Death Valley National Park is a remarkable, and underrated, desert of wonders. I had the opportunity to document a “just us” elopement for A + M in this remote landscape. They exchanged vows at sunrise in Artist’s Palette as the sun illuminated the colorful rays of the mountains surrounding us. If you’re considering eloping at Death Valley National Park, read on to learn how we created this magical elopement at Artist’s Palette.
Getting Ready in Death Valley’s Oasis Hotel
A + M started their morning at 3 am to get ready for the day. We wanted to capture the beautiful morning sunlight and have a quiet, secluded vox exchange. A + M got ready separately at their lodging, The Ranch at Death Valley. The Ranch is a perfect location for any Death Valley elopement because it’s centrally located within the park. There are only three hotels within the national park- The Ranch is one of them, and only 14 miles from Artist’s Palette.
A was first to begin with hair, done by California Bridal Stylist- Daniela Anderson. A wanted a boho hairstyle and was decorated with a beautiful, large fishtail braid. The perfect match to the ultimate boho elopement dress from Rue de Seine! Next, she had her makeup done by Amelia Hair and Makeup. I captured photos of A getting her makeup and hair done, followed by M getting ready with his suit.
First Look at Dawn
When we first arrived at Artist’s Palette it was dark! We arrive just before the sun was estimated to begin its sunrise. A + M wanted to have a first look as the sun was reaching the horizon. M stood facing the painted canyon, waiting for A to tap his shoulder and reveal her elopement attire. When A greeted M they exchanged giggles and smiles, complimenting each other’s chosen outfits. They admired and embraced one another.
Secluded Ceremony at Artist’s Palette
Following A + M’s first look, we walked to a spot perfect for their ceremony. Dawn was turning into day as the sun started to make its way past the horizon. A + M shared their intimate vows, ending just as the sun peaked over the mountains. We captured the sweetest moments of them committing to one another. We had the entire scene to ourselves and it added a beautiful privacy to a special moment.
Artist’s Palette continued as our backdrop for A + M’s wedding portraits. The bright sun illuminating behind them created the most magical scene in Death Valley National Park that day. We walked around the canyon, following the light and gasping at the colors that were hidden when we had first arrived. Artist’s Palette changes from hues of blue and green to pink and red depending on the location of the sun. We were able to capture its entirety. To celebrate, A + M popped a bottle of sparkling water (following Leave No Trace and National Park policies!). There’s nothing like popping some “bubbly” to celebrate the beginning of an exciting adventure.
For detailed information on how you can have a elopement at Artist’s Palette, follow my ultimate guide. You’ll learn how to get to DVNP, weather, locations, permit info, and everything you need. View this Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes elopement gallery to gain more inspiration on Death Valley ceremony locations.
Here's to co-creating an unforgettable elopement experience.
I’m Karen, a Southern California Elopement Photographer who empowers couples to create memories that will last a lifetime. I am dedicated to providing the tools you need to create an unforgettable experience.
I help couples by providing personalized location lists, planning resources, vendor recommendations, permits, timeline-curation, and much more to curate elopement days that will be cherished forever.