Grotto Falls Destination Elopement
Meet Kiana and Fabrizio! I’m so excited to introduce you to this darling couple. Kiana and Fabrizio met at the end of summer 2016 through a dating app. After their first date, she knew she had found her husband - and even called her mom to tell her as much! Fabrizio was everything Kiana had been looking for and more, smart, fun, caring, genuine...and even Italian!
They started dating consistently from that very first week and soon they were spending every amount of free time together. They even went grocery shopping together! It only took a month before they were openly talking marriage with each other. Fabrizio and Kiana both realized that this was going to be a lifelong relationship because of the deep friendship, honesty, and commitment.
Initially, they both planned on a courtship of at least a year. As they began to plan and set a timeline, they realized there was a bit of a time crunch. Fabrizio had been accepted and was planning on going to dental school the following summer in July and it was already October. Kiana would graduate only a month before his move in June and naturally wanted to move across the country with him.
However, both Fabrizio and Kiana come from conservative, religious families and maintain these same values so moving in before marriage wasn't an option. It seemed most favorable to marry right before July in order to have the longest courtship possible.
All too soon, though, the logistics of planning a wedding during Kiana’s senior year of college, graduating, throwing a wedding, finding an apartment and moving in together, and then moving across the country all over the course of one month seemed impossible, to say the least. In addition, Fabrizio's family was still mostly located in Italy. Even with a date six months away, it was unlikely they could make all the travel arrangements to come without longer notice and they didn't want to have their large wedding celebrations without the groom's entire side of the family.
Realizing that his family wouldn't be able to come regardless of the date was actually a relief because it removed the cultural obligation of having an immediate big wedding reception and party. After many heartfelt discussions, they decided to simply elope and move forward with their marriage in November before Christmas break. Kiana and Fabrizio knew they wanted to be together and it seemed a pity to waste any more time waiting simply to log in more "dating hours".
“We were glad that we could have an intimate ceremony with the focus on our love and commitment, rather than the decorations, elaborate cake, or wedding gifts. Our elopement was just about us, our love, and our decision, rather than about all the other expenses society currently requires of a wedding. We wouldn't have done it any other way. And nearly 9 months later, we consider it the best decision of our lives."
Thanks Kiana and Fabrizio for sharing your amazing love story with us!
From the Photographer: We loved the secluded nature of Grotto Falls in Payson, Utah for their intimate elopement, and I couldn't think of a better way to showcase their exotic beauty. There was a perfect pocket of light that danced around them and allowed for all the incredible textures of her hair, dress, florals, waterfall, and rocks to shine.
From the HMUA: Kiana has gorgeous natural curl and we wanted to showcase her beautiful hair by doing an undone updo with swept curls framing her lovely face. She has a cathedral length veil tucked in the bottom of her updo. Her makeup was peachy and perfect for her skin tone. She has striking skin tones and facial features so we used natural colors to enhance her beauty!
From the Florist: Our multi-cultural couple and their unique backgrounds were such an inspiration for the florals and I wanted to combine flowers that represented both the exotic looks and cultures of the bride and the groom.
For the bride, I have stunning orchids and David Austen's "Juliet" garden roses and I paired those with sprigs of eucalyptus, olive branches, honeysuckle, and fresh rosemary as a nod to the groom and his Italian heritage. The result was a deeply meaningful bridal bouquet with organic sophistication and a heavenly fragrance. I'm in love with this earthy peach and rust bridal bouquet!
A peach carnation fairy ring was the perfect pop of color against those rocks and a simple, earthy decoration for the elopement and something that an eloping bride could easily DIY!
And I know you typically only see orchids as corsages for Mother’s Day, but these rust colored orchids were so beautiful that I had to reinvent the orchid into a chic groom’s boutonniere. I loved pairing the lines and movement of the orchid groom’s boutonniere with the pattern and colors of his suit and tie!
From the Cake Artist: Cake cutting may be the traditional wedding confection, but I couldn’t help but feel like these darling from-scratch cherry mini pies were the perfect sweet treat to grab for an elopement! Because it's not official until you share a bite :)
I made three mini pies: two with Kiana and Fabrizio’s initials and one with a heart…because even officiants need a little snack and a little love :)
Our couple loved their elopement sign and announcement! I would definitely be framing the poster as a keepsake and sending out the announcements and photos to share the big news!
So, you may have read this blog post and loved it but thought, “I could never elope! There are too many traditions I would hate to give up” If that’s the case, you can click here to see ideas we’ve put together to help reconcile our wanderlust and desire for adventure with our roots and our family traditions.
Or, if you’re just not sure if an elopement is right for you, I wrote an article here for Wed Utah on Page 30 on three reasons why you may just decide to elope after all :) I’m a traditional wedding girl myself and I convinced me!
Thanks for sharing this intimate destination waterfall elopement with me and congratulations to Kiana and Fabrizio! You can find the contact information for all the elopement vendors below:
Kiana & Fabrizio Cena
Ceremony Location: Grotto Falls, Payson, Utah
Florist and Cake artist
The Pear Blossom
Kite and Butterfly
Cassia Leigh Design
Meet the Designer
Emily first fell in love with flowers while studying floral design at Brigham Young University-Idaho in 2002. She did her first wedding that same summer and has been designing weddings ever since. With over 12 years of experience in the floral and wedding industries, Emily loves creating flowers that bring beautiful colors, textures, and most importantly, memories to every event.