Eastern California Elopement of Sara & Kunyu
Friends, buckle up – you’re about to fall in love with all the Eastern California elopement possibilities after seeing this one! Sara and Kunyu tied the knot at a lakeside ceremony one morning in April. They spent the rest of the day hanging out with friends and doing all the activities they love together. They even included their two dogs and two cats in everything! It was a wild ride from start to finish and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I hope that when you see their photos, you feel like you already know them.
Before the Elopement
This elopement took 9 years to plan. But most of it was done in the last ten days 🙂 The long term pair chose their dating anniversary to be their wedding date and arranged to be in Mammoth Lakes to celebrate. A family condo provided the base camp for all the day’s plans. They had the best philosophy when it came to planning that I wish everyone would use! They simply wrote down all their favorite activities on a sticky note in a rough order. This kept the day very laid back and fun! We were never rushed or stressed. I shared my Mammoth Lakes elopement locations guide with them and that meant we got to see tons of amazing places!
Sunrise First Look
This pair braved an early wake up call for their first look. Sara chose a powder blue gown with leafy details and a cape veil – um, yes please – and she practically knocked out Kunyu when he saw her. They chose a long bridge where they often walk their dogs together for this special moment. Kunyu hyperventilated so rapidly that I was worried he was going to pass out and that would be the shortest elopement shoot ever. Luckily, he was ok after much hugging, and we moved into the woods to capture the fresh coating of snow in the forest. This part of Eastern California is magical and we milked it for all it was worth!
Convict Lake Elopement Ceremony
It being April and an off-season, Sara and Kunyu were able to have their intimate elopement ceremony on the shore of Convict Lake. However, Sara preferred to use the indigenous name for the lake: Witsanap. A hat tip to the Mono Native Americans is always appreciated! The morning light on Laurel Mountain was simply stunning. Family members had crafted a wooden arch carved with their names just for this occasion. We lined up the arch with the best mountain view and let the ceremony begin! Kunyu was immediately crying – they warned me this might happen, and I loved every minute of it! Their vows were adorable and Sara joined in on the tears.
Eastern California Elopement Adventures
After some sandwich platters and mingling at the lake, we stopped back at the condo for coffee and to hug the cats (myself included. I’m obsessed with cats.) Then it was time to take the Mammoth Mountain gondola to 11,053 feet and enjoy the view. The goofing off in the gondola was, of course, captured. The Eastern Sierra mountains stretched as far as the eye could see! This is a pretty unbeatable vista point for anyone looking to elope in Mammoth Lakes. For that fresh snow look, civilians rallied to toss snow over the couple while they shared a smooch, which created some of the most fun images of the day. Also, Sara is the snow queen and I will take no questions.
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A full day Eastern California elopement
I’m not playing when I said I spent all day with these two – in all it was a 16 hour day for me! However, because of the laid back “schedule”, they could have the relaxed elopement of their dreams. And I had some down time to stuff my face with lunch and bakery pastries in between. After an adventure to the hot springs and a dip in the jacuzzi, Sara and Kunyu sat down to a home cooked meal her dad had prepared. A long table was set out and no scrap went uneaten. And the sociable and hammy cat Vincent was all but passed around for cuddles from everyone after the sweet toasts.
Like what you see? Let’s see what I can do for you!
If a big wedding just isn’t your thing and you want to have as much fun as we did, I can help! I specialize in crafting intimate elopement days for couples that want to ENJOY their day above all else. My photo maps and custom guides help you find the perfect scenery and activities. So let’s fill your day with the best things in life – whatever that means to YOU! I offer full day, 1.5 day and 2 day elopement photography all over the western US, Hawaii, and destinations beyond. See my pricing here and click the button below to start the adventure!