Remembering the ‘little things’ when you first start dating can have incredible meaning later in your relationship with your honey. When it comes to Dakota and Emily, the place they got engaged had a lot of significance for both of them. These two lovebirds had an intimate ceremony tucked away in the red rock paradise of Valley of Fire. If you’re considering eloping in Las Vegas, this is the story for you. Read more about their magical – and private – elopement in Las Vegas!
How did you meet? What was your first impression of each other?
Dakota: Emily and I met through a mutual friend. When I met her for the first time I was a little intimidated, because she was genuinely the most beautiful person I had ever seen (and still is!). I thought her laugh was infectious, and her confidence drew me to her immediately.
Emily: Dakota and I met at Buffalo Wild Wings through a mutual friend. I can still remember what she was wearing till this day. I had seen her in pictures before, but I was blown away when she walked in. I had never laid eyes on anyone more beautiful.
How did you fall in love? How did you know?
Dakota: I knew I loved Emily after about a week of knowing her. I know it sounds cheesy, but I just had this feeling almost immediately that we would spend the rest of our lives together. I could not get enough of her, and still can’t!
Emily: I first fell in love when Dakota was eager to tell everyone in her family about us. There was no pressure from me, and she did it on her own time. She didn’t care about what anyone else thought and that’s nothing I have ever experienced before.
How did you propose or accept the proposal?
Dakota: Emily proposed to me under the same tree in Lakeside Park that my dad proposed to my mom under, about 30 years earlier. We were driving by this tree one day, very early in our relationship, and I mentioned that it was where my parents got engaged to one another. Nearly two years later, she remembered and it was the most special thing anyone has ever done for me.
Emily: I told Dakota we were getting family pictures because I wanted to make sure our families were there to see the proposal but didn’t want her to be suspicious. I wanted it to be special and something she would remember forever, so I proposed to her the same place her dad proposed to her mom.
What do you love about your partner?
Dakota: Emily makes me a better woman. She’s bold, outgoing, and adventurous – which balances the more timid and reserved parts of me. She can make me laugh even in my very worst moments. Speaking of worst moments…she has seen them all and loves me anyways. I have never met another person like her and I am so lucky to be her wife.
Emily: I love that Dakota is selfless. I love how from the very beginning of our relationship she has always made sure that my feelings were validated. I love how we don’t have to do anything and still have the best time. I love how easily she makes me laugh.
What is the greatest strength of your relationship?
Dakota: I think the greatest strength of our relationship is healthy communication. We have learned how to communicate our needs and concerns to one another in a positive and productive way, and it has made all the difference in how we deal with the highs and lows of our relationship.
Emily: I think the greatest strength in our relationship is that we can confide in one another and there is no judgement. I love how supportive we are of one another and how we push one another to be better.
Why did you decide to elope?
We decided to elope amid the COVID-19 pandemic. We knew that we wanted it to be intimate and stress free. And to be completely honest, it was so much less expensive than having a big wedding!
How did you find Simply Eloped?
Dakota found Simply Eloped while searching for places to have a destination wedding online. The Simply Eloped website was 100% transparent about things like pricing, and what each location was like. We knew immediately that this was the company we wanted to work with!
How did you know Simply Eloped was the right fit for you?
Simply Eloped was extremely helpful and transparent from the moment we asked for a quote. We were pretty indecisive about which location we wanted to elope at, and they were so flexible and accommodating every time we changed our mind!
What attracted you to a Las Vegas elopement?
The Valley of Fire State Park was absolutely breathtaking in photos, and turned out to be even more breathtaking in person. Neither one of us had ever been to Las Vegas, and we thought it would be the perfect place to elope!
What activities did you do before the wedding? How did you prepare? How did you feel leading up to the moments of your elopement?
We got ready separately in our hotel room and did a little “first look” before leaving for the Valley of Fire State Park. We listened to our favorite music along the way and I think that drive was when things finally felt real! We both agreed that we were so excited and not nervous at all. We were ready!
Tell us about your experience with Simply Eloped leading up to and on your big day!
From start to finish, we had an incredible experience with Simply Eloped. Our officiant, Alex, was incredible and officiated a ceremony that was so special and perfect for us. Our photographer, Kassie, captured our love so perfectly and gave us memories that will last a lifetime. We could not be happier with our experience and will always be grateful for Simply Eloped!
How did you celebrate after?
After the ceremony, we were so hungry and realized that we had forgotten to eat! So, in typical Emily and Dakota fashion, we got fast food on the way back to our hotel and ate it in our wedding attire. We spent the following two days exploring Vegas and enjoying our first few days as partners for life!
What words of encouragement do you have for those considering eloping?
If you are considering eloping, our advice to you would be to make the decision together as partners and to set aside the pressure you may feel from family and friends to have a traditional wedding. Your wedding day is about you, and if you are wanting to elope, go for it!
Coordinated by Simply Eloped:
Officiation by: Angie Kelley
Photography by: Kassie Dunn