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Best Yosemite Wedding Photography Locations!

As far as adventure wedding photography goes, it’s tough to beat Yosemite National Park. Yosemite has it all, mountains, lakes, GIANT sequoias, wild meadows, rivers, streams, hiking and backpacking trails, and EPIC views. You’re sure to find the perfect spot for your adventure wedding or elopement!

(side note as you research photographers – if they plan to publish your wedding photos on their website, they will need a permit)

Yosemite Wedding Taft Point

Yosemite wedding photos at Taft Point with a high line setup

Since Yosemite is so close to where I live (that and my dad basically grew up there and took our family there every chance he had when we were children), I’ve spent a lot of time exploring and getting to know all of the great places it has to offer. Hopefully this list will help you find where you want to take some rad adventure photos or hold your ceremony!

* When thinking about the best adventure wedding locations inside Yosemite National Park, make sure to keep yourself in mind: what you want out of the photos, your adventure level, what attracted you most to Yosemite, etc. It can be easy to overlook some of your fears when thinking about the great photos you want! For example, if you’re afraid of heights, we can talk ahead about options that don’t require standing near the edge of a cliff (we can even get similar photos without standing anywhere near an actual cliff).

That said… let’s start with one of the most popular features for wedding photos in Yosemite (which happens to be a cliff).

Taft Point

Taft Point Yosemite

Taft Point has become a favorite for Yosemite wedding photos, and with good reason! I love that it’s the ultimate spot for a little bit of adventure and plenty of breathtaking views. The hike is definitely on the milder side for anyone wanting some stunning photos without trekking too far! The hike is 1 mile in, 1 mile out, and is mostly flat. Keep in mind that if you’re afraid of heights, this may not be the location for you. (Though even then, we can stay away from the edge and still get some pretty insane views!)

  • Maximum Guests: 10
  • Seasonal Closures (see link at bottom for more information)
  • Hiking Required

Sentinel Dome

Sentinel Dome Yosemite Wedding Photos Sentinel Dome Wedding Photography Yosemite Sentinel Dome Wedding Photography Yosemite

Sentinel Dome Wedding Photographs Yosemite Sentinel Dome Wedding Photography

Sentinel Dome leaves the same parking area as Taft Point and is also a one mile hike in, one mile out, and a relatively easy/flat hike. It offers some beautiful, and definitely grand, views! If heights aren’t your thing, I might push you this direction in place of Taft Point. You still get THE BEST views of Yosemite and realistically, there is a lot more variety vs. the standard Taft Point view. (We can also grab some snacks and drinks and stay later after sunset for star photos!)

  • Maximum Guests: 10
  • Seasonal Closures (see link at bottom for more information)
  • Hiking Required

Glacier Point

Glacier Point Yosemite

The best part about Glacier Point is that it’s gorgeous without having to hike at all! AND it’s handicap accessible. This makes it favored for elopements, small, and medium sized wedding ceremonies. Keep in mind that this location is pretty popular with tourists and may not be the most secluded area for your wedding. That being said, a good photographer can still get some great shots. This spot is great for pictures at all hours of the day too! I especially love taking photos here at night and sunset.

  • Maximum Guests: 50
  • Seasonal Closures (see link at bottom for more information)
  • No Hiking Required and Handicap Accessible

Panorama Trail

Panorama Trail Yosemite

Panorama Trail is one of those secret locations that takes some hiking, and limits the number of guests, but will also quickly get you away from the crowds. The trail is 8.5 miles one way – but a simple .5 mile hike out gets you removed from the crowds to the perfect setting overlooking Half Dome, Nevada and Vernal Falls, and the Yosemite backcountry. (You can even see Mammoth Mountain if you look hard enough)

  • Maximum Guests: 10
  • Seasonal Closures (see link at bottom for more information)
  • Hiking Required

Majestic Yosemite Hotel (Ahwahnee)

Majestic Yosemite Hotel Wedding in Yosemite

If you’re planning to have a lot of guests at your ceremony, The Majestic Yosemite Hotel (previously The Ahwahnee) offers beautiful backdrops and stunning views. Epic views of Half Dome await you just a short walk away, or we can do a day-after session in the high country if that’s your thing!

This is also the ultimate Yosemite Wedding Reception venue location. There are very few places in Yosemite National Park to actually have a proper reception – and this is one of them. It’s not just proper because of the size of the space, it’s STUNNING inside AND the food/wine/drinks are solid!

  • Maximum Guests: 180
  • Open Year Round
  • No Hiking Required and Handicap Accessible

Tunnel View

Tunnel View Yosemite Wedding Photo at Tunnel View in Yosemite

Tunnel View is also a great place to capture photos at all times of the day. It’s another spot without any hiking required that is handicap accessible! The view of the valley makes it an awesome place to get married or just to snap a few pictures. (I don’t suggest a ceremony here unless you’re doing a sunrise ceremony as it’s hands down THE most popular spot in all of Yosemite) (oh, and there is an alternative to Tunnel View in Yosemite – and that is Turtleback Dome – it’s a short hike and you lose the view of Bridal Veil falls, but you probably won’t see another person while you’re there…)

  • Maximum Guests: 10
  • Open Year Round
  • No Hiking Required and Handicap Accessible

El Capitan Meadow

Wedding Photo at El Capitan Meadow in YosemiteEl Capitan Meadow Wedding Photos

El Capitan Meadow Wedding Photos in Yosemite

I think Yosemite’s meadows are one of the most overlooked locations in all of the valley. I still can remember the MOST AMAZING storming clearing photos I captured here while in photography school – I dropped off the film (yes, my Mamiya RB film camera was my best friend) and got the film back to find that everything was blank!!! (Darn mirror release)

  • Maximum Guests: (technically, you can’t get married here.. but you can walk the trails and happen to get some photos while walking together)
  • Open Year Round
  • No Hiking Required but Not Handicap Accessible

Yosemite Falls

Yosemite Falls Wedding Photos Yosemite Falls is definitely a beautiful backdrop for a wedding! Keep in mind that when there’s a lot of water moving, it gets pretty loud and you’re bound to get a little wet if you’re close enough. I find this spot works better for couple’s photos – because if there’s one spot in Yosemite that competes with Tunnel View for the most people, it’s here. (Don’t worry, we’ll hike up on the rocks away from the crowds to make sure you get the perfect wedding photo!)

  • Maximum Guests: 10
  • Open Year Round
  • No Hiking Required and Handicap Accessible

Cathedral Beach

Cathedral Beach Yosemite Wedding Photos

Cathedral Beach holds a good amount of people for a smaller wedding ceremony and does not require a hike. The only downside is that it’s not handicap accessible due to the terrain. This is a beautiful place to hold a ceremony and capture some stunning couple photos afterward! (And if you’re game for a mellow reception, the picnic tables here are perfection – this is where I brought my in-laws for lunch when they were visiting)

  • Maximum Guests: 50
  • Closed November through Memorial Day Weekend. Location closes at dusk from Tuesday after Memorial Day through October 31st.
  • No Hiking Required but Not Handicap Accessible

Ahwahnee Meadow

Ahwahnee Meadow Yosemite Ahwahnee Meadow Wedding Photos in Yosemite

You simply can’t get a better view of Half Dome without more effort – park, walk 20 yards and you’re set! Now if we all could just learn how to live year-round in one of the staff cabins that are perched on the meadow’s edge. (read some old Ansel Adams stories or others who have made Yosemite famous over the years and you’ll be salivating for a night spent with Half Dome peaking at you from above)

  • Maximum Guests:(technically, you can’t get married here.. but you can walk the trails and happen to get some photos while walking together)
  • Open Year Round
  • No Hiking Required but Not Handicap Accessible (kinda accessible, kinda not)

Yosemite Valley Chapel

Yosemite Valley Chapel Wedding Photos

Yosemite Valley Chapel is a beautiful little chapel tucked just to the side of the valley. The chapel can hold approximately 150 guests, but couples usually get married there with immediate family and a pastor or officiant.

  • Maximum Guests: approximately 150
  • Open Year Round
  • No Hiking Required and Handicap Accessible

Outside Yosemite National Park Proper:

Rush Creek Lodge

Rush Creek Lodge Wedding Ceremony Yosemite Rush Creek Lodge Yosemite

If you have a bigger family and need room for more guests, this is the place for you! The great thing about Rush Creek Lodge is that they can easily accommodate plenty of ceremony sizes. It’s also near some great views and crazy places to take photos. And – you have easy access to Yosemite National Park if you want to do a Day After session at some of Yosemite’s most stunning vistas.

  • Maximum Guests: approximately 220
  • Open Year Round
  • No Hiking Required and Handicap Accessible

    Other Notable Yosemite National Park Wedding Locations:

    • Cascades Picnic Area
      • 30 people maximum
      • Not handicap accessible
      • Open year round
    • Lower Yosemite Fall Paved Trail
      • 50 people maximum
      • Handicap accessible
      • Open year round except on holiday weekends (Saturday, Sunday, and Monday)
    • Swinging Bridge Picnic Area
      • 20 people maximum
      • Handicap accessible
      • Open year round except on holiday weekends (Saturday, Sunday, and Monday)
    • Sentinel Beach Picnic Area
      • 100 people maximum
      • Handicap accessible
      • Area closed November through Memorial Day Weekend
    • Bridalveil Fall
      • 50 people maximum
      • Handicap accessible
    • Glacier Point Ampitheater
      • 50 people maximum
      • Handicap accessible
      • Weddings are not scheduled here in July and August, weather related closures in the winter, earliest availability is the Tuesday after Memorial Day through September 30th
    • Chilnualna Falls Trailhead Parking Lot
      (please use caution as the rare plants in the area are delicate and protected in this area)

      • 50 people maximum
      • Not handicap accessible
    • Tenaya Lake Beach
      • 50 people maximum
      • Not handicap accessible
      • Available from road opening until September 30th
    • Tuolumne Meadows Lodge Area
      • 25 people maximum
      • Not handicap accessible
      • Available from road opening until September 30th
    • Tuolumne Grove
      • 30 people maximum
      • Not handicap accessible
      • 2.5 mile hike round trip, trail is paved and steep
    • Merced Grove
      • 30 people maximum
      • Not handicap accessible
      • 3 mile hike round trip, trail is unpaved and rated easy to moderate
    • Turtleback Dome
      (please use caution as the rare plants in the area are delicate and protected in this area)

      • 50 people maximum
      • Not handicap accessible

Outside of Yosemite National Park, but still nearby:

  • AutoCamp Yosemite
  • Tenaya Lodge
    • Reception space for groups from 60 to over 1,000
    • Handicap accessible
    • Open year round
  • Evergreen Lodge
    • Up to 200 guests
    • Handicap accessible
    • Open year round

Whatever your plan, make 100% sure you get a permit and you stick to the rules so future couples can have a special wedding in Yosemite National Park as well.