Eloping in Yosemite National Park

Eloping in Yosemite National Park during the covid season has brought many adventurous couples my way. I have photographed many Yosemite elopements and weddings in since 2011. However, this season has forced many couples to abandon their big wedding plans and opt instead for intimate elopements. This year, I photographed more weddings and elopements in National and State Parks than ever before, like my most recent Alaska Elopement. Yosemite was the largest, but the NPS (National Park Service) limited the number of people in the park this year.

Here’s a Yosemite wedding couple who eloped and booked me for their adventure wedding session in the park. Rather than have a ceremony in the National Park, Aliya and Tommy decided to elope before they arrived. This allowed them to conserve their photo session time with me for the adventure couple photos in their bridal dress and groom suit.

YOSEMITE GLACIER POINT ROAD 2021 UPDATE:

Also note, next year in 2021, Yosemite Glacier Point Road is now going to be open for access to weddings and elopements. Previously, the plans were to close Glacier Point Road to fix the road and create new parking lot space in many popular areas. This would have limited the the quick access to Taft Point elopement and Glacier Point wedding locations to just hiking them. They are now going to delay these plans until 2022 and possibly 2023.

So if you’re interested in booking your Yosemite elopement or wedding for 2021, the road is opened back up. Click here to contact me if you’re interested in booking and I’ll send you my elopement package rates.

 

yosemite elopement creative night with stars and car headlights by photographer charleton churchill
eloping couple on taft point hiking for wedding photos
glacier point wedding couple married
yosemite trail hiker couple in a wedding dress and suit
sunset wedding photos at yosemite's taft point cliff overlooking the national park
married couple creative wedding photos over Yosemite valley at taft point
Taft Point epic sunset photos over the ledge on a cliff by yosemite elopement photographer charleton churchill
silhouette image of eloping couple
evening yosemite wedding photo in black and white
taft point epic sunset eloping couple
wedding party walking back towards the taft point parking lot

 

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Epic Alaska Elopement – Alaska Wedding Photographer

The Epic Alaska Elopement – Alaska Wedding Photographer

I photograph many adventure elopements as a photographer. I have photographed weddings all over the world. My Mt. Everest elopement was the big one and it was much bigger than I expected in terms of it going globally viral. But even then, trying to scout epic locations around the world, having climbed north America’s highest peak, Mt. McKinley, leading teams up mountains, I keep returning back to Alaska. It is quite comparatively, as close to the Himalayas as one can get in terms of epic mountain ranges within the USA.

A little little secret, I teared up when I first saw the Denali mountain range back in 2007 as I was flying into the glacier to climb it. It’s that epic and there are even more epic locations in Alaska. I know many Alaskans are thinking, sshhhh, quiet, don’t brag about this place, we want to keep it small, wild, and quiet. However, most people will not move there for the fact that it’s pretty much always dark in the winter, something most people biologically and psychologically cannot handle.

That being said, I love Alaska and I know Alaska enjoys business. And if I can promote Alaska weddings and elopements in the mountain ranges, I’m only going to boost their economy.

Chugach Mountain Wedding Adventure

Now on with Alex and Peter’s epic destination elopement in the Chugach mountain range. They did their research and it paid off. Peter and Alex booked me for the wedding plans and wanted something unique. Both were open to possibilities for adventurous photos together. Originally I had wanted us to capture photos in Denali National Park the day before their elopement. However, weather would not guarantee us a flight. Instead, we opted for a helicopter ride near their wedding location in Girdwood, Alaska where the mountains went on for days. The result was nothing short of awesome.

Our first day, we flew with Alpine Air Alaska into the Chugach mountains. Jon was our Pilot who directed us to choose a location and he would drop us off for photos. At this point, a ceremony location hadn’t yet been chosen, yes, the day before their ceremony. We took our time capturing alaskan beauties, but also to scout a wedding ceremony location for the following day.

Among the glaciers we traveled the first day, I believe we saw 12 bears and 14 moose. We hit the Knik Glacier, Lake George Glacier, Colony Glacier, Sparrow Glacier, Finch Glacier, and a few others. There were so many secluded places to land, but we captured what we needed. Alex had a few wedding dresses, one for the adventure day, and one for the elopement day. Both dresses required a jacket when we were not shooting, as it was cold.

The Elopement Ceremony

Our wedding couple wanted an Alaskan wedding ceremony location where family and friends could gather without any snow below their feet, and that’s what they got. The following day, Peter, Alex, their family, and friends were taken to a secluded location where we were told no elopement had been performed yet. Perfect weather and temperature for scenic photos. Check out the location.

Just so everyone knows when viewing these images, an adventure elopement isn’t always as great as the photos. Usually there’s some sort of inconvenience to endure or a test. Some on the helicopter flight were a little nervous about flying or didn’t want to fly. Some didn’t like the cold. During the ceremony, these little large gnat type mosquitos were everywhere landing on our faces, ears, etc. It rained after the ceremony. I had photo ideas for after the ceremony that wouldn’t work because of the rain.

However, everyone was so elated to see Peter and Alex married, everything else seemed to fade away. At the end of the day, we nailed even better images than we expected. Everyone else will forget the gnats and the cold weather. What remains are the memories captured by the photographer, and I’m so grateful to have been been a part of their alaskan adventure.

The wedding and event planner, Madison from Wild Hearts Events, took care of all the ceremony and reception plans and preparations. She and her team provided great and flexible leadership. The reception and decor was beautifully setup with a view of the Chugach mountain range just outside of Alyeska Resort. Check out the images below and enjoy the images.

Note, all persons flying into Alaska had to be covid tested within 72 hours of flight before permission was granted to attend the wedding, just so you’re aware.

Returning to Alaska

Good news. I will be returning to Alaska next year July 14-20, 2021 if you are interested in an epic adventure photo shoot with me. Whether you are wanting a couples adventure session, elopement, wedding, engagement, or a married couple’s session, I am only booking 6 couples for these dates, one date per couple. If you prefer to book outside of these dates, no problem. Since I am combing this trip with others for that week, I am dropping my travel/lodging rates. July 14th is already taken.

Also, I will be assisting with the Helicopter arrangements and lodging, but if you want more in planning your wedding in Alaska, Madison from Wild Hearts Events will take care of everything for you.

If interested, Contact me here.

 

Photography: Charleton Churchill Photography
Event Planner: Wild Hearts Events
Helicopter: Alpine Air Alaska
Floral: True North Events
Catering: Sal’s New York Grill and Catering
Hair: Cheryl Brantley
Makeup: Kierra Manion
Ceremony Location: Secluded Chugach Mountains
Reception Location: Girdwood, Alaska
Lodging: Alyeska Resort
Cinematography: Bess Ophelia Films
Wedding Dress: Berta Bridal & SF Bridal Galleria

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bride and groom warming hands
alaskan groom warming brides hands
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couple hiking in a wedding dress and tuxedo
couple dancing in the chugach state park
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girdwood alaskan wedding couple on an adventure photoshoot
berta bridal wedding dress seen in Alaska
SF Bridal Galleria wedding Berta dress in an elopement
Berta Bride in the mountains
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seward alaska wedding couple on a glacier
knik glacier eloping couple under mountain peak
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couple hiking on the glacier with blue water
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DAY 2 – Alaska Elopement Ceremony and Reception Adventure

groom getting ready at girdwood
gown hanging at the alyeksa resort
bride and bridesmaids at alyeksa hotel
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groom in girdwood
first look of eloping couple in girdwood, alaska
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group photo after elopement
cheese and wine after eloping in the wild
cheese, meat, wine, and decor from wild hearts events
rain after ceremony
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umbrella shoot thru
rainy alaskan couples photos near seward
couple exchanging vows near girdwood
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reception wedding tent outside
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outside reception decor in girdwood
wedding table decor with red roses and blankets
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bride and groom toasting in girdwood ak.
first dance of the couple in outside reception
outdoor intimate wedding elopement in a secluded alaskan venue
raining during wedding couples dance at receptionalaska wedding dancing and dipping near alyeska resort

 

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