America & Tyler’s Picturesque Desert Elopement

General, Real Elopements,
6 min read Mar 1, 2021

When life gives you a global pandemic and you want to get married, it’s best to turn it into…lemonade? The darling couple America & Tyler had their plans botched by COVID but with the help of some friends decided to turn it into a magical desert elopement. These two lovebirds reached out to us about our traveling team – The Hopfs – and ended up having one of the most picturesque desert weddings. Read more to find out how America and Tyler met, fell in love and ended up choosing a true paradise for their stunning elopement.

How did you meet? What was your first impression of one another?

America: We met on a beach in Mexico! He was sitting by himself reading. I plopped down next to him on my way to the bathroom and just started talking. I knew in the first 5 minutes he was a deeper individual, exploring life and I was intrigued. He also had a great smile and an Australian accent.

Tyler: It took me a minute to believe that her name actually was America, but once we got past that I was just drawn to her immense energy and light. There is nothing fake or false about her and she just exuded this passion and curiosity for life.

When did you first fall in love? How did you know?

America: Tyler and I went though a category 5 hurricane within the first few days of meeting combined with Montezuma’s revenge. We had no power, we were out of our respective countries and oddly I felt safer with him than I could imagine. He thought through various details to keep us safe and well and we made the most of a very uncomfortable and scary situation. I think it was there I started to fall in love with him.

Tyler: I think for me, I really fell in love with how accepting and non-judgmental America was throughout our early dating experience. Her openness and willingness to see me for who I am really aligned with my own values and it is just such a rare quality to find in a partner. We made it happen, against all the odds.

How did you propose or accept the proposal?

America: He surprised me and took me to a little hilltop ocean view casita in Malibu where he had our friends set up a sunset Moroccan-style picnic, complete with our friend singing and playing acoustic guitar. He thought of every detail!

Tyler: I was fortunate enough to have our amazing friends at Party Solution (@partysolution) arrange a stunning surprise Malibu cliff top proposal complete with beautiful live music from @zeallevine and videography from @jonathonrios. We then stayed the night in a beautiful cliff top bungalow and slept above the clouds.

What do you love about your partner?

America: He knows how to make me laugh and is so supportive. He is always is trying to help me and step in to take any weight off my shoulders and is a deeply caring person. He’s silly and goofy like I am and SUPER smart. I love his quest for knowledge and admire his desire to learn and grow. He’s also an amazing lover and a true best friend!

Tyler: I love America’s ability to light up any room she walks into. I love her persistence in getting what she wants while making everyone feel good about it. I love her thoughtfulness and generosity, and her ability to attract good people into our lives.

What is the greatest strength of your relationship?

America: Communication. We communicate very openly and have always been super transparent with one another. There’s nothing we can’t share. He’s also the yin to my yang and balances me out in every way.

Tyler: I think our greatest strength is our communication. We talk about anything and everything, no matter how sensitive or difficult the conversation. We create a safe space for each other to be heard, and while we don’t always agree, we always respect each other’s right to an opinion.

Why did you decide to elope?

America: We chose to elope because of COVID-19. The world was shut down and in quite a panic. We knew we didn’t want to be separated with Visa restrictions during these uncertain times. Tyler was a resident of Canada at the time and when COVID hit the U.S. we were quarantining with our friends in the desert and decided eloping was the best option. We began thinking about eloping before the pandemic but it became the best answer for us and honestly it was the best decision. We couldn’t be happier with how it all came together – restrictions galore and all!

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How did you find Simply Eloped?

America: My best friend Ashley, owner of High Desert Paradise, who is a research guru gave us the idea last year during our quarantine period with them.

How did you know Simply Eloped was the right fit for you?

America: We had a couple great conversations with people at Simply Eloped and loved how communicative and creative they were. They made the process effortlessly turnkey! Plus, our Officiant & photographer couple, Matt & Luisa, couldn’t have been a better match for us. They were so laid back, fun to work with and executed our vision for our special day without a hitch!

What attracted you to the venue you eloped at?

America: EVERYTHING! Our best friends, Ashley & Robert, purchased a house outside of Joshua Tree a couple of years ago which they personally designed and renovated, turning it into the quintessential boho-chic desert retreat. I have been obsessed with Ashley’s styling and decor since day one, and Tyler even helped Robert construct the serendipitously named ‘Sayulita Dome’ that we got married under (Sayulita being the town where we first fell in love!). Eloping at the property was the perfect combination of heart and soul.

What activities did you do before the wedding? How did you prepare? How did you feel leading up to the moments of your elopement?

America: We had a morning elopement so it was important to me to have a tranquil morning starting with waking up a sunrise and taking in the start of our special day! Since we eloped it was not a terribly time-consuming task of getting ready but the preparation in the months leading were the hardest part because of COVID and everything being closed. I couldn’t even try on wedding dresses so I had to make quick and easy decisions. Thankfully it came together beautifully and I felt like I didn’t miss out on anything in the end.

Tell us about your experience with Simply Eloped leading up to and on your big day!

America: Simply Eloped checked in with us along the way and made sure we got all our questions answered. We felt at ease going into the day. We can’t say enough wonderful things about Matt & Luisa – they made our experience truly magical!

How did you celebrate after?

America: We popped open some Dom, had delicious catered takeout from a local artisan restaurant and ended the day with a sunset sound bath in the Sayulita dome we got married in. I even took a 3 hour nap in the middle of the afternoon! Perks of eloping and having an early morning wedding!

What words of encouragement do you have for those considering eloping?

America: It’s the BEST decision you will make! Avoid 90% of the stress that comes with planning, family obligations, financial stress and thinking about everyone other than yourselves. We were forced to elope because of COVID but have ZERO regrets eloping in hindsight because we were able to think about us and what we really wanted without all the other things altering our vision or dream day.

Coordinated by: Simply Eloped
Venue: High Desert Paradise
Officiant: Matthew Hopf
Photographer: Luisa Hopf

General Real Elopements
Written by Janessa White

Janessa White is the co-founder of Simply Eloped and has helped thousands of couples plan elopements. As an expert in the field, she has been featured on Martha Stewart,, Vox, and HuffPost. Janessa thinks elopements are the ultimate way to tie the knot.