Jen + Joey’s Magical Winter Elopement at Yosemite
With Spring fast approaching, it’s so nice to look back at one of my favorite Winter elopements I got to do in Yosemite last year. Jen and Joey embraced the Winter theme into every aspect of their special day: the wardrobe, decorations, and even the way they posed for photos. This delightful couple met in 2014 when they were both working as baristas at the Ugly Mug, a local coffee shop in Santa Cruz. It’s so beautiful to watch the twinkle in their eyes when they look at one another. It made my final shoot of 2021 a very happy way to end the year.
A Hand On The Small Of Your Back
I hope you have a tissue handy, because Jen and Joey’s proposal story is sure to bring a tear to your eye. Joey proposed to Jen at the top of Twin Peaks in San Fransisco. As they walked up the staircase to the top, Joey put his hand on the small of her back. He said, “Did you know it’s proven that if you put your hand on someone’s back as they’re walking uphill it makes it feel easier? That’s what you’ve been for me our entire relationship: a hand on the small of my back.” When they reached the top, he got down on one knee and asked her to marry him.
When you close your eyes and think about your dearest love, do they feel like a hand on the small of your back? I hope so, and I’m so grateful to Joey for bringing this lovely image into my life. There’s indeed a special meeting between love and science.
Winter in Yosemite
Joey and Jen assumed there would be snow for their Winter Yosemite elopement, and boy were they right! They wanted to choose colors and clothing items that played into the snowy theme, hence the dark greens, bright blues, fur stoles, gloves, and blankets featured in the photos. Joey’s blue suit was absolutely perfect against the Yosemite snow, and Jen’s fur coat was just divine.
Putting Their Own Touch
I love it when couples really make a ceremony their own, putting what’s important to them into each detail. It often comes with the territory of elopements. Joey and Jen chose to exchange their vows privately, and replaced that part of the ceremony with a symbolic gift exchange. Joey gave Jen a tree saw from the Christmas tree farm they go to every year- their first tradition. And Joey’s gift from Jen was a bottle of Sriracha sauce! It was the only thing she always had a hard time sharing throughout their relationship. Ha!
There were so many winter wonderful moments during our Yosemite elopement adventure. One of which was almost getting mowed over by a snow plow! A personal favorite for Joey’s was successfully getting out of the driveway after skidding in the ice for 20 minutes. Thank goodness he did, because it got him to their “first look” at Tunnel View, which was just so special. They drove up in separate cars, and because of icy road conditions it took almost an hour to get there. The hard work was well worth it. When Joey got his first look at Jen you could see how stunned he was. He said his first thought was “WOW… BEAUTIFUL.”
Choosing the Right Location
Jen and Joey chose to get married in Yosemite because it holds a special place in their hearts. It was the first place they vacationed together and was the first place words of love were exchanged. The Redwoods in Yosemite are also a great place for guests to stay. While Jen and Joey did have an intimate and remote elopement, they had a joyous and large celebration with friends and family afterwards too! From start to finish Joey and Jen thought about themselves and what meant the most to them as couple to be getting married. But they also took into consideration the needs of their guests the whole time. They’re a remarkable couple and I’m so honored to have gotten to shoot their special day. Stay classy you two.
Flowers | Rustic Barn Blossom
Lodging | Redwoods in Yosemite
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