An Intimate Desert Wedding at Amangiri in Utah
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 â€śhigh school sweetheartsâ€ť 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. â€śI was looking for a unique place to propose, and a friend recommended we stay there,â€ť says John. â€śOur 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 sheâ€™s still a little mad I didnâ€™t get down on one knee!â€ť
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. â€śWe considered places like Easter Island in Newfoundland, but realized we already knew where to find the magic we were seeking: back at Amangiri,â€ť 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 nationâ€™s slot canyons and a rock climbing excursion for their families to round out the weekend. â€śWe wanted to focus on creating warm memories with our families, and to keep our wedding as low-key as possible,â€ť 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 spectacularâ€”so take a peek, below!
The coupleâ€™s simple invitation suite paired clean fonts with cactus and canyon motifs as a nod to their desert venue.
â€śThis dress was the first one I tried on,â€ť says Christina of her floaty tulle Marchesa gown. â€śI loved how lightweight it was, and adored the whimsical 3D floral embellishments!â€ť The breezy design was perfect for a ceremony in the desert, and would also fit right in at the pairâ€™s larger reception with family in Indiana later. The pink pompoms on her Aquazzura slides added another playful layer to Christinaâ€™s attire, while a soft bouquet of white sweet peas and muscari brought it all together.
John wore a bespoke three-piece suit by Cifonelli Tailors of Paris. â€śIâ€™d wanted a bespoke suit for a while, and our wedding was the perfect occasion to justify the expense,â€ť says John. â€śIt also gave Christina and me and excuse to go to Paris right before our wedding, which didnâ€™t hurt!â€ť
Unpredictable winds meant Christina and Johnâ€™s ceremony site changed a few times before the couple said â€śI do.â€ť â€śThe first ceremony set-up actually blew away!â€ť the bride laughs. A simple round rug (which now resides under the dining table at the coupleâ€™s home) was surrounded by low florals and greenery and two benches to seat the group of eight.
The couple wrote their own vowsâ€”Christinaâ€™s included a nod to Johnâ€™s favorite book, The Hitchhikerâ€™s Guide to the Galaxyâ€”and their officiant incorporated local Navajo traditions into the proceedings. â€śThe resort is located next to Navajo Nation, so it was a nice way to honor the local history and the land we were on,â€ť John explains.
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 hadnâ€™t had them before. â€śDrinking new wines symbolized the new experiences weâ€™ll have as a married couple,â€ť Christina explains.
The wind kept up through dinner, so everyone headed inside to enjoy the chocolate and vanilla wedding cake, paired with a bottle of ChĂ˘teau dâ€™Yquem and card games.
Says John, â€śMy 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 wasnâ€™t actually legal,â€ť he says. â€śOnce 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.â€ť