I'm drawn to places that make me feel small and Yosemite National Park is one of those places. I remember my first time visiting the park, looking up at El Capitan and in utter awe of Half Dome. Being in the valley is such a memorable experience. Choosing to elope here is something you won't regret. It is a site to behold, a wonder to experience... and the perfect place for your elopement. That's right, I said it! Yosemite National Park is the perfect place for your destination elopement. It offers stunning vistas, is extremely accessible, offers year round opportunities, and is tons of fun!
Here is your invitation to:
The park gets a lot of visitors so these rules are here to help adhere to basic Leave No Trace principals. This means your ceremony will need to be small and simple. To find all of the guidelines for having a wedding in the Park click here.
▸ Wedding permits do not give exclusive access to the area. The area will remain open to
the general public who will be allowed to view the wedding activities.
▸ Any and all decorations will need prior approval.
▸ Throwing anything like rice or confetti and releasing wildlife like birds or butterflies
is definitely not allowed.
▸ No broadcasting systems will be allowed, noise shouldn’t exceed normal speaking levels.
If you want to say your vows within park boundaries, there are a few steps the Park Service asks you to follow. First off, you’ll need to attain a special use permit and submit it, along with the $150 application fee, at least three weeks in advance. Here are a few keep notes to keep in mind as you navigate this:
"Jaymie is beyond talented and give you more than just photos, she helps create moments that you will treasure for a lifetime. We came in looking for a photographer but we ended up with a friend! Her photos are beyond breathtaking. Jaymie not only took photos of our special day, she added more than we could have ever imagined. I will always recommend Jaymie to anyone looking for moments to be captured and created together!"
"Highly Recommended!! We decided to renew our vows last minute in Yosemite and needed a photographer that was familiar with the park and she was the perfect choice! she was able to make it happen for us! She captured our vow renewal so perfectly! The photos are everything that we wanted and more."
"My husband and I took our first trip to Mammoth Lakes and it was absolutely amazing! A big part of what made the trip so wonderful was Jaymie! We wanted one of a kind photographs of us doing what we love - being in a beautiful landscape, hiking together. Jaymie made our vision come to life! She is so friendly and personable and she knows her way around Mammoth. Not only did we get beautiful and thoughtful pictures, we had so much fun and made a new friend."
You have many ceremony locations within Yosemite National Park to choose from.
▸ Lower Yosemite Falls
▸ Swinging Bridge
▸ Cathedral Beach
▸ Sentinel Beach
▸ Bridalveil Fall
▸ Glacier Point
▸ Chilnualna Falls
▸ Tenaya Lake
▸ Tuolumne Meadows Lodge
Big Oak Flat
▸ Tuolumne Grove
▸ Merced Grove
NOTE: If your group is fewer than 11 people, you are not limited to the following locations with exception of open meadows and riparian environments.
Here are a few tips for filling out this application:
Alternate Dates: You can leave this blank.
Alternate Times: You can leave this blank.
Alternate Location: You only need to list one alternate ceremony location.
Preferred Time: They issue the permits for a time frame, not a specific time.
Maximum Number of Participants: This number should include your photographer, videographer, and officiant.
Maximum Number of Vehicles: The bride and groom can ride around with me and my assistant/officiant all day in the park, so we will be in one car. You just need to add up your guest's cars and estimate.
List of Equipment: They're asking this in case we have a large set that would detract from others experiences. I only use cameras and lenses, so just put "Cameras."
Individual in Charge: If you have a wedding planner, you'll put their name and number there. If not, list the bride as the person in charge.
Go to the online form on Yosemite National Park's web site (under "Weddings," it's called "Permit Application.") fill it out and print it off. There is no option to send in your application digitally, so you'll need to mail along with the $150 check or money order to:
Attn: Catherine Carlisle-McMullen
Special Park Uses/Film and Weddings
Yosemite National Park, National Park Service
P.O. Box 700
El Portal, CA 95318
For wedding permit information contact Catherine by email or by phone (209)379-1858.
Here is an example form:
You might think I’m just here to take photos of your big day, but there’s so much more to it! Consider me your guide/teammate throughout this process—I’m here to help give you ideas and advice on creating a meaningful, fun, authentic day. Do you want something a little more adventurous? Having worked as a trained wilderness guide, I will come prepared to help you have the best time out on the trail or recommend guide services to get you where you want to go. I have a unique perspective to offer when it comes to safety and planning. Don't feeling like putting a on harness or getting extreme? No worries! I am here to help you find the perfect spot for your ceremony, recommend the best vendors to work with, help carry your things up a mountain, build you a timeline for your day so we can include everything you want, and SO MUCH more.