Last Updated on January 18, 2022 by vowsandpeaks

Yosemite National Park Elopement Packages & Guide

Are you dreaming of a Yosemite elopement? If so, you’ve come to the right place! As your Yosemite elopement photographer, I’ve explored this park for more than 20 years and have worked with 25 plus couples for their wedding and have come up with this Yosemite elopement guide to help you get started!

Eloping in Yosemite gives you a massive glacial carved valley lined with epic waterfalls, a powerful river, ancient giant sequoias and of course, Half Dome. This is the perfect place for adventurers, backpackers, photographers and elopers!

As Yosemite is one of the most popular national parks it has also become one of the more popular spots for wedding ceremonies. The park has put in place a handful of rules that must be followed by those wishing to get married here and having an experienced Yosemite elopement photographer will absolutely elevate your Yosemite wedding experience.

Bride and Groom Glacier Point Yosemite Elopement Guide and Packages
Glacier Point Elopement


Your Yosemite elopement photographer should be familiar with the permit process, the best locations and time of day of your Yosemite elopement, timelines and awesome vendors. To get started on your Yosemite elopement, you need to get a permit and choose a designated ceremony spot.

Eloping in Yosemite is pretty straightforward, as you are only allowed to have your ceremony at one of the assigned locations. However, you are still allowed to explore different areas of the park throughout the day to get the full Yosemite wedding experience! This is great for couples wanting to incorporate friends and family that need an accessible location but still seeking a bigger hike or different backdrop for their wedding day photos. The elopement photography permit covers you for a full 24 hours for as many locations as you’d like, which leaves you with plenty of time to capture all your favorite spots in the park!

Below you will find your ultimate Yosemite National Park Elopement Guide along with the designated ceremony spots!

“We live in Dallas and our elopement was in Yosemite. I was pretty apprehensive at first being so far away from the location but Sean made the whole process seamless by recommending the best vendors and guiding us through the application, license and permit process. I’m not photogenic and typically get very awkward in front of the camera, but Sean did a great job of making me feel comfortable and confident and the results as you can see are absolutely phenomenal. In addition to his expert photography skills, he is extremely personable and made us feel like we were lifelong friends. We couldn’t have picked a better photographer to explore the park, swap stories, document our union and drink scotch with all the while gazing at the sunset over the gorgeous granite peaks.”

– Nadia & Andrew

Bride and Groom Kissing Yosemite Elopement Guide and Packages
Sunset in Yosemite


  1. A special wedding permit is required for any wedding or elopement ceremony held at any location within Yosemite National Park. ($150)  You can find find the permit information here.
  2. Yosemite is a very popular location not only for elopements but weddings as well, so book your date ASAP! You may be scheduled up to one year in advance and more than 21 days prior to your event.
  3. According to, there are thirteen designated wedding ceremony locations within Yosemite National Park and entrance fees into the park are will not be waived for guests or the newlyweds.
  4. There is one road that goes around the valley in Yosemite, so be prepared for traffic, and plan accordingly! Yosemite Park is probably the most popular national park with over 4 million visitors last year according to Make sure to follow this elopement timeline and pack list so you are well prepared!
  5. Yosemite has lots of camping but there is lots of fun lodging options just outside the park as well. Check out some of these fun places:
  6. Timeliness is KEY for your big day so make sure to have your it perfectly mapped out! Each site is first-come, first-served basis and limited to two hours maximum.
  7. Sunrise or sunset? Your best chance to avoid the crowds is to start your ceremony at sunrise. Also, if good photography is important, you’ll want to avoid the mid day hours, from 10-3, when the light is harsh and blown out. I send over a timeline to every couple to make sure we hit the best spos at the best times!
  8. Pets are not allowed to attend any wedding ceremonies BUT they are allowed in Yosemite National Park! This is great for couples wanting to incorporate their furry friends in some photos around the valley afterwards.
  9. Yosemite wedding permits are not granted for holiday weekends or holidays (Saturday, Sunday, and Monday).
  10. If your group consists of 10 people or less, a specific location not listed on the Wedding/Ceremony Locations List may be requested. So if you have a special spot not listed on the location list, then you can ask for an exemption when filling out your permit.

“Once our Yosemite elopement came, we were overwhelmed with how easy Sean was to shoot with. He captured us, and our family, beautifully. More importantly, he captured all of Yosemite perfectly! We are super grateful for all of Sean’s help leading up to, on the day of, and after the wedding. It never gets old showing people photos from our Yosemite elopement and hearing “That looks photoshopped!” or “Is that real?!”. Book Sean for your Yosemite elopement, you won’t regret it!”

– Andrew & Karmyn

Bride and Groom Kissing Yosemite Elopement Guide and Packages
Bride & Groom Yosemite Elopement


Yosemite is really an all-year destination wedding location with each season bringing some new and unique to the table for your Yosemite elopement. Some of my favorite seasons in Yosemite are the shoulder seasons but you really can’t go wrong any time of year!

Keep reading below for more tips on the best months to elope in Yosemite National Park:


Spring is one of my favorite times of year for elopements in Yosemite. Spring is peak waterfall season in the park and they make for some dramatic photos! You still might have some trail closures in early April because of snow, so I usually suggest late April – mid May for spring elopements in Yosemite.


Summer in Yosemite is probably the most popular time for visitors as the park is fully opened and school is out. The park is absolutely stunning this time of year but you’ll have to endure the many tourist and summer heat that come with it. The heat combined with the crowds make summer the least desirable season to elope in Yosemite.


Fall in Yosemite is super magical as the valley is rustic and lit up in orange and yellow. I personally love the end of October in Yosemite as the park has started to cool off and the fall colors are going off. You’ll start to see road closures starting in November, so keep that in mind when planning your fall elopement in Yosemite. My yearly visit usually takes me to Yosemite in mid to late October.


The valley is perfect for a winter wedding as Glacier & Taft Point both close for the winter months. The park is close to empty these months, so privacy and intimacy is in focus these months. You won’t have as many options for locations these months but if you’re lucky, you’ll get a fresh dusting the morning of your Yosemite elopement.

Bride and Groom at Half Dome Yosemite Elopement Guide and Packages
Glacier Point Elopement


Elopement Pricing:

  • STARTING @ $5,500 – Check out my pricing guide
  • All day coverage.
  • Location ideas.
  • Lodging suggestions.
  • Maps and permit information.
  • Vendor recommendations.
  • Next day teasers.
  • Online gallery with rights to download and print.
  • Unlimited consulting with all 24/7 availability.

Valley View Elopement Tunnel View Yosemite Elopement Guide and Packages
Yosemite Valley


The cost of eloping in Yosemite is completely up to each couple! Why? Because some costs might not be as important from one couple to the other. Also, vendors in Yosemite tend to be more expensive because of travel to and from the park, so a lot of my couples actually skip things like hair & makeup, but again, this is completely up to each couple!

Looking for a general ballpark of what you can expect your elopement to cost in Yosemite? Check out below!

  • Yosemite Elopement Photographer
    • $5,500
    • $250 – Yosemite requires a permit to get in married in the park. This permit not only gives money back to the park but allows you your designated ceremony spot for your big day.
    • $300 – $600 – Yosemite hair and makeup artists will most likely require a travel fee because of the distances of where they live. I would budget on the higher end for this type of vendor.
    • $60 – Mariposa County is going to be the closest place to obtain a marriage license for your Yosemite elopement.
    • $400 + – Yosemite officiants are like no other. These folks are not only awesome at their jobs but are full of knowledge about the history of Yosemite. You can expect an amazing ceremony with these guys!
    • $500 – $3,000 – Yosemite has some cheaper options for lodging outside of the park or you can ball out with a place right inside the valley. It’s completely up to you! Check out this guide for help!
    • $200 – $400 – Private chefs are the rage right now and make for a stress-free dinner option. They can even come right to your cabin and cook your dinner under the open California skies!
    • $275 – $1500 – I’ve worked with some amazing florists for Yosemite elopements. They can range from $275 and up depending on your group size.
    • Getting to Yosemite is pretty easy all things considered but you have to take into account your travel costs. If you are traveling from out of state, you can expect to pay for flights, food, a car rental, lodging, etc. – A lot of couples go in on a big cabin and split it with friends and family to cut down on costs.


Yosemite is set up to bring you all the fun, adventure and love into one single space. The ceremony locations in Yosemite are laid out to where you can explore the valley before or after your ceremony seamlessly. Once you’ve completed your ceremony, you can head to the valley and enjoy the soft sun as it lifts above Half Dome followed by breakfast at the Ahwahnee Hotel.

Because Yosemite is very busy and the ceremony spots are first-come, first serve, I would suggest starting at these spots early and then explore new areas of the park afterward for more photos! Like I mentioned before, you can have your ceremony in one spot and take pictures elsewhere after. Yosemite is a big national park, so there are plenty of places to duck away and avoid the crowds!

Check out the list of my favorite wedding locations along with the rest of the designated ceremony spots!

Bride and Groom Running Glacier Point Yosemite Elopement Guide and Packages


One of the most popular spots in the park, where you are up close and personal with the most iconic peak in the world. Glacier Point is one of the most beautiful spots in Yosemite and is a big attraction for those getting married and tourists alike.

Make sure you head to Glacier Point at sunrise so you can avoid the crowds and catch the sun rising over Half Dome. This is a great spot for couples looking for epic views while also being accessible to them without having to hike! Just down the road you can get even closer to the iconic Half Dome and take in the valley below!

SEASON: Summer – Fall




2022 UPDATE: Glacier Point road will be closed for the 2022 season. The only other way to get up to Glacier Point is via the 9.6 round trip hike.

Bride and Groom Hugging Glacier Point Yosemite Elopement Guide and Packages
Glacier Point Elopement


Taft Point is an epic spot for a sunset where you can chase the sun as it sets behind the valley. You get beautiful views of El Capitan and the valley with sheer drop-offs to the valley below. This is a beautiful but dangerous spot for couples, photographers, and tourists. Make sure to be safe and smart! 

SEASON: Summer – Fall


MAX NUMBER OF GUESTS: I would suggest keeping the guest count lower because of the hike out to Taft Point


2022 UPDATE: Taft Point will be closed via Glacier Point for the 2022 season. The only other way up to Taft Point is via the Four Mile Trail from Yosemite Valley.

Bride and Groom Hugging Taft Point Yosemite Elopement Guide and Packages
Taft Point Elopement


Glacier and Taft might have the best views but you can’t beat exploring Yosemite Valley for your elopement. You are surrounded by waterfalls, beautiful trees, and thousands of feet of granite towering above you. Exploring the meadows of Yosemite should be a requirement for anyone getting married in the park!

SEASON: Year-round

ELEVATION: 8,000 to 14,309′




Bride and Groom Hugging El Capitan Meadow Yosemite Elopement Guide and Packages
El Capitan Meadow Elopement


You are hard-pressed to find a better with of El Capitan than the one at Cathedral Beach picnic area. The views here are some of the best in the park and give you the full “Yosemite elopement” experience. Make sure to bring a wide lens and some binoculars to check on the climbers after your ceremony!

SEASON: Year-round

ELEVATION: 8,000 to 14,309′




PRO TIP: This is a great spot at sunrise where you can watch the alpenglow hit the face of El Cap.

Bride and Groom Vow Ceremony Cathedral Beach Yosemite Elopement Guide and Packages


Yosemite Falls is one of the most popular elopement spots in all of Yosemite. The waterfall can be loud and busy during the summer months but it is right next to the Yosemite Valley Lodge and is very accessible for friends and family!

SEASON: Spring and the beginning of summer are best




Yosemite Falls Yosemite Elopement Guide and Packages
Yosemite Falls


An awe-inspiring place to hold your elopement ceremony in Yosemite as Bridalveil towers and gushes above you. This area also has some woodsy vibes just below the waterfall where you can take intimate photos. (be prepared for mist!)

SEASON: Spring and the beginning of summer are best




Bridal Veil Falls Yosemite Elopement Guide and Packages
Bridal Veil Falls


Tunnel View is one of the most popular spots in Yosemite National Park and for good reason! This might be one of the best views wedding in Yosemite because it encapsulates the beauty in one spot. You have El Capitan to the left, Half Dome to the center and Bridal Veil to the right. Be prepared to arrive early to avoid the crowds!

SEASON: Year-round


MAX NUMBER OF GUESTS: I would suggest keeping the guest count down because of how popular this spot is.


Tunnel View Yosemite Elopement Guide and Packages
Tunnel View


  • Wawona
  • Valley View
  • Cascades Picnic Area
  • Swinging Bridge
  • Sentinel Beach
  • Chilnualna Falls Trailhead Parking Lot
  • Tenaya Lake Beach – Elevation: 8,150 feet
  • Tuolumne Meadows Lodge Area – Elevation: 8,600 feet
  • Tuolumne Grove – Elevation: 6,200 feet
  • Merced Grove – Elevation: 6,000 feet

Bride and Groom Walking Yosemite Elopement Guide and Packages


My name is Sean, and I can’t wait to help create your Yosemite adventure elopement! I’m a free spirit who has dedicated my life to exploring this wild world and connecting to the people in it.

I know firsthand what an important and personal decision this is—my wife and I eloped to Northern Ireland. You’re trusting me to capture this amazing day, and I make it my responsibility to make sure you have an incredible experience from start to finish.

My passion has led me here, where I can follow my heart and share my love for the outdoors with others on their wedding day. It’s truly an awesome experience, and I’m stoked every time I get to document your day.

When I’m not photographing couples, I love to go exploring with my wife and our corgi. Our dream is to own an Airstream and take Vows and Peaks on the road!

Ready to book me as your Yosemite elopement photographer? Reach out so we can get started on your epic Yosemite elopement!

Yosemite National Park Elopement Photographer