couple standing in front of glacier point in yosemite for their intimate wedding ceremony

Yosemite Wedding Venues and Elopement Location – Planning & Tips

What’s the best time of year to get married, what’s the best ceremony site,? From uncovering the ideal season to say your vows to finding the best place to get married amidst Yosemite’s breathtaking landscapes, we’ll delve into every aspect to help you orchestrate a truly unforgettable celebration in one of the world’s most majestic natural settings.

How to get married in Yosemite National Park 

Plan a Yosemite wedding requires obtaining a Special Use Permit and choosing from designated sites like Glacier Point or Yosemite Falls. It’s important to plan for varying weather, ensure accessibility for all guests, and book accommodations early due to high demand. Working with vendors familiar with the park’s regulations is key, and adhering to Leave No Trace principles is essential to protect the natural beauty of Yosemite. This careful planning ensures a wedding that’s both magical and respectful of the park’s unique environment.

Yosemite Elopement – Glacier Point

How to get a Yosemite wedding Permit

  • Application Process: The permit process starts with completing the Special Use Permit application available on the Yosemite National Park website. This application requires details about your planned event, including the date, time, location, and number of guests.
  • Documentation: Along with the application, you may need to provide additional documentation, such as a map or site plan for larger weddings.

When to Apply for the Permit

  • Timing: You need to apply for a wedding permit at least 21 days in advance of your wedding date. However, due to the popularity of Yosemite as a wedding destination, it’s advisable to apply several months in advance, especially if you’re planning to wed during peak seasons.
  • Consideration Period: The National Park Service may take several weeks to review and approve your application, so factor this into your planning timeline.

Where to Submit the Application

  • Submission: The completed application, along with the non-refundable processing fee, should be submitted to the Special Park Uses office of Yosemite National Park. This can typically be done via email or postal mail, as specified on the application form.

Permit Fees

  • Cost: The cost of the permit includes a non-refundable processing fee, which varies depending on the size and complexity of the event. Ensure you’re aware of the current fee structure when applying.

Securing a permit is essential not only for legal compliance but also for ensuring your wedding aligns with the park’s preservation efforts. By following these steps & rules and regulations. you can obtain the necessary permissions to celebrate your special day amidst the stunning natural landscape.

How much is it to have a wedding in Yosemite?

The cost of a wedding in Yosemite varies based on several factors. Below are estimated ranges for common expenses:

Permit Fees

  • Special Use Permit: Approximately $150 – $300. This fee is mandatory and varies based on the event’s size and complexity.

Venue Costs

  • Site Fees: Most designated wedding sites in Yosemite do not have additional site fees beyond the permit. However, if you’re planning a reception at a nearby lodge or hotel, venue fees can range from $2,000 to over $10,000, depending on the location and services provided.

Additional Expenses

  • Accommodations: Hotel rooms in and near Yosemite can range from $150 to $500+ per night, especially during peak seasons.
  • Transportation: Costs will vary based on the mode of transportation and distance. For guests flying in, round-trip airfare to California typically ranges from $200 to $600+ per person.
  • Attire, Invitations, and Other Personal Expenses: Wedding attire can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, while invitations and other personal expenses can add several hundred dollars more.

It’s important to note that these figures are estimates and can vary based on specific choices and market changes. Couples should create a detailed budget and contact vendors and venues directly for precise quotes.

adventure elopement photo of Breath taking wedding photo of Bride and Groom kissing on a cliffside rock formation along the mountain ranges with amazing sunset
Yosemite Elopement Photographer – Taft Point

Where do people get married in Yosemite?

In the majestic setting of Yosemite, adventurous couples find a wealth of enchanting locations for their weddings, ranging from grand vistas to intimate, serene spots. Wedding locations in yosemite offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and romantic settings, both within its boundaries and in the surrounding areas! Yosemite provides a variety of venues that capture the essence of its stunning landscapes, catering to every style from the grandiose to the intimately quaint.

In-Park Wedding Venues

Nestled within the breathtaking expanse of Yosemite, a variety of in-park wedding venue offer couples the chance to say their vows amidst some of nature’s most awe-inspiring landscapes. There’s only one venue INSIDE the park that offer full service wedding ceremony & reception style and that’s Ahwahnee Hotel

Ahwahnee Hotel

Renowned for its stunning architecture and elegant ambiance, the Ahwahnee Hotel is perfect for couples desiring a more traditional and luxurious wedding setting within the park.

Out-of-Park Wedding Venues

Just outside the park, an array of enchanting wedding venues offers the perfect blend of the natural beauty with added convenience and flexibility. These outside-park venues, ranging from luxurious resorts and venue like Tenaya Lodge to the quaint and historic charm of the Yosemite Valley Chapel, provide diverse options for couples. They cater to a variety of wedding styles and sizes, all while maintaining a close connection to the stunning landscapes and serene atmosphere that Yosemite is renowned for.

Twilight at Tenaya Lodge near Yosemite with string lights illuminating the outdoor patio area, featuring stone fire pits, cozy seating under umbrellas, amidst landscaped gardens with a meandering path, inviting guests to a warm and rustic mountain resort experience

Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite

A luxurious resort nestled in the Sierra National Forest, combining rustic charm with modern amenities, ideal for a sophisticated yet nature-inspired wedding.

Evening falls on the Evergreen Lodge at Yosemite, where warm lights glow from rustic cabins nestled among tall pine trees, with a stone pathway leading guests to a welcoming main plaza, creating a tranquil retreat in the forest for visitors to gather.

Evergreen Lodge

A historic lodge surrounded by towering pines, offering a variety of indoor and outdoor venues for a rustic and charming wedding experience.

Rush Creek Lodge

Featuring contemporary and rustic elements, this lodge provides beautiful indoor and outdoor options, perfect for both ceremonies and receptions.

Alt text: "The Yosemite Valley Chapel in autumn, a quaint brown wooden church with a tall steeple, set against a backdrop of towering evergreens and a striking golden-leafed tree, encapsulating the serene beauty of the historic site within Yosemite National Park

Yosemite Valley Chapel

A quaint and historic Yosemite chapel located just outside the park’s boundaries, offering an intimate and traditional setting for wedding ceremonies.

Guests enjoy a sunny outdoor gathering at The Redwoods in Yosemite, with a rustic wooden lodge in the background, set among tall pine trees, creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere for socializing in the heart of the national park

The Redwoods In Yosemite

Set in a forest of towering sequoia trees, this venue offers a range of cabins and event spaces, ideal for a picturesque and secluded wedding.

Historic Wawona Hotel in Yosemite National Park, a charming two-story structure with white walls and green trim, featuring a stone fountain in the foreground, surrounded by lush greenery and towering trees under a clear blue sky

Wawona Hotel

a charming Victorian-era lodge surrounded by lush meadows and towering pine trees, offers a quaint and historic setting within Yosemite National Park wedding. also don’t forget to check out swinging bridge picnic area, this goes without saying that it is not wheelchair accessible, not a round trip at least.

Yosemite Elopement Locations & Photoshoot & Ceremony Locations

couples seeking a more intimate wedding ceremony in yosemite or stunning photographic memories, Yosemite offers an array of elopement and photoshoot locations that negate the need for a traditional venue. These spots, ranging from the dramatic vistas of Taft Point to the serene beauty of Mirror Lake, provide naturally splendid settings that are perfect for smaller, more personal ceremonies or capturing those once-in-a-lifetime moments. Yosemite offer tons of ceremony location, whether you’re having a wedding or elopement, you can hit up trailhead or paved trail to experience the majestic landscape for your wedding day

Glacier Point

An awe-inspiring location offering panoramic views of Half Dome, Yosemite Valley, and the High Sierra. Ideal for couples seeking a dramatic natural backdrop for their ceremony.

Tranquil scene at Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park with the serene Tuolumne River flowing through, dotted with rocks and surrounded by lush meadows and forested peaks under a clear blue sky

Tuolumne Meadows

Set in a high alpine meadow, this location offers a peaceful and natural setting, surrounded by Yosemite’s iconic mountain landscapes.

The majestic El Capitan Meadow in Yosemite, with the iconic sheer face of El Capitan rising in the background, a clear blue sky above, and a peaceful meadow with a footbridge and visitors enjoying the idyllic outdoor setting

El Capitan Meadow

Offering expansive views of El Capitan and Cathedral Rocks, this meadow is a picturesque spot for both wedding ceremonies and photography.

Mirror Lake in Yosemite National Park reflects the clear blue sky and the imposing granite cliffs, including a perfect reflection of Half Dome, surrounded by serene waters and forested banks.

Mirror Lake

With its calm waters reflecting the surrounding nature, Mirror Lake provides a serene and picturesque setting for elopements and photography.

A solitary figure stands on the edge of Taft Point in Yosemite at sunset, overlooking the vast valley with the sun casting a warm glow over the granite cliffs and the silhouette of the distant mountains

Taft Point

Known for its breathtaking views and quieter atmosphere, Taft Point is an exceptional choice for elopements and unforgettable wedding photography.

Sentinel Beach and Cascade Picnic Area in Yosemite National Park, with the Merced River flowing gently in the foreground, sandy shores for beachgoers, and the towering granite cliffs of Yosemite Valley in the background

Sentinel Beach / Cascade Picnic Area

A tranquil riverside spot with scenic views of the granite cliffs, offering a serene and intimate atmosphere for wedding ceremonies. 

Yosemite Falls cascading down the granite cliffs of Yosemite National Park, with lush green trees and a clear blue sky in the background, showcasing the raw natural beauty and grandeur of one of California's most famous waterfalls

Yosemite Falls

This venue features the majestic Yosemite Falls, providing a powerful and picturesque setting, especially in the spring when the water flow is at its peak.

Bridalveil Fall in Yosemite National Park, a stunning waterfall plunging from the granite cliffs surrounded by pine forests, with mist rising from the base of the fall, set against a background of rugged mountain terrain

Bridalveil Fall

A romantic and iconic location, Bridalveil Fall offers a stunning waterfall backdrop, perfect for intimate ceremonies and beautiful photos.

The imposing Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias in Yosemite, featuring a massive sequoia tree trunk with a signboard, surrounded by a fenced pathway to protect the delicate root systems, emphasizing the scale and conservation of these ancient trees

Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias

Amidst ancient giant sequoias, Mariposa Grove offers a unique and magical setting, creating an unforgettable backdrop for your special day

Hikers navigate the steep granite ascent of Half Dome in Yosemite using the secured cables, showcasing the challenging and rewarding climb against a backdrop of hazy skies and forested valley views

Half Dome

One of yosemite’s  most iconic landmarks, and highest peak, Half Dome offers a stunning and dramatic backdrop for elopements and wedding photos. Its grandeur and unique shape make for truly memorable images. you can also go to the top of the dome but you’ll need to get a wedding photographer with you, preferable a bad ass one

The iconic Tunnel View in Yosemite, offering a breathtaking panorama of the valley with El Capitan on the left, Bridalveil Fall on the right, and the Half Dome in the distant center, under a sky dotted with fluffy clouds

Tunnel View

This classic viewpoint provides a breathtaking and expansive view of Yosemite Valley, El Capitan, and Bridalveil Fall. It’s a popular spot for capturing the essence of Yosemite in wedding photos.

Sentinel Dome

Offering a 360-degree view of the park, Sentinel Dome is an excellent choice for couples seeking panoramic shots with a spectacular natural backdrop. The relatively easy hike to the top is rewarded with one of the best views in Yosemite.

When to get married in Yosemite

Choosing the right time for a wedding in Yosemite hinges on seasonal preferences and scenery. From the waterfall-filled vistas of late spring to the tranquil autumn colors, each season offers its unique allure. This guide will help you navigate the considerations of weather, natural beauty, and visitor volume to select the ideal season for your wedding.

Best Time to Get Married in Yosemite

Selecting the best time to get married in Yosemite is key to creating your perfect day amidst its stunning natural scenery. From the vibrant, waterfall-rich vistas of late spring to the golden hues of early fall, each season in Yosemite offers its unique charm and beauty. This guide will help you navigate through the considerations of weather patterns, natural backdrops, and visitor trends to find the ideal time for your wedding, ensuring a harmonious blend of your dream vision and the park’s seasonal splendor.

Late Spring (May and June)

  • Features: Waterfalls at their fullest, vibrant wildflowers.
  • Benefits: Lush landscapes, moderate weather.
  • Considerations: Beginning of the tourist season, so some spots may start to get crowded.

Summer (July and August)

  • Features: Long, sunny days.
  • Benefits: Ideal for outdoor ceremonies and receptions.
  • Considerations: Peak tourist season, leading to more crowded areas and potentially higher costs for accommodations and services.

Early Fall (September and October)

  • Features: Changing foliage, cooler temperatures.
  • Benefits: Fewer tourists, creating a more intimate setting.
  • Considerations: Some variability in weather as the season progresses.

Winter (December to March)

  • Features: Snow-covered landscapes, a winter wonderland setting.
  • Benefits: Unique and serene beauty, fewer visitors.
  • Considerations: for winter elopement, be ware that there are limited accessibility to certain areas of the park, colder temperatures, and the possibility of snow-related logistical challenges. Glacier point road might be closed during winter wedding

Each season in Yosemite offers distinct advantages for a wedding, whether you’re drawn to the vibrant life of spring, the sunny abundance of summer, the tranquil beauty of fall, or the serene stillness of winter. Consider your preferences for scenery, weather, and crowd levels when choosing the best year to elope in yosemite for your wedding.

Sunrise vs. Sunset in Yosemite

This will depends on your priority if you wan the best view of the valley, sunrise would be ideal. but you’d have to get up super early for this. For sunset, the best spot is Taft point since you can have the sun behind you and still get the epic landscape of El Cap

Yosemite Wedding Vendors and Services in and around the park

Yosemite National Park offers a host of wedding vendors and services, from caterers to specialized planners and elegant accommodations, all designed to enhance your special day amidst the park’s stunning natural backdrop.

Catering Services


Make Up Artist:

Wedding Planners:

Yosemite Wedding Photographer

for couples looking for a wedding or elopement photographer, i offer many different wedding packages. Not only will i capture your beautiful day but I will also assist you with wedding planning, help you choose a beautiful wedding ceremony location inside the park, and be your adventure buddy through out your wedding


Get ready at your venue, then have a wedding ceremony in the park, take photos during sunset, then come back to your venue for reception

Request More Pricing & Availability Information

Looking for a photographer that also will help guide you thru the planning process of your Yosemite wedding, stop looking and reach out 🙂

yosemite wedding photographer with bride and groom

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *