Big Bend Elopement: Cecelia & Nathan
Updated: Mar 6
Sentiment, daring, and intimate are the three words to describe Cecelia and Nathan’s elopement at Big Bend National Park. Intimate because only they heard the vows spoken. Daring because a two-and-a-half-mile hike was worth the experience they would have on top of a mountain, and Sentimental because, so much, if not all of Cecelia’s jewelry was bequeath to her from both of their relatives, including the very stone on her wedding ring.
The day began at a humble Airbnb with a brunch prepared by Nathan. Pork chops and eggs garnished with a local Terlingua salsa. Nathan fully admitted that the chops were over kill and mostly chosen for the aesthetics, although very delicious. A quick cheers to the following activities with a couple of ice cold Topo chicos, Cecelia and Nathan sealed breakfast with a kiss and began to don their wedding attire.
The first look was situated on a hill nearby their BNB and the backdrop painted rust and gray by the mountains of the Big Bend. Cecelia and Nathans first look was brief but not far from romantic. Spin after spin, Nathan’s eyes drank up the glory of his soon to be wife dressed in white and Cecelia’s smile silenced everything around them.
It was a one hour and forty-five-minute drive into the national park to our first stop at the Dorgan House. A ruin with a mysterious history served as a precursor to the couples vows. A second cheers was share with an “adult beverage” (as Nathan put it), and after a few more hugs and whispers we all made our way to the shining star of The Big Bend, Santa Elena Canyon.
Cecelia and Nathan desired a private moment and for their ears to be the only ones that hear the words that were spoken, a contrast from the typical wedding vow exchange, yet so beautiful, no less sacred and quite admirable. There was no rush, no guest to consider, no food to worry about getting cold, or timeline to strictly adhere to, it was only them and their moment standing on the riverbed that divides Mexico and Texas. After a multitude of giggles and looks our direction, we correctly assumed this was an indication that the vows were complete and we would begin the last leg of our elopement day journey… but not after a few just-for-fun photos at the base of the canyon.
The last adventure planned was a hike up the Chisos Mountains of the Big Bend. After a quick change of clothes and saddling up our backs with backpacks full of wedding clothes, water, and camera equipment we hike two and a half miles up that mountain for a view that took all our breaths away. And here, I raise a digital symbolic third glass to give cheers to the newly wedded couple. Cheers to their bravery, adventurous spirit, their willingness to go beyond what others wont ever do. And may those traits grow deep root into their marriage and lead to fall deeper and even more madly in love, till death do them part.
All photographs: Rebekah Paul Photography
Cinematography: Juan Jose Photo & Films
Location: Big Bend National Park
Dress: Grace Loves Lace
Suit: Banana Republic