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To Have and to HOLDEN: A Joshua Tree Elopement with Mars and Winter

To Have and to HOLDEN is our series where we interview real couples about their romance, weddings, and whatever else comes up along the way. Enjoy!

Mars (they/them) and Winter (she/her) met and started dating in 2015. After both proposing to each other the same weekend (a complete coincidence!), they started wedding planning. After Winter chose The Beveled for Mars' engagement ring, the couple decided to both go with HOLDEN (The Beveled and The Stepped) for their wedding bands. They were kind enough to share their story - and photos from their intimate Joshua Tree elopement.

How did you two meet and start dating?

We met through mutual friends at the end of 2015 in West Hollywood, CA. We had an instant connection and a moment of familiar recognition when we first laid eyes on one another. We met up for tacos and margaritas a couple of weeks later and have been inseparable ever since.

Mars and Winter Joshua Tree Elopement Wedding

How did you get engaged?

We had a double proposal! Both of us had the same idea of proposing on our 4 year anniversary trip to Idyllwild, CA – a place that has always been meaningful to us. Neither of us knew the other would be proposing!

Mars: I proposed to Winter after a snowy hike, with the beautiful San Jacinto Mountains as our backdrop. I got down on one knee in the snow and asked her to spend forever with me. She said yes!

Winter: After I said ‘yes’ to Mars’ proposal, I had to play it cool, and not give away my own plans to propose later that evening because I really wanted Mars to have their own separate moment of shock and excitement. After dinner, by the fire in our cabin, I asked them to marry me. Spoiler Alert: They said ‘yes!’

Mars and Winter Joshua Tree Elopement Wedding

What’s a moment from your wedding day that you’ll remember forever?

Winter: The look in Mars’ eyes while they spoke their vows to me.

Mars: After our ceremony was finished, our amazing photographer Christina encouraged us to hike off the beaten path to explore an old abandoned adobe house in Joshua Tree National Park. I’ll never forget seeing my beautiful bride trek through the desert in her wedding dress and leather jacket all with a smile on her face. We made it to the house right at sunset, which made for some amazing photos!

Mars and Winter Joshua Tree Elopement Wedding

What advice do you have for couples planning a wedding right now?

Celebrate your day with your partner however you want to and don’t be afraid to step away from the conventional! We wrestled with the idea of having a “minimony” vs. a big traditional ceremony and decided to be true to ourselves and say ‘I do’ under the autumn desert sky in Joshua Tree with just the two of us.

Mars and Winter Joshua Tree Elopement Wedding

What was important to you in choosing a ring? What made you choose HOLDEN?

Winter: When I was shopping for Mars’ engagement band, it was important to find an inclusive company that had all couples in mind when it came to their designs. I came across HOLDEN and immediately fell in love with how easy it was to customize a high quality, one of a kind piece of jewelry for my partner. I loved my experience so much that I knew I wanted our wedding bands to be from HOLDEN as well!

Mars and Winter Joshua Tree Elopement Wedding

What does love mean to you?

Winter: Love is everything. Love inspires us to commit to growing and evolving together, while supporting one another’s happiness.

Mars: Love is being able to depend on another person and knowing they can depend on you as well. Whether you’re having a good or bad day, you can be your full self without judgement and find comfort in knowing that all versions of yourself are seen.

Mars and Winter Joshua Tree Elopement Wedding

Shop Mars and Winter's rings: The Beveled and The Stepped

Wedding photos courtesy of: Matthew David Studio

Want to read more? Check out some of our other couple interviews:

A DIY Wedding With Nate and Felix

A Waterfall Microwedding with Korene and Nathan

Tea Ceremonies with Jen and Jesse

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