This is unheard of, you guys. Tunnel View at Yosemite is usually crawling with tourists. One of the most iconic spots in Yosemite…without another soul in sight! It’s hundred-to-one to have a Yosemite elopement in complete privacy.
Not a soul in the park. Could you imagine?! Photographer, Anni Graham, (who is as equally geeked as we are) shares insight from the day: In a year of pivots, natural disasters, and a global pandemic, we held our breath when Yosemite shut down due to hazardous smoke a week before Lindsay + Brian’s micro wedding. But, we decided to hold out until the last minute. Because of that, we ended up with one of the most unique National Park elopements I’ve ever documented.
We knew early on hat we wanted to do things differently, and were looking for something that was unique + authentic to us. Our adventurous bride, Lindsay shares. Travel and adventure are core to our values, and our favorite thing to do is get up at dawn and explore the world. Yosemite holds a special place in our hearts because it was the first place we traveled together, and that trip kicked off a tradition of celebrating our birthdays someplace new every year. We thought – what feels like our best day ever? And it turns out it was as simple as that.
Is this real? We’re seriously still not convinced. With epic Yosemite elopement photography from Anni Graham + planning and design from Mae & Co Creative, we’re slowly starting to accept this great reality.
First look emotions always get us.
Yosemite Elopement at Tunnel View
Saying our vows at Tunnel View. This is the most popular viewpoint at Yosemite and is usually packed with hundreds of tourists. Because of the recent fires, the park had been closed, and we were the first visitors in weeks. It was surreal to feel like we had the entire park to ourselves. Twirling atop another mountain lookout point while singing “Sara Smile” by Hall and Oates is a close second for the most memorable moment.
L + B’s photographer shares more from this epic morning: Because Yosemite was operating with a limited visitor capacity and a permit system, the park was already quiet. And then we waited until the first few hours after the park reopened from smoke closures to head into the park while the stars were still out. This was such an incredible elopement because they got to elope at Tunnel View.
Just a casual hike in the morning glow. Love it!
Adventure Lovers in the Golden Sun
Rock on, Gold Dust Woman, Lindsay shares her wedding dress journey: I loved every Rue de Seine dress I tried on. While I was most drawn to ‘Sia,’ one of my best friends had recently purchased it. I learned that the ‘Adelia Lune’ was similar, so I flew to San Diego to try it on. From the second I put it on all I wanted to do was dance, so I knew it was perfect. It wasn’t at all what I’d originally thought I’d end up with; the only way I can describe it was that it was so much more FUN. I loved getting to channel my inner Stevie Nicks, romp around the mountains all day, and dance under the stars in it!
You had us at channeling your inner Stevie Nicks, to be honest.
Micro Wedding, Farm to Table Dinner
Think about what is most aligned with your values, what feels good to you, and prioritize that. Try not to overcomplicate things, and if you find yourself getting anxious about doing something just right, try to scale back and remember what was really important when you set out planning. At the end of the day, a wedding is simply a celebration of love and should reflect what that means to you and your partner.
Totally terra cotta for this micro wedding setting. What’s more perfect for a Yosemite elopement? All the textures + warm color palette invite guests for the intimate meal ahead!
Fig bruschetta – yum!
Such a mindful planning approach from Lindsay: If you’re considering a micro-wedding or elopement, go for it! Reducing complexities on the day gave us the freedom to do what we wanted (like taking a nap and swimming in the pool mid-day) and the space to take everything in. What could have been an overwhelming whirlwind was a relaxing, rich, and deeply memorable experience.
A thousand congratulations to Lindsay + Brian! A truly exceptional ‘best day ever.’
photography: Anni Graham // venue name: Autocamp, Yosemite National Park, California, USA // event design: Mae&Co Creative // planning: Mae&Co Creative // wedding dress: Rue de Seine // catering: Farm to Table Catering