We did long distance for a couple of years and if I had to choose the moment when I knew Jacob was the one, it would be when he picked me up from the airport in Dallas in the early hours of the morning wearing the same onesie pyjamas he’d worn to the party where we met.

Valerie ——Jacob is a software developer from Texas and I’m a wedding photographer born in Texas and raised in Adelaide, Australia. We’re the classic opposites attract couple – collaboration and company energises me, whereas quiet time alone recharges Jacob. Our common ground comes from slow Sunday mornings, travelling together, and a healthy number of inside jokes.

We met in our last year of college in the US. It was right after the final week of exams and we both went to a party where the theme was to come in a onesie – because at that point everyone is so exhausted that rocking up to a party in a giant pyjama suit makes sense. Jacob caught my eye as the first guy to show up, both early and alone, to a room full of girls he didn’t know (something I realise now would have been his worst nightmare because he’s pretty reserved). We did long distance for a couple of years and if I had to choose the moment when I knew Jacob was the one, it would be when he picked me up from the airport in Dallas in the early hours of the morning wearing the same onesie pyjamas he’d worn to the party where we met.

Jacob proposed on a week-long trip to Morocco for my birthday. I managed to book us one night in the Agafay desert staying in a canvas tent right out on the dunes and he got down on one knee and popped the question that night in our tent by the fire. Afterward we went out on the dunes and looked at the stars. Being a wedding photographer, I had a lot of ideas about the wedding. Editing down those ideas and sticking to them was really the key.

I pulled inspiration from design, fashion, architecture and art, but ultimately I wanted the settings of both the adobe ruins at Pecos and the El Rey Court to set the tone. The El Rey is modern, elevated and a little bit indie, all within the frame of the Southwest with its terracottas and turquoises.

Lauren, our photographer, was a no-compromise hire. Her eye is unparalleled. I had really dreamed of unexpected, ikebana-style floral arrangements, and I liked certain blooms that were expensive but worth it to me. Melissa, our florist, was always upfront about what was achievable and together we made it happen. I asked for mushrooms in my bridal bouquet and she found a way to include them.

Santa Fe has a higher altitude than most of our guests are used to, so after a late night at the hotel bar, our wedding party was a little jaded on the morning of the wedding. There were a lot of different hangover cures circulating! The spaghetti strap on my reception dress also snapped the moment I changed into it, but my amazing planner Molly was there in a millisecond with a safety pin. I later jumped in the hotel pool in that dress with all the groomsmen so she went through a lot that night but it was so much fun and 100 percent worth it.

Photographer: Lauren Apel Photo , @laurenapelphoto / Ceremony Location: Pecos National Historical , @pecos_nps / Ceremony Gown: “Sandra” by Flora Bridal, @florabridal via Lovely Bride Dallas, @lovelybridedallas / Veil: “Mist”veil by A.M. Faulkner , @am_faulkner / Grooms Attire: Peak lapel tux by The Black Tux, @theblacktux / Stationery: Designed by bride, printed by Czar Press & Newspaper Club , @czarpress ,@newspaperclub / Hair + Makeup: Something Ginger,@something_ginger / Brides Shoes: Saint Laurent, @ysl / Grooms Shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo, @ferragamo / Brides Rings: Maniamania, @themaniamania & Young in the Mountains, @younginthemountains / Grooms Ring: MarkeNew York, @markenewyork / Fragrance: Tam Dao by Diptyque, @diptyque / Celebrant: Ashleigh Olguin Ceremonies, @ashleigholguinceremonies / Ceremony Backdrop: Render Events, @therender.co / Brides Pjs: Monica Nera, @monicanera / Reception: El Rey Courtel,@elreycourt / Styling + Planner: Details by Molly Donovan,@detailsbymollydonovan / Registry: Zola, @zola / Bridesmaids Dresses: Loves Hack Fancy, @loveshackfancy,Shona Joy, @shonajoy_, Reformation @reformation,Fame and Partners, @fameandpartners / Bridesmaids Shoes:Urban Outfitters, @urbanoutfitters / Bridesmaids Purses: Myracle Handmade via Etsy, @myraclehandmade / Hire: Colorado Party Rentals, @copartyrentals / Marquee: Whim Hospitality, @whimhospitality / Flora: Renegade Floral, @renegadefloral / Dried Floral Bridesmaids Hair Accessories: Days of May Florals, @daysofmayflorals / Catering + Beverages: Dig + Serve, @digandserve / Cake: Maggie’s Cakes, @maggiesweddingcakes / Entertainment: Desert Disco, @desert_disco_music/ Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen, @latavolaline