Kaylie and Michael allowed their elopement to come together on its own, trusting that fate would orchestrate the pieces and ensure everything fell into place.
Brooke Shannon, their photographer, says, “Since the beginning, everyone knew they were destined to be together… all [of] Michael’s friends have called Kaylie ‘Mrs. Borras’ since hight school!” The couple began their planning process with a date – their 10 year anniversary. It was not long before they realized every venue that fit their vision was already booked. Kaylie believed this was a sign, and she began exploring the possibility of eloping. “As we started talking about it more, it became so clear,” she recalls. “A small intimate setting where the focus could be strictly on our promises to one another… Once we realized how exciting it could be, there was no way we were going to have a formal wedding!”
When the big day arrived, Brooke’s main focus was to capture,”…the closeness between [the couple] and their family and friends… it was about the connection they had,” she shares. “I love weddings that feel like the couple and their love story… in the wedding planning process there are so many opinions, but… don’t be afraid to go against tradition to make your wedding what you want it to be, because at the end of the day, it’s about you two!” After a weekend of hiking and exploring Yosemite’s epic landscapes, Kaylie and Michael met in an open field to exchange vows. “I loved that we were able to be in the moment,” Kaylie says. “After the ceremony was over, we traveled to different locations in the park to take pictures. There was no rush to get back, and I felt like we were able to have time together as a newly married couple to laugh, play, and have fun. We were gone for four hours hiking in our outfits while other hikers congratulated us. It was completely stress-free, and I felt that we both were allowed to enjoy the experience fully and just focus on one another. I didn’t want it to end.”
Experience their gorgeous journey below!
Photography by Brooke Shannon Photography
CHOOSING AN ELOPEMENT:
“When it came down to planning, the most important part to me was the date. I wanted the day we got married to be a date that meant something to us… Once we figured out the date, we thought all the other pieces would easily fall into place. We knew we wanted a dramatic backdrop that really showed our love for the outdoors. As we started calling different locations, we ran into problems – no one had our date available. I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason and the reason we couldn’t find a venue was because we were meant to elope. As we started talking about it more, it became so clear. A small intimate setting where the focus could be strictly on our promises to one another and a ceremony in which we could be in the moment… Once we realized how exciting it could be, there was no way we were going to have a formal wedding!”
CHOOSING A LOCATION:
“We chose Yosemite National Park because neither of us had been there before and because it was close enough for our families and close friends to make the drive to be with us. I did quite a bit of research on elopements, and when I saw pictures from Yosemite, I just remember being so captivated and amazed at the beauty that existed. The incredible pictures motivated me to find a photographer who could easily capture our wedding day and give us the ‘wow factor’ that we were hoping for.”
PLANNING AN ELOPEMENT:
“The planning process was so easy. We didn’t have to worry about small details like flowers, colors, or table settings. We just had to focus on what was most important to us! Our families each rented houses, provided meals, and took the weekend off from work. Yosemite requires a permit, which was very easy to obtain online. We asked one of our closest friends from high school to perform the ceremony, so he needed to be ordained. Michael and I just had to make sure we had our outfits and our vows ready to go on our wedding day!”
THE ELOPEMENT EXPERIENCE:
“…no matter what type of wedding you are considering, make sure it reflects the two of you as a couple. It’s one day that should be about you. If you are considering an elopement, do it and don’t stress about it. Everything comes together the way it’s supposed to. The morning of my wedding, my husband and our friend went to find our ceremony spot! They came back with three choices that I picked from a video recording. That is [a] memory that I cherish, because it reflects how easy-going and relaxing the entire day was. It’s such a unique experience, and I have had so many people tell me that if they could do it over again, they would elope. I feel that an elopement truly allowed me to focus on what was most important.“
Thank you to Brooke Shannon for sharing this session, and congratulations to Kaylie + Michael!