Whether you’re taking engagement photos, planning a wedding or coordinating vow renewals, finding a way to incorporate the activities you love as a couple is often the best inspiration for creating something that feels authentic. In the case of James and Charles, incorporating a love of traveling to the desert was at the top of the inspiration list for their wedding vow renewal. So, they called up their wedding photographers Teo and Anna of Lighthouse Photography and all booked a trip to the red desert of Wadi Rum.
The photographers fill us in on all the details of the shoot below, from the camel caravan to singing and dancing to Jordanian music.
Tell us about this couple and how you came to shoot their elopement!
James and Charles are an English couple who are already married but wanted to renew their vows. We already knew them because we captured their wedding. So, when they decided to renew their vows, Jordan was their first thought. They told us that Jordan always was on the top of their bucket list because they love Petra and the red desert of Wadi Rum. For this reason, they had a portrait session in Petra one day prior to the renewal in the desert.
Wadi Rum is one of the most beautiful places on earth - how was shooting here?
Wadi Rum is insanely beautiful. You constantly have the feeling that you're walking on Mars. We booked a 4x4 tour with a local guide so that we could see the best locations. We were really lucky because the weather was great for February and it made our work so much easier. We first stopped at a camel caravan and the couple rode camels up a hill so that they could admire the desert view. Camels are such sweet animals and the couple really enjoyed it. Then we strolled around the desert and stopped at several beautiful spots and took nice pictures until sunset.
Tell us about the ceremony - were any Bedouin traditions incorporated?
The couple wrote their vows at our Bedouin Camp. Charles looked stunning in her Grace Loves Lace wedding gown. Our driver led us to a place where we would see the sunset best. Given the fact that they were already married, the couple did not want to have a wedding planner but wanted it to be plain with a touch of Jordan. So, a few traditional carpets and pillows were enough.
Moments before the sunset, James waited Charles for the first look and then, hand by hand they reached the ceremony spot. A local friend they met at our camp was the celebrant of the ceremony. He read some Jordanian wishes and even sang a Jordanian song before the couple exchange their vows. It's so beautiful witnessing moments like this, it was a really incredible experience. With the most amazing sunset as their background, James and Charles exchanged vows of love, faith and commitment.
After that, they opened the champagne they brought from the UK, exactly for this moment. Just when the sun set and the light was fading quickly, our driver lit a fire and the couple relaxed and enjoyed the champagne. Such a day, such an amazing experience.
Onto the Bedouin camp - can you share about your experience here? Did you partake in any local ceremonies or activities?
Our Bedouin Camp was in the middle of the desert. It was totally run by locals who were always more than willing to help us. Every night, they cooked chicken and vegetables (with a traditional cooking method where they put the food under the soil), and we enjoyed it while listened at Jordanian music. Many of the guests danced with the bedouins. After that we gathered around the fireplace drinking tea. Wonderful moments.
What is your top tip for planning an elopement in a different country?
When you decide to elope in a different country, you first need to know what style you want your elopement to have. According to the style you like, you must find professionals who think the same way as you so that you can share your dream with. The perfect fit with your photographer and planner is of great importance. If you manage to find them, then your dream elopement will definitely come true and maybe (why not) exceed your expectations!
Photography: Lighthouse Photography | Venue: Hasan Zawaideh Tourist Desert Camp | Dress: Grace Loves Lace