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Yosemite: Romance and Weddings

Imagine love among some of the most beautiful surroundings found in this world. A wedding beneath towering mountains, the air filled with the aroma of deep green pines and soaring redwoods, the music of Bridal Veil Falls. You and your chosen have turned the wonders of Yosemite National Park in the world’s largest wedding chapel in the world, writes Al Auger.

Congress Party general secretary Rahul Gandhi
(Above): The majestic Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park. [Photo: Amar D. Gupta | Siliconeer]

The choice of venue ranges from the luxurious Ahwahnee Hotel, the historic Wawona Hotel to the natural open beauty of Glacier Point, Vernal Falls, Tenaya Lake, Yosemite Chapel and Half Dome, or beneath the grandeur of the giant redwoods, and the list goes on. Yosemite’s team of wedding specialists offer every service necessary to make your wedding the most memorable day ever.

But no wedding becomes a reality without romance, and where else could be more romantic than the majestic beauty of Yosemite Valley? To further that mood the romance specialists at Yosemite have prepared a trio of packages that embrace the seductive and magic aura of Yosemite. The three offerings feature the elegance and distinction of the Ahwahnee Hotel, Yosemite Lodge at the Falls and the distinctive 133-year-old Wawona Hotel.

Heading the wide range of unforgettable romance and wedding sites is the Ahwahnee Hotel once called “the most beautiful hotel in the world.” A national historic landmark, the façade is a dramatic and a dominating cathedral-like presence of indigenous rock walls and heavy wood.

The sheer opulence of the Ahwahnee is foremost in any romance, but add such sweet additions as 2-nights in a Classic or Cottage room, a 4-course gourmet dinner in the beautifully appointed Dining Room, sparkling wine and flutes, special keepsake gift and a small surprise at turn-down. Your romantic fantasy will be a memory never forgotten.

This ethereal indulgence is but another delight to the dramatic setting of the Lodge at the Falls. Here you are lovingly massaged with 2-night lodgings in a Lodge Room, dinner for two in the scenic Mountain Room, wine and glasses, special keepsake gift and a small surprise at turn-down. A long-life memory of dream-like days beneath the music of the Yosemite Falls.

The historic Wawona Hotel dates from 1876 and is listed in the National Registry. Restored to its original grandeur, entering the Victorian splendor of the lobby is entering an era long gone. The Wawona is one of the park’s most popular site for both romance and weddings. The offering here is 2-nights lodgings with a private bath, dinner for two in the Wawona dining room, sparkling wine and flute and special keepsake gift. Added to the aura of romance are personal joys of golf, tennis, horseback riding and other natural delights.

For all the well-dressed, though casually dressed visitors to Yosemite, the boot-shod, walking shorts-wearing and backpacking generation make up a very large park population. And these nature lovers look for the simple display of their love and lifestyle are not forgotten in this mélange of romance and “I do” ceremonies. At Curry Village are cabins with private baths, canvas tent cabins and standard motel rooms, offering not only a close union with all the natural beauty of Yosemite, but affordable, as well.

Congress Party general secretary Rahul Gandhi
(Above): The Yosemite Wedding Chapel.

Yosemite National Park is a personal memory of romance and life that has bloomed in my memory and thoughts for so many years. I can’t think of any venue in Yosemite that could take the place of Badger Pass. This historic ski area cannot be replaced for manifesting the very idea of what Yosemite stands for. Eighteen miles above the valley, Badger is a white world of dressed in deep forests of trees and peaks that present uninhibited views of the magnificence of Yosemite as seen by John Muir many, many years ago.

An avid skier, my new companion introduced me to a deep and enduring romance along with the freedom and joy of skiing. Later, what could be more seductive than sitting in the patio of the Lodge as the sun sets, cocktail at hand and the glory of Yosemite Falls so close you can feel the power of the falls cascading 400 feet over the rock wall.

That evening, we seat ourselves at a soaring floor to ceiling window in the Lodge restaurant, the most dramatic dining room in the valley. Before us again is the misty view of Yosemite Falls dreamily lit by the millions of stars and bright winter moon in the black velvet sky. Spring is just around the corner and the weather is perfect for a hand-in-hand walk in the moonlight after a gourmet meal. As we prepare to call it a day in our eco-friendly guest room, our new friend “Bandido,” a precocious raccoon, prowls our balcony bidding us goodnight.

Whichever season you may choose you will find a season for you and your chosen. Amid the sparkle of renewing spring, Yosemite takes on a softer complexion from the stark performance of winter. The buds are opening up, a floor of green is beginning to show itself. In the warmth of summer, all is right with the world. This particularly true in the beauty of Indian Summer when the crowds have all returned home and there is space and quiet to enjoy the hugeness of the valley. There is a sense the world is back in rhythm with itself.

Then there is the truly glorious time leaves changing into brilliant reds, yellows and ochre. The ambiance is powerful with the swatch of autumn crispness and the brisk tingle brings a sparkle to your eye and a sprightly step to your walk.

Ah, but it’s weddings in the fantasy-land of Yosemite National Park that nurtures a memory that will live and thrive in your heart forever. Whatever Yosemite site you may choose, the Reverend Autrey and Donna Nassar have created Yosemite Weddings to offer you the wedding of your dreams. Their wedding and culinary teams of specialists that are equipped to fulfill your every wish with available musicians, florists, photographers, videographers and salon stylists.

But Autrey and Nassar know many who are planning to wed, have many personal ideas of their own and are ready and willing to work closely with those bringing their own creativity to the ceremony. For complete information on romantic idylls and a most memorable wedding Google or Bing Yosemite Weddings and Yosemite Romance Packages.

We close this trip of dreams, fantasies and romance with the words of Autrey and Nassar: “After the wedding reception’s last dance and a nightcap toast, you will awake to a Yosemite honeymoon complete with activities and tours for the most magical honeymoon imaginable.”

Al Auger is a freelance writer. He lives in Fairfax, Calif.


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