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Desert Darlings

Feb 29, 2020

Earthy tones, bohemian decor and dreamy sand dunes for this southwestern styled shoot at Jockey’s Ridge State Park in Nags Head, North Carolina

The mood was set for this boho-chic, southwestern styled shoot at a breathtaking state park in North Carolina. With desert-like sand dunes and a watercolor painted sky in the backdrop, paired with tiny succulents, potted cactus, blush and cream colored florals and vintage decor, this styled elopement was nothing short of a dream.

“I am massively in love with those southwestern states and travel out west as often as I can,” said the photographer. “I am inspired daily by the style of the southwest, and one day had an idea to do a desert-themed styled elopement.”

With the help of a few amazing vendors, the photographer’s desert vision truly came to life, starting with the model’s bridal look. She exuded whimsy and grace in a high-low, sheer dress with off-white macrame and fringe detailing. To complete the look, she wore a pair of suede taupe booties and a statement turquoise cuff bracelet, with matching drop earrings and a collar necklace. 

“One thing that I think of when I think southwestern style is fringe,” said the photographer. “I searched high and low for a dress for the bride that was unique, yet would also fit my vision.”

For the groom, the model wore dark, emerald green slacks, suspenders, a white Oxford shirt and a bolo tie with some turquoise accents to match the bride’s jewels! Together, they looked radiant in the fading sunlight hitting the sand dunes.

“It is hard to pick my favorite parts, but I just loved getting the couple out on the sand dunes,” said the photographer, “and the bride in her fringe wedding dress with the turquoise jewelry was absolutely breathtaking!”

In the gorgeous natural light, the models shared a very intimate first look moment. The bride and groom had actually been married for about nine months at the time of this shoot, so they still had those effervescent newlywed feelings. When he turned to see her, time seemed to stop right there in the middle of the dunes.

“The bride teared up and it was so sweet,” said the photographer. “I was glad to be able to capture that moment not only for the styled shoot, but for the bride and groom as well!”

A focal point throughout this shoot was the ethereal combination of creamy and blush colored blooms, dried reeds, mixed greenery, mini succulents and potted bunny ear and fairy castle cactus. The bride’s romantic bouquet was a selection of soft blush roses and dahlias, sprays of eucalyptus, copper fern leaves and an assortment of rustic dried florals.

“Since the desert is a hot, dry place, we wanted the flower arrangements/bouquets to have that same feel,” said the photographer. “The flowers really just tied everything in together...they were a huge part of our styled shoot and vision!”

At the ceremony site, there were two native multicolored rugs and a faux spotted cowhide rug blanketed on the sand to create the aisle, with bohemian lanterns and potted cacti in wicker bases surrounding the couple to add that true desert touch.

“We wanted to keep the decor slightly minimal and mostly focus on the scenery/sand dunes surrounding us,” said the photographer.

Following the ceremony, the bride added a stone colored suede fedora to her ensemble, while the couple posed in the picturesque setting. As the sun set deeper in the sky, the golden sand faded into white, while the sky changed from pale blue to a peach-toned watercolor painting. Also, the surrounding beauty helped distract the team from the chill in the air!

“It was EXTRA cold and windy on the day that we did this photoshoot,” said the photographer, “so we were all wishing we were in a real desert!”

For the intimate dinner party reception, the table was made with two baskets and a piece of raw edged wood set on top. The boho-southwestern spread was designed with rugs, blankets and poufs as relaxed seating. On top, there was a creamy crocheted macrame runner, a centerpiece arrangement with tons of dried flowers mixed with anemone and baby’s breath, and a chic faux animal skull. There were even amethyst geode inspired cookies on a wooden platter.

Adding to the design, there were taper candles, mini succulents in acrylic vases and assorted glass bottles. Each place setting had an off-white ceramic charger, a square-shaped patterned dinner plate and a deep berry napkin. The tablescape was absolutely stunning, and every detail was captured by both the photographer and videographer, Hello Cheetah Productions!

“My vision totally came alive with the help of some amazing vendors and two beautiful models,” said the photographer.

After the last shot, the couple cozied up in the sand with the tasseled, aztec patterned throw wrapped around their shoulders to keep them warm.

Still looking for a videographer to capture all of your magical wedding moments? Check out Hello Cheetah Productions HERE!

Creative Team

Flutter Dress
Plaid & Pinned

Gossip Room Dessert Company

Glimmer Hair & Makeup

Grade & Greenery

Chasity Chen Photography

Rentals & Decor
Mosshound Designs

Jockeys Ridge State Park

Hello Cheetah Productions

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