Sandia Foothills Elopement at Elena Gallegos Park | Albuquerque Elopement Photographer

On a beautiful June evening in the desert, Stephanie + Josh had a meaningful elopement ceremony with those closest to them. They laughed and cried through funny stories and heartfelt vows. Stephanie’s mom and two best friends watched with tears in their eyes as Josh’s long-time friend married the couple in the golden light of the sunset. Stephanie + Josh recently moved to New Mexico from Maine (another beautiful location for elopements!) and fell in love with the foothills of the Sandia Mountains. They wanted to get married in a location that showed off the beauty of New Mexico (and Stephanie is a fellow lover of cacti), so I knew the hiking trails at Elena Gallegos Open Space would be perfect for their ceremony. I love that this elopement location gives you up-close views of the Sandia Mountains, a gorgeous vista of Albuquerque, and a lovely desert experience. And you can hike as much or as little as you want through the winding trails and still be surrounded by cacti, juniper bushes, and friendly jackrabbits. Definitely high on my list of places to elope in Albuquerque and New Mexico!

Josh + Stephanie chose to have an Albuquerque elopement instead of a big wedding because they wanted a stress-free and fun experience. Although delayed flights for their guests caused a little anxiety, their elopement was relaxed and easy. As an adventure wedding photographer, I try my best to photograph each couple’s elopement in a way that highlights their personalities and feels authentic to them. And I think Stephanie + Josh are a great example! Their relationship is full of a laugher and genuine love, and I think you’ll see that shine through in the photography. And speaking of personalities – I thought Stephanie’s red wedding dress was so perfect for her. I couldn’t imagine a better elopement dress for such a gorgeous lady!


Albuquerque Elopement Vendors

Dress | TD Dress
Suite | Jos. A. Bank
Hair + Makeup | C. Johnson Makeup
Photography | Julie Haider

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Hey, friend! I’m Julie – an adventure wedding & elopement photographer who loves the outdoors and traveling! My photography is fun and heartfelt while highlighting the beauty of love and nature. I’m based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, but wedding photography takes me throughout the southwest, to national parks, and all over the world! To find out more about destination wedding photography, check out my travel page. And if you want to get some great elopement planning tips, check out the planning and advice section of the blog.

  1. Katy Weaver says:

    This Albuquerque elopement is SO beautiful!! I adore it! Love the color of her dress!

  2. Sydney says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this beautiful Albuquerque elopement, especially that dress! I love that she went red vs a white or bridal color, it’s totally her.

  3. Magdalena says:

    What a great spot this Albuquerque to have elopement! And the sunset golden hour made it even more surreal. Fantastic images!

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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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