Yosemite National Park Elopement | Yosemite Destination Wedding Photographer
As a wedding photographer who frequents Yosemite National Park during the last few hours of the day and acts as a tour guide showing couples around the National park, it can be quite the change to begin a wedding day at 3 am. Just as any other attraction worldwide becomes popular during certain parts of the day, Yosemite is no different. Especially during weekends, the crowds can gather, and traffic can become a pain. Often this is the experience we all have, but that doesn't negate the beauty that enraptures us all. There are still many private locations throughout the park where I take all of my couples. If you are one for a more intimate approach and aren't afraid of a 3 am wake-up call, Angela & Ankur's Sunrise elopement at Glacier Point might speak to you!
Planning an elopement in Yosemite is my specialty, and with nearly thirty I have planned in the 2021 season, it is pretty easy for me to guide my couples who choose to go this route. Angela & Ankur wanted to have a small ceremony surrounded by their close friends and family at Cathedral Beach at 10 am. Most important to them, though, was having their couple photos at Glacier Point during golden hour. Since their ceremony was at 10 am and the next golden hour wouldn't have been for many hours, A&A decided to have me capture them earlier in the day at sunrise. What it meant for me was to wake up before 3 am and make sure I had all my equipment and then make the trek to the park blasting music, chugging coffee, and catching up on my favorite podcasts. For a bride and a groom, this means starting with hair and makeup (Angie did her own) while Ankur slept in 😂 and then driving from their hotel in Oakhurst to Glacier Point and arriving there by 5:30 am.
The day looks very different for every couple, but when I met these two at Glacier Point in the parking lot, I saw the shock on their faces when they looked behind me and took in the incredible view of half dome. Angela and Ankur walked with me to the point where we began their session, and although it was only 5:30 am, there were already other people sitting around and waiting for the sunset. While there are fewer people in the park at these early hours, there will always be a handful of people who know the beauty of watching the sunset at Glacier Point.
After we kicked off the morning with the most amazing views, we then made our way down to the valley where the rest of their family and friends were waiting at Cathedral Beach. The ceremony was beautifully put together, and even though it was nearly 10 am, the light couldn't have been more perfect. A&A shared a wine box ritual where they put a bottle of wine in a wooden box Ankur made and then closed and tied a ribbon around. On their first anniversary, they will open the bottle of wine and look back at their wedding day as a way of celebration.
From the fantastic views of Glacier Point with little crowds to the riverbed of Cathedral Beach surrounded by the sheer walls of El Capitan and close family and friends, Angela and Ankur's special day was one of the most unique and memorable. If you are considering an elopement in Yosemite National Park, I specialize in making your dreams come true! While Glacier Point Road will be closed for the entire 2022 season, there are still beautiful locations to have a ceremony in the valley, just as Angela and Ankur did. Enjoy their special day!