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Their Story

Ok Cupid might have brought these two together but true love was already in the cards. This match almost didn’t happen because Jessica had been off the dating site when Ryan messaged her and his message went unseen for several months. When she finally saw it, she thought she missed her chance. Luckily he responded and the two went to coffee the next morning. Ryan is a former marine and Jessica was instantly drawn to his character, ethics, and inner strength. After a date that lasted all day, they became inseparable and she moved in with her bichon frise, Max, after 8 months of dating.

Ryan proposed on a beautiful stroll after a much needed dinner night out as Jessica had been sick and cooped up in the house. He asked her what her thoughts were on getting married with a little smile on his face and she thought they were just having a conversation. After she said she would definitely love to get married he popped a ring out of nowhere! She was completely surprised and of course, said yes.

They chose a Vegas desert elopement because they love being out in nature and appreciate the simple things in life. The beauty of the red rocks in Valley of Fire immediately captured their interest. Being introverts at heart, they wanted a small ceremony that they could share with loved ones. With family traveling from California, Arizona, and Colorado, Vegas made the most sense as a central destination.

The couple chose not to see each other before the wedding and were so happy they did. “It added to the moment I began to walk down the aisle and I will never forget it!” said Ryan. Taking pictures immediately after the ceremony with just the two of them was their favorite part of the day. “Carrie made us feel at ease right away and we had so much fun,” explained Jessica

Jessica wore a dress with beautiful intricate lace and a long train and Ryan looked sharp in a classic black tux and bow tie. I loved the motive they chose with white, ivory, lots of heavy greenery and vibrant splashes of red throughout. The couple added their personal touch by putting together welcome bags for their guests filled with personalized stickers, pashminas, dice, playing cards, sparkling water & snacks. “It allowed us to give them something special and unexpected,” said Jessica.

Jessica is a huge Etsy fan and pretty much procured everything from its vendors. Here’s a list of who she used if you’re looking for your own inspiration:

Alternative Guest Book Initial Sheet: YouMeHappily

Veil: DarethColburnDesigns

Advice cards, program sign: MintPrintStudio

Memory candle sign: JoyPaperShop

Programs: WillowLanePaperie

Wedding Timeline (posted to our website): SunshineWeddingParty

Unplugged Ceremony Sign: CreateNTreasure

Pearl Earrings: BlairNadeauBridal

Pearl Necklace: GlassPalaceArts

Personalized thank you cards: DetailsonDemand

Welcome Bag Personalized Stickers: BlackRabbitLabels

Pashminas: MiaKraftsShop

She also credits these vendors for her essentials:

Brilliant Bridal Denver: They helped me find a dress quickly and within my budget, the consultant ended up finding my dress. Fabulous experience: https://www.brilliantbridal.com/locations/denver-bridal-store

Bella Tailor Denver: She altered my dress quite a bit and patiently addressed every detail beautifully: https://bellatailor.com/

Boots: https://www.sotoboots.com/

Download a checklist of to-do’s and assign deadlines to each task. The time flies by! https://planning.weddingchicks.com/webapp/bride/checklist

We hope these tips help our next bride. Thank you Jessica for sharing!

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McKenzi Taylor
McKenzi Taylor

McKenzi Taylor is America’s go-to elopement and micro wedding expert, often featured in small and major media outlets, such as the New York Times. With over 15 years of wedding photography experience, it was after planning her own Las Vegas elopement in 2016 that McKenzi felt her purpose shift into elopement coordination. She started Cactus Collective Weddings soon after in 2017. Since then, she’s become a WIPA board member, and has helped well over 1000 couples get hitched in style around Las Vegas, San Diego and Black Hills.