Intimate Yosemite Wedding - Cathedral Beach


Yosemite Ceremony along the banks of the Merced River

Trisha & Guy had a long distance relationship for quite a while, even back when we shot an adventure session with them in Sedona last year. Their intimate wedding was a celebration of their love, but it was also about finally getting to live in the same state after finishing out their medical programs. These two worked so hard to make sure all of their guests were happy, and had an amazing turnout with friends & family coming from all over.

They held their ceremony at Cathedral Beach. Earlier that week we had shot an elopement ceremony at Cathedral Beach as well—but within a few days the Merced had flooded the bank. The chairs were set up close to the shore within the early morning shade—which really made a pretty high guest count (for us) feel just as intimate and quiet as a smaller elopement might be.

Planting a Sequoia Tree Together

Christian, their officiant, was eloquent and quiet-spoken—honestly reminding us of Sam from Game of Thrones (it’s okay if you don’t get the reference). Trisha and Guy had long, meaningful vows about their relationship and overcoming their hardships of dating long distance. It was a very, very special day in so many ways for them and their loved ones.

During their ceremony, they planted a sequoia tree together with dirt from each of their hometowns—and water from the Merced River. It was such a creative symbol of their love, and also a great reflection of their love for the outdoors (and Yosemite, of course!).

Mid morning picnic amongst the Sequoia Trees

Trisha & Guy poured every guest’s champagne class before everyone took to their seat around the beautifully decorated picnic tables. The formal table decorations were stunning. The food, decor, and all of the other details reminded us of a full, traditional wedding day. It was amazing to see this kind of detail applied to the Cathedral Beach picnic area.

Not a dry eye for these toasts!

Even the two of us were in tears at some points during their toasts. So many of their close loved ones were incredibly vulnerable and appreciative of these two. It was incredible to see the reflection of them as a couple through the words of those who know them best. A few jokes and a lot of tears for their toasts at Cathedral Beach.

Some time to themselves exploring Yosemite

Waterfalls are quite special for Trisha & Guy. We made sure to take time during their busy day to sneak away to Bridal Veil Falls. Early June, all of the waterfalls in Yosemite were absolutely gushing. Ryan soaked all of his clothes to make sure we got a great perspective of the falls—but it was well worth it. Afterwards, we went and explored a meadow with just the two of them.

Bonfire Reception

All of their guests had the afternoon to explore Yosemite before meeting up for their bonfire reception in the Upper Pines Campground. We loved their informal reception. It was so fitting for their outdoor lifestyle, and equally fitting for us. We felt at home documenting the evening around the campfire.

To finish the evening as it started to lightly rain, we did a “cinnamon roll hug” near the campsite. Something that they’ve been doing for years. If you want to know a good indicator of who you should invite to your elopement/intimate wedding—ask yourself: “Would I want to have a cinnamon roll hug with them?”

We thought it was the perfect way to end the evening, and made us giddy as we left for the night to go back over to Half Dome Village.