The BEST Yosemite Wedding Locations & Venues

Taft Point Yosemite Wedding Location

edit: UPTDATED November 13, 2020 for the 2021 Wedding Season and Glacier Point Road WILL BE OPEN:
Yosemite National Park Weddings are as iconic as any wedding location in the United States (and possibly in the world). Whether you are looking for a backpacking adventure wedding in the backcountry, or a glamorous wedding for 150 guests with fine dining, Yosemite offers a variety of locations for elopements and weddings.

Couples trying to learn HOW To Elope in Yosemite - this is our OFFICIAL guide for both Yosemite and the surrounding areas. There are more venues than listed here, but these are simply the BEST options. If you are seeking a hidden or secret location in Yosemite for your elopement - reach out and I'd love to help you plan somewhere that no one else has ever used for their wedding.

UPDATE 2021 Wedding Season and Glacier Point Road (originally the park system had announced the road would be closed for the 2021 season - but they have officially announced the Glacier Point Road WILL BE OPEN for the 2021 wedding season - instead, the road will be closed for the 2022-2023 season) If you are planning ahead for a Yosemite wedding in 2022, I can take you through the options for Hiking to Glacier Point/having a backpacking wedding in Yosemite, or alternative and equally epic options in/around the park. If you are getting married in Yosemite National Park in 2021, You WILL have vehicle access to drive to the parking areas for Taft Point, Sentinel Dome and Glacier Point.

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In searching for the BEST Wedding Locations and venues in/around Yosemite National Park - there's an option for EVERYONE. (This list originally was the 10 best locations in Yosemite, but has grown to wedding locations beyond the top 10)

Taft Point wedding location with a highline setup in the foreground

As far as adventure wedding photography goes, it's tough to beat a wedding elopement in Yosemite. 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 location for your adventure wedding or elopement!

(As you begin your journey, it is important to note that YOU &/or Your Photographer MUST obtain a Yosemite National Park wedding permit - if not, there's a possibility of Yosemite National Park Rangers shutting you down and stopping your day before it begins. I can help guide you through the permit process if you need insights) (You can see my full guide to getting married in Yosemite National Park here)

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 Yosemite Valley 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.  If you want a photo with huge vistas, but don't want to stand on the edge of a cliff - that's ok, I've got some sweet wedding photography locations that will work for you!

Let's start with one of the most popular Wedding Locations in Yosemite National Park (which happens to be a cliff)


Taft Point (fully gallery click here)

Taft Point Yosemite Wedding sunset
Sunset wedding elopement photos at Yosemite National Park's most iconic wedding location Taft Point

Taft Point has become a favorite for Yosemite wedding locations, 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 - Closes for snow during the winter season - Typically sometime in November into as late as May.
  • Hiking Required

Sentinel Dome (full gallery, click here)

*Best Yosemite Views Location to avoid waiting your turn for other wedding couples

Sentinel dome sunset wedding location yosemiteSentinel Dome heads out from 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 360 degree views! If heights aren't your thing, I would push you this direction in place of Taft Point for your sunset wedding or elopement photos. You still get THE BEST views of Yosemite and realistically, there is a lot more variety vs. the standard Taft Point view.

  • Maximum Guests: 10
  • Seasonal Closures - Closes for snow during the winter season - Typically sometime in November into as late as May.
  • Hiking Required

Glacier Point (full gallery click here)

*The BEST Sunrise Wedding and Elopement Location in Yosemite National Park

Glacier point yosemite sunrise wedding location

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 - Closes for snow during the winter season - Typically sometime in November into as late as May.
  • No Hiking Required and Handicap Accessible

Panorama Trail

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 - Closes for snow during the winter season - Typically sometime in November into as late as May.
  • Hiking Required

The Ahwahnee Hotel

*BEST Yosemite Wedding Venue for that Luxury Wedding Feel

If you're planning to have a lot of guests at your ceremony, and/or you want a sit-down formal meal, The Ahwahnee offers beautiful backdrops and stunning views.

This is also the ultimate Yosemite Valley Wedding Reception location. There are very few places inside Yosemite National Park to actually have a proper reception - and this is one of them.

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

Half Dome

*BEST Yosemite Location if you are looking for an EPIC full day hike and if you can score a coveted permit! (I try for a few a year, so if you want in, hit me up, and maybe you can be one of the few couples each year to get married on top of Half Dome!)

Ahwahnee meadow wedding

This location is tough to pull off - it's a lottery system to get to the top - but there are a few secrets to find your way there - I'm happy to share if you are booking with me - or, if you want in on any permits I'm able to secure for the year, or if you are lucky enough to score your own, I'd love to adventure to the top with you.

Not for those with a fear of heights
MUST be able to do 17+ miles and nearly 5000 feet of elevation gain in one go (unless you want to do it overnight at Little Yosemite Village)


Tunnel View (full gallery here)

*BEST Secret Location (alt locations from the same parking area)

Tunnel View Yosemite Wedding Secret LocationTunnel 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

*BEST Yosemite Location for Free Solo fans!

El Capitan Meadow wedding

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!!! (damn 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 (view full gallery here)

Honestly - not my favorite wedding location - but everyone asks, so I've listed it. If you're guests are game to do some serious rock scrambling, there's some stuff worth hiking into here, but it's more of a spot to hid mid-day for couple's photos

  • Maximum Guests: 10
  • Open Year Round (ONLY HAS WATER November/December into June most years)
  • No Hiking Required and Handicap Accessible (though, hiking required and no handicap access for the spots worth using)

Cathedral Beach (fully gallery here)

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 rustic 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

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 (click here for fully gallery)

*BEST Church Location inside Yosemite National Park

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 (fully gallery here)

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

Tenaya Lodge (full gallery here)

  • Maximum Guests: Up to more than 1000
  • Open Year Round
  • No Hiking Required and Handicap Accessible

Outside of the above listed locations, there are a TON of "secret" or unlisted spots that are AMAZING for Elopement Couples - off the beaten path, hiking, backpacking and adventuring required. If Type 2 Adventure is your calling and you want your wedding elopement to reflect that - Yosemite has you covered and I'm stoked to help guide.

  • Yosemite National Park Does Offer More Wedding Locations - more couples SHOULD do Tuolumne Meadows and region weddings and possibly even consider Hetch Hetchy. 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.

And Ultimately, if you'd like to work with me, please don't hesitate to contact me through my contact page to check your date

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