M + K
Have you ever been somewhere so incredible, that no matter how many photos you see before arriving, you are still not prepared for the experience once you are finally seeing it with your own eyes? Yosemite is one of those places. You can look at a thousand photos of Yosemite Valley and still be in complete awe once you are standing in the meadow. El Capitan rises 3,000 feet straight up from the valley floor, that’s taller than the tallest building in the world! As you make your way out of the Valley, and up to Glacier Point, you are looking eye-level at some of Yosemite’s most famous cliff faces. Half Dome is even bigger than you can imagine. It’s hard not to feel emotional when you see it!
It isn’t hard to understand why M + K decided to get married in Yosemite. When they started planning their wedding, they agreed that they didn’t want a big, traditional wedding. Their biggest goals for their wedding were to spend quality time together, be mindful throughout the day, and to reconnect with nature (something that’s not always easy to do at home in Los Angeles). So they invited some of their immediate family and set off to Yosemite National Park.
But, as always, there were a few twists and turns leading up to their wedding day. Yosemite was hit with an unusual amount of snow during the winter and spring, and it became unclear about whether or not the road up to Glacier Point would even be open in time. Because of this, we created two timelines for M + K’s wedding day. Plan A had them enjoying sunset at Glacier Point, while Plan B had them enjoying sunset on a private hike overlooking Tunnel View. This way, no matter what nature gave us, M + K would still be able to watch the sunset from what feels like the top of the world. But luckily for us, the road to Glacier Point opened in time and we were able to stick with Plan A!
M + K started their wedding morning before sunrise. Their families stayed in a cabin together in Yosemite West, so the house was filled with movement as everyone got ready for the early morning ceremony. Once M + K were dressed, we drove down into the Valley for their first look. On our scouting day, we found a short trail that followed a river and was surrounded by trees. M + K both later agreed that their first look was their favorite part of the day.
The ceremony was held at Cathedral Beach, but because of all the snowmelt, the beach was underwater. Their officiant, who specializes in Yosemite weddings, said that he has never seen the Merced River so full! So we improvised and held their ceremony along the water within the trees. M + K wrote their own ceremony, and included a mindfulness exercise that included everyone pausing to truly take in the sounds, smells, and sights of Yosemite. They sealed love letters and a bottle of wine in a box to open on their 5th anniversary, and then exchanged personal vows. They sealed the ceremony with a kiss and then there were smiles and hugs all around.
For lunch, everyone headed over to The Ahwahnee Hotel (formerly known as The Majestic Yosemite Hotel), where they gathered around a table in the huge dining room. Then we parted ways for the rest of the afternoon. M + K hiked to Yosemite Falls with their families and we returned to our hotel room to get our gear ready for our sunset adventure.
A couple hours before sunset, we met at Glacier Point. If you’ve ever been to Glacier Point, you’ll know how crowded it can get. To avoid the crowds, we decided to follow a short trail to a large rock that we could have all to ourselves. M + K laid a blanket out and admired the views. The sun slowly sank behind us and illuminated the sky with the most gorgeous sunset.
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We're Lisa + Alex, the goofballs behind Vow of the Wild. We live in the beautiful state of Colorado, but we are passionate about traveling to new places and meeting new people along the way. We are lucky enough to have what we consider to be the best job in the world (other than a professional dog petter). We get to create films and photos for adventurous Colorado Elopements and adventurous Destination Elopements across the globe! Feel free to reach out to us, we'd love to meet you!