

If you’re wanting to elope or renew your vows, I’d love to help you plan your experience and photograph the special moments! Click below to get in touch about photography + planning services.

Ready to plan your elopement or vow renewal?

Hey, I’m Julie — I’d love to help you craft an elopement day full of peace, enjoying nature, and deep connection with each other and document every moment! 📸

Most couples lack the time and expertise to plan an epic elopement day. And that’s why I’m here to help you create a meaningful celebration with ease. ✨


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Julie Haider is an adventure elopement photographer + planner based in New Mexico and photographing destination elopements worldwide.


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