The Ultimate guide for your yosemite elopement
Why you might not want a yosemite elopement in 2022 (or 2023)
The beauty and adventure of Yosemite is undeniable, making it a perfect compliment to the adventure and beauty you two share between each other! However, Glacier Point Road will be completely closed in 2022 and partially closed in 2023 due to an ongoing construction project. This is the road that provides access to the iconic pictures cliff photos at Taft Point and of the towering Half Dome at Glacier Point. You can still have a beautiful Yosemite elopement in the valley and we’ll walk you through what that kind of day will look like if you still want to elope in Yosemite. And if we’re being *completely* honest, Taft Point is so crowded with other elopers and instagram influencers these days, it doesn’t feel like the special place for elopements that it once did. However, if you want to explore other locations, we’ll give you our favorite alternative Yosemite elopement locations that are just as jaw dropping!
jump to our most asked questions about eloping in Yosemite:
one of our favorite locations that gives you those jaw dropping "yosemite" vibes...
You’re looking for the best advice to plan your Yosemite elopement and we happen to be experts on the matter…
We’re a team of dog loving, peak bagging, photography award winning adventure junkies – working together to help plan and document incredible Yosemite elopements.
Together we’ve photographed 300+ elopements, most of which are in Yosemite! This is our quick tips, best advice, and list of the absolute best places to elope in Yosemite.
Here's everything you need to know about your Yosemite elopement
Keep these pro tips in mind when planning our the best place to elope for your wedding day:
1. How do you elope in Yosemite?
A Yosemite elopement requires a Special Use Permit for any wedding ceremony no matter the size of your party. The application fee is $150. If your party is fewer than 11 people, you are not limited to the following locations with exception of open meadows and riparian environments. Click here for more info on permits.
Marriage licenses are about $65 and usually obtained at county clerk offices. You both have to be there in person with a valid photo ID. In California, there is no waiting period for the marriage license, so you could literally pick it up in the morning and get married that afternoon. A lot of our couples pick of their marriage license in the city they’re flying into or staying near.
2. When is the best time to elope in Yosemite?
Our favorite times for Yosemite elopements are April, May, and October for a few different reasons. In April and May, the temperatures are just starting to rise, and the waterfalls are still raging from spring’s snow melt. October is when the crowds start to die down, the fall colors come out, and the weather is usually that perfect 70 degrees range. June – September is usually very hot with thousands of tourists visiting regularly, so we generally avoid these months.
3. How much does it cost to elope in Yosemite
Because of how remote Yosemite is, having a Yosemite elopement tends to be more expensive than other places. On average our couples typically spend $10,000 – $15,000 on their Yosemite elopement packages. One of our favorite places to find lodging is at Autocamp’s airstream camp!
Photographer $5,000-$10,000 | Hair & Makeup $800-$1,500 | Flowers $800-$1,000 | Officiant & License $600-$1,200 | Special Use Permit $115 | Lodging $800-$1,500 | Flights & Car Rental $500-$800
Where to elope in Yosemite
and a few alternatives that are just as mind blowing
With the Glacier Point Road closure, we wont be able to easily access Glacier Point and Taft Point. But everything down in the valley is still accessible and absolutely beautiful. So if you still want a Yosemite elopement, exploring the valley is still. an option. Otherwise, we’ve made a list of other locations that are just as beautiful and just as easily accessible for an elopement.
1. Yosemite Valley
Yosemite Valley is a must do for your elopement. The valley is filled with beautiful beaches that line the Merced River, fields of tall grass that stretch on forever, and tall trees that bud up against the base of massive granite cliffs. As you wander through any part of the valley, you’re constantly looking up at these granite giants in awe. The valley is so special you wont even miss Taft Point.
2. Eastern Sierras, CA
The Eastern Sierra Mountains border Yosemite so there are a lot of similar granite rocks and mountains and at sunrise, the peaks all turn a bright orange and pink. The mountains here are still off the radar from instagram influencers so its much more quiet than Yosemite, making it a great alternative if you want some privacy for your day. And our favorite part – there are natural free hot springs all over these mountains. You just have to know someone who knows where to find them, and lucky for you, we do 😉
3. Moab, Ut
Canyonlands and Arches National Parks are both situated in Moab making Moab, Utah and one of the best places to elope! It’s like the Yosemite of the desert, with thousand-foot cliffs and overlooks galore. There’s white-knuckle off-roading, white water rafting, ancient petroglyphs, and plenty of places to find solitude amongst a breathtaking landscape for your elopement ceremony.
4. Zion, Ut
Zion is a remarkable national park and one of the best places to elope for couples who want varaiety in the desert. From expansive overlooks to narrow slot canyons, you can easily fill your days with nonstop adventure. Zion is even home to one of the most dangerous hikes in the world if you’re up for It! (Photo pictured from the top of that one) Winter, spring, and fall are the best times to elope here when the weather is a bit cooler and the summer crowds die down.
5. Big Sur, Ca
Big Sur is a scenic stretch of coastline south of the San Francisco area. Highway 1 famously winds along this coastal clifflines, offering up views of rolling hills plunging into the ocean, where the waves crash against rocky outcroppings. It’s consistently ranked as one of the most scenic drives in America. A whole elopement day can be spent just cruising along the road and stopping to explore the beautiful roadside views. If you head inland a bit, you’ll even find Redwoods! And if you love a little luxury on your elopement day, there are some suuuuuuper nice Airbnbs along the coast 😉
There you have it, our guide for your Yosemite Elopement!
We’re Gabi and Brandon (aka the Foxes) and Hannah and Zoe. Together we make the Foxpack – a team of adventure elopement photographers. Together we’ve shot over 300 elopements (and counting) and are experts on planning and documenting epic days for our couples. We can help guide you through the nitty gritty details of your dream adventure elopement!