You may think you’ve seen it all when it comes to weddings, but until you watch this “adventure” wedding, I assure you have not. When Andrew of DTproductions and his Bride set out to plan their Big Day, they knew the traditional route wasn’t for them. Instead, they brought in an entire production crew to film their alternative elopement at Utah’s Mineral Bottom Canyon Moab complete with skydiving, rock climbing, four-wheeling, and plane flying – you read right: The Bride flew a plane to the wedding ceremony. Kuddos to Ariel and Andrew for the coolest wedding EVER.
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From the Bride & Groom… “The Way Out: Wedding” is an adventurous love story. Early after the engagement, Ariel and Andrew were feeling the pressure of wedding planning and decided that a traditional route was not for them. Andrew, the groom, is the co-founder of a film production company, DTproductions, so Ariel sat him and the team down and asked if they could design an adventure wedding film. She wanted to elope but also share the moment with friends and family. The Way Out: Wedding was on.
After months of pre-production and planning, the DTproductions team created an in-depth 4 day production schedule. Each day started before sunrise and ended well after sunset. The first morning Andrew and Kelly hopped in a tiny plane, along with a jump guide, an aerial photographer, and a pilot and they all headed into the sky. Neither Kelly nor Andrew had ever skydived before, and it was Kelly’s first shoot where the door of the plane was open. So it definitely got the blood flowing. At 10,000 feet the Aerial Photographer climbed out onto the wing and motioned for Andrew to follow. On the count of three, Kelly captured the jump and the Aerial Photographer filmed the free fall. While the rest of the team did not need to dive for the film, they all found themselves jumping out of a plane that day.
That night, full of adrenaline, the team headed outside Moab for the two hour drive to Mineral Bottom Canyon. There they would scout the wedding location and camp out for the night. That evening Andrew was tasked to build the Chuppah they would get married under while a thunderstorm rolled through the valley. The team captured a few overnight timelapses and headed back to town in the morning after hiding the Chuppah near the wedding site.
After they passed through Moab to charge batteries and clean equipment, they headed out to Fisher Towers to meet Ariel for a sunset Yoga shoot. It was our most colorful sunset of the trip.
The next morning the team headed back out to Fisher Towers at 4:30 am, so Ariel could climb Ancient Art. This was by far the most technical shoot of the trip. Kelly climbed alongside Ariel, carrying cameras with him, in order to capture the action up close and personal. Larry Harpe assisted the climb, ensuring that both Kelly and Ariel were safely locked in place during all shots. Cartter and Andrew climbed to a distant cliff in order to get a distance shot of Ariel summiting, and Sam managed the logistics of the from the base of the climb on a walkie-talkie. Luckily the climb went very smoothly with Ariel reaching for the sky around 9am. After she descended, the team headed back in to town to fuel up.
After a quick bite to eat, the crew drove out to Kane Creek for the four-wheeling and motorcycle sequence. At the trail the team split into two. Team One consisted of two four wheelers, one that carried the Groom and Officiant and the other that strapped a camera man to the back in order to get as many dynamic shots as possible. Team Two assisted Ariel as she rode her dirt bike down dirt roads, veil flowing in the wind.
The next day, Saturday, was wedding day and it was certainly nerve wracking. The radars had shown weather over Mineral Bottom the night before, a spot that easily floods. If there was any water no planes could land. So, Andrew and the crew drove out to the site around 6am to inspect the damage. Luckily they found campers who said the rain missed the area the night before. Andrew radioed to his soon to be father-in law that the wedding was a go and he excitedly set the immediate family in motion.
All family members, crew, and everyone but Ariel, Her Dad – Mike – and Cartter drove out to Mineral Bottom to get set up. At the site the team recovered the Chuppah, set up flowers, changed into their suits, and waited for Ariel and Mike to fly in. Ariel’s family are all pilots, her dad flies prop planes, her brother is captain for US Airways, and she is licensed herself. Flying on her wedding day was truly a dream come true.
Ariel was set to fly in at 9am with Mike and Cartter, but they were no where to be found. Everyone at the Canyon was getting worried, but apparently military black hawks had flown into the airport and blocked the runway. After some conversations, they cleared the traffic and they were off.
Eventually the group on the ground could hear the plane echoing off the canyon walls and the knew it was almost time. When the plane edged over the cliff and into the canyon, it was an unforgettable moment, Ariel and Andrew could see each other for the first time on their wedding day, kind of. The plane got in position for landing, put the wheels on the ground and pulled right in front of the aisle. Mike got out first and opened the door for Ariel. The father and daughter then walked together down the aisle. Mike passed Ariel over to Andrew and the ceremony began.
Sam welcomed the crowd with a speech he had prepared after dining with the couple the week before. Then Cartter and Kelly both spoke. Kelly recited the poem “Green River’ (the Green River cuts through Mineral Bottom so it was fitting), and Cartter recited his favorite 90’s movie quotes that represented the couple. Then it was time for the vows, Andrew and Ariel wrote their own, which can be heard in the film. After the ceremony the group popped champagne, and then Ariel and Andrew got in the plane and flew away.
Photography: M. Felt Photography | Groom: DTproductions | Wedding Venue: Gold Bar campground | Aerial Cinemetography: Skydive Moab | After Effects: DTproductions | Art: Michelle Fontaine | Bride: Ariel Levy | Climbing: Gold Bar campground | Climbing Guide: Larry Harpe | Colorist: DTproductions | DP: DTproductions | Director: DTproductions | Editor/Writer: DTproductions | Four Wheeling: Gold Bar campground | Grip: Conner Butterworth | Line Producer/Officiant: DTproductions | Narration: Nikki Lane | Pilot: Larry - Redtail Aviation | Production Company: DTproductions | Research: DTproductions | Skydive Team: Skydive Moab | Yoga: Gold Bar campground