A Snowy Spring Convict Lake Wedding

Bride and groom stand next to each other looking out over the mountains as the bride holds the side of her dress in her right hand.

A Snowy Spring Convict Lake Wedding

This Convict Lake wedding was one of our favorite springtime elopements from this year! For those of you that don’t know, Convict Lake is in the Eastern Sierra Mountains in California. Everything about this wedding had our jaws on the floor: from their first look atop Mammoth Mountain, to their intimate Convict Lake wedding Ceremony, to the incredible sunset we experienced, it was all so unreal! Enjoy reading through this and saving some ideas for your own Convict Lake Wedding!

Bride and groom kiss behind the groom's cowboy hat on top of Mammoth Mountain in California.

Taking a Gondola Ride for a First Look atop Mammoth Mountain

Nicole & Zach started their day getting ready at a super cute boutique hotel Bishop, CA. It’s about a 40-minute drive from Convict Lake, but it has much more affordable places to stay than Mammoth does. They decided they would get ready together but Nicole waited to put on her wedding dress so it was still a surprise!

When we suggested they take the scenic gondola up to have their first look on top of Mammoth Mountain they were stoked! The scenic gondola runs year round and is a great way to explore at 11,000 feet if you aren’t up for that kind of hike 😅 We rode the gondola up and were greeted with the most beautiful views, the kind that looks fake because they’re so good! Neither of them had been out west before their wedding day, so it was fun to see their faces as they took in the mountains for the first time!

Bride taps groom on the shoulder for their first look on top of Mammoth Mountain
Bride and groom hug on top of Mammoth Mountain after their first look together.
Groom spins bride around in the snow on top of Mammoth Mountain in California.
Bride and groom walk holding hands in the snow with giant mountains behind them.
Bride and groom ride in the scenic gondola after they have their first look on Mammoth Mountain.

A Private Convict Lake Wedding Ceremony

After their first look, we drove from Mammoth Mountain to Convict Lake, about a 20-minute drive. We arrived at Convict Lake and showed Nicole & Zach a couple of options we thought would be nice for their wedding ceremony. We always feel that it’s important to let the couple decide which spot feels right for them! After all, it is their wedding day! 

They decided on a quiet little beach area with stunning views of the mountains all around them. Nicole & Zach decided to write their own vows in beautiful vow books and read them aloud to each other as storm clouds started to gather above us. Becky officiated the ceremony and make things official just as it started to rain! We jumped in the cars and drove to the other side of the lake where the rain hadn’t reached yet. 

One of the things to know about the weather in the Eastern Sierras and Convict Lake is that it is always changing. The weather in the mountains is unpredictable which can be really scary if you’re not prepared! But if you plan ahead, it can create an incredible atmosphere as it did for Nicole & Zach’s wedding day.


Groom grins at his bride after their announced as husband and wife for the first time!
Bride and groom stand hand in hand facing each other in front of Convict Lake during their wedding ceremony.
Bride and groom stand facing each other next to Convict Lake in California, as the bride reads her vows from a vow book.
Couple stand facing each other while officiant reads ceremony script to them next to Convict Lake.
Bride and groom kiss for the first time after their Convict Lake ceremony.

Including Family From Afar

Nicole & Zach decided not to invite any guests to their Convict Lake wedding. They wanted to it just be the two of them so they could really focus on each other during their day. They did however find special ways to include family even though they weren’t there. 

Nicole’s mom passed away when she was a little girl so Nicole knew she wanted to wear her mom’s wedding veil for her special day. She also wore her mom’s wedding ring. When her mom passed, her aunt stepped up into the “mom” role and so Nicole wore her Aunt’s turquoise bracelet as a way of having her there by her side in a way.

Nicole’s father also gifted them with a beautiful wine bottle holder which they brought with them and drank out of at Convict Lake. It was a really sweet way to involve their family. 

A porcelain wine bottle leans against a downed tree and two stainless steel wine cups sit on top.
Close up photo on a bride's hands showing off her deceased mother's ring and her aunt's bracelet.
Gray leather vows books with His and Hers on the cover, lean against a rock with wedding bands in between them.
Bride stands facing Convict Lake in her wedding dress and veil.
A Moody Sunset Over the Eastern Sierra Mountains

We’ve seen a lot of sunsets in the Eastern Sierra Mountains but this one was unlike anything we had seen before! We left Convict Lake after the wedding ceremony, as the rain started to fall and we drove to a secret spot that has great views of Mammoth Mountain. One of the best things about hiring a photographer who knows the area is that they have their own special locations that they’ve found over the years that are off the beaten path! 

The sunset was almost finished as we headed off down the road. The lighting was soooooo good that we pulled over the cars and jumped out for more photos! We put some country music on and Nicole & Zach danced around in the middle of the street, laughing and spinning around. It was a beautiful day through and through.


Bride and groom stand side by side holding hands and looking out over Convict Lake. There are yellow flowers in front of them and snowcapped mountains behind.
Bride and groom face away from the camera, holding hands and looking at each other with snowcapped mountains in front of them.
Landscape view of Mammoth Mountain and hot creek below with a tiny couple dancing!
Groom holds bride around the waist as she holds her dress out to the side with a creek winding behind them and snowcapped mountains.
A couple draw a heart in the sky in the dark after the sunsets.
Bride and groom face away from the camera while sitting on a log looking out over Convict Lake.
Groom wraps an aztec style blanket around his brides shoulders as she looks out over the snowcapped mountains.
Bride and groom kiss while wrapped up together in an aztec styled blue blanket.
Groom twirls bride around and her dress flows out to the side as the sunsets behind them making the sky pink and orange.
Bride and groom dance together as the sunsets over the mountains behind them.
Bride and groom walk towards the camera holding hands with lanterns in their other hand and mountains in the background.
Best Time to Visit Convict Lake and Where to Stay

Convict Lake is open year-round but our favorite times to visit are the spring and fall. Summer is beautiful as well, but is often crowded, and hot, and can be smoky if there are wildfires nearby. And winter is super fun but be ready for chilly temps and lots of snow!

The closest places to stay are in Mammoth Lakes or in Bishop. Since Mammoth is a ski town, it can be more expensive to stay there. Bishop is a bit further of a drive but you’ll find more affordable options for places to stay!

Some of our favorite spots to stay in Mammoth are The Mammoth Creek Inn, The Village Lodge, and Empeiria High Sierra Hotel. Our top 2 favorites in Bishop are Creekside Inn and Eastside Guesthouse and Bivy, where Nicole and Zach stayed for their Convict Lake Wedding.

Convict Lake Wedding Photographer

Photographing this Convict Lake wedding was so much fun. It was incredible to be able to share this beautiful area with our couple and to see the awe and excitement on their faces was something we’ll never forget! If you’re dreaming of a Convict Lake wedding or are interested in getting married somewhere else in the Eastern Sierras, we would be honored to document your day!

 As Convict Lake wedding photographers, we’ve explored the area for over 15 years now and have tons of great hidden locations up our sleeves. We will work together to find the best spot for your ceremony and then help you create a timeline for your day that includes all of your favorite things. 

 You can find out more about us and how we do things by tapping here and if you already know that you want us to be your Convict Lake wedding photographers, click here to fill out our contact form today so we can start chatting! We’re so excited to get to know you two and to curate the most perfect elopement day ever!

If you want to read more about this Convict Lake Wedding, it was posted over on Wandering Weddings and you can check it out here!

Ready to elope at Convict Lake, California? Reach out today so we can chat and get you on your way!