Adventure Wedding in Yosemite National Park
Gabby and Brandon found me on Instagram and told me they wanted to bring me out west for their wedding in Yosemite National Park and I couldn’t respond quickly enough. I was so excited for the opportunity to work in a place on my bucket list but after talking to them on the phone, I was over the moon to work with two people who seemed so genuine and down to earth!
“The day of our ceremony, Jessica made us feel like models from 3:30 a.m. till 11 p.m. that night! We had her all day hyping us up and making us feel amazing… If you are thinking about doing a crazy untraditional marriage and want to elope in a beautiful location look no further! You found your elopement photographer!” – Gabby and Brandon W.
Planning Their Yosemite Wedding Day
Their wedding in Yosemite National Park showcases just how amazing a full-day experience can be, especially when you want to include loved ones in your wedding day!
When helping the two of them brainstorm ideas for their special day, I knew that it would be crucial for us to plan accordingly to avoid the stress of crowds. We landed on a sunrise ceremony so that we wouldn’t encounter long lines at the gates and so that there wouldn’t be additional “witnesses” to their day. This also allowed us to plan an evening adventure after they spent the middle of the day celebrating with friends and family!
Getting Ready in Mariposa
I arrived at their VRBO in Mariposa at 3:30 a.m. to capture photos of Gabby and Brandon getting ready for their Yosemite wedding with their friends. Although it was hours before the sun was going to rise, everyone was in high spirits and excited to be present for their day. Gabby’s hair and makeup artist was the MVP for supporting their wishes for a sunrise wedding and being willing to get there even earlier than me!
Sunrise First Look in Yosemite Valley
Brandon relaxed in the back seat of the car with a blindfold on as we drove to Yosemite Valley for their first look. They had their first look as the sun began to rise with Yosemite Falls in the background and it was tear-jerking to see how in awe of Gabby’s beauty Brandon was! We took our time soaking in our surroundings before departing for their ceremony spot to meet up with their wedding guests!
Wedding Ceremony at Cathedral Beach
With El Capitan in the background and beautiful morning light peeking around the granite walls, Gabby and Brandon exchanged vows on Cathedral Beach in a wedding ceremony officiated by her mother. There were so many laughs and tears shared from their loved ones and it was a truly perfect ceremony that was a great reflection of their love for one another and a celebration of their upcoming lives together as a married couple.
Sunset Portraits at Taft Point
After a mid-day break for some celebrating with their loved ones, Gabby, Brandon, Kristie (her maid of honor), and I made our way up to Glacier Point Road to the trailhead of Taft Point for a sunset hike. As an elopement photographer, some of the first photos that introduced me to elopements were of Taft Point and it was surreal to be there photographing a couple at sunset just as I’d always dreamed of! The light was golden and beautiful and I was so thankful that the smoke from a nearby wildfire didn’t decrease the visibility of the views of Yosemite Valley at all. We were one of the last at Taft Point and hiked out in the dark with headlamps to guide us and although we were all exhausted when we got back to the car, it was so worth the long day for the amazing experience they had.