Yosemite Elopement Photos
Where do I even start with Emma and Damian’s Yosemite Elopement photos?! You’d think I’d start with the photos, but no, we’re going deep into the backstory. Buckle. Up. I met Emma back in 2008 or 2009 at summer camp in Vermont. We lost touch for a decade, (A mistake I will not repeat) but when she got engaged to her personal dreamboat Damian, I was their first call. We planned for over a year for their just-us-two elopement ceremony in Sequoia National Park. But just a few months before the elopement, the record spring floods closed most of that park, and we pivoted to a ceremony at Merced Grove, one of Yosemite’s Sequoia groves instead. We applied and got the ceremony request approved. Learn more about eloping in Yosemite here.
Yosemite Road Closures
Just 2 weeks before their late May elopement, the road between their rented cabin and their ceremony site in Yosemite literally fell off the side of the mountain. WTF. Accessing their Merced grove ceremony would now take 2.5 hours’ drive, each way, cutting into our adventure time. We changed plans again, booking new accommodation closer to Yosemite Valley, and getting confirmation that Merced grove was indeed accessible from the Valley. Phew, park staff assured us it was open. I counted on it, and didn’t check the day before.. but Emma and Damian did, only to find it CLOSED. What the heck, Yosemite. So, the night before their ceremony, which we began planning 1.7 years prior, we shifted the ceremony location one more time to Tuolumne Grove.
Yosemite Elopement Photos Style
Let me warn you – these two are as stylish as it gets. Damian went all out with a custom green velvet tuxedo, which looked awesome in the woods and mountains of California. I’m not afraid to say he was an absolute snack. (I said worse things on the day. Why am I like this.) Emma gave a big middle finger to tradition and rocked a black wedding gown with sparkles on sparkles on sparkles, and an open back. Edgy jewelry and a hairpiece complimented her sleeve of tattoos, including one of their adorable bunny Tosia back at home. That bunny is so cute I’m considering tattooing it on my own arm. Their first look in the trees was so sweet as they complimented each other and hugged and kissed as much as they wanted to. Which was a lot.
Elopement Letters from Family and Friends
Emma and Damian took the idea of letters from loved ones to the next level. As well as requesting messages from their friends, they also asked their friends to let them know WHEN to open the letters. Damian’s sister requested that they open her letter when they see a neat bird. When a Western Tanager sang above us on our walk to the ceremony, out came the letter! This was such a fun way to include their loved ones and add spontaneity at the same time. 10/10, I recommend.
Yosemite Elopement Ceremony Photos
Surrounded by Big Ass Trees, I officiated their Yosemite Elopement ceremony in a moustache, a nod to our summer camp experience. And because, why not?! The moustache made me look like a lorax however, and we were doubled over laughing at how ridiculous it looked when I smiled. Their heartfelt vows were so romantic and adorable, and they smooched several times during the ceremony. I love the Yosemite elopement photos of them admiring their wedding rings on their hands for the very first time. As I had signed the marriage license as their officiant, we needed another human to sign as witness. Damian asked a passing group of German tourists to sign for us, and after a brief kerfuffle over who has US citizenship and a bit of translating, we got it done and legal! They opened more letters and presents and then it was time to ADVENTURE!
Yosemite Valley Elopement Photos
Both gearheads, Emma and Damian rented a sweet black convertible to truly tour Yosemite Valley in style. I love that they personalized their elopement with everything important to them. A basic rental car was never going to cut it. The photos of the newlyweds posing with the Camaro with Yosemite’s waterfalls in the background were such showstoppers that I thought I’d peaked – that was until we entered Yosemite valley itself. The heavy spring rains flooded the entire meadow, giving us a unique mirror reflection of the continent’s tallest waterfall. I died and went to elopement photographer heaven. Add in the meadow at Half Dome and I firmly declared that this day couldn’t get any better.. Until nearby staff thanked me for not trampling the meadow in order to take my photos. It was so nice to be recognized for our restraint from entering the meadow. I nearly cried.
Elopement Photos in Yosemite at Night
As the sun set, we were pretty pooped. Back at their rental cabin, they made kraft mac and cheese for dinner, and enjoyed a few bowls of it while reading over the last letters from friends. Some of these were hilarious, some tear-jerking, and all appreciated. As they cuddled on the couch, I set up outside for a star photo over the hot tub. Soaking their tired bodies at the end of their Yosemite adventure elopement under the stars was just as magical as it looked – and ended up being some of my favorite photos of the whole day.
Award winning Yosemite Elopement Photos
Their incredible adventure elopement has already won an Elopement Story award from WPJA – a photojournalism organization recognizing international excellence. It’s my 25th Elopement Story award, and you can view the award here. In addition, their Yosemite Elopement photos have won 3 additional awards in the Artistic guild, details, and documentary categories. I’m proud to capture not just the pretty scenes at elopements, but the funny, candid, and emotional moments in between.
Yosemite Elopement Vendors
Planning and Photography: Lucy Schultz Photography – Hello!
Hair & Makeup: Alexis Jade
Flowers: My Dinosaur Dreams from Etsy
Dress: David’s Bridal
Rental Cabin: VRBO
Rings: Attleboro Jewelers
Seeing their Yosemite Elopement Photos
Emma and Damian are the nicest people, alive or dead – so I should have expected the absolute onslaught of compliments once they saw their photos. Screenshots of texts we exchanged might be the only way to capture their Caps-lock excitement. F bombs were dropped.
Then they sent the photos to their friends..
And I got doused in compliments all over again! E&D sent me the screenshots of their friends losing their minds over the pics. Warning.. expletives were used. Read at your own risk. Also fun fact: it was ALL real, nothing fake or photoshopped.
Stay tuned for part 2!!
Wait, what? That’s right – these stunners booked a 2 day elopement with me, and you’re not going to want to miss the incredible forest we visited the next day!
I’m a nomadic and colorful Yosemite elopement photographer with an obsession for mountains, hiking, and my cats. My photography style emphasizes the epic landscape of your dreams and the authentic moments that make you two.. well, you two! I love my job and my nature-loving clients. Yosemite is one of my very favorite National Parks. Maybe I’ll see you there!
Make me your Photographer
I have 1 spot available for a Yosemite or Northern California elopement in mid August, 2023. If you’d like your Yosemite elopement photos to be as epic and Emma and Damian’s, don’t wait to get in touch!