There isn’t a bride or groom in the throes of wedding prep who hasn’t fantasized about just grabbing their lover’s hand and running away from it all to get married in secret. There’s a thrilling aspect to the idea of eloping with your one true love – whether it is to escape obstacles to your union or just to focus unwaveringly on one another, not distracted by the bells and whistles of a traditional wedding. If you’ve thought about it then you may want to get inspired by this couple – who had their wedding and their elopement too amidst the stunning vistas of Jordan!
Charlotte and James from South England had already had a legal wedding but something was still missing. So one day, they packed their bags and ‘ran away’ to exotic Jordan’s otherworldly desert of Wadi Rum for a symbolic ceremony. “Jordan is an amazingly beautiful country with epic locations and breathtaking beauty. The country has always been on the top of our bucket list and we’ve always dreamt of ourselves in the desert,” says James.
Called ‘The Valley of the Moon’, Wadi Rum is a small universe made of sun, sand, and stars. Boundless space extends in every direction. Visitors get lost in its beauty and find themselves submerged in tranquility unlike any other. The wadi’s monolithic rock formations emerge from the desert floor twisting breezes that wind their way through, twirling the sunlight that creates shape-shifting shadows as the day progresses. Every moment here seems to reinvent the view.
The couple met with their photographer from The Lighthouse Project a day prior to the vow renewal ceremony in the ancient city of Petra for a photo-shoot. “Petra was definitely the best location for what we had in mind for our Photoshoot. We enjoyed every minute of the planning and after a good search, we decided to go ahead with Teo and Anna from Lighthouse Photography. We immediately fell in love with their style and mood in their photos. We trusted them from the very first moment and discussed our vision and the locations that we had in mind via Skype” shares Charlotte. She goes on to elucidate on the concept and mood of their pictures and talks about her favorite photograph. “What we wanted for our pictures was a free-spirited, adventurous and non-posing style. The shoot was so easy going and we really enjoyed it. When we received our gallery we loved every picture in it but there is one that is our absolute favorite. It’s that where we are walking hand by hand in front of The Treasury or Al Khazneh. Stunning!” she says.
The historic site is famous for its captivating backdrops and set the tone for their intimate celebration the next day.
They returned to spend a night at the Bedouin camp and after breakfast at dawn, they were ready to embark on their romantic escapade. Charlotte wrote her vows as James found himself sitting in a scenic spot, reflecting on the promises he had made and those he was about to make.
The bride, in a beautiful lace gown with a plunging neckline and flounced sleeves was the picture of femininity. The groom looked like an old Hollywood star in his white shirt and brown trousers.
On camels (named Mohammed and Leila) they arrived at the location where patterned rugs and bright cushions were laid out on the red sands to create a minimalistic setup that drew inspiration from the aesthetics of the local tribes. They made their promises in a quiet yet utterly breathtaking ceremony with views of the desert landscape meeting the horizon. “The ceremony was conducted by a local Bedouin and this was definitely a once in a lifetime experience. We highly recommend this to the adventurous couples who want to do something of the box,” James explains. Once they had exchanged their vows their celebrant, whispered a Jordanian prayer and wished them in his own tradition bringing a sense of universal sanctity to the moment. Charlotte concludes, “We absolutely loved this day and we’d do it all over again.”
The day ended with champagne in front of a crackling fire and while the ceremony of their dreams had concluded, their beautiful journey of a lifetime of togetherness had only just begun.
By running away, they’d found home again.