We’re so excited to spill the beans about our Aussie friends Kelsea + Brenton and their incredible glacier point elopement day in Yosemite. We all worked together for close to a year, planning out their adventure. We were all so excited to meet by the time their day came. It felt like we were 9 years old again, meeting our pen pal for the first time. They got to stop by our campsite before their big day for a quick hug, meet FiFi and show off Brenton’s fancy sports car rental and Kelsea’s gorgeous floral. We don’t often get to see couples the day before but love when there’s time for that, even if it’s quick.
On their elopement day, they surprised us with delicious wine from Orange, Australia (their hometown), TimTams, Koala candy, a (very) thoughtful card, and even a small sushi toy for our cat, FiFi. I guess you could say things are getting pretty serious between us…. 😉
From our very first Skype call, these two left an imprint that’s hard to explain. Kelsea and Brenton are two of the most fun-loving, free-spirited, considerate & hilarious human beings we’ve met. We spent their day hiking and laughing about bogans, bush bogs, eskies, their half-marathon they ran just 2 days before, the adventures they had planned for the rest of their trip, and how incredible it was to be exploring this gorgeous pocket of the world together.
Check out details from their amazing adventure elopement below!
Kelsea and Brenton's glacier point elopement story
Brenton & Kelsea wanted to experience as much as they could on their elopement day, making sure to adventure around sunrise or sunset (always the best time to grab the dramatic beauty of any landscape). They chose to experience the sun rising for their Glacier Point Elopement, one of the most iconic and breathtaking sunrises in the world due to the crystal-clear view of Half Dome (Yosemite’s most unique rock structure and also one of American’s most challenging hikes!). A couple days after their elopement these two ventured to take on Half Dome!
We all committed to an early wake-up call, starting as early as 1am, in order to make it in time for sunrise at that time of year.. It was a no-brainer that these two would want the moment they first saw each other documented. Because it was still dark leaving the valley, we needed to wait for some light once we got up to Glacier. Allen drove up with Brenton, while Kelsea and I staggered behind a bit.
It may have been pretty cold that morning, but you wouldn’t know by Brenton’s grin as he waited in front of half dome waiting to see Kelsea. It was hard to keep a dry eye during this moment. We knew we were in for it during the ceremony.
We continued to adventure around Glacier Point for sunrise, to areas we had pre-scouted earlier in the year. However, our first priority started with getting Kelsea’s dress dirty 😉 (not kidding! it’s a badge of honor in these parts). These two braved the depth of the granite cliff sides, standing on the edge of the world as the sun was rising above the granite walls. Looking back on these moments still gives me chills. There are little words to explain just how intense and magical the mountain’s sunrise is. And even more moving when a couple, so genuinely in love, is there to celebrate their moment in this beauty. Chilling.
Shortly after portraits, we ventured to a private pocket tucked away from the crowds, with a clear view of Half Dome for their ceremony. This was the most emotional moment of the day and there wasn’t a dry eye on that cliffside. The pictures will do the talking. All of the planning leads up to this very moment, making it, in our eyes, the most important part of the day. We feel that making sure you have a space that feels good while you’re saying your vows, is such an important part of eloping. For Kelsea & Brenton, they wanted an isolated cliffside, away from crowds, with a wide view. In popular areas, this can be hard to do. Which is why we pre-scout and research thoroughly and have back-up options figured out before every elopement.
After their ceremony, we quickly ran over to Glacier Road before the traffic picked up, to run & dance in the winding mountain road before we headed to Taft Point.
Taft Point is such a fun hike. Easily one of our top 3. Not only does this trail lead to the most amazing and iconic cliffside views in Yosemite, but the dirt trail hike out is through the forest, winding with ferns and sequoias for moody and fun backdrops. We loved the late morning light through the trees behind Kelsea & Brenton, with the trail dust kicking up for a natural smoky-effect. Nature is too damn cool. We adventured around Taft Point’s cliffsides mid-day, before heading to El Cap meadow for their picnic.
Kelsea & Brenton finished the day by grabbing their esky, picnic basket and heading to a pocket of shade in the El Cap meadow. We quickly found out why they had turned down our pre-made sandwiches, protein bars and snacks earlier–they had a full picnic spread waiting for them! The fun wasn’t over though – check out Brenton’s funny moment during the champagne pop as you scroll through the rest of their magical moments!
What made a glacier point elopement in Yosemite National Park a great Choice for them
When we first spoke to Kelsea and Brenton, they told us they were thinking about eloping in Yosemite, and how a big wedding was never in the cards for them. Kelsea wanted to finish University, and after they got engaged, it was a couple years of coming around to a vision that felt right for their wedding. Until one day, while on a trip to the U.S., standing in the canyons of Zion National Park, the possibility of a wedding day was never more clear.
It involved just them, beautiful scenery on a mountain, in a national park, while on an adventure– “This is the kind of wedding I can do”–Kelsea 😉 Between countless trips to epic locations, favorite memories made while exploring and hiking, Brenton’s proposal in New Zealand, and their love for U.S. national parks; their wedding was meant to be an elopement; an adventure together, somewhere breathtaking. The idea for a Glacier Point Elopement was born.
There’s simply no other place in the world like Yosemite. Whether you’re standing cliff-side– looking down on the massive valley carved by glaciers millions of years ago, or, in the valley looking up at these giant granite cliffs… you’re left awe-struck. The granite mountaintops bounce light around at early morning and sunset, making it feel like you’re in another world. Wear the boots. Take the adventure. Allow mother nature to host your venue. There is no better place or way to start this next chapter.
What we loved most about Kelsea and Brenton and their glacier point elopement with us
I remember after our first Skype session, I looked at Allen and said, “I love these guys. I fucking love them. I hope they like us. I really hope the elopement gods pull through and they book us.” And the moment they did – we did a serious happy dance in our camper. We all shared a fun bond with immediate trust, right from the beginning. I love that we all instantly connected.
Every time we chatted, even in emails and planning through logistics, their enthusiasm for their adventure was so apparent. When we arrived the day-of at 2am, in the dark, Brenton was jazzed AF, ready to roll! Their passion for life, adventures and each other is simply contagious. I love that Kelsea rocked her pair of cowgirl boots, ones she picked up on their U.S. adventure around the southwest the year before. But then had a more practical shoe to hike in. Sentimental, stylish and practical– A + girl!
What I loved most, was how they stayed true to their values and not planning a wedding for the sake of planning. But instead, waited until the vision of their day truly felt right. They had a strong preference for their adventure together, and trusting us to help put it together is a serious honor. I’d wake up at 1am to hike and laugh about bush bogs 1,000 more times with these two.
I loved that Kelsea & Brenton we’re excited for a specific vision for their portraits and we’re willing to do whatever it took to make it happen. In order to get those epic Glacier Point sunrise pics, that meant Kelsea had to schedule hair and makeup at 2am. They shared a room.. sooo Brenton had to be up and ready and out of the room SUPER early.
When I arrived to pick up Brenton (we were driving separately so they could have a first look with half dome in the background) he was just so full of life and energy and ready for the day. I’d brought energy drinks, apples, and protein bars but he was already jazzed up on some high powered coffee in a can and even had one for me. We got to b.s. about Australian words and everything under the sun on our long drive to the top.
I’m not a morning person, but these two made it worth it. Not a dry eye on that mountain top during their first look. Kelsea and Brenton were such an absolute pleasure every single time we spoke with them and didn’t let anything phase them on their elopement day. I would gladly wake up early just to hang out with these fuckers again.ones