Matt and Paul's elopement adventure was planned a little backwards, because we were expecting classic summer temperatures in the Texas Caprock Canyon floor. They planned on exploring the canyon trail the afternoon before, with a little night hiking after dinner, and then a sunrise ceremony with a couple hours to gallivant with the bison before temperatures rose too high at the canyon floor.
When they arrived, the panhandle was experiencing a curious spat of cooler weather and scattered storms. Instead of the usual triple digit temps, they enjoyed a cool 80 degrees and cloudy skies at the canyon floor. It was nothing like Matt and Paul had ever experienced before - so let the adventure begin!
Matt and Paul explored the upper canyon for a bit, discovering hidden trails that led to gorgeous overlooks. After that, they decided to head to the canyon floor to explore and set up camp as the sun started to set.
After Matt and Paul had their fill of exploring the canyon, they returned to camp to picnic while watching the sun set over the canyon wall. After the sun had fallen, Matt started building the boutonnières for the sunrise ceremony out of a bouquet he had ordered, a special houseplant, and a sprig of fallen juniper.
With full bellies and florals arranged, it was time for a little night hiking! They donned their dreamiest attire and hit a hidden trail down to the Little Colorado River.
And of course, things got a little steamy.
After their nighttime adventure, Matt and Paul headed back to camp for the night, where a lone bison and raccoon were waiting for them in the juniper.
At sunrise, we met at the trailhead and hiked to the spot that Matt had picked out for he and his future husband would exchange their vows. The morning was hazy and dripping with humidity. We knew rain was in the forecast somewhere, but in such a remote area, there was no way for us to know where the rain was.
Their vows were beautiful and sweeping, with only coyotes and bison as witnesses. After Paul and Matt's everlasting promises were made to each other, I recited some legal requirements, and they shared their first kiss as clouds rolled over the canyon hills.
It was time to celebrate with a post-ceremony hike and explore what they could before the rain inevitably came.
Paul and Matt found a winding gypsum-laced wall to steal away for a kiss. Little did they know that a bison would lumber by. We never saw the entire herd, and we wonder if this was the same bison that visited camp the night before and was snoring during the ceremony.
Towards the end of our time together, the clouds became heavy and we decided to head back towards the trailhead. Perfect timing - we were narrowly caught in a squall with 100mph straight line winds as soon as we got back to the parking lot!
Matt and Paul are such a dream couple - colorful, laid-back, and eager for adventure! They did end up getting a little more adventure than expected with this trip, and they were nonstop smiles, snuggles, and kisses the entire time!
Congratulations, Matt and Paul! Watching you together is like watching a sunrise - witnessing the start of something beautiful.
Matt and Paul received 8 hours of coverage split between 2 days, with planning assistance and gear rental. Caprock Canyon is a remote wilderness park, and should be treated as such.