Daniel and Monica — Near the San Francisco Peaks, Flagstaff

How such busy couples find time to get married in a breathtaking spot sometimes amazes me! Daniel flew overnight from Georgia where he had just completed the incredibly rigorous Army Ranger school. His bride-to-be Monica made time within her work and school schedule to make the trek north to the foot of Arizona’s version of Mount Saint Helens.

The overcast early March sky was due to part right at sunset, hopefully offering a spot-lit, snowy mountain backdrop. Sun and light snow alternated as the bride and photographer got prepared (and the best man found the remote location).

As predicted, the cloud cover cooperated! We made it through the ceremony despite a shivering bride who had underestimated the wintery weather at 7,000 feet. Then came the moment that will lead all tales told about this moment of union: Monica’s wedding band slipped off her finger right after the ceremony! Myself and the two witnesses stepped into action, canvassing the blotchy checkerboard terrain of grass tufts and dried mud that she had walked over as the couple took advantage of the auburn dusk for more photos. I had a strong feeling I would be the one to find it.

However, as darkness started creeping in, we were still searching. The groom took a page out of his training and lined us up to sweep the swath of interest. Within a few seconds (and just as the photographer started recording a video of our efforts), I looked down to see the ring atop a tuft of wild grass. “Ah ha!,” I exclaimed as I raised the diamond-laden silver band like the once-lost treasure it was!

By Tyler Finvold