Now y’all know that I’m a huge fan of the Bonneville Salt Flats. They’re pristine and white, clean, and super minimal. They’re also super easy to access and when you pair it up with my wedding team in Salt Lake City, Utah, you’re truly in for an unforgettable experience. Kyla and Justin had the perfect Bonneville Salt Flats elopement and I want to show you what it’s all about!
But first a little about their love story!
Kyla and Justin met a few years back during a tenure in a medical facility. Justin had been working there for a bit and Kyla was doing her nursing practicum there. They told me that pretty much as soon as they met one another, they just knew that they were going to fall in love.
Fast forward a bit and I receive an inquiry from my blog How to Elope In the Bonneville Salt Flats. At the time I’m in Colorado photographing Alison and Stephen’s mountain engagement but I knew that I had to respond quickly to these two. We hopped on a video chat and spent almost 2 hours just talking.
Kyla, originally from Indiana, had relocated up to Wisconsin to be with Justin. Justin, a true midwestern sweetheart dream is chocked full of midwestern kindness and the best Wisconsin borderline Minnesotan accent you’ve ever heard. But it wasn’t their accents or where they grew up that connected us, it was their love and compassion for one another. A true meeting of souls and I’ve been so honored and humbled to get to photograph their love story.
A Bonneville Salt Flats Elopement
Eloping at the Bonneville Salt Flats isn’t hard. In fact, I try to make it as totally accessible and easy as pie.
Kyla and Justin aren’t from Utah and eloping in a new state can be challenging. Thankfully, they had me and more importantly, I had my amazing SLC wedding team to believe in and call upon. After they booked my services, Kyla set out to book all her wedding vendors in SLC. I was able to connect her to my amazing hair and makeup artist as well as my decorator. She also found a local cake bakery who made the most delicious cake to accent her decor. She even went with my girl, Trish, who decorated and set up a gorgeous ceremony space for her.
After an adventure at Little Sahara Sand Dunes for some portraits the day before, their Salt Flats elopement day had arrived. I met up with them at their AirBnB in SLC for a few details and a meeting of Kyla’s parents, who also flew out and joined us.
The day was nothing more than the most chill and beautiful. Which, I believe, every wedding day should be.
We all packed up our cars with lots of waters, their cake, some champagne, and two beautiful looking people ready to get married and headed out.
The drive to the Salt Flats from SLC is about 1.5 hours but I always recommend 2 hours just in case we need to stop for gas or a bathroom.
Once we arrived, Trish was already there with the majority of the setup done, despite us arriving a little early.
Kyla and Justin decided on doing a first look at the Salt Flats and adorned her beautiful lace and long sleeved dress, she met Justin at the ceremony site, tapped him on the shoulder, and shared a tender moment of wordless awe. The two truly love one another and you can even hear it without the words.
After, Kyla did a first look with her dad as well. Another tender moment between a father and daughter that will forever remain in my mind as some of the most beautiful times.
While Kyla and Justin had legally gotten married in Wisconsin, at my suggestion, her dad still took the liberty of getting ordained to marry his daughter at the Bonneville Salt Flats for her elopement.
Sometimes wedding ceremonies are personal, sometimes they’re more religious, sometimes they’re a little impersonal and quick. Whatever your preference is–that’s fine. It’s your elopement day, after all. Kyla and Justin’s wedding ceremony has to be one of the top 5 most beautiful ones I’ve witnessed in all my time as a wedding and elopement photographer.
The words that her father shared for them–the wisdom he imparts without judgment–the personality and sweetness he infused into everything he shared with these two soulmates made me cry. Or maybe it was just the salt. No…it was definitely the ceremony.
Afterward, Kyla and Justin shared their own wedding vows that were raw, intimate, and absolutely real. It was perfect and while I can’t express it any further–I’m so glad I was able to witness another birth of true love evolving into marriage.
Once they had shared their vows and sealed it with a first kiss as an officially married couple, Kyla’s dad had a few more surprises for her mom. Before their trip out, dad had asked K and J if he could share some kind words with his wife, Kyla’s mom and to give her a new ring as it was nearing their 30th wedding anniversary a few days after.
The ups and downs of life, the hardships and the triumphs, and everything in between have kept these two married and in love for 30+ years. He even bent down on one knee to give her this beautiful matching infinity band which perfectly fit and matched the set he had given her 30 years earlier.
We followed up with family photos, cake cutting, and portraits in my favorite place.
Of course, being from the Midwest, I feel we’re always a bit on our toes about the weather. And as the day rolled on, so too rolled in some bad weather. Which, let me add, is a pretty rare occurrence in a desert like Utah. We were able to finish up their first dances after their portraits when heavy winds and rain swept through. We got Kyla in the car and the fellas and I helped Trish load up her van and we headed back into SLC.
Of course, no trip to SLC is complete without a stop at In-N-Out Burger. And while they aren’t sponsoring me (I wish they would!) I brought this amazing family to one of my favorite burger places to order tasty shakes, eat some fresh fries, and toast their made to order burgers outside with some fun, late night photos.
This Bonneville Salt Flats elopement was just another reason why I’ll continue to return to Utah to photograph there. But this time, it wasn’t just about the space and the grandeur of the pristine white. It was these two amazing souls pledging love and lives to one another for all eternity.
Wishing you both the best, Kyla and Justin! Thank you for believing in me and for loving one another.
If you want to see more from their late winter winery engagement, check it out here!
And of course, don’t skimp on their Little Sahara Sand Dunes portraits too!