Francee and Shirley reached out to me so excited about their elopement! They knew exactly where they wanted to elope. Convict Lake, near the Mammoth Lakes, in the winter. Francee’s favorite season is winter and they had previously spent a little time in this area and Hot Creek Geological site which lead them to wanting to go back for this special day. Francee proposed to Shirley in Yosemite National Park in the fall, which is her favorite season! The proposal and elopement is not the only adventure these two have gone down together. After just two weeks of knowing each other they started doing road trips together from California to Oregon and much more. On many of these trips were moments they fell in love, grew their love deeper and saw many reasons to admire each other.
They told me the most important thing to them on their elopement day was reading their vows together, that if all else failed that was all that mattered. A lot was about to change for their day….Francee and Shirley are both in the military and early into the Covid-19 outbreak they were told they weren’t allowed to leave their city limits. They both live in Las Vegas, so quickly before any other changes could happen with Covid, we started re-planning their day. Being in the mountains was still important to them and they really wanted snow for their day, so Mount Charleston was the best option. I quickly got onto calls with many different Forest Service rangers and after being turned down for a permit for hours, the next day we were able to pull the proper permits, but for a different day than their original date. As the date arrived, I followed them past the Joshua trees as daylight began to cast pink skies over the mountains to the meadows. To start the morning off they shared hot cocoa with almost frozen marsh-mellows, read hand written letters from all of their family members and ate cake (which was done by tsp. in Las Vegas) and macaroons! I loved the beautiful morning picnic they had put together with decor, elopement signs and things to keep them warm. It was a cozy morning with tears and laughter and smiling moments reading words of happiness, memories and wishes from their family. Then we headed up to a spot on Bristlecone trail that they had selected from hiking the area a few days ahead of the elopement to say their vows. The sun came up over the mountain peak bringing the most gorgeous light and a little bit of warmth. It was definitely a special moment, with both of them sharing tears, laughs and pure solitude together.
After the vows we shared some time hiking, taking in the view and reminiscing stories from their travels and dating life. It was a truly special day and one we weren’t sure we were going to be able to make happen with what was starting to go one in the world. I am so glad they got to have their snow, a beautiful vow reading ceremony and a complete mountain to themselves for their elopement day. It may not have been what they had originally planned, but it was so beautiful and so them!
Recently Shirley posted some of her elopement photos on her instagram and I love how she explained the elopement experience….”The fun thing about eloping is that you can do whatever the heck you want! You don't have to follow traditions! We are very outdoorsy people and getting married in the mountains just makes us feel so comfortable and alive! We had so much fun doing exactly what we like doing.. being adventurous! It was just the two of us and our amazing photographer. It was truly amazing and our day felt so intimate! I was that girl that NEVER dreamed of having a big wedding. We both knew we wanted something intimate and private from the start 😊 Our day felt so special! Thank you to our photographer that made this day happen! We are truly thankful!”
There is nothing in my heart that makes me happier than hearing couples say they had a day that felt like them, that is exactly what eloping is all about! Congrats to Shirley and Francee, I am so thankful to have been there to capture your love story!!