Yosemite National Park is one of the best places to get married in California, although I’m sure you already knew that! Yosemite sits right in the middle of California near the border of Nevada and lies within the Sierra National Forest, a forest that stretches over 1,200 square miles.

It’s no surprise that Yosemite is considered California’s most famous national park. With dramatic cliffs, towering waterfalls, luscious meadows, and tons of wildlife, Yosemite is the perfect place for any wedding, big or small.

Within this guide, I included everything you need to know about Yosemite, including Yosemite wedding venues, wedding packages, activities, lodging, and permit information!

The 23 Best Yosemite Wedding Venues

*Some of these wedding venues (specifically in Yosemite National Park), are only available during certain times of the year. To see season availability, check out this list.

Taft Point, a wedding venue within Yosemite National Park.

Taft Point

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Max capacity: 11

Taft Point is an iconic wedding venue in Yosemite. It’s also pretty busy, but for a good reason. At the top of Taft Point, you’ll see views of Yosemite Valley, El Capitan, and Yosemite Falls. This venue definitely isn’t for the faint of heart, as the height of Taft Point is 3,500 feet high! 

Half Dome

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Max capacity: 11

Half Dome is an epic Yosemite wedding venue for the adventurous hikers. It’s a 16 mile hike and is known as being a top bucket list hike. It’s a unique area for wedding photos and a ceremony. It does require a hiking permit, and they can be a bit difficult to obtain. If you’re wanting similar views without the 16 miles, I recommend Taft Point.

Sentinel Dome

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Max capacity: 11

Sentinel Dome has to be my favorite wedding venue in Yosemite, simply for the amazing views it offers. It has the best view of Half Dome, and few people make the 1 mile hike to get to the lookout peak. It’s also a great location for both sunrise and sunset due to the open 360 degree views of the park.

El Capitan Meadow

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Max capacity: 11

El Capitan Meadow is a beautiful area and one of my personal favorite wedding venues in Yosemite. It’s an open area filled with beautiful pine trees that provides an up close view of the famous El Capitan rock formation. Many couples take portraits in this area after their elopement.

Swinging Bridge Picnic Area

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Max capacity: 20

The Swinging Bridge Picnic Area is one of the best wedding venues in Yosemite. The popular ceremony site in this area provides beautiful views of Yosemite Falls and is right in the middle of a beautiful forest between two giant trees (see the picture). Ceremonies can not be held in the fragile meadows or on the bridge in this location.

Tuolumne Meadows Lodge Area

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Max capacity: 25

The Tuolumne Meadows Lodge Area is one of the lesser known Yosemite wedding venues, but it’s still a beautiful ceremony location right in the forest. The lodge right down the road is also a great place to stay for your elopement if you’re wanting to stay close.

Cascades Picnic Area

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Max capacity: 30

The Cascades Picnic Area is a Yosemite wedding venue located in Yosemite Valley. While you can’t get married at the actual waterfall viewing platform, the picnic area is just as beautiful. You can have a ceremony anywhere in this area as long as it’s 6 feet away from the Merced River.

Merced Grove

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Max capacity: 30

Merced Grove is another area among sequoia trees that’s right next to Tuolumne Grove. Like I said before, it’s really underrated compared to all the other wedding venues within the park. Make sure to add this to your list of potential wedding venues in Yosemite! It’s even a great location for images after your ceremony.

Tuolumne Grove

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Max capacity: 30

The Tuolumne Grove area is a stunning area in Yosemite. This area will make you feel as though you’ve been placed in Sequoia National Park. You’ll be surrounded with the natural beauty sequoia trees in Yosemite have to offer! This is definitely an underrated ceremony location, but it shouldn’t be! 

Glacier Point Amphitheater

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Max capacity: 50

Glacier Point Amphitheater is one of the most popular and beautiful wedding venues in Yosemite. One great thing about this location is the seating that is provided for guests, something a lot of the wedding venues in Yosemite don’t have. This jaw-dropping venue location is busy and should be avoided on the weekends if possible. I recommend a sunrise elopement during a weekday.

Bridalveil Falls

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Max capacity: 50

Bridalveil Falls is an absolutely jaw-dropping Yosemite wedding venue, and it’s definitely one of the best. This location truly has everything, from towering cliffs and trees to rivers and waterfalls, you’ll definitely find the perfect backdrop for your wedding. Keep in mind that this location is heavily trafficked, so be sure to plan ahead!

Yosemite Falls Trail

See more: Yosemite Falls Trail

Max capacity: 50

When you think of Yosemite, you probably think about the famous waterfalls within the park. Yosemite Falls is definitely one of the busiest places in the park, so keep that in mind when planning your ceremony. While you can’t have your ceremony at the base of the waterfall, you can have your ceremony on the trailhead, which will still give you a great view of Yosemite Falls.

Cathedral Beach Picnic Area

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Max capacity: 50

The Cathedral Beach Picnic Area is personally one of my favorite wedding venues in Yosemite. While it’s closed for most of the year, don’t let this deter you. It’s extremely quiet, peaceful, and provides some of the best views within the park. It’s especially beautiful during the fall due to the colorful leaves, and the dramatic peaks make the best backdrop for any photo.

Tenaya Lake Beach

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Max capacity: 50

Tenaya Lake Beach is another one of my favorite Yosemite wedding venues (it’s hard to choose just a few). This “beach” reminds me a ton of lakes that can be found in Colorado. It’s surrounded with domes, pine trees, and crystal clear water. It’s a great place for a ceremony.

Chilualna Falls

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Max capacity: 50

Chilualna Falls is one of the lesser visited waterfalls in Yosemite, but it’s still an absolutely beautiful Yosemite wedding venue. There’s some pretty epic places here for pictures, but keep in mind that it will be harder to hear during photos and your ceremony due to the rushing water.

The Forest Chapel

See more: The Forest Chapel

Max capacity: 80

The Forest Chapel isn’t a super well known Yosemite wedding venue, but it’s not one that should be skipped over. Just outside the park, this venue is extremely private and intimate. Your ceremony will take place right next to a lake with views of jagged mountains. There are elegant wooden benches for guests, and you’ll feel as though you’re in a fairytale.

Sentinel Beach Picnic Area

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Max capacity: 100

Sentinel Beach Picnic Area is another one of my favorite Yosemite wedding venues. It’s very similar to the Cathedral Beach Picnic Area, except Sentinel provides a pretty epic view of Yosemite Falls. This is also a great location to visit during the fall and is one of the few locations in Yosemite that has a higher maximum capacity number.

A couple getting married at June Mountain, a wedding venue outside Yosemite.

June Mountain Scenic Outlook

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Max capacity: 175

June Mountain is another secluded and intimate wedding venue just outside of the park. In order to get to the ceremony site, you’ll need to take a chair lift! After your mountain ceremony, enjoy an intimate dinner down at the rustic chalet that offers beautiful views of the surrounding mountains from their ceiling to floor windows.

Yosemite Chapel, a wedding venue in Yosemite National Park.

Yosemite Valley Chapel

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Max capacity: 180

Yosemite Valley Chapel is the perfect picturesque church for a wedding. It sits right in the middle of the famous Yosemite Valley and is one of my favorite Yosemite wedding venues. It will provide you with views of Yosemite Falls, unique cliffs, and beautiful open meadows. This chapel looks especially beautiful in the winter, as the contrasting colors of the church look great against the white snow.

The Ahwahnee Hotel, a wedding venue and hotel in Yosemite National Park.

The Ahwahnee Hotel

See more: The Ahwahnee Hotel

Max capacity: 180

The Ahwanhee Hotel is a historic wedding venue in the heart of Yosemite National Park. You can have your ceremony with either Glacier Point or Yosemite Falls as the star of the show, then head into the hotel for an elegant dinner or reception. The hotel features rich wooden floors, ceiling to floor windows, and a gorgeous mural.

Yosemite Valley Lodge

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Max capacity: 180

Yosemite Valley Lodge is a beautiful place to both stay and get married at. This lodge offers the best view of Yosemite Falls when compared to other lodges, and it also sits close to a ton of other popular places within the park.

Convict Lake Resort

See more: Convict Lake Resort

Max capacity: 185

Convict Lake Resort is located in Mammoth Lakes, an area just outside of Yosemite. This location is one of the best and provides some of the most beautiful views of Mt. Morrison and Laurel Mountain. You can have your ceremony right on Convict Lake then head into the resort for an intimate and romantic dinner.

Evergreen Lodge

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Max capacity: 200

The Evergreen Lodge was built in 1921 and is located right on the border of Yosemite. You’ll feel as though you’ve stepped into an enchanted forest when you visit these cabins. They’re rustic, quiet, and give off strong Twilight vibes. If you’re looking for something laidback just outside of Yosemite, Evergreen Lodge is a great choice.

How to Get a Yosemite Wedding Permit

To get a permit for your Yosemite wedding, you must fill out the application on the park’s website, then mail it in with a $150 check or money order. The processing time can take awhile, so I recommend filling out and sending your permit in as soon as you can. To see all the details along with the application, check out the official park website here.

How Much Does a Yosemite Wedding Cost?

Having a Yosemite wedding is relatively inexpensive. In total, it will cost you $335 (or $185 if your photographer covers the photo permit)!

  • Wedding permit: $150
  • Photo permit: $150 (I cover this, but some photographers don’t!)
  • Entrance fee: $35

Keep in mind that this doesn’t cover any additional costs such as lodging, flights, dress/suit, etc. To help you get a better idea of what your budget could look like, see some of these examples below!

High-End Yosemite Wedding

  • $500 – plane tickets
  • $90 – marriage license
  • $150 – wedding permit
  • $2,000 – three nights at a luxury resort
  • $6,500 – photographer
  • $700 – florist for bouquet and decor
  • $3,000 – dress, accessories, and shoes
  • $300 – hair and makeup
  • $800 – suit, accessories, and shoes
  • $500 – private chef
  • TOTAL: $14,540

Mid-End Yosemite Wedding

  • $500 – plane tickets
  • $90 – marriage license
  • $150 – wedding permit
  • $1,000 – three nights at a 3-star hotel
  • $4,500 – photographer
  • $400 – florist for bouquet and light decor
  • $1,500 – dress, accessories, and shoes
  • $200 – hair and makeup
  • $500 – suit, accessories, and shoes
  • TOTAL: $8,840

Low-End Yosemite Wedding

  • $500 – plane tickets
  • $90 – marriage license
  • $150 – wedding permit
  • $500 – three nights at a simple hotel/airbnb
  • $2,500 – photographer
  • $200 – florist for bouquet
  • $700 – dress, accessories, and shoes
  • $100 – hair and makeup
  • $300 – suit (rented)
  • TOTAL: $5,040
Yosemite National Park in California.

The Best Time of Year to Get Married in Yosemite

Fall

Fall is definitely the best time to get married in Yosemite. More specifically, in October. The weather is still pretty nice, the trees become vibrant and colorful, and the biggest perk of them all, there are minimal crowds. You seriously can’t go wrong with a fall wedding within Yosemite. November is also a good month to visit the park, but you get a much higher chance of snow, and therefore, less accessibility to certain areas of the park.

Winter

Winter is a great time to visit if crowds are your main concern. The park is close to empty during the winter. During this time, most of the iconic Yosemite wedding venues, like Glacier Point, are completely shut down. However, the entire valley is open and is a great spot to have a ceremony, especially if you want the magic of the snow.

Spring

Spring is also another great time to get married in Yosemite. This is when all the waterfalls in the park are at their peak. If you’re lucky, you might see some wildflowers during late May. It’s much more peaceful than summer, and much more accessible than winter. Again however, some of those higher ceremony locations might still be closed due to the snow.

Summer

Summer offers the best weather in Yosemite, and the park is fully open. However, this means that there are tons of people. I’m talking 5 million people in July and August. Not even a sunrise ceremony could lessen the crowds, so I personally don’t recommend Yosemite for your wedding during the summer months if privacy is something you want on your wedding day.

Tall trees in Yosemite National Park

Best Places to Stay for Your Yosemite Wedding

Yosemite and the surrounding area has a variety of different lodging options you can choose from for your elopement. If you want something within the park, I recommend checking out The Ahwahnee. It’s a 4-star hotel and a romantic place to stay that’s close by to most things within the park. I also recommend the Yosemite Valley Lodge. This is a 3-star hotel that offers everything you’ll need for your stay in the park. Lastly, I can’t forget about the famous AutoCamp. Situated within the park, these one-of-a-kind airstreams are perfect for pictures, but they sell quick. If you get your hands on one, it will be an unforgettable experience!

If you prefer to camp for your elopement, Yosemite has a ton of different campsites around the park, but they sell out super fast. Be prepared to book your camping site 4-5 months before you arrive, You can check out how to reserve your spot and the camping calendar for Yosemite here.

There are also plenty of areas to stay in Yosemite on Airbnb and just outside of the park as well. Below are some of my favorites!

The Yosemite Cabin – One of my personal favorites, The Yosemite Cabin, is situated within the heart of Yosemite National Park. The cabin is modern, clean, bright, and very spacious. There’s also plenty of natural light, making pictures turn out even better!

Yosemite’s Chateau East – Located within the Park, Yosemite’s Chateau East is a cute and quaint home with a beautiful wrap around deck and blue exterior. It almost reminds me of the homes around Disney!

The Alpenglow Cabins – The Alpenglow Cabins are also located within the park. These cabins are very modern, neutral, and bright. It’s the perfect getaway for those looking for a bit of luxury during their elopement.

Mountain View Cabin – If you’re looking for something secluded, Mountain View Cabin is for you. This spectacular cabin is located on top of a mountain just outside the park. Not only does the cabin have an epic patio, but there’s plenty of room and natural light.

Taft Point

Yosemite Wedding Tips – What You Should Know About Yosemite

#1: It’s extremely crowded. Many people don’t realize how popular Yosemite is for weddings and elopements. More time than not, you’ll end up waiting in lines for pictures. There are thousands of people within the park at any given time, and dozens of couples getting married in the same spot you are. If you don’t want crowds at your Yosemite wedding, I highly advise going with a different location. There are spots that will lessen the crowds, but they’re definitely not popular spots like Taft Point and Glacier Point.

#2: Traffic is insane. Especially midday, traffic is insane in Yosemite, we’re talking bumper to bumper traffic. In fact, it’s not uncommon for drivers to follow pedestrians to their cars in order to snag the parking spot. It’s pure madness sometimes!

#3: Cell service is limited. Always plan ahead and communicate well with your vendors. The cell service in Yosemite is almost nonexistent, and even the WiFi can be very weak at the popular lodging options.

#4: Enjoy it! Yosemite is unlike anywhere you’ll ever go. It’s absolutely incredible and one of the best places in the world. Take time to slow down and take everything in.

Yosemite Wedding Activities

There is an abundance of activities to do in and around Yosemite! Below is a short list of some ideas you can steal for your own wedding or elopement.

Yosemite Wedding Packages

I’m an elopement photographer based in California, and offer wedding/elopement packages for California, U.S., and destination elopements. To view all my packages, click here.

Yosemite Wedding Package Pricing:

  • 4 hours – 1.5 days of wedding coverage
  • A hands-on Yosemite wedding planning experience with unlimited assistance
    • personalized Yosemite wedding locations
    • vendor recommendations
    • permit assistance
    • customized elopement timeline
  • Online gallery with full resolution and printing rights
  • 24-48 hour sneak peaks 
  • Travel fees to anywhere in California already included
  • Starting at $3,000
  • I also offer all-inclusive elopement packages which includes booking all lodging, plane tickets, vendors, rental car, etc. for your wedding or elopement. To see more details, check out this page. Pricing starts at $9,000.

Want more elopement inspiration? Check out this Big Sur elopement guide, beach elopement at Sunset Cliffs and more resources to help you plan your elopement!

FAQ

How much does a wedding in Yosemite cost?

It costs $150 to get married in Yosemite. The $150 cost comes from the wedding permit.

Where can I get married in Yosemite?

You can get married in any of the locations allowed by Yosemite National Park, including Glacier Point, Taft Point, Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, Sentinel Dome, etc.

Is Yosemite Park dangerous?

Yosemite National Park is not more dangerous than other national parks. As long as you’re careful and are aware of your surroundings, you’ll be just fine.

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I’m Brianna, a California elopement photographer who inspires, encourages, and empowers couples to push traditional boundaries and create experiences they’ll remember forever.

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