They are both creatives who love the outdoors and enjoy hiking and camping together. The bride is a photographer while the groom is an actor who loves science. A match made in heaven!
Their love is so beautiful and I could tell they cherish each other. They always have a smile on their faces. Originally, they were planning on having a wedding with friends and family but due to recent events with the pandemic, they decided to elope instead.
The couple picked Yosemite for their elopement because this was a special place for the bride’s family and the best way for them to make up not having their big wedding.
The long-anticipated day is finally here! With hot weather and a nice breeze, they started off their day playing in the trees and hiking up to Mariposa Grove. The ‘Giant Grizzly’ is a huge sequoia tree in Yosemite that was a sight to see! The iconic sequoia ‘Wawona Tunnel Tree’ was also a lot of fun to explore.
After hiking the Grizzly Giant loop trail, they headed up to Glacier point and changed clothes for their first look and ceremony. The amphitheater where they got married at Glacier Point was only a 1-minute walk from the parking lot, so the bride changed into her wedding dress in the bathrooms. While she was changing, I had said to the groom, “wow, what a great view.” He then replied with, “I have a feeling I have a better view when I turn around.” Such a sweet thing to say!
They used cellphones for their vows because they want their future kids to see these pictures and know that iPhones were a ‘thing’ back then. That’s how you know they aren’t that old!
After the ceremony, they ran to catch the sunset at Taft Point. Taft Point had stunning views.
Yosemite in June can be quite warm. On their elopement day, it was around 85 degrees out! Perfect weather for hiking and enjoying the views Yosemite had to offer.
Since their elopement was during COVID, the park was open to tourists, but no shuttles were running. This meant that it was a 40-minute walk from the parking lot to Mariposa Grove itself.
Mariposa Grove had some of the largest and most impressive giant Sequoias I have ever seen. These thousands of year old trees were so pretty and extraordinarily tall. After the Grove, we walked back on the main road since it was blocked off and had fun taking pictures in the middle
Glacier Point is a viewpoint above Yosemite Valley where the ceremony took place. Here we saw breathtaking views of Half Dome and all of Yosemite’s beauty. Ending the day at Taft Point was very magical and had the most expansive views at sunset!
To elope at Yosemite you are required to obtain a special permit. It’s only $150 and includes free spectacular views! Once you purchase it, it can be applied for up to a year out from your date, but you need to have it sent 21 days before the day. Yosemite is the perfect backdrop for elopement photos.
Make sure if you are going to hike, that you bring a change of clothes and some hiking shoes! A tip for brides is to not wear your wedding dress on the drive, especially if you are staying outside the park since the journey between locations can be pretty far.
Also, make sure to bring a water backpack or a reusable water bottle, sunscreen, and bug spray for Taft Point. There is a little creek there that attracted lots of mosquitos. It was a downhill walk to Taft Point and an uphill walk back.
There is a parking lot at Mariposa Grove, Glacier Point, and Taft Point. Even though this elopement happened right after they reopened the park from the shelter in
If you are thinking about what time of day to elope, sunrise and sunset are two of the best times for golden hour. Sunrise is great because you will have fewer tourists and it will be quieter. If you plan on doing it at sunrise, go to Glacier Point because the sun will rise over Half Dome!
If you aren’t a morning person and don’t want to wake up at the crack of dawn, I would recommend aiming for some dreamy sunset photos. This way, you can have all day to get ready and hike so that your first look and ceremony is a bit later in the day. The one downside to this is that it might be more crowded then. Taft point is by far the best place to get epic sunset pics!
These two were so easy to photograph and I’m so grateful to have been able to photograph their special day! They were so much fun to hang out with and I loved getting out and exploring Yosemite with them.
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