Yosemite National Park

the hearnes » adventure elopement photographers

lorilee + ivan's snowy elopement in yosemite national park

When Lorilee and Ivan began planning a wedding with family living in multiple different states, they quickly realized there wasn’t an easy way to get everyone together and the idea of planning a big wedding in one place and expecting others to travel there felt wrong to them, so they decided to keep things simple and elope! They chose Yosemite National Park for their elopement, sight unseen, knowing it’d be more beautiful than any man-made venue in the world. They asked Ivan’s brother to officiate their intimate ceremony, and asked his wife as their witness. They traveled out from Texas on their spring break and after a rather dull Yosemite winter were greeted with “March Magic,” fresh snow blanketing the Valley.

The forecast was looking a little sketchy, threatening more snow showers in the afternoon, so we began their day with a early morning first look while the snow was still fresh. Thankfully, Lorilee and Ivan were prepared for the cold winter adventure wedding day, wearing base layers and warm socks. Lorilee even wore a stylish custom leather jacket with their wedding date and her new last name on the back, as well as an ode to Harry Potter, one of their all-time favorite stories. After a few wedding portraits around Yosemite Valley, we stopped to grab lunch Yosemite Village before heading to the meadow for their intimate elopement ceremony. We met up with the rest of the crew and wandered into the meadow to pick a ceremony spot. As they laid down their wedding blanket and began their ceremony, the lightest snow began to fall around us. It was real Yosemite-style magic. They exchanged vows with El Cap above them and the Cathedrals towering over across the valley on a quiet winter afternoon. We then celebrated with champagne, a small wedding cake, and a little picnic in the meadow. After saying their goodbyes to their sweet siblings, we spent the rest of the afternoon taking wedding portraits throughout Yosemite Valley, ending the day in a snow-dusted meadow beneath Half Dome, where we spend just as much time taking photos as we did watching a local coyote hunt across the field. It was everything a winter elopement in Yosemite should be - quiet, calm, a little chilly, and full of gorgeous views in every direction!

At the time of writing this blog, we've wrapped up our winter wedding season in Yosemite National Park, but I'm already looking forward to the next one. There is something so special about winter in the valley and Lorilee + Ivan's intimate adventure elopement definitely showcases it well!

The Hearnes Adventure Photography is run by Abbi and Callen Hearne, a husband & wife wedding photography team with an emphasis on adventure. They live on the road as full-time nomads in their big white van, allowing them to serve a large portion of the western US including California, Utah, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Colorado, and Wyoming. They believe love is the greatest adventure and strive to create photos that are epic, romantic, true, and timeless.

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