couple exchanges vows at outdoor winter wedding in Moab

Outdoor Winter Wedding with Snow at The Red Earth Venue in Moab


Sometimes, it’s all about the locals. Moab is such an amazing location that most of my couples travel for a destination wedding in Utah. But, locations like The Red Earth Venue in Moab draw Utah natives too. Having captured weddings as a photographer in Utah for the past two years, I feel like I’m an official citizen! From the first look, to the crazy dance party, photographing this Moab outdoor winter wedding was epic!

Choosing From Places to Get Married in Utah

Sara and Chris are no strangers to adventures in the great outdoors. As they shared, “The outdoors have been such a huge part of our relationship. In fact, our parents joked that our wedding website didn’t have any photos of us indoors!”

After moving to Salt Lake City, Sarah described their first trip to Moab, Utah where they “totally fell in love with the unique landscape and orange rocks especially at sunrise and sunset.” Sara shared that they soon “found ourselves consistently coming back for hiking, camping and of course frequent visits to Moab Garage Co., 98 Center Moab and Antica Forma.” They found the town so charming, the outdoors so appealing and built so many memories there that it only made sense to have an outdoor winter wedding in Moab.

The original plan was to get married at a Moab Utah national park, but prioritizing their friends and family won over their love for nature. Sara explains, “The Red Earth Venue allowed us to get married outside with beautiful scenery AND it was the perfect space to throw an epic party to celebrate.”

Being Prepared for an Outdoor Winter Wedding in Moab

couple walks holding hands at Red Earth Venue wedding venue

Being accustomed to Moab adventures of all seasons, planning a wedding during the super cold month of December didn’t phase them. The Red Earth Venue often doesn’t even book weddings during the winter due to the freezing weather! It’s a beautiful time of year where small amounts of snow can be found on the buttes surrounding the venue.

The sun also sets before 5:00 pm so the wedding day timeline included an early ceremony. Sara and Chris started their outdoor winter wedding day with a first look and private vow reading. This was followed by their sunset wedding pictures before the sunset ceremony. This wedding timeline isn’t typical but we accommodated for what was needed at an outdoor wedding in winter.

couple exchanges vows at The Red Earth Venue in Moab

It’s not them if it isn’t outside. As these two describe it, “We’re happiest sleeping under the stars, skiing, catching fish or rafting on a river. It was a surprise to no one that we got engaged on a backpacking trip at Amethyst Lake in the Uinta Mountains of Utah.” These locals knew what they were in for after choosing a Utah wedding venue in the outdoors and were up for the challenge. Sara also wore a white fur winter wedding shawl around her shoulders to stay warm on the day.

The Look & Feel of a Winter Desert Wedding Theme

A love for the Moab, Utah desert also informed the design of their outdoor winter wedding that was all about the beautiful desert views and wedding details. The overall wedding vibe was described by the couple as an “elegant party in the desert.” As Sara elaborated, “the landscape and venue are both so pretty on their own that we just wanted to enhance the natural colors.”

wedding invitation stationery

These desert and winter wedding decorations included a green mobile bar, gold and green table setting accents and rustic wedding bouquets pulled from the natural landscape. Special details included DIY wedding table numbers that went by the names of national parks they had visited.

couple embraces at snowy Moab desert elopement

PRO TIP: Include Private Moments in Your Wedding Timeline Checklist

It’s so important to schedule time on your day to escape the craziness and reconnect just the two of you.

Sara and Chris found a way by sharing a glass of champagne in private right after their ceremony! The wedding coordinator set up a cute little champagne station with two glasses just a short walk from the venue. After saying their “I dos,” the newlyweds walked directly down the aisle passing everyone straight to the champagne station.

There they sipped some bubbly together while enjoying the sweet time alone. I was like a ninja in the bushes photographing this moment using my longest lens!

Choose A Spot You Love, With The Ones You Love

I feel incredibly blessed to have been part of this awesome celebration alongside a group of A+ vendors at The Red Earth Venue. Sara and Chris were very goofy and clearly madly in love. Chris was also a dancing machine! Even as we hit a few funny hiccups including Chris’ vows not loading on his phone due to bad cell service, it all still came together!

couple dances at wedding reception

Their day was something these two couldn’t wait to share: “we were really excited to show our friends and family a place that is so special to us. We love living in Utah and wanted our loved ones to experience it.” They placed utmost importance on “getting quality time with our friends and family from near and far” which happened through a welcome party and a morning-after hike.

couple exchanges vows at outdoor winter wedding in Moab

The couple shared that most importantly they wanted to remember “the feeling we had in getting married. It was the most fun weekend of our lives and we want to hold on to that.”

couple exits wedding venue under sparklers

Let’s get started on your own wedding in the snowy desert!

Wedding Vendors

Venue | The Red Earth Venue
Photographer | Matt Davidson Photography
Coordination, Design & Place Settings | Terra Vida Events – Tara
Catering | Confluence Custom Catering
HMU | That Beauty Bxtch
DJ | Sandstone Sound
Florist | Farm Yard
Stationary | Minted Weddings
Transportation | Moab Express