A Love Story in YosemiteWords by Taylor Wilson
Photos courtesy of Silvana Di Franco
A shared love of the great out doors sparked the idea for Jocelyn and Evan to get married in Yosemite National Park. Not to mention, Jocelyn’s maternal grandparents married there in 1947 and she wanted to follow in their footsteps. “I grew up listening to their romantic story and nothing could have felt more fitting and more magical,” says the bride.
Although some guests were perplexed by the idea to venture across country to a remote location for a destination wedding, Jocelyn continuously reminded herself that she shouldn’t antagonize over the situation and once the guests arrived at the unbelievable park, they would be transformed. She was right!
With an enormous help from Jocelyn’s mother, the couple planned the wedding without any major issues. They were even able to personalize their reception by adding DIY elements that reflected their experiences together. For example, they crafted their centerpieces with a glass vase and printed pictures of various mountains they had backpacked together on vellum paper. They wrapped the paper around the vases and filled them with floating candles. Each table was named after a different mountain. Also, they transformed an old map of Yosemite into their guestbook which created a sentimental memento.
Hosting a destination wedding in a National Park like Yosemite can be tricky, especially because it is such a remote location. Hotels book up far in advance and it is difficult to travel there for many people. Once everyone got there and it came time for the big day, the issue became getting the guests to the actual ceremony site. Jocelyn’s sister-in-law creatively organized a procession for the long, sunny walk to the ceremony to make it more fun and less strenuous. “The kids carried a large canvas banner with ‘Just Married’ painted on it to mimic our stationery and we passed out wedding-colored streamers on wooden dowels to wave in the wind,” explains the bride.
A major perk of hosting a destination wedding in a National Park was the high regulation of what the bride and groom could and could not bring in. There were very few options for such a remote location so the couple ended up spending less money than they otherwise would have.
Evan and Jocelyn’s wedding turned out to be everything they had hoped for. The perfection of the natural scenery around them created a true happy place for the adventurous lovebirds. According to Jocelyn, she couldn't think of anywhere she would have rather been married. “It really felt as though the guests, our families and us were experiencing the wedding together because I knew that everyone there had put in an effort and were so thrilled to be standing with us under the shadow of Half Dome and El Capitan. I also don’t know that Evan and I would have been able to capture the spirit of our relationship as well in any other location."Vendors: Photographer: Silvana Di Franco, Ceremony/Reception Site: Yosemite Chapel/Yosemite Lodge at the Falls, Gown Designer: Allure Bridal, Florist: Sweet Dreams Wedding Flowers, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Calvin Klein, Steve Madden, Bridesmaids/Groomsmen’s Clothing Designer: Jcrew, Target, Hairstylist: Bellissimo Brides, Bridesmaids' Jewelry: Sundara Divine Jewelry on Etsy, Staitionery: The Munch on Etsy
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