Glacier Point Elopement at Yosemite National Park
I first met Sara and Joey through a Facebook group for California couples planning their weddings before a trip out to San Francisco last winter – not so poetic or serendipitous but as is this modern era of life. I was looking for a couple to photograph while I was in California, and having just become engaged these two were up to meet up and have engagement photos taken. We had a beautiful (but bitter cold) evening out at Land’s end in San Francisco, then parted ways as I retreated to my home in Upstate New York.
As months came and went, so did the health and wellness of our planet. The pandemic took over, and Sara and Joey were one of those lucky couples whose weddings were affected.
While in the midst of planning their rescheduled wedding, they were looking for a way to honor their lost wedding date. Lo and behold, I had a fall trip booked for Yosemite and invited them to join me.
September arrived, and the heat of the summer took toll on the entire west coast as forest fires grew faster and larger than we’ve seen in our life time. Yosemite was under flames, and none of us felt it was safe to drive through the smog and destruction.
We had a decision to make; cancel altogether or take a risk and post-pone for later in the year. There was just something about the magic of Yosemite that pulled us in, so we bit the bullet and rescheduled everything for a few weeks later in mid-October. Lucky for us, the fires in the area were contained just days before my flight out and the smoke cleared just in time for our beautiful Sunday at Glacier Point.
Sara’s a huge fan of sunsets + sunrises, so it was a no-brainer to choose Glacier Point as their spot. We woke up and headed out at 4am to watch the sun rise over the valley, and every second of grief and struggle was worth this experience.
The juxtaposition of the deep valley below us and rising sun above us painted an allegory of the rich history these two have already developed in their relationship + all that’s to come with their new marriage.
As the theme of 2020 has seemingly been transformation and resilience, I’m happy we were able to celebrate their story at a location and grandeur and symbolic as Glacier Point. As they dressed in wedding attire and read each other love letters under the rising sun, I hope Sara and Joey found this as an opportunity to rise from their “2020 ashes” and celebrate their undying love and perseverance for one another.
Sara and Joey…
Cheers to you + your April 2021 wedding. You deserve nothing but the best.