An Adventure Elopement at Petit Jean State Park

Petit Jean State Park Elopement with Lacey & Ryan

Last fall I photographed a gorgeous elopement day at Petit Jean State Park for Lacey and Ryan. The two initially reached out to me around mid-March of 2023. They were looking for any date in May to elope at a scenic state park somewhere in the Northwest Arkansas area, and I just happened to have two dates still available. I reached back out to set up a call and we chatted about dates, locations, and best times of the year to elope in Arkansas. By the end of it we actually ended up going for a date in early November at Petit Jean State Park, because who doesn’t love fall colors?

The Elopement Planning Process

Petit Jean State Park has quite a few spots that are perfect for photos and a ceremony. During our planning process, it was my job to help Lacey and Ryan figure out which spots they wanted to go to on elopement day, and how many spots we had time to hit up within our coverage time. I provided some photos and info on all of the spots and they ended up selecting Bear Cave Trail, CCC Overlook, and Stouts Point as our destinations to check out, and we did all of their getting ready coverage, the ceremony, and cake back at their A-frame Airbnb on the mountain.

Lacey and Ryan wanted to keep this pretty laidback and simple so that there was less things to worry about and more time to soak in the special occasion and enjoy each other’s company, so they just stuck with hiring their essential list of vendors like myself, their videographer, florals, makeup, the Airbnb, and a cake. (vendors listed at the end!)

With all of their vendors booked, our locations picked out, and our timeline made, it was go-time for elopement day!

Elopement Day

We had a gorgeous day with mild temps and lots of sunshine. The couple rented two A-frame cabins off of Airbnb, The Beaumont Cottages, to stay at for the weekend with their good friends Hannah, Christy, and their daughter Leila. Lacey was getting ready in the Cedar Falls cabin with Christy while Ryan got ready in the Seven Hollows cabin right next door with his best friend Hannah. These cabins have big windows that let in sooo much beautiful sunlight, so they were perfect for photo coverage! Each come fully equipped with a kitchen, one bedroom downstairs, one loft-style bedroom upstairs, and 1.5 bathrooms. The couple booked me for 5.5 hours, which gave us time for ‘full day’ coverage, including: details, getting ready, ceremony, couple’s photos around various spots in the park, and time for cake!

The Ceremony

Ryan and Lacey wanted their first look to be at the altar, so Ryan turned towards the scenic overlook and waited for his bride to begin the walk over to the altar before the big reveal. I think it was a bit emotional for all of us when he turned around and saw his beautiful bride because she looked STUNNING. It was a beautiful ceremony full of tears, smiles, and sweet words exchanged during their vows. Hannah officiated for them and Christy tagged along to help behind the scenes. I think that was such a sweet way to include them into the day and give them the honor of witnessing such a special time in Lacey and Ryan’s lives. After their first kiss as husband and wife, they threw their arms up in celebration, then shifted into their first dance as a married couple. It was sooo pretty to see them dance with such a scenic view of the valley behind them, and I mean are they not so cute together?

The Rest of the Day

After the main event, it was time to explore the park. We gathered up our things and headed down the road to our first stop at CCC Overlook. We didn’t have any big activities planned at any of our stops, so we just spent short times at each place to take couple’s photos and explore the area. We headed to Bear Cave Trail next, then Stout’s Point as our final stop. It was fun exploring the park with them and testing out my new lens filter from Prism Lens FX. It made for the dreamiest photos! It did get a little chilly by the end of our adventure at Stouts Point, so it was nice to head back to the cozy cabins and warm up inside for cake and champagne to celebrate a successful wedding day.

Final Words

Lacey and Ryan were so fun and had the most chill vibes. It was so great to work with them, crack jokes, and be invited into such a sacred moment in their journey together. I’m always so honored to be hired as both a guide and a photographer for couples who want to do something special to celebrate their love.

This elopement was also recently published over on Wandering Weddings! You can read more details about their elopement and planning process from their own words over on this link.

Vendors Used

Photography: Beaty Creative Photo

Videography: Wanderbloom Films

Florals: Evergreen Bride

Makeup: Styled by Michelle

Cake: Dempsey Bakery

More Photos From the Elopement

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