This Couple Decided to Elope in the Desert… During Maternity Leave

Just a little post-baby roadtrip through a foreign country

You often hear about the APW readers who hit the “fuck it, let’s elope” threshold (which, seriously, more power to them)—but what really fascinates me is people who have that attitude from the get-go. Like this couple. Adorable baby aside, they chose to tie the knot in Salvation Mountain, a large-scale outsider art project that’s in the middle of a desert. It’s colorful, fun, and oddly infamous (Coldplay made a music video there, for example). Since a trip to the mountain is on my bucket list, I just had to share a few photos of Claudia and Uli’s badass elopement, and find out more about how it came to pass.


Turns out, the couple traveled from SPAIN to travel around California in a mobile home for a month at the tail end of maternity leave (man, European parental leave is way more fun than ours…). As Uli put it:

We’ve known each other since 1997, having met during holidays in Spain. After living together for about twelve years, our little baby girl Florentine was born in February. Due to the fact that Claudia was on maternity break at the moment, we decided to make a little road trip in the U.S. for about four weeks altogether. We hadn’t been to California yet, so all this was very exciting. And we thought that these surroundings and our road trip would be the ideal chance to have an unusual wedding.

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But how did they find this particular weird corner of the universe to get hitched? Uli explained:

We were traveling with a mobile home from San Francisco to San Diego. We were loving the easy-going vibe, and since we are planning a wedding reception back in Europe (Ibiza) next year we thought: what makes the wedding special? It was hard to tell, but we decided that we wanted a special location during our road trip. And to make it only about us three. We were looking for a place with a “rock festival” attitude, and, for us, Salvation Mountain was the most interesting location! We even got married in easygoing clothes, because that’s us.


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