This Couple Planned a Yosemite Elopement and Explored the Park in a Volkswagen Van Together
Instead of planning a one-day event, Ben and Sarah wanted their elopement to be an adventure. They rented an old-school Volkswagen van to road trip around California after their Yosemite wedding adventure. Check out all the details from their emotional El Cap Meadow ceremony to the cotton candy views at Glacier Point during sunset.
Are you thinking about planning a Yosemite wedding adventure? Explore our elopement vendors!
Choosing an Elopement Instead of a Formal Wedding
Like many other couples who decide to elope, Ben and Sarah wanted a unique wedding day but mainly decided on eloping because of their debt-free lifestyle.
“We wanted to remain debt-free and not spend our money on things that would only last a day or that we wouldn’t remember. I have never wanted a big wedding anyway, but we thought it would be so much more memorable if we were able to make a mini-vacation out of it as well. We had an amazing time over the course of the week before and after the wedding, traveling and visiting some of Northern California’s beautiful scenery.” [Sarah]
Saving money is a huge reason why a lot of couples decide to elope. Check out our top 10 reasons why couples elope.
Deciding Where to Elope
Picking an elopement location can be a little intimidating. There are so many gorgeous spots to elope that the sky really does become the limit. Sarah tells us she saw a lot of elopements in National Parks, which she didn’t even know was possible. After teaming up with elopement vendors, these two finally decided to have an El Cap Meadow ceremony.
“It was really stress-free for the most part; we had to obtain a permit for the park for that specific day, location, and time for the ceremony. We also had to find and book an officiant and photographers, all of which was easily done with the good ol’ internet. Once COVID began, the parks began limiting the number of guests in the park per day, so we also had to get an additional permit to even enter the park! Overall I would say it was a little stressful, but in a more exciting way…” [Sarah]
Are you thinking about eloping in Yosemite? Check out our Yosemite elopement guide.
Memorable Moments During Their El Cap Meadow Ceremony and Yosemite Adventure
Besides being able to explore the park together, these two had the most romantic elopement ceremony together at El Cap Meadow.
“They decided on El Capitan Meadow, in a secluded area tucked back under a giant Oaktree. Their officiant created a special ceremony for the two of them that was 100% them and also had beautiful ties into nature. Towards the end of the ceremony, Ben asked for a moment of privacy between the two of them. We all stepped back, out of earshot and they shared an intimate moment together. It was really beautiful.
Our second favorite part was later in the day. We drove our vans up to Tunnel View for some epic photos of the valley and after we finished, we headed back to the vans and made lunch! We had the doors open and we sat enjoying the views, the company, and the cold beers Sarah & Ben had picked up from South Gate Brewery. It was so fun to just hang out and relax on their big day.
Our last favorite moment was on our way up to Glacier Point. Ben had noticed a burn area on the side of the road that gave off this moody, dark vibe and he was dying to have photos taken there! So we pulled over and found an awesome trail that had all of these fluffies growing around the burnt trees. We had so much fun exploring and the photos were incredible!” [Becky and Brian]
What details are you loving about this elopement?
Top Tips For Eloping in Yosemite From The Photographers
The biggest tip Becky and Brian have when eloping in Yosemite is not to rush through the day. Take time to breathe, enjoy the people you are with and your surroundings. Also, have fun together!
Yosemite is one of the most popular places to elope. We have seen hundreds of couples elope there and each and every one of them is unique.
Here are some top tips when planning your elopement here.
- Hire an elopement photographer who knows the area well. This is important to ensure you’re following all the latest rules and permit guidelines.
- It’s also really important to remember that the weather changes often and quickly in the mountains so make sure and pack layers and be prepared.
- Another big one for the park itself is to consider traffic for your day, so give yourself extra time and the cell service is unpredictable so make sure you know where you’re going before you get there!
- The last big tip for eloping in Yosemite is practicing LNT principles. It’s so important to continue to educate others and protect our public lands!
Are You Ready to Start Planning Your Elopement?
“Elopements are such a unique and intimate way to get married and most of the time we’re the only other people there with the couple. There’s something very special about being able to share that with a couple and we love being able to tell their story through our photos.” [Becky and Brian]
Photography – Becky and Brian from Scenic Vows
Officiant- Donny Alexander @yosemiteadventureelopements
Bride’s Dress – Azazie
Photos From This Couple’s El Cap Meadow Ceremony and Elopement Adventure in Yosemite