Vanessa & Luke | Vow Renewal

This vow renewal was feature on 100 Layer Cake

Fire swept the western edge of Yosemite Valley as we made our way to Olmsted Point for Vanessa and Luke’s vow renewal. As we drove up the winding roads to Olmsted Point, we watched as a dark haze came rolling across the sky - an eerie reminder that recent Yosemite fires were still burning strong. Couple, Vanessa and Luke, as well as the two of us photographers, put a lot of love and passionate design into their vow renewal so we were determined to make it to the top of Olmsted Point, so long as we remained out of real danger and followed the rules of the park rangers. The date of their two-year anniversary had just passed, which was also a strong driving force for Vanessa and Luke to make it to the Half-Dome overlook despite the fires. Luckily, we found the only entrance to the Park open and made it in time for the gorgeous sunset. And even though the haze of the fires was present, there was such beauty in this day and in the cotton candy sky - a great reminder of life’s blessings amidst storms.

About Luke and Vanessa:

Two years ago Vanessa and Luke said “I do” under a billowing oak tree at Park Winters in California. With a love of adventure and the mountains, they decided to celebrate their anniversary with a Yosemite mountain-top vow renewal and asked me (I was their wedding photographer!) to capture their intimate ceremony. I enlisted my gal-pal and and fellow photographer, Ashley Baumgartner Photography and Calligraphy to collaborate with me on this renewal. With only Vanessa’s mom present, Vanessa and Luke read vows, a proclamation of their love, to one another and the emotions from that moment were just as strong as on their wedding day. With tears in their eyes, Vanessa and Luke kissed and cuddled for photos after the reading and then enjoyed a sweet treat together overlooking the sunsetting behind Half Dome.

The styling for this vow renewal was important to Vanessa because she wanted to highlight the natural pinks and blues that the giant Yosemite rock formations are known for. She enlisted Ashley of Ashley Baumgartner Photography and Calligraphy to not only co-shoot this session with me, but to design custom calligraphy pieces to commemorate their ceremony. Written on rough-edged white linen paper from Fabulous Fancy Pants, Vanessa and Luke announced their vow renewal.  The delicate, organic paper also featured their vows, promises to travel abroad, share In-N-Out on the weekends, and unending gratitude for unconditional love.  Surrounded by gorgeous, draping Honey Silks Company ribbons, the handmade paper accompanied their small cake and other calligraphy mementos.

The Blonde Bouquet designed a wild-flower inquired bouquet with sweeping blush ribbons that fluttered in the wind. The gorgeous pink, ivory, and greens complimented the blush and ivory crop-top dress worn by Vanessa against the natural beauty of Yosemite.


Lauren White