“We live near the beach… and we can go any time. So we decided to get married somewhere different.”
Michelle explained to me that both her and Eric had put a lot of thought into location ideas for their wedding. And that after considering several typical locations/settings they ended up deciding on Yosemite for their ceremony. Rather than do a rushed ceremony in the main valley, the Boyko’s selected Evergreen Lodge for a much more relaxed and intimate weekend with their closest friends and family.
I had met Eric and Michelle a year ago, through the car community which both Eric and I are active in. I remember during that evening that Michelle stood and talked to me for quite a while about wedding photography and some of the various traveling I had done with my work. And as things turned out, I ended up being asked to shoot for them later on in their finalization of their wedding plans!
The weekend at Evergreen was awesome. Eric and Michelle kept their wedding very small – only their oldest and closest friends and family members were in attendance. And Evergreen keeps their weddings to a one-per-weekend setup. This is incredibly rare and also quite amazing because it allows the Lodge to be available and tend to their wedding party’s needs throughout those couple days. Michelle said that was actually a major factor in their decision – that it avoided the assembly-line feel of getting married in a location with two weddings per day or more.
So Eric and Michelle were married in a meadow. It was beautiful, and the weather that day was perfect. Actually, the weather the whole weekend was pretty amazing. Everyone arrived on Friday afternoon and checked in. After a short rehearsal and walk-through of the ceremony we all joined the rest of the wedding guests for a barbeque at the John Muir House. The lodge-chef had prepared some pretty awesome food options, and had previously told Michelle that he believes if you serve amazing food at your facility that guests will remember that and come back again.
That night there were drinks to be had, smores to be made, and plenty of stories shared around the campfire after “the adults” had all gone back to their cabins, hahaha!
The wedding day started slowly as many guests tried to figure out where they would go hiking that morning. As usual, I tagged along with Michelle and chatted with her and her family members getting to know everyone a bit better throughout the early afternoon. As the ceremony time approached, I headed over to meet up with the guys and get a few shots of them as well. As I arrived at the Muir House where everyone was staying, I found most of them scrambling a bit to finish getting ready. It seemed as though they misjudged just how long the hiking would take! Uh-oh!
But the ceremony started without issue, went beautifully, and the reception was a blast. I’ll save most of what I have to say for the captions on the images below. I had a great time though, and was thrilled to be part of the Boyko wedding so unexpectedly.
Click past the break for 130 images from my weekend with the Boyko and Cronin families
Checkin in Friday afternoon
The walk to the Muir House was through the woods… granted, everything there is through the woods… but it was still a nice walk
Walking out the to meadow where Eric and Michelle will be married tomorrow!
Figuring out what would be the best location to set up
This little tiny photo reallllly doesn’t do the meadow justice
BBQ that night with the guests for the rehearsal dinner. I’m told the grilled Caesar salad that’s being handed out in this shot was amazing. I didn’t try because I’m personally not a fan of Caesar… but, again, I was told “it was the best Caesar I ever had”
The fire is started up for everyone wanting to make smores!
Night sets in and as several members of the family call it a night, those that remain start to gather by the fire
Meanwhile there is still plenty of story telling and catching up going on indoors
At 11pm only a portion of the friends remain as we laugh and argue about everything from TV shows and movie trailers, to me – the photographer – trying to explain how I do both wedding photography AND model photography as my job. Haha!
The next morning, before many people have rolled out of their cabin to get breakfast, the crew is already starting to prepare decorations for the wedding reception that night.
They were just beginning to build the dance floor as I stopped by, too
Michelle goes over seating arrangements
Hanging with some of the family after breakfast
Time to start getting ready!
Michelle had a gorgeous dress, wait til you see her in it!
This is always one of the best parts of the day because everyone shares stories about proposals, etc.
See! The team at Evergreen was on top of everything. Michelle is asked to recheck a few last minute changes that were made on things
Eric starting to get ready after finishing a hike that morning with a few friends
All the guys workin on their full Windsor knots…
The part of dressing up that no bride ever likes… having the family and friends help you into the dress.
Michelle is already looking amazing and she’s not even completely ready!
Time for accessories..
After several portraits of Michelle, I actually liked this one when she was listening to her mom say something the best
One of the most important photos of the afternoon, clearly.
Some last minute notes-reading before things get started
Eric is all smiles as he waits up front for his bride
Eric did a great job of holding it together in every photo I shot. He was definitely teary eyed as Michelle turned the corner down the aisle..
Michelle, being given away by her brother
Michelle, reading her vows to Eric
Eric’s dad was even a bit emotional during the vows despite being busy recording
Best man Daniel
Exchanging of rings
Husband and Wife!
We did a quick group shot with everyone right after the ceremony since it was a small group and there was a ladder available for us to use!
Matron of Honor Meagan was busy wrangling her son most of the weekend!
Mr. and Mrs. Boyko!
This shot with Daniel is probably my favorite shot from the portraits we did after the ceremony
I really loved this little moment while Michelle and Eric were walking together and we did additional photos after everyone left
If you wait around long enough and don’t say much, couples tend to be cute all on their own. Especially after something like their wedding ceremony
You really have to be ready because all the best moments happen in between the posed shots. Eric turned to give his wife a kiss on the cheek. Michelle’s reaction is totally pure rather than if we tried to pose this moment.
I don’t remember who misunderstood who… but either Michelle or Eric thought the other said something about “get closer” and responded with “is this close enoughhhhh???”
Make sure to have several people around to adjust your dress…
Eric and Michelle being introduced to the guests at the reception
Anish and Des, two of my old friends, were at the wedding as well.
Me and Desiree!
Anish and I
All the guests are seated and speeches are about to get started
Daniel is up first
Sharing stories of college together
Meagan, matron of honor, spoke next of memories and her friendship with Michelle
Michelle’s mom said a few words as well
Eric’s stepdad was a riot. He was yelling and cheering and making people do the wave during part of his speech!
And as soon as he was done he ran over to make Eric’s dad give up the video camera so he could say something as well
Mr. Boyko sharing some thoughts and a short toast to his son and new daughter in law.
After the family all spoke the mic was passed around and a few friends shared some stories and well-wishes, too
College friend Brandon laughing as he tells stories of his memories of Eric wrecking cars through college!
As soon as their first dance started Michelle and Eric did the “awkward school dance” dance. Haha! They’ve been dating since high school, so it seemed so appropriate that they make a joke about dancing during their own wedding.
And several times Michelle’s nephew ran on to the dance floor, danced for a moment, then scampered off again.
Breakin it down with Eric’s stepdad for the Father-Daughter dance!
Seriously, these two were laughing and having the greatest time on the dance floor it looked like
Mr. Boyko jumped in to share a dance as well!
In this shot my flash didn’t fire since it hadn’t recycled yet… however I liked the moment because of both Eric’s mom’s expression and because of Michelle smiling in the background as she watched.
I believe the best time to see how much love parents have for their children is during the moments shared on the dance floor with them during a wedding. During the Mother-Son dance, if you watch, you’ll see a mother’s love for her son her eyes. It’s so very touching
And then everyone comes out to the dance floor to break it down!
So for cake choices Michelle and Eric had three different types of ice cream cakes! How unique is that?!
Ok, this is a little more difficult than we thought…
Never mind looking good doing it… it’s just going to take some muscle!
And Michelle is all over it!
Since it’s ice cream cake, there really wasn’t any chance for smashing it in each others faces
Not bad… going back for a second bite!
Eric’s younger brothers had a slightly different method of dealing with the very very cold cake..
Another of the most important photos at the wedding! I always make sure to get a with my bride and groom!
Eric is sexy and he knows it..
He seriously did the whole dance. His brothers jumped in and joined him too!
Wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle!
And at the end of the night, those who were still there, all gave Eric and Michelle a big group hug!
Michelle and Eric didn’t let go though!
One last shot of Anish, Des and me.
That evening, when we were all hanging out at the Muir House, Eric and Michelle looked through most of my photos from the wedding day on one of my cameras. This was actually kind of cool for me because I NEVER get to see peoples expressions when they see my photos from their wedding day.
The next day there was a buffet breakfast for everyone. Everyone passed through at different times before getting on the road home that Sunday morning.
“John, don’t take a photo of me..” -Anish. Haha! Sorry man…
I had got a slight flat Friday on my way into the valley. It turned out to be a leak in my valve stem. Unfortunately I also unknowingly lost my lug key. So I couldn’t simply put my spare tire on. Anish helped me wrap the the valve stem with some strong electrical tape the best we could so I could make it home.
Again, I had a great time last weekend with both families. Hopefully you readers made it this far and enjoyed the images. In less than a week I’ll be leaving for Baltimore where I’ll be shooting the Ripp wedding at the Baltimore Harbor! Can’t wait to see Kevin and Angela again for their big day next weekend!