Our Yosemite National Park Elopement

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Bride and Groom elope under Lower Yosemite Falls
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Never in my life did I imagine Colt and I would get married in Yosemite National Park. We originally planned a backyard wedding and due to COVID, like many others, we changed our plans. Colt had the brilliant idea of eloping in Yosemite National Park. I immediately did all the research needed to make it happen. I was so excited I had figured out the permits, where to stay, if dogs were allowed and everything else.

Wedding Photographer vs. Bride

As a wedding photographer, it was so different being on the other side of the camera as a BRIDE! It gave me a new perspective as to what my couples experience planning their own wedding. I can’t even tell you how much brain fog I had that day. Everything seems to happen so fast! This is one reason it is essential in having experienced wedding vendors who are able to make decisions for you. It’s so important so you can just enjoy your day. That’s why we hired Ashley Medrano Photography. She is absolutely incredible and was there with us from the very beginning. Ashley got up at the crack of dawn and even stayed in the park until sunset days before our elopement. She explored and helped find the best spots for us. Not only was she an amazing photographer, but a knowledgeable guide.

It All Started at 4am

One of the really cool things about our elopement was that we basically had two ceremonies amongst a week-long adventure. We decided to wake up at 4am on the day of our elopement and make coffee together. It’s something we do together every single morning. We got ready and drove to our first-look spot under the most majestic waterfall I’ve ever seen in my life.

So that this wouldn’t involve an even earlier wake up time for me – I showered the night before and blow dried and curled my hair. All I had to do in the morning was very natural makeup and a few curl touch-ups. It saved me SO much time in the morning! I didn’t feel the need to have anyone else do my makeup because I wanted to look like my natural every day self, which was also one of Colt’s requests. This was super sweet of him and very fitting for the setting of our elopement.

Sunrise First Look at Yosemite Falls

Once we were ready, we shared a private sunrise first look together at Yosemite Falls, adventured through the park and read our vows privately. It was intimate and perfect in every way! After that, we went back and rested for a little while before it was time for our evening ceremony with our pups and immediate family.

Sunrise First Look Yosemite Yosemite Falls | IndyPop Photography | Yosemite National Park | California | Colorado + Central Texas Elopement + Wedding Photographer | via indypopphoto.com

Private Vows in Yosemite National Park

Private Vows in Yosemite National Park | IndyPop Photography | Bride and Groom in Yosemite | Yosemite National Park | California | Colorado + Central Texas Elopement + Wedding Photographer | via indypopphoto.com
Private Vows in Yosemite National Park | IndyPop Photography | Yosemite National Park | California | Colorado + Central Texas Elopement + Wedding Photographer | via indypopphoto.com
Private Vows in Yosemite National Park | IndyPop Photography | Yosemite National Park | California | Colorado + Central Texas Elopement + Wedding Photographer | via indypopphoto.com

Details of Our Day

I just love how personal this whole experience was for us. There are literally SOOO many possibilities when it comes to eloping or having an intimate wedding. And the best part is – don’t have to just choose one thing. We were able to stretch out our celebration and spend quality time with every single one of our family members. We also got to share our own intimate moments together without feeling like we were leaving anyone behind.

Yosemite National Park Elopement | IndyPop Photography | Yosemite National Park | California | Family Photos in Yosemite National Park | Colorado + Central Texas Elopement + Wedding Photographer | via indypopphoto.com

To make it even more personal, my brother was our officiant. I loved having him officiate because he truly knows both of us so well. He has also been there since the moment Colt and I first met at a mutual friend’s wedding in Cozumel. Our ceremony was full of so many laughs, giggles and tears thanks to him.

And in true Ransom fashion, he laid down on my dress during it all. It was so perfect and so him. I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t one of my most favorite moments of the whole trip.

Yosemite National Park Elopement | IndyPop Photography | Yosemite National Park | California | Dogs in Weddings | Colorado + Central Texas Elopement + Wedding Photographer | via indypopphoto.com
Yosemite National Park Elopement | IndyPop Photography | Yosemite National Park | California | Dogs in Weddings | Colorado + Central Texas Elopement + Wedding Photographer | via indypopphoto.com
Yosemite National Park Elopement | IndyPop Photography | Yosemite National Park | California | Colorado + Central Texas Elopement + Wedding Photographer | via indypopphoto.com

In lieu of a boutonniere, Colt requested a lapel pin of both of our boys. This was just another way we made our day so personal to us and another reason I love him so much. For my bouquet, instead of fresh florals, I purchased a dried bouquet with pops of pink. I was nervous about transporting fresh flowers so, when I found this dried bouquet I was ecstatic! Now, I can have it as a forever keepsake and Colt can keep his lapel pins with pictures of Ruckus and Ransom.

Yosemite Falls

Yosemite Falls made me so emotional. It made our decision to elope in Yosemite National Park 1000000% worth it. Seeing it in person was the most indescribable feeling. My appreciation for the all the natural beauty of this world completely changed from this entire experience and the whole thing was incredibly emotional for me. I hadn’t seen some of my family members in a year and a half due to COVID. The fact that Yosemite National Park was the backdrop of our family reunion and the celebration of Colt’s and my love for each other was indescribable. 

Yosemite, you were a majestic, magical, exhausting beast of a wonderland and you’ll now forever have my heart – especially because of the memories we created here. Thank you for being such a beautiful part of our love story and for taking us on a new adventure. We have already started planning our trip back for more epic experiences!

Location: Yosemite National Park // Photos Taken By: Ashley Medrano Photography // Images edited by: IndyPop Photo // Florist: Fern and Sun Palm // Cake: Simply Delish // Wedding Dress: Amanda’s Bridal // Suit: Express

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