round meadow sequoia national park california elopement wedding



When asked to describe their wedding vision, Cayne and Anne agreed that their day should be only two things: slow and peaceful.

Their goal was to avoid feeling rushed or burdened by any external pressures as they embarked upon their marital journey. They achieved this by traveling to Sequoia National Park, accompanied by only by their photographer, Kayla Bertagnolli, and their nearest and dearest. “They eloped at sunrise in the brisk autumn air with no one around except a few family members and myself,” Kayla recalls. “It was an incredible experience… I honestly can’t believe it was real.”

The couple put great thought into the details of the day, and their careful consideration of each element made the experience especially meaningful. With her father serving as officiant, Anne said “I do” wearing her mother’s wedding dress, the iconic Ed by Ned Tree thoughtfully chosen as the backdrop of their Round Meadow ceremony. “[It was] two sequoias intertwined with one trunk,” Kayla explains. “Cayne and Anne thought that was a nice touch, seeing that they were two becoming one… For me as their photographer, I wanted to not only document their love during the ceremony, but create some unique portraits after… We ran around and just took in the beauty around us.”




CHOOSING AN ELOPEMENT:

“As fun and beautiful as large weddings can be, my husband and I both knew that we didn’t want to spend the money or the time planning that is typically required for traditional weddings. Witnessing friends plan and host elaborate weddings, I noticed that sometimes the day becomes about the guests and not the couple… I knew that I wanted my big day to be slow and peaceful. I wanted to remember every minute and spend all the time with my soon-to-be husband. We didn’t want to feel rushed or pressured to meet the standards that traditional weddings can sometimes hold.”

[Anne]



CHOOSING AN ELOPEMENT LOCATION:

“We immediately knew we would get married in a park, the hardest part was choosing just one! Before we moved to Hawaii, we spent a little over a month touring national parks on the mainland. We witnessed how beautiful they are, but we also witnessed how busy they can get… We wanted seclusion but didn’t want to have to trek too far on the day of. Sequoia seemed like it could offer both of those things… The setting offers amazing trees you can’t find anywhere else in the United States, vistas, meadows – it pretty much has it all.”

[Anne]



PLANNING AN ELOPEMENT:

“…both my husband and I are super laid back. We dreaded a detailed planning process so we kind of winged it… we only had a three-month engagement! The biggest investment, and most important piece to us, was securing a quality photographer that we felt we could be best friends with… Once we found [Kayla] and discussed the process, things seemed to get easier from there… my father is a pastor, and we already knew he would be our officiant, so that was easy. I wore my mother’s wedding dress, which my sister wore before me, so that was also easy… We planned [a] sunrise ceremony simply because [of] the beauty of the mornings and the symbolism of a new day – a new beginning as a new married couple.”

[Anne]



MEMORABLE MOMENTS:

“We picked up the flowers and cake the morning that we drove from Los Angeles to the Sequoias… The cake melted, [and] the flowers started to die. I wouldn’t recommend going that route unless you have a good place to store both! Our florist understood the situation and thankfully gave us very hearty greens which [withstood] the couple days they had to wait in our hotel room. We ate our wedding cake two nights before the wedding. Honestly, though, that is the beauty of an elopement… The day was so special, we were able to spend a lot of it together, just the two of us.”

[Anne]




Vendors:

Florals | Rancho Duarte Florists
Wedding Rings | Heidi Gibson
Film Scans | theFINDlab


Thank you to Kayla Bertagnolli for sharing this session, and congratulations to Anne + Cayne!



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