An intimate elopement to an epic Californian location – Victoria and Eric.

Victoria and Eric celebrated their love in epic style at Yosemite National Park California, last April – a gorgeous time of year to be making a life long promise to your best friend while surrounded by the majesty of nature.

How did you meet your husband?
We met at a local restaurant, I was a bartender and he worked in the kitchen. We started as friends first (definitely the way to go), so we watched each other go through quite a few ups and downs and I think that was what really set up a strong foundation for our relationship

How did your partner propose to you?
When the weather finally started to warm up for Spring we decided to take a hike with our dogs on our favorite trail, there’s a small clearing on the trail where you can stop and we always take a picture there. This time around, my husband (then fiance) was the one to suggest we take a picture. We crouched down with the dogs to take our picture and when I stood up I noticed he was still sitting. But when I turned around he was actually down on one knee and proposing. It was very simple and very much “us.” We tend to live in our own little bubble, so to have that moment just be about the two of us was everything and more. Even more special was the ring he proposed with, it was my late grandmother’s. She passed in August of 2019 so having a piece of her with me everyday is just so incredibly special. He knew I wanted that ring and made sure it was good as new when he gave it to me.

What was your favourite part of your wedding day?
Eric and I technically eloped to have our wedding at Cathedral Beach, Yosemite National Park. My mom and sister were our witnesses, and the fact that it was really just Eric and I exploring Yosemite together with our photographer was my favorite part. Our intention behind eloping was to really focus on the love we have for each other and we got to do exactly that, we spent the whole day together creating these amazing memories and experiencing something so new and exciting. It made the day almost fairytale-like. It was an absolute dream come true.

Did you have a theme or concept for your wedding day? What was your inspiration?
Since our reception isn’t until May, we are still in the planning stages. We do have a good idea of where we’re headed though. We can’t really bring Yosemite to Pennsylvania so we’re going to follow a deep emerald green, black, and white color pallet with gold accents; I want it to feel kind of moody because there’s a deep, rich elegance to the colors of Yosemite and I’m hoping to bring that vibe through with this color pallet. We’re also going to be focused on using small businesses only and really focus on environmentally conscious options for anything that we can, recycled materials, thrifting, compostable, etc. Much of Yosemite is natural wilderness, protected lands, and we want to remind our guests just how important our planet is and how gorgeous our national parks are because of the work people do to keep them protected.

How did you find the experience of shopping for a wedding gown?
Wedding gown shopping was very overwhelming for me. It was so exciting but I really kind of backed myself into a corner when it came to trying on certain styles. As someone who has always been a bit insecure about their figure, I convinced myself that an A-line style dress would be the best option. And that was all I tried on. For three appointments. It wasn’t until I met Hannah at Day Dream Bridal that I really started to come out of my little A-line shell and try some dresses on that actually flattered my body. I knew I wanted to try on a gown by Australian wedding dress designer Rachel Rose, it was actually why I went to Day Dream, but Hannah was the one who showed me the Pearl wedding dress and boy was she right on the money. Hannah is a literal angel, fairy godmother, gift from above, whatever you want to call her, she really is just so good at her job. Going to Day Dream Bridal was the best decision I made, thank God for TikTok putting them on my For You Page.

What I loved about my wedding gown …
Was how beautiful it made me feel. And I know that’s probably what most women say but for the first time, I put on a piece of clothing that I didn’t have to compete with. This dress showed off my favorite tattoos, it showed the curve of my back and accentuated my waist. My dress showed me, in a way that wasn’t provocative, but graceful. It made me feel elegant yet sexy, but not over the top. It made me confident. It made me feel like I was the most beautiful woman in the world and all because it just accentuated what I already brought to the table.

I have to give the wings a shoutout too. I went to college for costume design so I’ve always had a flair for the dramatic and those wings were just the spice I was looking for. They’re such a statement but so elegant and ethereal, they were just absolute perfection.

Do you have any words of wisdom for future brides?
The best piece of advice I have is for dress shopping: start your first appointment by picking out dresses from each style you can think of; mermaid wedding dresses, ball gown wedding dresses, a-line wedding dresses, whatever. Then when you find the style you feel most comfortable in, go from there, try on different variations, throw in a wild card, don’t do what I did and assume you’ll know what looks best, this is the ultimate dress up party, so have fun and try it all.

Is there anything special you would like to share with us about your wedding day?
I know eloping has a negative connotation and a lot of people look down on it, but it was the best decision my husband and I could have made. We felt like people are a bit too caught up in the party aspect of weddings that they’ve forgotten what a wedding is really about; two people choosing to spend their lives together, through thick and thin, good and bad. My husband is my most favorite person in this world, he’s my best friend, and we found an alternative that allowed us to give us all the best parts of a wedding, eloping and spending the whole day with each other, laughing, making memories, and in a few short months celebrating our marriage with our family and friends. Separating these events makes planning so much easier and gives us time to enjoy each moment so much more because we’re not on a set schedule and just get to live in each moment.

Photographer @riverwildphotography

Retailer – @daydream_bridal

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