Ashley reached out to me back in March of 2021 to inquire about me officiating her and her fiance Alex’s wedding - but this wasn’t going to be like any other wedding. We discussed their vision, I just knew right away that this would be a ceremony that I would never forget. I was so excited to be a part of this grand adventure. Their plan was to hike to a remote location just outside of Yosemite, with just their immediate family, myself and the photographers - a husband and wife duo that go by the name Mindful Media Photography. There they would wed in the vast expanse of the outdoors. Hiking and backpacking is what they enjoyed doing as a couple, in fact less than a month before the wedding day, they completed the Tahoe Rim Trail!
Fast forward to the summer of 2021, and the big day has finally arrived. I drove in the night before and stayed at a cute little hotel in Lee Vining, which is a town close to Mono Lake and the entrance to Yosemite. If you’ve never been to this area of the Sierra Nevadas I encourage you to drop what you’re doing and go now. It is so beautiful!
Our plan was to meet at 8 o’clock in the morning at Saddlebag Lake and take a ferry across, where we would hike an additional 2 miles to Steelhead Lake. This was a spot that Ashley and Alex had found on a previous hiking trip and fallen in love with. They pictured themselves marrying here, surrounded by their loved ones and the breathtaking landscape in the background. But instead of trying to put this into words, I’ll let you experience it for yourself:
Gathering on the pier to jump on our boat taxi.
Crossing Saddlebag Lake on the boat taxi.
Hiking into Steelhead Lake.
Just on the other side of those mountains is Yosemite!
Ashley’s brother carried her dress in and her Mom helped her get into it!
Ashley and Alex chose to read their vows to one another in private during first look before the start of the ceremony.
They chose to incorporate a handfasting unity ritual into their ceremony.
After a first dance with their parents and lots of pictures, we all hiked back down to the boat taxi. Ashley wore her dress for the hike - I love that!
Congratulations Ashley and Alex! Here’s the many years of wedded bliss!
This was truly an adventure wedding and one that none of us will ever forget. It is always an honor to join two souls as one in marriage, but add on a fun hike to a place I’ve never been and stunning views, makes this a job for which I feel so fortunate!
Dress: AE Bridal
Flowers: Zuri Floral Design
Cake: Cake You Happy