Desert vibes and we’re not actually in Africa? Tell me more! Kyla and Justin decided to elope in The Bonneville Salt Flats. Since they were already traveling, I offered them another session at the Little Sahara Sand Dunes in Nephi, Utah. Check this session out because it’s absolutely perfect!
Little Sahara Sand Dunes or Little Sahara Recreation Area is a Bureau of Land Management and is a super cool (figuratively) place to get some epic photos done during your visit to Utah! You could consider eloping there but honestly, it’s a little too sandy, I think and you run the risk of it blowing all over.
An engagement session at Little Sahara Sand Dunes
While Kyla and Justin had already had their engagement session done at a local winery in Indiana, I wanted to give them a truly unique experience. That’s why when they booked me for their Bonneville Salt Flats elopement, I suggested Little Sahara Sand Dunes for an engagement session.
Located south of Salt Lake City, Little Sahara Sand Dunes is 109 miles and just under a 2 hour drive. Just outside the town of Nephi, Utah, this place is truly gorgeous. It’s 60,000 acres and spans 20 miles north and south and 10 miles east and west. It’s huge when you’re there and it truly does feel and look like you stepped over to northern Africa.
When you visit, there’s a vehicle entrance fee of $18 which you pay to the Bureau of Land Management and then you’re set. Save yourself a few bucks and carpool since gas is a little higher out in the boonies of Utah.
Once you’re in the park, it’s really easy to just pick a spot and begin photographing. While we were there we saw a couple other photographers but thankfully, the hills and dunes of Little Sahara Sand Dunes made this engagement session far more intimate and private.
If you decide to elope in Utah, I highly recommend you do a hair and makeup trial. Pairing up a second shoot while you’re in Utah allows you to see the hair and makeup for your elopement and gives you the bonus opportunity of getting an entirely different wedding look while being pampered and dolled up.
Kyla and Justin did their hair and makeup trial with my girl, Janelle Ingram, who I adore working with and who did Kyla’s wedding day of makeup and hair. Kyla looked absolutely stunning and with a rented gown from the beautiful Utah Gowns, we had the perfect engagement in Little Sahara Sand Dunes.
Now let me warn you–if you get out to the dunes, it’s more than likely going to be a little windy so be very aware of that. We began our session on top of a sand dune but couldn’t stay there very long due to the blowing wind and sand which was getting everywhere, including in my eyes.
Thankfully, Little Sahara Sand Dunes is the perfect space for engagement portraits and offered us a space away from the sand. We took full advantage and once the winds had subsided, we took another venture deeper into the recreation area and finished up with not only a beautiful golden hour moment but also saw a full rainbow behind Kyla and Justin that I was able to feature.
Eloping in a new space can feel scary but don’t worry. I’ve got you! Whether you’re considering eloping or renewing your vows–send me a message below and we can talk details and plans!
A special thanks to the wonderful vendors below.
Hair and makeup: Janelle Ingram
Dress rental: Utah Gowns
Location Ideas: My homies — The Busses!
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New Adventure Productions is owned by Nate Dale, a Lafayette, Indiana wedding and elopement photographer. We travel nation and worldwide to capture beautiful and intimate weddings and elopements while providing a guidance, love, help along the way.
He is married to the love of his life, Felicia with their two doggies, Pika and Princess.