This Desert Harbor Retreat Elopement Was Inspired by the New Mexico Desert

January 15, 2024 | justine

Imagine a beautiful, secluded location with stunning views of desert mountains—the kind of setting that makes love feel even more special. Samantha and McCall experienced just that after a rainy and muddy wild full moon wedding with friends and family in Georgia. They decided to escape for a quiet, romantic, and adventurous time, just the two of them. With the support of their fantastic team of vendors, they successfully pulled off a Desert Harbor Retreat elopement. Inspired by the New Mexico Desert come true, it turned out exactly as they envisioned.

Beneath a geometric arch that beautifully framed the grand mountains in the backdrop, the couple declared their love. Following the ceremony, they ventured into the desert, feeling the soft sands beneath their bare feet. They climbed the rocky terrain in their elopement attire and drove through the enchanting desert landscape in a vintage British Land Rover.

If intimate and dreamy desert vibes are your thing, get ready to be blown away. Their special day was brimming with emotional moments and panoramic desert views, all of which Junebug member Shutterfreek captured beautifully. Take a moment to scroll down to see what we mean.

The Couple:

Samantha and McCall

The Wedding:

Desert Harbor Retreat, Sandia Park, New Mexico, United States

How They Landed on a Desert Harbor Retreat Elopement After a Bigger Wedding Celebration

After a very wet and muddy wild full moon wedding celebration with our friends and family in Georgia, we wanted to sneak away for something quiet, intimate, romantic, and adventurous just for the two of us. Our outfits, florals, venue, and decor were minimalist, with burnt oranges and neutrals. We adventured in the desert barefoot, climbed up the rocky landscape in our elopement outfits, and Sam drove us through the dreamy desert sands in a vintage British Land Rover that Desert Harbor Retreat had on-site.

Simplified and Stress-Free Budgeting With a Focus on Talented Vendors

We took a minimalist approach to our budget, given we gathered friends and family. Most of our budget went to the pre-gathering of our friends and family. Desert Harbor Retreat offers straightforward elopement packages with preferred vendors, making our budgeting easy and stress-free. Our budget was $15,000, including a three-night stay, our food and beverage for the weekend, and all our vendors. We splurged on an incredible serenade from a talented flamenco guitarist and a one-of-a-kind photographer and videographer to capture the magic of our marriage.

How Desert Harbor Nailed Every Detail of Their Elopement

Desert Harbor Retreat fully executed our vision. The full service, privacy, intimacy, and genuine kindness of the family running the venue were all reasons we knew Desert Harbor was meant for us. They handled every aspect of our elopement weekend with a laid-back yet thorough demeanor anyone would want on their wedding day. The ease and simplicity of it all were most memorable—just the two of us, with no true timeline and no stresses or worries. Just us and our love. And the expansive, warm, and welcoming desert to act as the container of our eternal love for that special day. It’s easy to get swept away in a grand celebration. We both wanted to feel deeply connected to nature. Like we were the only two people on the planet that day.

The Wedding Team:

Photography + Videography – Shutterfreek
Venue – Desert Harbor Retreat
Floral Design – FloralFetish
Officiant – Raymond Linam
Makeup Artist + Hair Styling – Genica Lee
Accessories + Rings – Alexis Russell


Congratulations to Samantha and McCall on their Desert Harbor Retreat elopement inspired by the New Mexico Desert. And a special thanks to Junebug member Shutterfreek for capturing the magical desert landscape and all the loving moments throughout their special day. To see more enchanting retreats like this one, be sure to check out their profile in our directory of the best wedding photographers from around the world.

While gathering all your loved ones for a grand affair is great, it’s crucial to carve out moments of intimacy, romance, and stress-free bliss for just the two of you. Much like the beautiful event orchestrated by Sam and McCall. Not sure where to start? Explore our elopement and budget guides to craft your own perfect, intimate celebration.

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