A National Park Destination WeddingWords by Brianna Williams
Photos courtesy of Dawn Kelly
Amelia and Cody didn’t want a traditional wedding, which is why they decided a quiet elopement in Yosemite National Park, California would be the perfect spot for their special day. The couple wanted an intimate wedding that would allow them to truly focus on the love they share for each other.
They decided to keep a low profile about their elopement and only told their parents about their big plans.
“A destination elopement removed the stress of invitations, a reception accommodating a hundred-plus people and negated the risk of other people making our day about them,” says the couple. “In short, it simplified our wedding day.”
The decision to tie the knot in Yosemite National Park was also easy for the couple since Cody proposed to Amelia when they hiked Half Dome together. “We wanted to go back to where we had that moment, in a private and beautiful setting,” says Cody.
The couple didn’t face any major complications planning for their big day, but since they planned a December wedding they were informed that some of the park roads would be closed-off to visitors in the winter. “Luckily, the park called us and worked out other options. The park was incredibly helpful,” says the couple.
The newlyweds found planning a destination wedding was easy and exciting. They give a lot of credit to local guide, wedding planner and photographer, Dawn Kelly, for making planning and researching a breeze. “We would FaceTime with her and she would reach out to the other local vendors,” says the couple.
“This couple is incredibly attractive and has great chemistry,” says the couple's photographer, Dawn. “They had a fabulous time taking photos, laughing and joking, as well as crying from emotion.”
According to Dawn, the bride wore a vintage fur, lent to her by the groom's grandmother and to keep her feet warm and dry she wore Tory Burch rain boots. “The bridal bouquet and mother's bouquet were absolutely gorgeous,” says Dawn. “Very unique colors designed to go perfectly with the backdrop of Yosemite National Park.”
Amelia and Cody feel they ended up spending a lot less on their destination elopement than they would have on a more traditional wedding, which would have included a large guest list, a reception and hotels for their guests.
The newlywed’s advice to other couples planning for their big day is to keep your wedding focused on your love and relationship, not your guests.
Vendors: Photographer: Dawn Kelly, Wedding Planner: Dawn Kelly, Ceremony/Reception Site: Cathedral Beach, Yosemite National Park, Florist: Events22, Hair: Alyssa Jones with Braided Blonde Locks, Gown Designer: Lucia’s Sarto, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Kenneth Cole
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