When Ryan called me on Thursday about being his Joshua Tree wedding officiant, one of his first questions was, “So how soon can we do this?”

“This weekend, if you want,” I replied.


Yes, really!

After Kari and Ryan booked me as their Joshua Tree wedding officiant for their last minute elopement, we got right to work. They filled out their love story homework and we plotted where in Joshua Tree National Park we would meet. This is really important for elopements in Joshua Tree, where cell reception is spotty at best and non-existent at worst. After we plotted it out on the park map and confirmed our meeting time, we chatted about why they were getting married in Joshua Tree and so last minute.

It turns out these lovebirds met through mutual friends but it wasn’t until a camping trip in the park that they really got to know each other. Since it was the beginning of their love story, it was only fitting it was where they were getting married. They wanted a practical wedding, to have an experience that was celebratory but didn’t stress them out, and to focus on being together in the intimacy of the moment.

I couldn’t agree more!

We met up near Intersection Rock in the middle of Joshua Tree National Park about 30 minutes before sunset to go over paperwork and find the right spot. It was already getting chilly and windy, but Kari and Ryan were in high spirits after a day of wandering the park and taking a 1,000 photos (no joke!) of the desert at this stunning time of year. We walked off a bit until Ryan found a cool looking rock formation (which we dubbed so wittily, “Cool Rock” LOL!) and settled in just before sunset.

elope in Joshua tree

While Ryan set up the camera (he’s a photographer), Keri and I chatted about her adorable wedding dress. She found it on Etsy and it suited their fun, easy, desert boho wedding vibe perfectly.

Joshua Tree bride in Etsy wedding dress

Isn’t she adorable?!

After Ryan was set up, the three of us took our spots on this natural rock altar and I started the ceremony. I shared their love story, laughed with them over a few inside jokes, and agreed with them that love is indeed an adventure.

But really, the groom Ryan said it best:

Marriage to me is the closest thing we humans can get to a superpower. We take our awesomeness and combine it with someone else’s awesomeness and then become unstoppable.

bride and groom marry in Joshua Tree

Ryan and Kari said their vows as the sun sunk into the horizon. As a Joshua Tree wedding officiant, I’m proud to say that their ceremony was intimate, funny, and all three of us got teary in between the giggles. These two are so much fun!

Joshua Tree wedding officiant

Joshua Tree desert elopement

After the ceremony was done, we stopped in a quiet moment to watch the sun slip away. If you’ve never been in the desert at sunset, it’s stunning. The whole world seems to go silent and fade from the gold of the afternoon to the quietly cool twilight. It was the perfect end to a simple and heartfelt wedding.

groom watching the sunset

Congratulations again to Keri and Ryan!

Interested in having me as your Joshua Tree wedding officiant or in the Palm Springs or Palm Desert areas? Fill out the form below for more details!