Grand Canyon Elopement: Carmen + Joe

Meet Carmen and Joe and their adorable son Milo! They decided to take an adventure for their wedding day and ended up selecting the Grand Canyon a a backdrop for their ceremony. They had an tiny wedding at Shoshone Point surrounded by their families and close friends before having a picnic and cake in the park!

Enjoy these gorgeous photos and some Q&A with the couple below.

Photography: Kara Evans Photography

Ceremony Location: Shoshone Point – Grand Canyon

Dress Store: Nordstrom

Dress Designer: Atelier Pronovias

Groom’s Tux : Ted Baker

Invitation Designer: Designing Suzanne

How did you two meet? Tell us about the proposal.

We met while working at Nordstrom in Columbus, Ohio. Joe has been with Nordstrom for almost 10 years and has relocated with them a handful of times. Carmen was working in the cosmetics department and they began talking when Carmen would come up to the restaurant that Joe managed. Joe proposed on the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel in Chicago. We took a day trip there with our little guy Milo and Joe’s parents. Joe thought we would get on a car ourselves and then his parents would get on a separate car, however, they seated us all together! So we sat there talking until we got to the very top. Joe got up and asked me to stand up (kinda difficult on there but I did it!) then he got down on one knee. I’m pretty sure I went into shock. I remember him saying he’s loved me for a long time and I make him a better man. I looked at his parents and don’t even think I said an audible “yes” – I couldn’t believe it was happening!

Let’s talk fashion! Tell us about your wedding day looks.

We both wanted something unique. I (Carmen) wanted something that not every bride would wear, and something that fit the style of the wedding. I chose my dress because of the lace design. It looked like it meshed with my tattoos and wasn’t a traditional floral lace. The lace on the dress resembled leaves and I fell in love the minute I tried it on. I had tried other dresses on that I thought I liked but none compared to that one. Joe found his suit at Nordstrom when we were leaving the store. We walked by it and he noticed it. He didn’t know if he should get something that “fancy” but loved it. He ordered a different one online but ended up not liking it. So he decided he should get the one at Nordstrom instead. It fit him perfectly and the color was so unique! It was meant to be!

What was the most anticipated or favorite moment of your wedding?

Our first look. We hadn’t planned to do it originally but last minute decided we wanted to do one. Those are the pictures I remember most because I know what I was thinking and how excited I was. I remember hearing Joe walking but didn’t know where he was and when he finally tapped me on the shoulder I was so excited! Also, having Milo play “The Final Countdown” while I waited for Joe to arrive made the time go by much easier.

Tell us about the inspiration for the day.

Our inspiration was very minimalistic + rustic from the beginning. We had originally planned a large traditional ceremony and ended up choosing to elope. We kept our original style land theme and made everything a bit smaller! I did have a bouquet, but that was the extent of the florals. We didn’t feel the need for more than that considering the space we chose. Having the Grand Canyon as the backdrop for our ceremony was plenty.

Tell us about any personal touches or favorite parts of the day.

After our ceremony, we sat down and had a picnic with all of our guests. Each of them chose their meal prior to the wedding so they knew what they were getting. We also had a small cake that we cut after and just enjoyed the time sitting together enjoying the view. There was a guitar player who played in the background during the picnic and after so we had background music. It was so nice!

Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice to share with couples in the planning process?

Wedding planning: Always go with what YOU want as a couple. There will be comments and suggestions coming at you from all angles and you have to remember to do what makes you happy. This day is about celebrating your love and future together. You want to look back on your wedding day and be glad that you made the decisions you did. If you want a small wedding, do it. If you want a room full of flowers, do it. If you want your first dance song to be “Uptown Funk”, do it. Marriage: It’s not always going to be sunshine and rainbows. You chose to stick with this person no matter what. The love you spoke about on your wedding day will be tested, so don’t forget how you felt the moment you said “I do.” Everything you go through together will make you stronger as a couple and you will see your spouse in a new light. Embrace the adventure and always say “I love you!”