Elopement

Small Yosemite Elopement Complete with Airstreams & El Cap | Swell & Stone- Adventure Wedding Photographer

Megan & Michael Elope in a Breathtaking Yosemite Landscape

Swell & Stone / Adventure Elopement Photographer / California and Beyond

adventure-wedding-couple-yosemite

I think one of the things that says the most about who Megan & Michael are as people and as a couple is the number of times each one of them bent down in formal wear to pick up trash off the ground during their Yosemite elopement. I can count at least two hand fulls of times- really it was habitual. Megan & Michael developed that habit because they spend a lot of time outside, and clearly care deeply about keeping it clean for others to enjoy. They run Fresh Off the Grid, a blog that serves as a cooking resource for outdoor enthusiasts.

Their wedding was an incredible combination of personal, beautiful, adventurous, and so much fun. They had their families in attendance, and stayed at AutoCamp Yosemite, which is a really nice camp/glamp spot about 30-40 minutes from the El Portal entrance to Yosemite National Park. When I arrived, Michael was hanging out in their airstream and Megan was over in Michael’s sister’s tent getting ready. They were all having a great time, enjoying breakfast and taking in the pondside scenery of the camp spot. One of my favorite moments was when Megan saw herself with her hair in a braid and her makeup done, after she had put the dress on, and she smiled and started to tear up. “I just never see myself like this,” she said. It was an emotional moment for her mother and soon-to-be mother-in-law as well as they looked on with tears in their eyes.

After she was ready we did a first look and headed out for a 9 am ceremony at Cathedral Beach in Yosemite. It is a stunning beach with the unreal backdrop of El Capitan and views for days. They said their vows in a sometimes tearful but completely joy filled ceremony. Celebrations of champagne followed before the wedding party headed off for lunch at the Awanhee Hotel. Later we reconvened at AutoCamp Yosemite where Megan & Michael works their outdoor camp cooking magic in a special dinner reception for their family. The setting was stunning, the details were beautiful, and the couple cherished getting to spend this quality time with their family all together in one place. The weather could not have been more perfect for their day.

The next day after having breakfast with their family, and packing up their lives into backpacks I met them down in the backpackers campground in Yosemite Valley. Their honeymoon was starting the next day, and they were planning to spend 3 weeks hiking the 211-mile John Muir Trail! When I walked up they had set up their tent and were already chowing down on freeze dried meals to lighten their load. But they had one more adventure in formal wear before spending the next three weeks dirtbagging! They jumped in my truck and we went up Glacier Point Road to hike to Taft Point just before sunset.

Walking through the forest the light filtered through in just the right way. The temperature was perfect, the light was amazing, and Megan & Michael took some time to look back on the events of the weekend. They talked about how it couldn’t have been more perfect, how happy they were to have the whole amazing experience with their close family.

When we arrived to the point we looked around. Neither of them had been to this spot before and they were in awe of the view. As the sun began to sink lower, colors lit up the sky. They walked out the cliffs edge and the light danced around them as they peered down at Yosemite Valley.

After the sun set I returned them to their camp spot, and the next day the headed out on the JMT. I’m happy to report that they completed the trip and they reported back, “The JMT was pretty amazing - challenging but so rewarding, and really a perfect honeymoon for us.”

If you’re looking for a photographer for your wildly different wedding experience get in touch with me ASAP! You can do that HERE- or by hitting the button below.

Enchanting Tree Grove Wedding in Florida | Swell & Stone- Adventure Wedding Photographer

Kavita & Brice Tie the Knot in a Gorgeous Tree Grove in Florida

Swell & Stone / Adventure Wedding Photographer / Florida and Beyond

Couple-at-adventure-wedding

There are so many things I loved about Kavita & Brice’s wedding day, from the colors to the many festivities, but the thing that made it so much fun to be there was seeing how much fun they were having. They smiled, laughed, and danced the entire day, up until the very end, and then they kept going. Their families were both incredibly fun and the day was full of joy.

They began they day getting ready separately and including a few sweet surprises for each other. Kavita kept mentioning how excited she was to see Brice, she couldn’t wait until the first look. When she arrived on site the bridal party took care to make sure they didn’t see one another. When Brice was in position Kavita walked up from behind and they barely saw one another before they embraced.

The guests soon started to arrive and the Baraat began. A Baraat is a groom's wedding procession in an Indian wedding. Brice’s side joined in dancing around the wedding grounds. When they arrived back to the start Kavita’s sister and mother where waiting there and a dance battle ensued. Kavita and her bridesmaids showed up for part of the dance battle. The entire wedding had so much fun with this portion of the ceremonies.

Next, Brice moved through a series of ceremonies and rituals before everyone was seated and they were ready to begin the formal wedding ceremonies. The Indian wedding ceremonies were done first followed by an American ceremony led by Brice’s mother.

After they said “I DO!” we snuck off for a few photos before delivering back to their cocktail hour where they spent the rest of the evening laughing, crying, and generally having as much fun as possible. One of the more moving moments was when Kavita’s sister surprised her with a few songs played by live musicians. The entire wedding starting singing some of the songs at one point.

The reception took place in a gorgeous barn on the grounds of Florida Rustic Barn Weddings. The ceremonies took place on the grounds as well in a beautiful tree grove.

These two danced the night away with their seriously awesome crew of friends and family. They are two of the kindest humans, clearly incredibly in love, and I’m so happy they have found one another on this journey through life.

Epic 4x4 Outdoor Adventure Wedding in Southern Utah Backcountry | Swell & Stone- Utah Elopement Photographer

Cameron & Rick say “I Do” in an Enchanting Ceremony in the Desert Southwest

Swell & Stone / Adventure Wedding & Elopement Photographer / Utah/Arizona and Beyond

adventure-wedding-star-trails-backcountry-utah-elopement

I can honestly say that in terms of weather for Cam & Rick's adventure elopement in the backcountry of Southern Utah, or Northern Arizona (who even knows ;P) we got about as lucky as we possibly could have.
I drove in the day before and it literally rained the entire length of Arizona- I drove from Phoenix. It NEVER rains the ENTIRE length of Arizona! But the morning of their wedding day it was clear and beautiful. Cam was a flurry of calls and texts in the days leading up to the day, but ultimately she and Rick made the best call- to GO FOR IT!
Four 4x4 vehicles met me at the access road. We figured with enough wo(man) power and tow straps we would be fine even if the roads weren't passable. And hell, it'd make for a great wedding day story either way. And make for a great wedding day story it did! We all made the 1.5 hr drive safely, but we all had to navigate frozen puddles that covered entire sections of road! As soon as we arrived we went to hike around the area. We were able to see it in a completely unique way, reflecting pools of water dotted the whole desert, a rare sight!
Cam & Rick had known each other for a while before they started dating. They are both part of the canyoneering community, which happens to be fairly tight knit. Rick had a crush on Cam, and one of her friends asked if she liked him back. She responded, "I wish I liked Rick!" But as she spent more time with him and their mutual friend group she realized that she did, in fact, like Rick. Fast forward to their beautiful, love filled wedding day.
The day was spent hiking, marveling at nature, spending time with family and friends in on of their favorite places. Cam was walked down the aisle by her soon-to-be step son Gavin, and her good friend, Everett. Rick's daughter Hannah looked adorable in her lavender dress and Vans.
After the ceremony, and some group photos the group enjoyed some food and watched the sun get low on the horizon before heading out. Cam & Rick stayed back with me and venturing back out to a spot when the stars came out. There had been scattered clouds all day, but they cleared to the north just after sunset. Even in very cold temps Cam & Rick were stoked to help create the star photo you see above. A perfect ending to an absolutely perfect day with one some of the best people I've ever had the pleasure of spending time with.

Stunning Winter Adventure Wedding in the North Cascades | Swell & Stone- Elopement Photographer

Hannah & Collins Wed in Dreaming Winter Adventure Elopement in the Pacific Northwest Mountains

Swell & Stone / Adventure Elopement Photographer / Washington and Beyond

winter-wonderland-elopement-washington.jpg

When Hannah first contacted me about photographing her and Collins in Washington I was so excited...except it was going to be in the dead of winter, in the North Cascades. But I truly had nothing to worry about, they are the super adventurous, and tough as nails. Their ceremony was actually on Saturday in Seattle. After listening to their family and friends tell stories about taking on challenging outdoor endeavors with them I knew they would be troopers for our adventure shoot the next day.
We headed out in clear weather Sunday morning. I had found a webcam online that show beautiful sunny skies in the mountains, so even though they had a whirlwind wedding the day before Hannah and Collins were down to push up the timeline a little and get to the mountains. They chatted on the way there about how nice it was to be escaping to the mountains, if only for the day. When we drove in the weather was still nice, but cold. And the clouds where moving in, an indication of a storm building for the afternoon.
Hannah and I had exchanged quite a few emails regarding road closures in the North Cascades in the winter. We were able to park at Diablo Lake. We saw so many beautiful landscapes that day, from the mountains with a storm moving in, to ice waterfalls, to whirlwinds of snow on the dam. We explored the varied landscapes, and then warmed up in the car when it got too cold.
The laughed and explored together easily, even in freezing temps. To be honest everything with Hannah and Collins seemed easy- their love for each other and their family and friends' love for them.
The last place we stopped was the first place they ever camped together. They reminisced about that trip, and where they are now, and they walked down the road with Hannah's gown gathering an array of pine cones and needles in the train. It was an absolutely perfect way to end their weekend of celebration, and to continue their life together.