Nik Rodriguez (she/her) and Nini Bernt (she/her) live in Denver, Colorado. For their wedding nuptials, they decided to elope to Taos, New Mexico - back to Nik's roots as a New Mexico native. They were married on August 14, 2021 with the the beautiful New Mexico desert as their backdrop. As part of our real weddings series, we caught up with Nik and Nini about why they decided to elope, what makes Taos such a special place for both of them and of course we shared their GORGEOUS images!
Where Did You and Your Partner Meet?
Nini and I officially met in 2016. Years leading up to 2016, she was a waitress at my favorite brunch spot in Denver and we knew of each other. When I was single and revisited her restaurant, she finally gave me her number and we've been together since then.
When You Were Planning Your Wedding Was The Most Challenging Part?
We started planning our wedding early '21. The pandemic was in full motion and we knew we'd have to be mindful of attempting to have an actual wedding vs. elopement. After many back and forth conversations, we decided an elopement was the option we actually wanted and would save us a HUGE headache. We also easily agreed on the location, Taos, NM in my home state. New Mexico has this type of magic to it that makes you immediately feel at home, even if you're not from there.
When getting married, what was the process of choosing what to wear? What things did you take into consideration when picking your look?
Oh yes, this was a tough one. As a short queer person, I knew finding a suit to fit my body would be tricky. Especially having the ability to actually try something on. Naturally I only shop in the mens section, but even that's tricky to find pants that truly fit. I spent days and days researching suits for queer womxn, Kirrin Finch came up immediately - from there on I was sold. I researched the company and was delighted to also know that it is queer owned and operated. Seeing all different types of bodies featured on the website was a huge selling point too. I think we often only feature/focus on smaller bodies.
When you first tried on your suit and looked in the mirror, how did you feel?
I honestly think I cried a bit, hah! Never ever had I owned or even tried on a suit before. It felt like this very specially crafted garment was just for me. I saw myself on my wedding day, feeling the most confident I've felt in ages. Of course I showed my soon to be bride, I couldn't keep all this goodness a secret!
Why did you decide to elope vs a traditional wedding?
Nini and I both have a TON of family. We also did not have the thousands of dollars to spend on throwing an actual wedding. A huge factor was obviously the pandemic too. It's much easier to just worry about the two of us + our photographer when it comes to having to reschedule due to Covid. We also knew that there would be this level of vulnerability if it was just us and that was exactly how I imagined my big day.
Tell Us More About The Beautiful Location?
We eloped right outside the doors of our Airbnb in Taos, NM surrounded by fields of sage, sky for miles, mountains in every direction, and stars that are impossible to experience living in the city. The desert will always have a way with me.
I'm sure you've picked up on this, but Taos has been a longstanding special place for the both of us. We visit frequently to reconnect and disengage from reality to just BE. Both of us knew that we'd feel surrounded by such powerful energy tying the knot here. No regrets.
What advice would you give to couples who are thinking about eloping but are not sure?
Just do it! This day is about you and your partner, not about worrying about your weird drunk uncle offending people and having to save endless amounts of money to make your family happy by having a traditional wedding. You get to be your most vulnerable, nervous, excited, best-self! The ball is in your court and your court only. Plus, having your own photoshoot that's literally just the two of you is always a good time. You can always celebrate with your family and friends in a different light, but this day is about your needs and desires.