A DESERT ELOPEMENT

Mel + Amadeus
A Desert Elopement
Captured by
Jamie Green

How did you two meet?
We met on the first day of university as we did the same degree! 

What led to your elopement?
Amadeus never really wanted a wedding, I used to when I was a lot younger, but recently realised that wasn’t what I wanted. As an extrovert you’d think I’d relish in that kind of attention but it also freaked me out! So once we got engaged we mostly always talked of eloping. Originally in Italy or Spain, and then eventually America because I had a work trip planned there and the place where we ended up getting married was somewhere we’d shot a Spell campaign a couple of years earlier (Diamond Eyes). I felt a connection to this place and knew it was on Amadeus’ bucket list to one day see Antelope Canyon or a slot canyon, so there it was!  

What is the story behind your rings?
Haha, this one’s a funny one. I had intended the entire time planning that we’d exchange something like a burger ring style chip on the day. Kind of an homage to when Homer Simpson proposes to Marge with an onion ring. But I still wanted to purchase a ring to wear alongside mine, which is my Mum’s engagement ring, and planned on doing this whilst in NYC when we were there for work! But we never got time to look for rings, so when we arrived in Page, AZ (where we got married), we walked into a Trading Post and there was trays of beautiful vintage rings. I found the one I was wearing for a great price and it matched! I really like that’s where it came from. Amadeus’ ring was a whole other story! He didn’t realise I was serious about the burger rings, and told him when we were at the Trading Post not to get a ring because he hates wearing jewellery so he would never wear it. But he didn’t know till the morning of the elopement that the ring exchange is officially part of the ceremony and didn’t want to do burger rings, haha! Jamie Green, our friend and photographer saved the day and loaned Amadeus his beautiful Cleopatra’s Bling ring which fit perfectly! 

Give us all the dress details!
Every Spell range that was upcoming I would think about a white dress, as I didn’t want to wear a full on wedding dress! I originally fell in love first with the Tuula Senorita Gown, but when I met the Dawn Lace Gown from Aurora I knew it was the one but wanted to change it up a bit, so asked our design team to add on sleeves from another style in the same story and custom cuffs, so it was unique to me and felt a little more formal! I was also obsessed with the cuffs that were on the sleeve most of all. In the end I did get to wear the Tuula Senorita Gown to my little party when I got home, so I got the best of both worlds, hehe! 

How would you describe your wedding day style…
I guess you’d call me bohemian at heart and I’m sure it looked that way! I wanted a lacy vibe but to kind of feel like a cowgirl too. So in the ceremony I just wore the dress, Jean Riley pearl earrings and Bared Footwear Boots, but added a Lack Of Color hat when we went to Amangiri because I wanted to add that desert vibe and a bit of coolness to the pretty look. I wanted it to feel 60s/70s and overall think there was a bit of a nod to that. 

Your elopement featured three vastly different, yet equally beautiful backdrops – tell us about each location and why you were drawn to them to journey through your day…
As I spoke about above, Amadeus had dreamt of seeing these vibrant orange canyons one day, like the ones that grace all of your desktop backgrounds! So when I found our elopement company, Monument Weddings in Arizona, I chatted to them about options like Horseshoe Bend (which is epic but standing near the edge scares me so much!) and then the Canyons came up and I thought it was so cool! Originally, I wanted to have the ceremony at Amangiri, but after the Canyon was an option we opted for lunch there. I adored the architecture of this place when we shot there, so to be able to snap some photos there myself was a real honour. And finally, the desert! The roads and everything there is seriously like another planet. Probably the most beautiful landscape ever! So we just hopped out the car a couple times and snapped away! We actually also took a helicopter that afternoon which I haven’t shared yet, it was so so special and something I wanted for Amadeus as he has always wanted to take a chopper! It was actually magic seeing horseshoe bend and the landscape from above, and we got to land on Tower Butte, which is this huge rock 5000ft above sea level. We got to walk around there and check out the view from so high up!

Your wedding photographs are actual works of art. We know you so much as the girl behind the camera, how important was the photography of your elopement? Tell us the story of Jamie as your photographer and how you achieved such incredible photos… 
I guess because in the end no one else was going to be there including family, photos were pretty important. Also, Amadeus and I rarely get photos together! Basically I wanted Jamie to be the photographer no matter what, wherever it was. He and Lisa and great friends of ours and I love his work, and knew he’s the only one I’d be comfortable with! It was perfect and of course his work is insane and I’m be forever grateful for the photos. He also steamed my dress like a good bridesmaid and ruined my bouquet that morning too, but that’s another story haha! 

The moment you wish you could relive all over again…
Probably the ceremony. I cried like a baby, and it felt so perfect, intimate and romantic. After 13 years I think we’d never felt so in love as we did in that moment. 

Funniest moment…
I shared this on my Instagram earlier, about our flowers:Funny story about my flowers. Where we got married was in the middle of nowhere, so Lisa and I took to Walmart and grabbed as many bunches as we could to pull apart and create something cute. We also found some synthetic flowers that were really good, so we decided to add those in too…only thing was, their stems were extremely long compared to the natural ones. So we bunched it together the evening before the elopement to add in more dried, dead flowers from out the front of the hotel and to somehow chop the fake stems. The next morning we asked Jamie to go and chop the longer stems and he returns chuffed with what appeared to be a whole other bouquet of flowers… (why was there babies breath in there now? Why are there more orange roses and why is there green foliage? What happened to the big pink fake rose???) the poor thing thought we just wanted the fake flowers removed and took some creative liberties of his own, only 5 minutes before we needed to leave the hotel to get to our celebrant. So Lisa reassembled the bouquet in the car on the way there. They still ended up looking beautiful of course, and Jamie claims he did it on purpose to make some drama! It was actually the first time Amadeus saw me in my dress as I had to burst into the other room to figure out what had happened, haha! 

Where did you (mini) honeymoon to?
We went to a small town called Jamestown on the way to Yosemite, spent a night at Yosemite, then two nights in San Fran and one night in LA on the way home! It was very quick and I plan on trying to do something else before the end of the year if I can! 

Any words of advice…
People say “I wish I’d eloped” or “ I can’t elope, my family would kill me!!” – each to their own but if the idea of a wedding daunts you (attention, planning and not to mention the cost!), I think most people will understand! We did end up having a party after and that was perfect!  Do what suits you as a couple and it will feel so right. 

Mel + Amadeus
Captured by Jamie Green