A Serendipitous Salvation Mountain Elopement

Hugo Coelho Fotografia

May 15, 2020

Micaela and John knew they wanted to tie their wedding in with a three week trip of the US, but beyond that, they were easy! “We originally thought we’d rock up to a Vegas chapel,” explained Micaela, “but I was not like most brides and planned everything last minute. A week before the wedding I was going to book the chapel and found out that the ones we were interested in charge extra for bringing your own photographer, which we had not budgeted for, and they charge a lot for a 10-minute ceremony anyway! After chatting with our photographer, he suggested we travel out to Salvation Mountain – he’d remembered me mentioning our interest in it and we decided why not!”

“We hadn’t sorted flowers, a minister or a cake. The drive was five hours away from where we were staying in Vegas. We got there all sweaty and covered in dust, my hair was a mess and my make-up had melted off, but it was perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing.”

The couple didn’t have a budget, per se, they just knew that they wanted to spend the minimum, and focus their budget on making the most of the rest of their trip. To save money, they did the legal bit back in their hometown in Portugal. Micaela wore an ASOS dress with converse and a Rock n Roll Bride x Crown and Glory cape, while John wore jeans, Vans and a t-shirt from the Flamingo Hotel gift shop where they were staying!

“My outfit had to be easy to transport; it was very cheap, but I love it!” the bride explained. “John had a suit lined up but with our change in plans, it didn’t seem appropriate so he picked up a t-shirt at the day before at our hotel. He LOVES flamingos so it was seemed like fate!”

Micaela has dreamed of setting feet on Salvation Mountain since she was 14 years old, so having their ceremony there was magical for them. “It was just us, and our photographer,” she explained, “in such a one-of-a-kind place, reading heartfelt vows to one another. We felt so much love, a powerful energy, vulnerability and magic. After we read our vows, we excitedly sang the wedding march and toasted with warm Budweisers. It wasn’t what we had planned in our heads for the previous two years, but it was absolutely perfect for us. Everything happens for a reason. A lot of dreams came true that day.”

“Do everything together, and make sure it’s about the two of you,” Micaela advises. “It’s your day, and it’s going to stay with you forever. Don’t discount your set-backs; it might be the universe pointing you in the right path!”