Yosemite Family Wedding Military Story | Glacier Point Elopement

Glacier Point Yosemite Family Wedding Military Story
Taft Point, Yosemite Valley Elopement Photos

glacier point elopement sunrise yosemite

Early morning Sunrise Yosemite Family Wedding Ceremony

We met in the morning for sunrise at Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park. Michael and Neisa were going to elope here to make it official. They brought their two adventurous kids with them, whom I wanted to adopt. They are such a great family and I enjoyed adventuring with them for the day. There are some images below to share their Yosemite elopement ceremony.

However, different from my other weddings and elopements in Yosemite, there’s more to this Yosemite family wedding story than an elopement in a National Park. Both Michael and Neisa met in the service together. Michael was hit by a IED (improvised explosive device or roadside bomb). And rather than me tell the story, I’d like to allow Neisa to share the story in her own words:

Michael and Neisa’s Military Story

Michael and I served in the Army together, and were stationed in El Paso, TX at Fort Bliss. Right before our unit deployed to Iraq, Michael got transferred into the company I was working in. We first met in Kuwait, while awaiting to be mobilized into Iraq. We were in Iraq for a little longer than a year, frequently working on missions together, and became very close.

Struck by an IED

Toward the end of our deployment, Michael’s Humvee was struck by an IED (improvised explosive device or roadside bomb). He suffered several injuries, including severe trauma to his left hand (eventually leading to the amputation of his pinky finger), multiple shrapnel wounds all over his body, and a perforated femoral artery in his right thigh. He was medically evacuated into Germany, and eventually back to the US.

Surgeries, Purple Heart, and Family

Over the course of the following months he underwent seven surgeries, including one to harvest a nerve from his leg in order to replace the damaged nerve in his left hand. He was awarded a Purple Heart for the injuries he sustained while in combat. I was the commander’s driver, and while my truck was struck several times with IED’s and gun fire from the enemy, I was very fortunate to be able to finish the deployment with the rest of the unit, as a few of our friends did not. Michael and I reunited a few months later when I returned to the US. Our son, Luccas, was born a year later, right before we both got out of the Army, and our daughter, Brooklyn, was born the following year. We have been one big happy family ever since =).

Warning graphic images below Elopement Images.

We are attaching some pictures for you to get a better understanding (Michael’s injuries, surgeries, amputation, his truck post-IED, receiving his Purple Heart, and a couple of me while infiltrated into an Iraqi home, waiting for the bad guys who set the IED’s to show up), but they are quite graphic so beware!



double exposure yosemite
family elopement at glacier point
family yosemite elopement sunrise at glacier point
reading vows early at sunrise elopement ceremony
expressions of father and daughter at glacier
husband reading vows in mountain
romantic wedding ceremony at Glacier point yosemite
yosemite eloping photographer
eloping with family and kids at yosemite park
family photos in yosemite
bride and groom portraits on glacier point road
children at glacier point and half-dome in suits and dresses
couples eloping portraits with half-dome in the background
half-dome wedding photos
nevada falls couples photos after wedding ceremony
valley of yosemite wedding photos by photographer charleton
wilderness wedding couple in the street of yosemite
wedding couple standing in the yosemite road with redwood trees
family dressed up in the Yosemite wilderness for a family picture
military couple married in the yosemite park
creative family photos  after eloping in the national park
kids watching their family kiss in yosemite
Yosemite National park elopement couple kissing with kids cheering for them
yosemite family photo on a log in the woods
candid family photos in the Yosemite valley wilderness
cute kids while mom and dad kiss after wedding
photojournalistic yosemite family after wedding in the woods
hands of family holding pine cones in yosemite witih military vet hand amputated
sky blue background with only the wedding couple
mom with daughter and father with son next to the yosemite river
bridalveil falls wedding couple with waterfall in the background at tunnel view with nikon 70-200mm lens
yosemite falls wedding couple getting wet by the mist
eloping couple dancing at Yosemite Falls waterfall getting wet
taft point sunset couple photography at the rock cliff
epic taft point wedding photographer during sunset
family photos at taft point yosemite national park on glacier point road
yosemite wedding photographer at taft point during sunset
epic taft yosemite couple as sunset begins
natural light photography during sunset of candid couple in yosemite
classic taft point wedding photos
candid natural smiles at yosemite park
hiking boots for elopement family

Michael and Neisa’s Military Story Photos. Graphic images below




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Lake Tahoe Adventure Elopement Photographer | Tahoe Wedding Photography

Lake Tahoe Adventure Elopement and Wedding Photographer
Adventure Photography Session at Tahoe Lake

lake tahoe wedding photographer charleton churchill with elopement couple


Jeff and Marisa had their destination wedding in New Mexico. I was honored to be their photographer for their special day, to capture it all. Originally we had planned to drive the next day to an adventurous location for their epic photos; however, weather wasn’t cooperating and it wasn’t looking good. So, I flew home and instead, we planned their adventure session in Lake Tahoe, California.

They arrived in Lake Tahoe with their parents. I led them to a wonderful mountain waterfall that is usually raging heavy in the late spring, early summer. And while I have taken a few couples into the waterfall when the water was low, this river current was too overwhelming to get maneuver through. We captured a few images here and then left.


Ultimately, my plan was to take our wedding couple hiking up a mountain where I had never photographed before. I didn’t know how to get to the summit, but my adventurous couple was up for any hiking and exploring, and I knew it was going to be epic regardless. As we hiked, we decided the only way to get near the mountain summit was to hike straight up. The sun was heading into our sunset hour photo time, so we hurried up. We were jumping rocks, and going places I would rarely take my couples. They led the way and I followed.

Also, I had a heavy backpack and was careful about foot placement, so I took a little more time. Eventually, we found an epic mountain location worth shooting. Sunset hour was beautiful. They were excited. I was excited. We finally photographed a mountain destination along the Pacific Crest Trail and Tahoe Rim Trail I had always wanted to take a couple. We started our descent back to our vehicles and their parents, but didn’t know exactly the path we took up. Honestly, we just made our way down the best we could before it became too dark.


After that couple, I have taken a few other couples hiking up there to that mountain and scored some great photos. In fact, I took another couple up there for their Lake Tahoe Proposal, even though it was a different area. Check out their Lake Tahoe Proposal here. I have not taken any other couple to this day as far as Jeff and Marisa explored. However, the super cool benefit of hiking this Lake Tahoe mountain is there are too many locations to photograph couples. Thus, I can always get something different.

Congratulations to both Jeff and Marisa on their wedding and their adventure couples session. Here are a few of the images below of their alpine wedding photos.


And if anyone is interested in eloping somewhere in Lake Tahoe, I have the perfect elopement locations that are private, intimate, and quiet. I guide couples to multiple locations regardless of their skill level in the mountains. I have taken inexperienced couples to less challenging locations. So, there is something for all couples.


lake tahoe waterfalls wedding photography

tahoe elopements with snow in the mountains

wedding couple hiking in lake tahoe for their elopement pictures

hiking tahoe for your elopement photography

lake tahoe wedding photos during sunset on the Pacific Coast Trail

tahoe rim trail wedding photos on the mountain of Lake Tahoe

epic tahoe mountain photos after the wedding off the PCT trail

Tahoe elopement photographer near a lake off the Pacific crest trail

adventurous tahoe married couple standing on granite rock off a trailwedding photography in lake tahoe over mountain hike with a wedding dress and suit

wedding couple married overlooking lake tahoe after sunset on the PCT trail

eloping in lake tahoe on a mountain trail near the Tahoe Rim trail

married couple hiking back after tahoe wedding


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Charleton Churchill is an Wedding and Adventure Elopement Photographer who inspired the adventure wedding movement with hiking couples wearing backpacks & rugged mountain boots in their wedding attire from Mt. Everest in 2015 & 2017.


Named Among the Top 100 Wedding Photographers in the United States and Canada


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