It’s bittersweet to be writing this post. On the one hand, we are excited to finally share the images from Maddie and Conor’s Yosemite wedding, but on the other, this marks the end of an era! Maddie is the third and last of the Veal sisters, which means that this was the third and last Veal sister wedding for us to photograph. Her sister Eliza started the tradition when she hired us for her wedding to Seth in Guatemala 4 years ago, and her other sister Hannah followed suit a year later when she married Geoff in Los Angeles. We also photographed their good friend Sarah’s wedding in San Miguel de Allende earlier this year. Needless to say, we’ve come to think of ourselves as part of the Veal family, and it’s been an honour and a privilege to be their official wedding photographers throughout these last few years.
It’s been particularly enjoyable to see each sister’s unique take on her own wedding and we were so excited when Maddie and Conor chose to get married in Yosemite. Friends and family travelled deep into the woods, staying in cabins and essentially playing gown-up summer camp for the weekend. It was as far away from city life as you can get just a few hours from San Francisco, and some of their guests even received a visit from a bear cub who broke into their cabin and helped himself to some cake from their kitchen!
The festivities kicked off with a BBQ/open-mic party as friends and family took turns telling embarrassing, moving, and hilarious stories about the couple. Both Maddie and Conor come from families with many strong women (Eliza and Hannah have only contributed to this since they’ve each had a daughter since their weddings!), and this became a bit of a theme throughout the speeches. So did stories of the torture Maddie endured at the hands of her older sisters growing up!
The next day everyone gathered to listen as it was Maddie and Conor’s turn to speak, as they exchanged heartfelt vows that had everyone laughing and crying, often simultaneously. There was something magical about experiencing all of these emotions in the great outdoors. Even the dance party seemed to contain a little something special by taking place under the stars. The night ended in the lodge, where Maddie and Conor were serenaded by their friends.
Lucky for us the weekend wasn’t over quite yet, and we had the opportunity to stay a few extra days with Maddie and Conor. We headed deeper into the park to Bridal Veil Falls and the Half Dome viewpoints for some classic views of Yosemite. The views did not disappoint, and we witnessed some of Mother Nature’s finest work, including some beautiful light.
When weddings turn into adventures, it really doesn’t get much better. But when it all happens with a couple like Maddie and Conor, who feel like family, we can’t help but feel that we’ve really hit the jackpot. It’s the end of an era, perhaps, but we have these incredible experiences and some great friends to show for it. And that’s nothing to be sad about!
*Disclaimer: We feel it is important to note that Maddie and Conor remained on the safe side of the fence for their portraits. The opening image in this post was edited to remove the guardrail behind them for aesthetic purposes. We are aware that fatal accidents have taken place for the sake of photography in Yosemite and we want to encourage everyone, especially photographers to put safety before everything else.