While standing at the top of Glacier Point with her new husband, Erica said, “My mom passed away a couple of years ago, and I felt like God really put him in my life to take care of me.”
This sentence sums up Erica and Ryan’s relationship. They take care of each other. The best couples are best friends, and Erica and Ryan are no exception. They love being outdoors and spend time kayaking, camping, and hiking together, so Yosemite was the perfect place for them to get married. They’d never been there before, and chose it for it’s majestic beauty they saw in photos. Nothing prepared them for the awesomeness of the real thing. Erica’s favorite moment of the trip was when she and Ryan’s families got out out of their cars in Yosemite valley for the first time. She said, “It was magical.”
Getting Ready Venue: Evergreen Lodge, Groveland, CA
Hair & Makeup: MUAH by Summer, Modesto, CA
Bridal Gown Designer: Allure Bridal
Bridal Gown Boutique: Ellyne’s Bridal, Lincoln, NE
Flowers: Mountain Flowers, Mariposa, CA
Ceremony Venue: Swinging Bridge, Yosemite National Park
Officiant: Richard Nassar
Video: TTC Studio, San Jose, CA
The bride and groom, along with their families, stayed at Evergreen Lodge in Groveland, outside the Hwy 120 Yosemite gate. It is a beautiful, fun place to stay! There were games scattered throughout the property, ensuring there’s always something for families to do, especially if they have small kids.
Erica’s aunt and Ryan’s mom helped Erica get ready, which is very special. Her aunt has stepped up into a mother’s role since Erica lost her mom several years ago. She’s a WONDERFUL lady and brings stability and happiness to Erica’s life.
I absolutely love all the little buttons on Erica’s Allure Bridal gown. The long lace illusion sleeves are gorgeous and add a romantic vibe. This is a perfect dress for a demure, elegant bride who wants more coverage.
Ryan had to zip line in his suit for photos, and I was happy to do it!
The cabins at Evergreen Lodge are stunning, with lots of room inside and gorgeous photo opportunities outside. I highly recommend it!
We did the First Look right there at the lodge so the couple wouldn’t have to wait too long to see each other. It was great fun. Ryan was thrilled to see his stunning bride.
The Tuolumne County side of Yosemite has these almost desert-like landscapes (below). The charred Manzanita bushes are everywhere, and the rolling hills are still recovering from several fires spanning over decades. This unique landscape is usually overlooked, but it’s important. It’s a testament to all the wildfires we’ve battled and survived in Tuolumne County, and a symbol of how we always survive and are proud of the always-changing landscape. We stopped with Erica and Ryan for about five minutes to take a few photos.
Swinging Bridge is a GORGEOUS place to have a ceremony! We chose the smaller of the two meadows in this spot because it was more private. As you can see, there were unlimited views for portraits as well right here. Erica’s most anticipated moment was her father walking her down the aisle and handing her over to her new husband, and the moment was truly beautiful.
They had a traditional ceremony, with scripture readings and prayers. What a beautiful and appropriate place to offer thanks to God!
Family photo outtakes are my fave! I love when a couple brings immediate family to their Yosemite elopement because it really makes those few people feel incredibly special. This family was wonderful to work with. We had a ball!
The leaves were starting to change for Erica and Ryan! It was a beautiful fall day, perfect for a wedding.
Every time we shoot in Yosemite, we shoot at the famous Tunnel View. That means I have to work hard to make unique images.
Erica’s gold Badgley Mischka stacked heels were comfortable enough for her to walk around Yosemite, and super feminine. They were the perfect amount of sparkle to compliment her lace gown.
When you’re up at Glacier Point, you feel like you’re at the top of the world. Erica and Ryan’s photos up there are symbolic for how far they’ve come and how much they’ve been through together. No matter what, they rise above it all.
The flowers by Mountain Flower of Mariposa, were gorgeous. I loved the choice of bright colors because they stood out and gave the photos more cheer and color.
Erica’s dress got SO dirty, but no worries! She took it to a dry cleaner and it looked brand new for her reception back home.
Erica’s advice to brides planning a wedding is: “Decide what’s important to you and keep things simple so that you can enjoy your day with less stress.” I completely agree!
The incredibly talented Jonas and Tatjana from TTC Studios did the video for Erica and Ryan. Check out the gorgeous highlight reel. If you’re looking for a videographer, I highly recommend them!