If you have been dreaming of planning your elopement in Yosemite, here’s your guide on how to elope in Yosemite. Yosemite is filled with beautiful spots that are perfect for a ceremony.
Yosemite is a great location to elope year-round. I recommend eloping in June and September – early November. If you’re planning to say your vows at popular locations like Taft and Glacier Point, it’s best to elope late in July – early November because the roads will be open and you will have more access to the park.
June is the best time to elope if you want the waterfall backdrop. Both the spring and fall seasons are the best times to elope in Yosemite. I recommend eloping during the weekdays to avoid crowds in any season. I also recommend sunrise or sunset elopements to avoid crowds as much as possible. It is an extremely popular location so you might still encounter a few hikers.
There are benefits to eloping at either sunrise or sunset. Sunrise elopements allow you to beat the traffic, enjoy the park with minimal crowds and you get to experience the most beautiful sunrise. You will get the epic photos as well! You can’t go wrong with a sunrise elopement in Yosemite.
Sunset elopements are also just as magical as sunrise elopements. You will still get soft glowing light to get the best pictures. You don’t have to deal with as much crowds either. I do recommend traveling early to beat traffic even for sunset elopements.
Whether you want sunrise, sunset, or both – you will still get epic photos and an even more epic experience!
There are so many trails to choose from, some of my top favorite locations include Taft Point, Glacier, and El Capitan Meadows. Depending on what type of scenery you want and what season you are eloping, your elopement photographer can help you find spots that are the perfect fit for you.
Here is a list of my top elopement locations in Yosemite.
The closest airports are the Fresno and San Francisco airports.
Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT): Fresno is the closest major city to Yosemite National Park. From FAT the drive to Yosemite is about 3 hours.
San Francisco International Airport (SFO): SFO is a 4 hours drive to Yosemite. It is more cost-effective and the drive is easy.
For places to stay near Yosemite, the closest cities are El Portal, Yosemite West, Oakhurst, and Mariposa. You can find great Airbnb and short-term rental options. There are also options to stay in the park. You just have to secure your stay months in advance since spots book up fast. You can find more lodging options on the park’s website.
Hiring your vendors like your Yosemite Elopement Photographer (heyy!) early on can make the planning process much easier. I help couples with permits, vendor suggestions, and finding their perfect location based on their needs.
As for permits, a Special Use Permit of $150 is required to get married in Yosemite National Park. You can apply for it up to a year to 21 days before your wedding date. As your photographer, I will help out with this process. I also recommend getting this part taken care of sooner because permits are first come, first served.
Yosemite is a huge park and there are so many things to do for your elopement. Here are a couple of ideas,
Get more elopement activity ideas here.
Get started with planning your elopement in Yosemite. I would love to be your Yosemite elopement photographer. It is by far my favorite National Park and I love exploring all the beautiful and accessible trails. Glacier is my absolute favorite, to be completely honest and Taft is a close second.
I would be happy to capture your love story at one of your favorite locations. Ready to start planning your Yosemite elopement? Reach out to me.