The Ultimate guide for your yosemite elopement
Everything you need to know about a Yosemite Elopement (and why you might want to wait until 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! Just a heads up, due to a construction project Glacier Point Road will be completely closed in 2022 and the National Park is not permitting any elopements there. And while they are permitting elopements up there for 2023 they’re recommending to plan for 30 minute road delays just in case. 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.
jump to our most asked questions about eloping in Yosemite:
When is the best time to elope in Yosemite?
the unparalleled beauty of eloping in yosemite...
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 months for Yosemite elopements are early June and October for a few different reasons. In early June 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. Mid June – September is usually very hot with thousands of tourists visiting regularly, so we generally avoid these months.
*A reservation is required to drive into Yosemite National Park during peak hours (6 am – 4 pm) from May 20 through September 30, 2022.*
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
“When we came across the Foxes and saw their amazing photos taken of Yosemite elopements, we knew we had to book with them!
They are extremely organized, knowledgeable, adventurous, patient and responsive — we knew we were in great hands from the get-go! They knew exactly what locations within the park would make for the perfect shots with the perfect lighting, and they were open to any personal touches we wanted to add throughout the day!”
-Natalie and Kenny
Where to elope in Yosemite
All the best places for your Yosemite elopement!
If you’ve looked at a map of the park, you may have realized that Yosemite is HUGE, making it difficult to know where you want to go for your Yosemite elopement. Not to fear – we’ve been planning and photographing elopements in Yosemite since 2017, have been everywhere in every month, and have put together this guide of the best places to elope in Yosemite. Working with our couples to plan the best day that perfectly blends a full tour of the park at the best times of the day depending on that time of year is one of our favorite things to do! *With the Glacier Point Road closure, we wont be able to easily access Glacier Point and Taft Point in 2022.*
1. Taft Point
It’s hard to deny that Taft Point is one of the most unique, jaw dropping overlooks in the world. A beautiful hike through a forest of pines brings you to a giant cliff edge that overlooks El Capitan, a giant wall of granite topping out at 7,573. And the way the light hits at sunset is just *chef’s kiss* but it’s important to remember that you’ll likely be sharing this wild view with a few other couples on photo shoots, instagram influencers, hikers, high-liners, and other adventurers alike. We’re pro’s at photoshopping out other folks at Taft Point, haha, so if you don’t mind sharing the view with others then it’s a must-visit spot for your Yosemite Elopement!
2. Glacier Point
Glacier Point is another incredible overlook, but this one gives you mind blowing views of the iconic cliff Half Dome coming in at a whopping 8,839 feet tall! This area is also wonderful because the trails here are short, paved, and flat, making it an easy spot to visit if you don’t want to throw your hiking shoes on but still want those breathtaking views!
3. 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.
Looking to escape the crowds in the Valley and Glacier Point Road, but still want the magical charm and granite walls of Yosemite? Teanaway is the spot. Between the beautiful lakes and distant overlooks of Half Dome, there are some really incredible places to explore outside of all the popular spots.
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!