An Intimate Desert Wedding at Amangiri in Utah

The couple and their families escaped to Amangiri for a private celebration

Updated 09/28/18

Photo by Cameron Clark Photography

Christina Han and John Loser went to the same high school in Indiana, but despite a student body of only 100 people, they barely crossed paths until the end of senior year. However, they can still claim the title of “high school sweethearts” as their first date was the night before they graduated! What followed was a dozen years together, capped off with an engagement at Amangiri in Canyon Point, Utah, in February of 2016. “I was looking for a unique place to propose, and a friend recommended we stay there,” says John. “Our first night, we were lying outside by the fire and looking at the stars. I took out the ring and asked Christina to marry me then and there, lying on our backs... though I think she’s still a little mad I didn’t get down on one knee!”

The pair knew they wanted a remote, private celebration with only their parents and siblings in attendance, and wanted a venue that embodied their love of exploration and travel. “We considered places like Easter Island in Newfoundland, but realized we already knew where to find the magic we were seeking: back at Amangiri,” says Christina. They treated their April 19, 2018, wedding like an intimate getaway with a wedding on the schedule, planning a tour of the Navajo nation’s slot canyons and a rock climbing excursion for their families to round out the weekend. “We wanted to focus on creating warm memories with our families, and to keep our wedding as low-key as possible,” says John. Their planning efforts were devoted to finding a florist (Sarah Winward) and photographer (Cameron Clark) who would bring out the beauty of the desert setting, and they let the Aman team take care of the rest. This intimate celebration proves that small weddings can still be spectacular—so take a peek, below!

<p>invitation</p>

Photo by Cameron Clark Photography

The couple’s simple invitation suite paired clean fonts with cactus and canyon motifs as a nod to their desert venue.

<p>happy bride</p>

Photo by Cameron Clark Photography

<p>pom pom wedding shoes</p>

Photo by Cameron Clark Photography

<p>back of tulle wedding dress</p>

Photo by Cameron Clark Photography

<p>white bride bouquet</p>

Photo by Cameron Clark Photography

“This dress was the first one I tried on,” says Christina of her floaty tulle Marchesa gown. “I loved how lightweight it was, and adored the whimsical 3D floral embellishments!” The breezy design was perfect for a ceremony in the desert, and would also fit right in at the pair’s larger reception with family in Indiana later. The pink pompoms on her Aquazzura slides added another playful layer to Christina’s attire, while a soft bouquet of white sweet peas and muscari brought it all together.

<p>bride and groom</p>

Photo by Cameron Clark Photography

John wore a bespoke three-piece suit by Cifonelli Tailors of Paris. “I’d wanted a bespoke suit for a while, and our wedding was the perfect occasion to justify the expense,” says John. “It also gave Christina and me and excuse to go to Paris right before our wedding, which didn’t hurt!”

<p>venue desert canyon</p>

Photo by Cameron Clark Photography

<p>Navajo traditions</p>

Photo by Cameron Clark Photography

<p>vows bride and groom at altar</p>

Photo by Cameron Clark Photography

Unpredictable winds meant Christina and John’s ceremony site changed a few times before the couple said “I do.” “The first ceremony set-up actually blew away!” the bride laughs. A simple round rug (which now resides under the dining table at the couple’s home) was surrounded by low florals and greenery and two benches to seat the group of eight.

The couple wrote their own vows—Christina’s included a nod to John’s favorite book, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy—and their officiant incorporated local Navajo traditions into the proceedings. “The resort is located next to Navajo Nation, so it was a nice way to honor the local history and the land we were on,” John explains.

low floral center pieces and pillar candles

Photo by Cameron Clark Photography

Back at the resort, the small crowd sat at a single table decorated with a lush centerpiece of muscari, succulents, and pillar candles. Local specialties were served family-style, paired with wines the couple chose specifically because they hadn’t had them before. “Drinking new wines symbolized the new experiences we’ll have as a married couple,” Christina explains.

wedding cake

Photo by Cameron Clark Photography; Cake by Amangiri; Florals by Sarah Winward

The wind kept up through dinner, so everyone headed inside to enjoy the chocolate and vanilla wedding cake, paired with a bottle of Château d’Yquem and card games.

Says John, “My favorite memory was actually a few days after our wedding. Amangiri is so remote, making the paperwork to get married a little hard to come by, so our wedding wasn’t actually legal,” he says. “Once our families left, we made the four-hour drive to Las Vegas and were officially married in the infamous Little White Wedding Chapel. It was just the two of us in our street clothes, and it was the perfect off-beat finale to an amazing week.”

Venue: Amangiri || Officiant: Rob Sourek || Bride's Dress: Marchesa || Bride's Shoes: Aquazzura || Bride's Jewelry: Fay Andrada || Makeup: Kerrie Jordan || Groom's Attire: Cifonelli || Engagement Ring: Harry Winston || Wedding Bands: Harry Winston || Floral Design: Sarah Winward || Paper Products: Foxy & Winston || Catering & Cake: Amangiri || Rentals: Sarah Winward || Accommodations: Amangiri || Photography: Cameron Clark

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