Yosemite National Park Mountain Vow Renewal

Austin and Makayla have a unique love story. Back in 2014 they got engaged and began planning their wedding, Makayla bought a dress and they searched and searched for the perfect venue all while saving money. During this time their dog Shabba was hit by a car, they rushed him to the animal hospital and he was able to be saved, but it wasn’t cheap. So Austin and Makayla drained their wedding savings to save his life. Frustrated and down, they decided to skip the wedding and go to the court house. 3 year later – they decided to have their dream wedding and renew their vows. They booked a killer AirBNB outside of Yosemite National Park and Makayla brought out that never worn wedding dress. The day was just priceless and everything that they could have ever dreamed of. As a photographer it was

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How did you meet?

We both share a love for tattoos and have a huge number between the two of us. We both also love the same style tattoos, American traditional and Neo-traditional and ended going to the same tattoo artist for that specific style of tattoos. One day Austin was looking at our tattoo artists online portfolio and noticed a tattoo he really loved, and it happened to be a tattoo that I had on my ribs of a mermaid. After telling our tattoo artist, John, how much he liked it, john organized for us to meet in person because he thought we would get along well and be good friends, and once we met we realized we had gone to the same high school and had all the same friends but for years had never met one another, but we hit it off and were dating by the next week after we met.

What is your proposal story?

Due to the fact that we were introduced by our tattoo artist and really great friend, john, Austin wanted to incorporate john and tattoos into his proposal. Austin enlisted Johns help and they devised a plan to have the proposal happen at the tattoo shop where we frequented. Austin convinced me that I should get a Tattoo for my birthday and I eventually agreed, so a few weeks before my actual birthday Austin and I and our good friends from Rad Red Creative accompanied us to Johns tattoo shop for my “birthday tattoo”. Well when we arrived, John showed me the tattoo stencil he was going to apply on my skin in prep for the tattoo which looked like the design we had agreed upon, however when he prepared to place the tattoo it was on my knee so john told me to stand still and stand up straight so the stencil went on smoothly. After he was finished putting the stencil on he told me to look down and see if I liked the placement, but when I looked down, I noticed there were words in my tattoo, and the words read “will you marry me?”
I was so shocked, and when I looked up Austin was down on one knee in front of me with a gorgeous diamond ring and I was so surprised and confused it took me a couple tries to get the word “yes” out of my mouth.

Austin also had champagne and we ended up celebrating with friends and family the rest of the night, after I got my “birthday tattoo” of course.

It was one of the most exciting and surprising days of my life. Ive never been so shocked and happy all at the same time.

Tell us about your attire choices.

We actually did not have a true engagement session as we were not engaged for very long prior to getting married.

What were your favorite parts of the day? (memories and stories)

Some of our favorite parts of the day include: Our first look. Our first look took place at the airBNB. Austin waited outside while Brittany was helping me with my dress, and I just remember feeling so giddy and excited to see my husband and for him to see my in the wedding dress that I had, for what seemed like forever, but never got to wear because the accident that happened with our Boston Terrier that deterred our wedding planning. When I had to walk up to austin to tap him on the shoulder to turn him around to see me for the first time I also remember trying to fight back tears of happiness, but once Austin turned around and saw me all my happy tears disappeared because I couldn't stop smiling and giggling. The look on his face when he saw me for the first time was priceless and made me feel like the most amazing person in the world.

Another favorite part of the day was actually climbing up glacier point in my wedding dress. It was really challenging and Austin had to stay close to me to make sure I was safely getting over all the rocks and boulders, and for me that climb symbolized the struggle we had endured as a new married couple and over come together to get to our perfect point of love and happiness, which was represented by being at the top of glacier point for our vows.

However, my absolutely favorite part of the day was reading our vows while over looking the glorious view that is half dome and glacier point. It was the most spectacular view that evoked emotions in me, but those emotions were again compounded by the overwhelming emotions I felt when hearing the vows austin had written for me, and while reading the vows I wrote for him. I couldn't contain my tears of happiness at this point, and I can say without a doubt this was one of the most magical, love filled days of my life.

This is Austin, I'm so happy we stayed at the airbnb we stayed in because it couldn't have been any more perfect. Since we didn't have an official wedding three years ago, I never got to see Makayla in her ACTUAL wedding dress. Doing the official first loo, at that airbnb, couldn't have been any more special! The scenery around the house was just so pretty. It helped that it was a bright sunny, Cali 70 degree day. That moment meant the most to me and I'll always remember that moment as my favorite part of renewing our vows.

Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?

knowing what I know now about wedding planning, I would say couples really need to focus on themselves and ensuring they have the best day ever. Not everyone has the same wedding experience, so I would encourage couples to choose things that best suit their wants and needs for their wedding. Austin and I initially tried planning a huge traditional wedding, but I was a full time nursing student and during our planning stages our Boston Terrier named Shabba was hit by a car and suffered some severe injuries. We ended up using all the money we had saved up for our wedding on shabbas medical bills because we could bare to lose our “baby”. Because of the loss of our savings for the wedding and feeling very defeated after realizing the true costs our wedding would end up totaling if we continued with our planning we decided to skip that huge traditional ceremony/reception and go down to the court house. But looking back now, because we went to the court house and had a very simple ceremony I believe I enjoyed my wedding day much more than I would have previous.
So I would encourage other couples to look at other options from traditional weddings, to intimate ceremonies, to elopements and decide what is best for them because at the end of the day, everything is about them and their love and their life with one another.

Why a Mountain Wedding?

Ive always felt that mountains were such a glorious landscape that instilled a lot of emotions in people from adventure to romance. Austin and I both felt that being among such vast beautiful mountains not only can make you feel in awe, but can also make the moment you share with another person even more intimate and special as you feel small in such a enormous place.

What are three things you're glad you did?

Were so glad that we rented an airBnB near Yosemite. The AirBNB we rented ended up being a adorable cottage that surprisingly had a lot of accents that matched our wedding colors perfectly and made for a great location for getting ready and provided us with privacy for our special day so we could really enjoy every movement.

What are 3 things you wished you hadn't done or hadn't worried about?

Im so glad we actually hiked the area the day before in order to find the perfect spot to read our vows, especially because it was a lot more challenging to hike in a suit and wedding dress with a bouquet.
and Im finally so glad that we were accompanied by Rad Red Creative, not simply because they're amazing photographers that were able to catch our special moment, but because Leo and Brittany they are like family to us and we love them immensely and we wouldn't have wanted to share our special moment with any one else. Having them in our lives and be there for our vow renewal really meant the world to Austin and myself.

Photography: Rad Red Creative | Ceremony Venue: Yosemite National Park | Floral: Sweet Dreams Cakes & Flowers | Hair: DIY by bride | Makeup: DIY by bride | Calligraphy: Oh Deer Creative | Wedding Dress: Oleg Cassini | Groom's Attire: H&M | Bride's Shoes: Steve Madden | Submitted via: Matchology