Utah’s diverse landscapes inspire creativity in the bridal community in many ways. Lush forests offer dramatic backdrops for intimate ceremonies, and vast canyons set the scene for an unforgettable engagement shoot. In this inspiring elopement, an arid Utah location is transformed into an Egyptian oasis.
Created, hosted, and designed by California-based Destination Elopement and Adventure Couple Photographer, Alexi Cox, and Utah-based Event Planner, Katie Brough, this shoot pulled inspiration from Egypt’s mesmerizing landscape, culture, and historical figure Cleopatra. They worked for months attracting and teaming up with some of Utah’s finest creatives in and out of the industry to create the elaborate, decadent and tasteful elopement. Complete with runic symbols on a copper arch, golden accents in braided hair, and six snakes, including boas and a python, they strived to convey important aspects of this beautiful culture while creating something unique and new.
In an effort to convey the importance of brides selecting a dress that reflects them and their style, the hosts decided to have their bride and groom both in black. Cox noted, “We want brides to know that they don’t need to fit a certain mold to celebrate their day of union. It should reflect who they are. Stop following trends, just be YOU!”
As the shoot was scheduled for March, the team had quite unpredictable weather conditions to battle. Snow, hail, rain, and temperatures below zero all worried the team, but since Cox was from out of town, there were no alternate available dates. “We had to stay cautiously optimistic,” Brough said. “The morning of the shoot the weather cleared up and we knew we’d have a successful, albeit chilly, styled shoot.” And chilly it was! The snakes could only be out of blankets for short periods of time, as well as the models. “We had to keep taking breaks because the sand got so cold for the models’ feet. Periodically during their breaks, I would see the models in my husband’s jackets creating friction and warmth!” Cox reflected. “Thank goodness for him!”
The team used dark, rich jewel tones in the table setting to contrast with the light sand, and a vibrant bouquet and floral arrangement that had yellow, popping accents.
“Sand is really fun to work with, because there’s so much you can do with it! The location featured a bunch of unique stacked sand structures that we had a lot of fun playing with. The textures were absolutely beautiful, and gave a lot of interest to the photos,” Cox notes. “The sand also allowed a barefoot styled elopement to still look classy and chic”
Brin Stationery designed paper goods in a similar moody palette, accenting the dark tones with reflective textures throughout. Complete with iconic hieroglyphics, the invitations allude to the eccentric Egyptian ceremony that will follow.
“The snakes were an integral part of the shoot as they tied in the Egyptian vibe, and the earrings I wanted to highlight.” Says Cox. “Both models were quite comfortable with the snakes, and they were extremely cooperative throughout the entire shoot!”
At the conclusion of the shoot, new friendships were forged (including with the reptiles!) and a stunning representation of all the hard work remains.
Photography: Alexi and Morgan Cox; Paper Airplanes Photography
Host: Alexi Cox; Paper Airplanes Photography
Co-Host and Stylist: Katie Brough; Love Kate Events
Models: Leo Weffer & Mouneesha Chowdary
Stationary: Brin Stationery
Hair: Bridal by Caitlin
MUA: Savanah Norman
Earrings: Meesha Farzaneh
Cake: Cakes by Kena
Snakes: Carrie Newman
Floral: Everlasting Floral
Decor: Just One Elle
Rentals: Diamond Event and Tent & All About Your Rentals
Looking for more desert inspiration? We have even more on our blog.