If you’re planning a Yosemite elopement, this guide is for you. Yosemite National Park in California is easily one of the most gorgeous elopement destinations, with breathtaking ceremony locations and activities perfect for adventurous couples.
As an adventure elopement photographer, I’ve photographed many elopements, and Yosemite is one of my favorites. I can’t wait to share everything you need to know about eloping in Yosemite.
In this article, I’ll discuss Yosemite elopement costs, locations, permit information, and other helpful tips.
Yosemite is one of the best places for couples to elope. There are beautiful ceremony sites, and the wedding permit application process is straightforward.
Yosemite National Park is one of the best elopement locations with unmatched scenery and natural beauty, making it a World Heritage Site. Adventurous couples love eloping at Yosemite and exploring its cliffs, peaks, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, and meadows.
There’s a straightforward permit application process if you want to have an elopement ceremony in Yosemite National Park.
You can get married any day except holidays or holiday weekends, given there aren’t any road closures, which may happen during winter or other times of inclement weather. You must submit your application at least 21 days before your ceremony date but can apply up to one year in advance.
Follow these steps to get a Yosemite wedding permit:
Weddings with more than 30 people require a $50 per hour event monitoring charge, which doesn’t apply to couples eloping with limited or no guests.
For help choosing your location and completing your permit application process, consider working with an elopement photographer (like myself!) who also helps with planning.
Eloping in Yosemite National Park costs start at about $4,200.
Of course, you’ll want to consider additional expenses, including:
Fall is the best time to elope in Yosemite, especially in October. The weather is incredible, and the trees are vibrant with colorful leaves. There are also fewer crowds.
Spring and summer are also nice times to have a Yosemite elopement. The weather is warm during these seasons, and the waterfalls are amazing in spring. However, these are the most crowded times at the park.
While you can elope in Yosemite during winter, I recommend avoiding this. With snowy weather, there are many road closures, and the park can be difficult to get to.
The best time of day to get married in Yosemite is at sunrise or sunset. The scenery is incredible, and there are fewer crowds.
There are various locations throughout the park for an elopement ceremony. No matter where you elope in Yosemite, it’s easy to have a special experience in such an incredible location with picture-perfect scenery.
Locations are first-come, first-serve. If the location you choose on your application is already booked or unavailable, the park will contact you to update your site or date.
Here are a few of my favorite Yosemite elopement locations:
Glacier Point is easily one of the most epic places to exchange your vows. This viewpoint above Yosemite Valley sits at more than 7,000 feet, offering breathtaking scenery. This area also has many trails for exploring, taking pictures, and escaping the crowds.
Accessibility: easy and mostly wheelchair accessible
# of guests: the Glacier Point Amphitheater seats up to 50
Tenaya Lake is an alpine lake between Yosemite Valley and Tuolumne Meadows and one of the most unique areas in the park. It sits at an elevation of over 8,000 feet and is backed by stunning granite rocks. The beach is about a mile long, and it’s an incredible spot for a summer elopement and a fun place to go kayaking on your elopement day.
Accessibility: easy with convenient parking and various trails
# of guests: up to 50
If you want to explore various gorgeous landscapes, including meadows, waterfalls, and cliffs, Yosemite Valley is perfect. This is where many of the park’s popular areas are, including Bridal Veil Falls and El Capitan Meadow.
Accessibility: various leveled trails and a shuttle system that easily takes you through the valley
# of guests: up to 50, depending on the specific location
Taft Point is one of the best places for a sunset elopement. It offers one of the most unreal views of Yosemite National Park and is where I’ve taken some of my favorite elopement photos. A 2-mile out-and-back hike takes you to this stunning viewpoint that overlooks the Yosemite Valley, Yosemite Falls, and El Capitan.
Accessibility: moderately easy
# of guests: limited due to hiking and space
To choose the best location for you and your partner, contact Among the Pines Photography. Not only do I capture the special moments of your elopement day, but I also help you plan an experience that’s perfect for you.
Yosemite doesn’t have a specific address and covers 1,200 square miles, so it can be confusing to get to. It’s best to work with an elopement photographer who helps with planning to ensure you choose an accommodation near your specific elopement location, then find that together on the day of your wedding.
Fresno International Airport is about two hours away from Yosemite Valley. The Sacramento, Oakland, and San Francisco International Airports are also a few hours away and may have more direct flights. You can rent a car at the airport to drive to your accommodation and the park.
Use these helpful tips to have an amazing Yosemite elopement experience.
Have a stress-free experience and capture all the special moments by working with a photographer who can help you plan.
Among the Pines Photography (that’s me!) is an adventure elopement photographer.
With my Yosemite elopement packages, I’ll help you every step of the way to ensure you have the best day ever. You can choose from multi-day, full-day, or mini-elopement packages.
My elopement packages include:
Are you ready to plan the perfect elopement in Yosemite? I love working with adventure couples who want to break traditions to have an authentic day all about you, your partner, and this next incredible chapter of your lives.
kinsley + caden
“Brooke was the perfect choice for our wedding day! We had a micro wedding at Sapphire Point in August. I had never been to Sapphire Point and Brooke was so helpful suggesting vendors, picture locations, parking, marriage license info etc. She was so kind and helpful before and during the whole process and was a large part of why the day went so smooth. She does so much more than just show up and take pictures, Brooke will truly go out of her way to make your wedding day perfect! The photos are gorgeous and I keep getting so many compliments! I truly cannot recommend her enough!”
"Brooke was a large part of why our day went so smooth and will truly go out of her way to make your wedding day perfect!"
We chose Brooke to capture our Colorado elopement and she did exactly that and more. She made it easy to plan our day out with locations and timelines so that we could focus on ourselves. We decided last minute to change our afternoon/evening elopement to a 6am sunrise one so beat the heat of the day. Brooke accommodated us without hesitation and even created a new timeline for us so that we knew where to be for the perfect sunrise. She was kind and understood what we wanted in terms of our elopement and we are so grateful to have her capture the day. Our photos turned out beautiful and truly helped us relive the day. I would recommend Brooke to anyone wanting their special day photographed.
"Brooke accommodated us without hesitation and even created a new timeline for us so that we knew where to be for the perfect sunrise."
erica + stacy
kirstie + colin
Brooke not only photographed our mountain elopement beautifully, but she put so much thought into the details and knew all of the answers the questions I didn’t even know to ask. She really puts a lot of thought into each photo and brings her expertise while still remaining very open to what we wanted and ideas we had. She even helped pick the perfect spot for us and advised us on the logistical details like securing a reservation at the mountain lake where we wanted our ceremony. She is SO easy to work with and very friendly and chill. My husband and I are super awkward in front of a camera but she made it so natural and easy - and the shots came out better than we could have imagined.
"She really puts a lot of thought into each photo and brings her expertise while still remaining very open to what we wanted and ideas we had."
amanda + jace
Brooke is many things; talented, calm, flexible, experienced/ knowledgeable, patient, incredibly responsive, organized, resourceful in a pinch, supportive, creative, professional yet a blast to work with, and goes above & beyond w her clients. Our wedding was a spectacular dream and we couldn't be more grateful that she made that single day last forever. Whether she's photographing nature or an intimate event, her pictures tell a story of peace, love, whatever your vision may be. We couldn't recommend her more and we look forward to booking with her for all of our vow renewals, seasonal and family pictures for as long as she'll have us.
"Whether she's photographing nature or an intimate event, her pictures tell a story of peace, love, whatever your vision may be."
linden + brent
Working with Brooke was a dream come true! Before we even met, my husband Brent and I were impressed by her portfolio. After meeting, we were even more convinced that her photography skills and knowledge, and her fun and easygoing personality were exactly what we were looking for in an elopement photographer. Brooke was able to take our vision and facilitate everything so that it worked out beautifully, especially when it came to finding the perfect location (the incredible mountains surrounding Ouray). Throughout the entire planning process, she was honest and flexible, and made it clear that her goal was for us to be 100% happy. In the end, her creativity and our happiness totally shine through in every single photo.
"Throughout the entire planning process, she was honest and flexible."
lauren + branden
I can't begin to express my gratitude for the intimacy and beauty behind Brooke's photographs. In capturing our wedding day, she went above and beyond to document our story, our families, and the depths of our love in ways that I'll forever be grateful for. Brooke has an eye for not only capturing the adventure and magic of your love, but deeply connects with your personal story, understands your relationship, and then gives that back in the most incredible way. She is truly an artist and tells your story in an authentic and creative way for you to look back on for years to come. We are forever grateful to Brooke for spending the time to get to know us, our story, and capturing the memories that we'll relive for years to come.
"Brooke deeply connects with your personal story, understands your relationship, and then gives that back in the most incredible way."
heather + jedd
“If you're contemplating which photographer to go with, THIS IS YOUR SIGN TO CHOOSE BROOKE!!!! She is so so so talented and was able to capture our elopement exactly how I pictured and wanted! We eloped in Ridgway, CO this past September and she was so helpful figuring out picture locations, recommendations of timeline for the day, and just made the whole day feel so smooth. She schedules multiple check ins, phone calls, etc., leading up to the big day to ensure everything is as you want it. Brooke has such a calming, down to earth presence and is one of those awesome people you feel like you've known forever after just the first time of meeting."
"Brooke has such a calming, down to earth presence and is one of those awesome people you feel like you've known forever."
christy + austin
Brooke is the absolute best. She truly went above and beyond for my fiancé and I to be able to get our engagement photos taken with the fall colors. Brooke is so sweet, fun, personable and incredibly talented. We could not be more in love with our engagement photos! Our engagement session with Brooke was such a special experience and a memory we will cherish forever.
"Our engagement session with Brooke was such a special experience and a memory we will cherish forever."