This elopement in Alabama Hills, California with Hayley + Jake was truly one of the most epic days I’ve ever gotten to be a part of. The Alabama Hills are definitely a lesser-known destination and I cannot WAIT for y’all to see the magic we created. You’re going to fall in love with this place sooo quickly and it will def make your list of dream elopement locations! Keep reading to hear about this beautiful day and to learn a little bit more about the amazing Alabama Hills.
Let’s talk a little bit about this phenomenal location first! Because it’s definitely one of the most underrated spots in California. It’s not the first one that comes to mind when you typically think of California like Yosemite or Big Sur might be.
The Alabama Hills are a range of rock formations & hills near the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada mountains in California! The rocks give off some Joshua Tree desert vibes which I love, and the snow-capped mountains in the background are absolutely freaking breathtaking. This land is part of the Alabama Hills National Scenic Area, which is located on protected BLM land. It truly feels like you’re on another planet when you’re exploring this stunning area of unique wilderness with tons of textures, colors, and possibilities!
Before I show you too much more of their special day, you have to get to know this couple a little bit! Hayley + Jake are actually intimate wedding & elopement photographers themselves, based out of California. They’re incredibly talented photographers and just creatives in general, so it was a huge honor getting to photograph them! You can follow their beautiful work @wanderlovecaptures on IG, or check out their website here.
Not only are they talented photogs – they also own a rad Tacoma that they take with them everywhere on their adventures, and Jake documents it! They’ve branded it the “Wander Taco” (I’m obsessed), and you can check out tons of super cool videos of their adventures with it on IG @wandertaco or on their Youtube channel. Seriously, getting to see their gorgeous blue truck on their elopement day & seeing all the epic content Jake creates has made me want to get a Tacoma hahah!
Alright, now let’s get to the elopement day itself y’all because this day was INCREDIBLE from start to finish. We got up at 5:30am to begin the day with Hayley + Jake finishing up their vows in their Airbnb, then we headed out to the hills (with their Wander Taco in tow, of course)! Jake had gotten his suit all buttoned up back at the Airbnb, but Hayley got into her dress on-location to make sure it didn’t get too wrinkled. Then we went on our way, carrying lanterns to light the way since it was still a little dark out!
We found a perfect spot just a little ways away from where Hayley + Jake could stand and read their vows. It had the most absolutely breathtaking views of the Sierra Nevadas in the background. Truly have you ever seen a more incredible backdrop? I swear it felt like we were on an entirely different planet. With the snow-dusted mountains, the textures all around us, the colors of blue hour. It was an absolute dream come true.
Once they’d exchanged their vows, we ventured out into the gorgeous rock formations for some sunrise elopement portraits, watching the sun come up and light up the mountains in the most magical shades of pink & purple. We captured the beauty of the peaceful morning all to ourselves, as the wind blew through our hair, the sun rose and warmed us up and the stunning scenery around us started to light up. I know getting up at sunrise can be rough, but y’all it is so unreal and is probably the most magical part of the day!
These two freaking rocked the most perfect bohemian elopement outfits for their Alabama Hills adventure elopement! Hayley killed it in her form-fitting, boho-patterned dress, with a nude fringe jacket on top to keep her warm and add a perfect desert vibe. Jake chose a checkered beige suit jacket that went amazinglyyy with the dreamy neutral color palette surrounding them, with a white undershirt & black pants. These outfits go to show that keeping your colors simple & neutral is sometimes the best way to go!!
Finally, we met up again at night for some sunset elopement portraits and WOW did the sky show up for us! The sun looked freaking stunning setting over the mountains, into the clouds & casting that dreamy golden hour glow onto Hayley + Jake and the landscape around them. Then we got some incredible portraits of them holding their lanterns once the sun was almost fully down, with the sky glowing orange behind them and their silhouettes standing out against the clouds! We ended with some portraits in the glow of the headlights from their Wander Taco, of course.
This elopement day was incredible from top to bottom, with amazing humans and the most unreal location, lighting, textures, colors, you name it. So thankful to have been there to capture it all for these two!!
Looking for more desert elopement & intimate wedding inspo?! Check out two incredible elopements below to find all the gorgeous bohemian, neutral color palette, magical desert inspo you’ll ever need!