A Yosemite elopement

Elope in Yosemite

Eloping in Yosemite National Park is an adventure. Giant waterfalls, ancient sequoia trees, and iconic rock features like El Capitan and Half Dome are just a few of the things that make Yosemite Park an incredible elopement destination.

Check out what happens after you book your elopement with us

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Why is Yosemite Awesome


El Capitan’s famous views of a gorgeous meadow provide a setting for your ceremony in nature that is stunning year-round.


Morning birds can take advantage of a sunrise ceremony in summer, surrounded by ancient sequoias and mesmerizing waters.


Get swept off your feet by breathtaking views from Glacier Point or hike the base of Half Dome on scenic Mirror Lake.

Yosemite Elopement Packages

Simply Eloped offers the Wildflower Experience in Yosemite, which is ideal for lovers looking for an intimate, adventurous elopement.

4 hours of shooting / hiking

Includes Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View to Mirror Lake, Cathedral Beach, El Capitan Meadow, Sentinel Beach, Swinging Bridge, Cook’s Meadow/Superintendent’s Bridge, Lower Yosemite Falls, Glacier Point, Washburn Point, Olmstead Point, Tenaya Lake

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Note: you are responsible for applying for and sharing your approved permit on public lands with us before we can confirm the wildflower package experience.

Wildflower Experience

Looking for something a little more exotic? Check out our adventure Yosemite elopement package!


Our Wildflower Experience tailors an outdoor elopement to your sense of adventure and exploration! This Yosemite elopement package is customized to your fit your style and includes hiking to an amazing location, an intimate ceremony with officiation and couples portraits. This Experience also includes:

  • Up to 4 or 6 hrs of photo coverage throughout the Wildflower experience, with 175+ edited, full-res images delivered 4 weeks after your event
  • Custom ceremony and officiation
  • Tons of consultation to help tailor your experience!
  • Help choosing the perfect location and time
  • Deciding what to wear and what gear to bring — we’re all about safety and comfort (and snacks)
  • Help navigating applicable permits, reservations, and rentals
  • Hiking to and from ceremony spot with couples portraits along the way
  • Coordination with other vendors: florals, hair/makeup, etc
  • Most packages are designed as private experiences for a couple only. A small number of guests can be accommodated in some circumstances – reach out for more info!

Simply Eloped has been seen in

Meet our vendors

Donny Alexander, Officiant

Featured Vendors
What do you think makes eloping in Yosemite so special?

The spectacular views of Yosemite National Park, coupled with a multitude of unique locations, makes Yosemite a truly special destination to elope. From the iconic views of Yosemite Valley (El Capitan, Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, Valley View, Tunnel View, etc.) to higher elevation vistas (Glacier Point, Taft Point, Sentinel Dome, Olmstead Point, etc.), Yosemite has it all.

Tell us about one of your most magical elopements in Yosemite!

The first ceremony I performed. A couple from Maryland wanted to elope on the side of Half Dome by climbing a classic route named Snake Dike. It was a beautiful autumn day and by late morning we were starting the first pitch. By the time we climbed to the “ceremony ledge” the sun was in the perfect position in the sky to create the most magical lighting.

Carson Lillard, Photographer

Featured Vendors
What do you think makes eloping in Yosemite so special?

Big canyon walls, powerful waterfalls, expansive mountain views, and clear water. You can literally find beauty everywhere you look in Yosemite. It has the power to make you feel so significant but also small at the same time.

What do you love about the work you do?

I love capturing couples having their dream day, in their dream location with their dream person.

How to Elope in Yosemite
What can I expect for my Wildflower Experience in Yosemite?

You, your partner, your officiant & your elopement photographer will set out to your chosen location, be it a waterfall, lake, meadow or rock feature. You’ll explore stunning national spaces together along the way as part of an immersive experience tailored to you. Your ceremony will be in an incredible location incorporating only what speaks to you – and we’ll be there to guide you and document it from start to finish.

How far in advance should I start planning?

We recommend starting to plan at least 2 months in advance, especially if you are planning to get eloped within National Park limits. A permit is required to elope within the park. It can take a few weeks to secure a permit, so it’s best to give yourself some time to secure the permit and coordinate details with vendors.

What are the best places to elope in Yosemite?

There are so many places to elope in Yosemite. You really can’t go wrong choosing a location for your ceremony, it just depends on how you want to get there. Do you want to be able to drive up and take a short walk? Do you want to go for a short hike? Or do you want to hike way out there and spend the whole day exploring the huge rock formations, stunning mountains, and beautiful lakes of Yosemite National Park?

If you are looking for an easily accessible location with restroom facilities nearby, check out some of Yosemite’s public picnic areas. Cathedral Beach picnic area, Sentinel Beach picnic area, and Swinging Bridge picnic area are wonderful ceremony locations. Because these areas are open to the public, it’s recommended to have your ceremony in the morning to have more privacy. Note that these areas have seasonal closures, so be sure to plan accordingly.

If you want to be able to drive to a stunning ceremony location with one of the most famous views in Yosemite, go to El Capitan Meadow. The meadow is absolutely gorgeous year-round, and has the gigantic rock face of El Capitan towering in the background. Glacier Point offers a different viewpoint from above, with sweeping views of Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, and Yosemite’s high country. It’s accessible by car from late May through October or November. In the winter months you can access it by snowshoe or cross-country skis. Washburn Point is on the way to Glacier Point, but it makes for an awesome ceremony location, too. Washburn Point is one of the most accessible viewpoints in the park and has one of the best views of Half Dome.


If you are hiking into your ceremony location, you have lots of amazing options. Mirror Lake is an easy, scenic hike that looks directly up at Half Dome from its base. The hike to mirror lake is only 2 miles and can be extended to 5 miles by looping around the lake. It’s a great year-round hike, though the water may be super low at certain times of the year. Tenaya Lake is one of the best lakes in the park and a 2.5-mile hike makes it perfect for an elopement. You’ll find great views at one end of the lake and a sandy beach at the other. Though it’s farther away from Yosemite Valley, it’s still a favorite so plan accordingly if you want to dodge crowds.


Lower Yosemite Falls is an iconic elopement location. The entire waterfall is 2,425 feet high — the tallest in North America and one of the tallest in the world. The lower falls are accessible by a short half-mile hike and very close to Yosemite Village. The falls are the most full in the spring and tend to dry up quite a bit by the late summer. If your ceremony needs panoramic views, go to Sentinel Dome. It’s accessible by a fairly easy 2-mile hike in. The viewpoint is an excellent choice if you want to try to avoid crowds but still have spectacular views.

How long does it take to get married in California?

As soon as you have completed the application process, the clerk will give you your license immediately and you are ready to go get married! Marriage licenses in California are valid for 90 days, so make sure to plan accordingly with your elopement date.

When should you elope in Yosemite?

Yosemite National Park is open year round, but sees the most visitors from May to October. There may be a certain time of year that is best for you, depending on what you want to see, specific places you want to access and the overall vibe you want for your elopement.

November through April is the best season to avoid crowds. The weather can be wintery and some roads are closed at this time, but if you want a winter wedding you’ll get the added bonus of solitude. Be aware that holidays can see an increase in winter visitors.

If nice weather is your priority, visit between June and September. The weather is gorgeous this time of year, wildflowers are blooming, and pretty much every trail and road will be passable. Though you may run into crowds at some of the more popular destinations like Glacier Point, there are ways to keep your elopement private like having a sunrise ceremony or weekday wedding.

October is a wonderful month to visit the park if you don’t mind slightly cooler temps. The crowds are low and though it’s not known for showy fall colors, you can get a dose of fall foliage in late October.

What time of day should you elope in Yosemite?

Yosemite is beautiful at any time of day, so choosing the right time of day for your ceremony depends on a few things. First what kind of vibe are you going for? Are you and your lover morning people or night owls? Are you planning to get hair and makeup done? Are you set on avoiding crowds?

Sunrise ceremonies are incredible in Yosemite and especially pleasant in the summer. It’s a great way to avoid summer crowds at locations like Glacier Point, though not guaranteed. If you are getting hair and makeup done before your sunrise ceremony, it would mean getting a very early start since you will have to drive up in the dark to catch the sunrise. Down in the valley, you can get soft morning light in some areas and buy yourself a little more time for getting ready in the morning since you won’t have to travel quite as far before the sun rises.

Afternoon ceremonies allow you to spend the morning getting ready or doing whatever you want to do before you tie the knot. It’s also when crowds are at the max as people are out exploring during the summer months. When the weather is more sunny, afternoon light can be harsh for photos. In the winter, the afternoon could be the ideal time for a ceremony when it’s a bit warmer and brighter.

What do you need to elope in Yosemite?

A special use permit is required for any wedding in Yosemite National Park. Permits are $150 and can be reserved up to one year in advance and more than 21 days prior to your ceremony. More information about permits and rules for ceremonies within the park can be found here.

Couples are responsible for applying for and sharing their approved permit with Simply Eloped before locking in your Yosemite elopement.

How do I get a marriage license in California?

Go to any county clerk’s office in the state and bring $100, one form of government-issued identification per person, and proof of any prior legal separations. You may also need to bring copies of your birth certificates depending on the county. We send a marriage license guide with more specific details once you book with us!

Do you need a witness to get married in California?

In California you are required to have one witness present during the ceremony. There is no age requirement in California for witnesses, but any witnesses you choose will need to be old enough to sign their names on the marriage license.

Janessa White

Article written by

Janessa White

Janessa White is the co-founder of Simply Eloped and has helped thousands of couples plan elopements. As an expert in the field, she has been featured on Martha Stewart, Brides.com, Vox, and HuffPost. Janessa thinks elopements are the ultimate way to tie the knot.

Updated: February 15th, 2024

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