Yosemite Wedding Photographer | Tenaya Lodge Wedding at Fish Camp | Tenaya Lodge Yosemite Wedding Photos
For the two sweetest humans on earth, their Tenaya Lodge wedding near Yosemite National Park was the perfect way to blend the outdoors with fun and comfort
Californians Brittany and Scott got engaged in Yosemite National Park, and thus wanted nothing more than to get married nearby so all their guests could enjoy the entire area. They decided to book Tenaya Lodge at Fish Camp for the wedding celebration.
Where is Tenaya Lodge at Fish Camp?
Tenaya Lodge is one of the closest resorts to Yosemite National Park, and if you’ve ever entered Yosemite from the south (via Rt. 41), you’ve passed Tenaya right on the way to the park. It is so convenient, it’s actually just 2 miles away from the south gate, making it a fantastically short drive to Glacier Point and Taft Point. I’ve made a map (scroll down) so you can see its relation to Yosemite Valley.
My second shooter Siliang was with me to document Brittany and Scott’s wonderfully exuberant wedding party, which included friends and family who did a haka dance at the end of the night. There was so much activity, so much crying and laughter, and so much joy throughout the day that I barely had time to take a bathroom break! From the vibrant orange bridesmaid dresses to the crazy dance moves, it was definitely a rockin’ night to remember.
The Best First Look Reaction Ever
I’m sure you know how much I love photographing first looks by now, and Scott’s reaction is the perfect reason why. Throughout my hundreds of weddings I’ve documented around the world, I think this has to be the most beautiful first look ever. He was both weeping and smitten, and it was an amazing moment to have two angles of (which is why getting two photographers for your day can result in even more unforgettable photos!).
Creative Wedding Photography, Anywhere
Scott and Brittany knew I was a creative wedding photographer, and really loved how my documentary wedding photos felt alive, vibrant, and fun. But while on a call with me, they admitted they were concerned I’d think their wedding was going to be “too boring for me.” Imagine thinking that! I told them that rest assured, I’d get them incredible photos that showed their day…and had some fun shots mixed in too.
Their Tenaya Lodge wedding day was perfect, from the vibrant flowers to her billowing Grace Loves Lace veil. Their constant grins and full-on joy made my job easy, and it was so much fun to photograph such a wonderful couple at this classic Yosemite wedding venue.
What Your Tenaya Lodge Yosemite Wedding Might Look Like
For wedding venues near Yosemite…well, it’s a national park, which means building anywhere in or near the area is quite limited. Most couples elope in Yosemite, or have destination weddings and celebrate back at The Ahwahnee–Yosemite’s main hotel in the park. However, the cost and transportation (plus permitting and everything else) can be pretty daunting.
So, many couples choose a nearby wedding venue, and that’s exactly how Scott and Brittany came upon Tenaya Lodge.
Most couples who have a Tenaya Lodge wedding host a wedding weekend. This allows guests to enjoy the small resort-style hotel set on 75 acres, and to enter Yosemite National Park and explore while there. There’s a darn good chance that many of your guests have never entered the park, and if you’ve never been to Yosemite—like my 55-year-old friend who lives in the SF Bay Area never had—then go on! Git! Your pass is good for several days as well (or buy an annual pass and never worry).
For the actual wedding ceremony, Tenaya Lodge, or “Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite” as it’s sometimes called, has an upper deck/terrace that holds up to 200. This is where Scott & Brittany held their ceremony, officiated by Scott’s cousin. Like most couples, they then had their wedding reception in the tent/pavilion, which has 20-foot ceilings and 3,000 feet of space to eat and dance. Plus, you get a giant fire pit to roast smores, and guests won’t really bother you since these areas are in the back rather than out in the front like many California wedding venues.
For their reception, these two had their entire wedding party sit at a centered table with elevated banquet seating. I loved that instead of being off to the side, they were literally surrounded by their siblings and friends.
A Haka Dance Send-Off…to Dancing!
Ever heard of a haka dance? If you haven’t, it’s a traditional Māori dance that comes from the indigenous Polynesian Māori people of New Zealand. It’s done as a war dance or confrontation, or these days, to show unity and strength. It can be performed by both men and women, and it takes intense training to understand the moves, language, and facial expressions. To have a haka dance at your wedding, performed by your relatives, is such an amazing experience. I used to live in Hawaii as a photographer and have seen haka dances previously, but getting to experience this up close was amazing.
After the incredible haka dance from their relatives, the dancing commenced. What an incredibly joyful celebration at the laid-back Tenaya Lodge!
Tenaya Lodge wedding costs can be found via a PDF on their website, or by clicking here.
If you’re interested in having a wedding at Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite, you’ll have your choice of hotel rooms, cottages, or cabins. There’s hiking, archery, and pools on site, and did I mention one of the most amazing parks in the world is less than an hour away?
Enjoy just a few of the hundreds of wedding day shots we captured from Brittany & Scott’s celebration~
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