Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Yosemite Weddings at the Ahwahnee

I had the great opportunity last month to travel to Yosemite National Park for a media trip representing OC Bride Magazine. With all of the places I have been able to travel to, I have never been to Yosemite, nor have I heard much about Yosemite weddings. The beautiful and historic Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park invited wedding media for a 3 day trip to experience Yosemite and all of its beauty. Once we arrived,  I understood the hype......Yosemite was amazingly majestic!!!! I know majestic is a "cliche" word to use, but it is the only place on earth I have ever described like this. I was in awe!!! The drive from Orange County to Yosemite is absolutely beautiful and only 5-6 hours, I actually had to blog some of the images I got on the road because I was excited. Spring is the perfect time for weddings in Yosemite, the waterfalls are flowing, the sky's are bright blue, weather is warming up, and everything is starting to bloom. Not to mention the amazing granite cliffs that set Yosemtie apart from any place else. The wedding images are breathtaking! Can't wait to shoot there so please consider it as a destination and then call me! :)

When we arrived to the Ahwahnee I was very pleasantly surprised that the Ahwahnee Hotel faces Yosemite Falls, as a matter of fact, from my bed I had a perfect view of the waterfall. I am a huge sucker for waterfalls. The Ahwahnee Hotel was very rich in history and very famous. They treated us to a tour of the hotel, where I saw the wedding lawn, in which the wedding ceremony backdrop is Yosemite Falls and your guests are surrounded by a rich lush paradise. The Merced River rushes behind your ceremony as you and your spouse wed under an apple tree perfectly framing the falls. I imagined shooting a wedding there at least a thousand times. What a perfect place for an intimate destination wedding!!!! I included all kinds of images of this hotel. It is one of the only hotels in the park and had absolutely hands down the best location. The Ahwahnee dining room is very impressive and the kitchen was even more impressive. All of the meals are amazing as they treated us to a three course wedding meal and dinner in the Ahwahnee dining room.

The last morning we were in Yosemite we took a tour of Yosemite Valley and it began to was breathtaking! The snow fell so hard you could hardly see through it. It was so gorgeous! Of course being from Orange County, I have not seen a lot of snow fall. Yosemite Valley was covered within an hour and I went on a shooting frenzy. I don't pretend to be a nature photographer, and I am not Ansel Adams, but I did my best! My husband and I drove around the valley floor three times, I made him stop at least a dozen times with chains and all, I was so excited.

If I were a bride and considering a destination to have an intimate wedding at, I would really go to Yosemite. With only 300 weddings hosted in Yosemite a year, it truly is a unique and special destination.  As a photographer, it is a dream come true for wedding pictures. My recommendation, splurge on an amazing photographer and take them with you, you will not regret the spectacular images you can get there and really nowhere else on earth!

Awhanee Official Website:

Yosemite National Park Reservations Link:

        On the road trip to Yosemite from Orange County!

           Hanging my camera out the window going through the tunnel to Yosemite Valley.

     The Historic Ahwhnee invited OC Bride Magazine and other wedding media to visit their venue.

                The infamous and impressive Ahwahnee dining room!

      The Ahwahnee's warm and inviting common area, a very relaxing area to sit and mingle.

The Ahwahnee Hotel, exterior view of the wedding reception room with Yosemite Falls in the backdrop. Standing very close to the wedding lawn where wedding ceremonies are held, however the ceremony view is much better of Yosemite Falls.



 Entrance of wedding reception room, has a very historic and natural rustic feel, befitting to it's surroundings.

The Merced River is located directly behind the Ahwhanee property and is a very peaceful place to hang out while you visit. Many guests take bike rides and go hiking while they stay.

        The infamous view heading to the Ahwahnee or Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park.

              Had to do first time there and all!!!

The bus driver let is out on our tour of the Valley, the snow had just begun to fall hard....I was soooo excited!

         My husband Josh took this.....good job Babe! I have taught him well! :)

The following images  are of the snowfall and Yosemite Valley, my husband was a champ driving in the snow, putting on the chains, and stopping for me whenever I yelled out......."STOP!" It was sooo fun!

         My husband of 10 years and I stopping for the only picture of the trip, we never get photos together!

        The Ahwahnee Hotel in the background as the snow fell at it's best!

      The Ahwhanee Hotel walkway leading to their cabins and the Merced River, BEAUTIFUL!!!

    Deer we spotted on the road, often sited as well as black bears and lots of other wildlife!

    On the trip home there sky was amazing, rainbows and rain nearby, it was also beautiful!


  1. Beautiful. I am filming there for the 6th time this August.

  2. These photos are beautiful Jaimee! They remind me of home!!! I bet you had such a great trip! I can't wait to go back there!


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