LJ + Danny tied the knot on May 7th at The Pines, a breathtaking venue in the Sierra Nevadas, just shy of the entrance to Yosemite National Park.
LJ + Danny’s wedding was my first wedding at the Pines, which has been one of my dream venues since my husband and I were first engaged and searching for venues. As a Yosemite wedding photographer, The Pines is one of my favorite venues in the area.
The Pines has everything you need for an unforgettable, ethereal mountain wedding. It’s within an hour of Yosemite National Park, and provides access to an indoor or outdoor reception area along Bass Lake.
I was blown away by LJ + Danny’ passion and devotion toward one another the first time I hopped on a video call with them. Their tender love in the way they looked to each other as they answered my questions and the small smiles they snuck to one another was absolutely beautiful. Instantly, I knew that we would be a perfect fit – I couldn’t wait for their wedding day!
While the Pines does offer suites to get ready in, LJ + Danny wanted something a little different. They chose to rent an AirBnB along Bass Lake so they could celebrate all weekend long.
Renting an AirBnB for part of your wedding day, or the day before the wedding, can be a fun choice! You’ll get more time to celebrate with some of your favorite people, and have more say in the decor/location. Although, AirBnB did recently update their rules about private events, so always check with the host prior to booking.
I absolutely loved the Yosemite AirBnB that LJ + Danny decided on! It was the perfect size for them, and had so many beautiful spots for photos. As soon as I saw this staircase, I knew LJ would look stunning for some bridal portraits.
We had some extra minutes on the wedding timeline, so LJ did a first look with her bridesmaids.
LJ + Danny opted for a private First Look before their ceremony. It was such a tender moment so I don’t want to share too much, but it did give us the opportunity to take some solo portraits before heading to the Pines for their ceremony.
If you look closely, you may notice Danny in the background of some of LJ’s portraits.
I made sure to stop by the Pines earlier in the day before arriving to LJ + Danny’s AirBnB. I wanted the opportunity to scope out the venue, see what the lighting looked like, and pick out a few different locations for portraits.
LJ + Danny’s lakeside ceremony came quickly! One minute everyone was shuttling over to the venue while I snagged some photos of details, and the next the ceremony was starting.
One of my favorite moments of the day was when LJ’s mother was invited to be their flower girl. She had such a great time, and did an amazing job!
One of my favorite parts of a wedding day is hearing my couple’s vows – that’s why we’re all there, right?
I so enjoyed listening to the story of how LJ + Danny first met, and connected through the years. God had a major role in how they came together! Their story is absolutely beautiful, and a testament to how deeply two souls can connect. It was an inspiration to hear, and it reminded me how humbling this job can be.
I was blown away by LJ + Danny’s wedding party! It’s not surprising at all that they have such a supportive community surrounding them.
I took LJ + Danny to a few different spots throughout the Pines for their wedding portraits after their ceremony. Unfortunately, one of my favorite spots on the lake was still in harsh sunlight. LJ + Danny were incredibly flexible all day, so when I suggested we take 20 minutes for sunset photos during the reception, they readily agreed. They ended up being from favorite photos from the whole day!
My #1 wedding tip to all my clients is to set aside 15-20 minutes during your wedding reception for some sunset portraits! As a Yosemite wedding photographer, I know the best time for portraits is right as the sun goes up or comes down.
One of the best parts of being a Yosemite wedding photographer? The incredible lighting!
The lighting was absolutely perfect when it came time for the formal dances and toasts during their reception. I didn’t even need to use my flash until the sun had gone all the way down!
Thank you so much for inviting me to be part of your wedding day at the Pines, LJ + Danny. You two were a sight to behold all day!
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May 7, 2022