Fashion / Weddings

Houston Young Professionals Get Married Atop a Mountain in Most Dramatic Scene Ever

A Destination Wedding and Then Some

BY // 02.07.18
photography Vienna Glenn Photography

Houston young professionals Ben Nichols and Heather Rogers were planning a lavish destination wedding early last spring when, uh oh, suddenly they were planning for the birth of their first child. Not to have their wedding plans completely thwarted, the two, who had been together for more than four years, devised a plan that would include a wedding dress, a bouquet, a beautiful destination and an officiate, but not before informing their closest friends and family members of their plans and promising to celebrate with them in the coming months.

Sedona, Arizona, was their choice. The area’s exotic landscape has long been regarded as a place both sacred and powerful. Locals refer to it as a cathedral without walls.

“It’s obviously so beautiful and I wanted to embrace my inner hippie and experience the spiritual energy that Sedona is known for,” Rogers says of the area renowned for its red rock formations and dramatic canyons. During their visit, the couple explored several of Sedona’s vortices: areas thought to be swirling centers of energy that are conducive to healing, meditation and self-exploration.

The couple agreed that for the ceremony they wanted to be surrounded by nature with awe-inspiring vistas, preferably at the top of a mountain. The couple worked with the Rev. Shanandoah Sterling, who has been organizing and conducting weddings in Sedona for more than 25 years, and with photographer Lea Peterson, who knew the rocky landscape well. While hiking that morning, they found the perfect location atop a mesa with 360 degree views of the enchanting red rock country.

A fine idea, but perhaps not so practical for the bride who had selected a full-length Casablanca gown with train and planned on wearing Stuart Weitzman stilettos. The spot was perfect except for one challenge.

Getting there was “way too steep but we loved the view,” Rogers says. Plan B: She wore yoga pants and Nikes for the climb. Nichols carried the wedding dress in a garment bag and those high heels in his backpack. The bride changed on the mesa for her Sedona wedding.


For the sunset ceremony and at the couple’s request, the officiate incorporated Native American rituals including a traditional Wedding Blanket Wrapping with a blanket that dates back to the early 1920s (a souvenir the couple will long cherish). The blanket wrapping honored each individual’s qualities and strengths that were being brought into the marriage.

Sterling also performed smudge blessings for the couple and for their baby girl. (Drew Marie Nichols was born on December 26.)

The betrothed chose to also write their own vows and read them aloud to one another during their ceremony. Rogers notes, “The best part of the wedding!”

Following the ceremony, the couple returned to the Enchantment Resort where they spent several nights after they had pre-honeymooned for three nights at the uber romantic L’ Auberge de Sedona.

Following a long-planned trip to Banff, Canada, with friends (they called it their “homie moon), the newlyweds returned to Houston where Rogers is design development manager for Tarkett and Nichols is manager of international and sales operations with Wild Well Control.

All the Wedding Details

Photographer: Vienna Glenn

Videographer: Bright Bokeh

Flowers: Sedona Mountain High Flowers 

Hair & Makeup: Sedona Beauty Team

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