A Heartfelt Evergreen Lodge Wedding

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An incredibly sweet and sincere wedding at the Evergreen Lodge at Yosemite.

The Evergreen Lodge at Yosemite

Rachael and Kevin

These two wild souls did their wedding their way. And we always say to our couples that the more fun you have on your wedding the better your photos will be. And this couldn’t have held more true for these two.

The historic Evergreen Lodge is pushed up against Yosemite National Park with easy access to the Yosemite Valley and Hetch Hetchy. The Lodge, built in 1921 was originally built to facilitate the completion of the O’Shaughnessy Dam in Hetch Hetchy Valley. In 2001 the Evergreen Lodge expanded to 75 cabins and became what it is today, one of Yosemite’s premium wedding venues. We could ramble on about why this is a special place to hold an event, but we’ll let our bride tell you why this venue is special.

words from the bride about her wedding.

I grew up going to Camp Mather for a week each summer with my best friend and maid of honor, Erin. That place sparked my love for Yosemite and the outdoors, and was a huge bonding factor in our relationship. The Evergreen Lodge was just half a mile up the road, and we started venturing up the hill as we got older. When we were in high school we actually used to sneak away from the Bay Area (obviously claiming we were spending the night at each others' houses) and drive out to Evergreen! We used to talk about working at Evergreen or bringing our future families out here together, but as life got busier we let Evergreen and Mather simply hold a warm spot in both our hearts.

Kevin and I went to Yosemite for our first camping trip together. I remember being anxious in the days leading up to our trip about whether we'd be able to fill the 3 hour car ride, or enjoy the coziness of a small tent. What if this was miserable? It wasn't. Our weekend in Yosemite was filled with laughter and adventure. We drank entire boxes of wine together and still managed to hike each day. Kevin had never been to Yosemite, so it felt incredibly special to show him all the places I used to adventure with Erin. We visit Yosemite less now as we've expanded our favorite parks and natural spaces, but Yosemite will always be a magical patch of earth - especially now!

One of the most distinct memories from our wedding day was hiding behind some bushes after the ceremony to let our guests walk to the reception. It was our first moments being alone as a married couple (and honestly we weren't alone again until we walked back to our cabin at midnight!). I really got to see how handsome he looked. His hair, his suit. Kevin held both my hands in his, looked straight into my eyes, and then doubled over, exhaling heavily, "Oh my god, we're married." It was real. I wanted to hold him. I wanted to make out. I wanted to run off into the woods and scream. Standing there, we got to soak in each other's presence, breathe in the moment.

When I think about the whole process of planning the wedding and getting married, I really have to laugh. I desperately wanted to elope, and Kevin was adamant that we host a party. As much as we bickered and fussed with details, I am so glad we found our compromise. The day felt true to who we are and we were surrounded by humans that we love. What more could we ask? I think the biggest advice that saved me was to delegate tasks. Allow people to lend a hand. Many of our guests offered to help throughout the process, and by asking them for help when I needed it I was able to include even more folks in the making of a great day while easing a bit of my stress. It was actually a huge part of why I felt SO loved that day. Friends helped with me hair and make up, they helped make decor, they purchased film and set out our flowers. Seeing how so many people could step in and make a single, beautiful event made the whole thing eve more magical.

The wedding really amped up my love for the humans who have supported me and Kevin, independently and throughout the relationship. Being back in the city for a few weeks now, I still feel like my heart has swelled from that outpour of support. How special to have a day that centered on our love, but also highlighted how loved we are by our people! Our friends who stayed out dancing all night, who helped me take off my dress so I could pee, who made sure we had water and drinks at the ready, who brought their whole selves and shared their wonderful humanity with friends from near and far. God, it was so special. And to top it off, we had two amazing photographers who made us feel safe and even more excited about the whole day. And to top it off, we had two amazing photographers who made us feel safe and even more excited about the whole day.

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Thought we were done? Here comes day 02. We did their day after session out at Hetch Hetchy. What we loved about Hetch Hetchy was that is isn’t typical Yosemite, and we didn’t have any crowds to navigate, it was like we had the park to ourselves.

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Check out another wedding we shot in Yosemite here. Getting married in YNP? Give us a shout, we’d love to talk about your wedding.

Tools: Sony a7iii and AFFOB Presets.