Jessica & Jacob

Jessica and Jacob are one of the most go-with-the-flow couples I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Jessica and Jacob actually both live in Florida but decided they wanted to do something different for their wedding day. Lo and behold, they found me and were planning their beautiful wedding day at the Church of Dirt in Utah.

the church of dirt - park city, utah

Now for those of you who don't know, the Church of Dirt is not like any other church I have been to. In fact, it's not much of a church at all. The Church of Dirt is a beautiful plot of land surrounded by mountains in Park City, Utah. What is unique about the Church of Dirt is how you reserve it for your wedding day. Unlike a traditional venue with a manager or wedding coordinator, the Church of Dirt survives solely on the honor code. Crazy, right? To reserve your wedding date at the Church of Dirt, you simply leave a rock or slab of wood with your name and date on it at the main site. There, it really is just luck and hopes that no one else chooses to have their wedding on the same day.

Since Jessica and Jacob both live in Florida, their mutual Utahan friend was able to reserve their spot at the Church of Dirt for a beautiful Fall day in Park City, Utah. Oh, but how the tables turned when the morning of their wedding finally came. I receive a phone call the morning of Jessica and Jacob's wedding with news that it is snowing in the mountains. For Floridians, aka most of the guests attending the wedding, snow is not their forte. So Jessica and Jacob's plans of getting married at the Church of Dirt were soon soured because of Mother Nature herself. Luckily though, Jessica and Jacob had a backup plan which I was more than ready for.

** There has been an announcement that the Church of Dirt will be officially closing. Due to its rapid growing popularity, the Church of Dirt has been "loved to death" with nobody to help maintain the plot. It's with great sadness that at this moment, the Church of Dirt will not be accessible for any weddings. You can read more about that here.


Remember that friend I mentioned earlier? Well, that friend really came through when she offered up her house to host Jessica and Jacob's wedding. The MVP of the year award goes to..... LOL. This planned outdoor fall wedding at the Church of Dirt turned into a cozy in-home wedding on a mountain overlooking Park City. It was absolutely perfect. They had gathered all of the chairs from the house to make an aisle for Jessica and Jacob to walk down and with it being such short notice, everything turned out amazingly well.


Once I arrived, we pretty much hopped right into Jessica and Jacob's first look. Since it was pretty much freezing at this point, the first look didn't last long but it still was just as beautiful. We were able to take some portraits inside the home before the ceremony started. Although the ceremony was not what Jessica and Jacob were expecting when it came to their wedding day, it doesn't mean it wasn't any less beautiful and impactful. Before you know it these two were having their first kiss as husband and wife and everyone was celebrating! They even took a short intermission after getting married to Facetime their dogs back in Florida to share the good news. Fur babies are definitely a priority even on your wedding day, am I right?!


At this point, when looking outside we were met with a ton of rain and it was cold. What a wonderful combination. We were able to take shelter and find some good light to take family formals before we were met with another surprise. That surprise was snow. Jessica's face lit up as the snow began trickling down and turning this home into a real-life winter wonderland.

Through all of this, Jessica and Jacob still really wanted to have some photos at the Church of Dirt. Thankfully we had our four-wheel drive car to make this trek up the mountain. So on our way, we went, up the mountain to the Church of Dirt where we were met by police. The road had been closed and at this point, I began to worry. Luckily, Jessica and Jacob were so go with the flow that we decided to stop right in the middle of the road and take photos with the snow there. Sometimes you just have to get creative!


After the portraits, we reconnected with a part of the wedding guests for a quick get-together. It wasn't a reception but more so a chance for everyone to connect and spend some time together. However, throughout this time with them, I couldn't stop shaking the feeling of going back to the Church of Dirt and getting the photos they had always been wanting. The weather was phenomenal as we were surrounded by beautiful sun and we were finally able to get the photos that Jessica and Jacob always wanted.

Since Jessica and Jacob had traveled far and wide to get to the Church of Dirt for their wedding day and honeymoon, it was only right to head back to their dream location for some portraits. The following day from their wedding we decided to have Jessica and Jacob put their wedding attire back on and trek our way back to the Church of Dirt. Luckily, the snowstorm had stopped and we were able to snag some stunning portraits of the newlyweds. Some friends and family also joined in on the fun to watch Jessica and Jacob take their portraits at the Church of Dirt. So moral of the story, if something goes wrong on the wedding day you always have the option to book a day-after session to solely focus on portraits.

If you're loving this Winter Wedding at Church of Dirt in Park City, Utah, then check out this blog next!

Photos By Gayle does more than just take photos of people. Rather, it is capturing moments of LOVE and HAPPINESS. Singing to the skies, dancing in a field, smiles that hurt because they’re so big. There is nothing else I would rather be doing than photographing these unique details that make you and your significant other a couple. If these photos from Jessica & Jacob's wedding puts a spark in you, you know where to click <——— right there!