Stunning Valley of Fire State Park Elopement
Surrounded by a few close family members and friends, Jordan and Ashley eloped in Las Vegas, Nevada’s breathtaking Valley of Fire State Park.
What advice would you give to engaged LGBTQ+ couples?
Over communicate with your partner about what you want, and check in early and often to make sure you’re both feeling happy and supported. Make sure you take care of each other and what is important to the both of you — don’t lose sight of the fact that the wedding is about celebrating your love, not about anybody else! Remember to lean in to your (chosen) family of people who love and support your love. Also, don’t be afraid to lean on the wider LGBTQ+ community for vendor recommendations. Knowing that other LGBTQ+ couples have had positive experiences with vendors takes so much worry/ stress out of the process.
Advice for vendors and venues working with LGBTQ+ couples?
Use inclusive language and don’t assume the gender (or pronouns) of the people you are working with !!! Some of the elopement companies we considered had an info form that asked “are you the bride or the groom?” When I chose “bride” it defaulted to ask, “What is the groom’s name?” I was immediately put off and uncomfortable. It’s also so important to see examples of LGBTQ+ weddings on vendor websites/ advertising materials. This communicates to possible clients that you value and celebrate their love (and that you’re willing to put yourself out there as an ally).
What challenges did you face as an LGBTQ+ couple planning your wedding?
I think our main challenge was in cultivating a very small invite list due to COVID, and then managing disappointment when people we love didn’t prioritize showing up for us. (Overall, we were very lucky and we didn’t face too many challenges — we leaned on our LGBTQ+ community to identify vendors that were great to work with!)
Did you encounter any pleasant surprises as an LGBTQ+ couple planning your wedding?
To the wider public we were already doing something “non-traditional,” so there were very few wedding “rules” and expectations. This gave Ashley and I the freedom and flexibility to design a day that was perfect for us! Nothing is assumed and everything is a conversation; it’s beautiful!
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Photographer: Jennie Crate
Venue: Valley of Fire State Park
Florist: The Front Porch Flowers
Planner: Rachel from Cactus & Lace
Rings: Charles and Colvard
Caterer: Cut & Taste
Officiant Company: Cactus & Lace