Christine and Nick's ceremony in the Utah desert near Lake Powell

Camping Destination Wedding in the Utah Desert


February 2, 2024
Words by Lauren Ertl
Photos courtesy of Jerry Yoon Photographers

Christine and Nick, an adventurous couple with over 10 years together, celebrated their wedding at Under Canvas Lake Powell in the Utah desert. 

rock painting sign, weekend themed stickers, Under Canvas Lake Powell

“We found ourselves circling resorts that had a bit of a camping vibe to them because we were looking for that isolated-in-the-middle-of-nowhere atmosphere,” the couple says. 

night time photos with canvas tents in Utah

Under Canvas Lake Powell captured the couple’s hearts because the venue had done such a great job of creating a central gathering place in addition to individual tents. It felt natural and warm to the couple to let their guests retreat to their own tents, then funnel back into the center for meals, socializing, and events.

couple and their guests having fun on Lake Powell

While Christine and Nick were over the moon about their venue choice, it did come with a few challenges due to the remote nature of its location. For example, the Under Canvas doesn’t have dishwashers on site. That meant the couple needed to source and supply enough glassware for the whole weekend. 

guests hiking through red rocks, guests painting, outdoor dinner space

“I think we worked around it pretty well,” Christine says, “by turning the constraint into a part of our vibe. We gave guests very nice (and customizable) mugs as wedding favors and asked them to reuse their mugs throughout the weekend whenever possible.”

the couple exploring Antelope canyon, the customized mugs

The wedding festivities spanned four days, beginning with a casual welcome event on Thursday. Guests enjoyed interactive activities like drone racing, collective canvas painting, and rock painting, which later served as personalized place cards. The evening featured a relaxed Italian-inspired meal with dough tossing and cannoli making, fostering a comfortable atmosphere.

the couple's first look in the Utah desert the adventurous couple excited about their camping wedding

Friday included a day on Lake Powell with boats and jet skis, followed by a casual Mexican-inspired dinner. The couple incorporated a modern tea ceremony with their parents, adding an intimate touch to the celebrations. The night concluded with a campfire and smores under the stars.

two mountain-shaped wooden altars with florals ceremony in the desert outside of Lake Powell

Saturday marked the wedding day, which kicked off with two simultaneous activities: riding ATVs through the desert or a private slot canyon tour in Page. The ceremony showcased the couple’s eclectic style, as they opted for unique floral arrangements created by the wedding planner, reflecting the funky and out-of-the-box vibe of the weekend. The cliffside ceremony, officiated by a friend, featured copper, deep red, light pink, and green hues against the stunning sunset as Christine and Nick shared heartfelt vows.

medium shots of Nick and Christine's ceremony

An alfresco dinner followed, showcasing celestial vibes with starry lights, chalkboard signage, and table names inspired by the novel-turned-movie, Dune. 

A fusion family-style meal incorporated Southern and Asian touches, followed by a dessert table with pie and cake. Memorable speeches closed the dinner, leading to a dance party that lasted until sunrise.

photos of the couple post-wedding

As guests departed, they discovered framed photos capturing guest portraits from the weekend. The couple’s thoughtful touch provided a final surprise memento, leaving guests reminiscing about the shared experiences. 

reception tables set up on the red desert dirt

Looking back, the couple has few regrets. And when comparing their Utah desert destination wedding experience to a ceremony back home, they shared this honest opinion:

“[A hometown wedding] certainly would have been easier logistically for all of our guests, and I imagine no one loved the 4-hour shuttle ride from the Vegas Airport. But I like to think that the drive through the unfamiliar terrain of the American southwest (mesas, scrub brush, red rock landscapes) contributed to the secluded vibes of the venue itself—and, in turn, our guests’ willingness to mingle and mix.”

glassware, menu and bistro lights over the reception

In the end, Christine and Nick successfully created an unforgettable weekend of connection and togetherness among the wild beauty of the Utah desert.

couple and guests dancing, Nick and Christine looking at framed photos of guests epic Milkyway shot with the couple at night

Vendors: Planner, Designer, Floral Designer: Mango Muse Events; Photographer: Jerry Yoon Photographers; Venue: Under Canvas Lake Powell; Catering & Bar: Lauren Allen Culinary Events; Furniture & Lighting: Legacy Event Rentals; Tabletop: Bright Event Rentals; Linen Rentals: BBJ La Tavola; Videographer: Forged in the North; DJ: DJ Jskee; Flowers: Freckle and Flower Farm; Plants: Pigment; Hair Stylist: Justine Marie Bridals; Transportation: LD Tours; Boat Rentals: Wahweap Marina; ATV: Epic Adventures; Antelope Canyon Tour: Taadidiin Tours; Bride’s Attire: Rue de Seine; Men’s Attire: Alton Lane; Bridesmaid Dresses: Two Birds New York

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