Taft Point Yosemite is one of the dreamiest places to elope at. Not only does it offer breathtaking views and a romantic atmosphere for you and your partner to explore, but you also get to experience an adventure of a lifetime! Gabby and TJ made the great decision to elope here and it was the perfect setting for their special day. As an elopement photographer myself, I've picked up tons of knowledge and experience on how to plan the most seamless and organized elopement possible. So, let's dive into all the key details you need to know before eloping in Yosemite National Park.
Marriage Licenses and Permits
In order to elope in Taft Point Yosemite, you must obtain a California marriage license. The prices vary depending on the type of license, but you can learn more about the specific marriage licenses and their costs here. One you've obtained the proper marriage license, you'll need to apply for a special use permit as well. The application fee is $150 (if event monitoring is required, you will be charged an additional $50 per hour). Once you're approved, the permit itself is an additional $50, totaling $200 for both the application and the permit. You'll need to download the application and mail the original application with payment to one of the locations listed here. After they review your application, a special use permit will be mailed to you for signature. Once you receive it, you'll need to sign it and return the permit to their office for final approval. Be sure to have the approved permit in your possession at the time of the ceremony!
Best Locations and Timing
When it comes to deciding on the perfect location for your elopement, it's important to know that site-use is on a first-come, first-served basis and limited to two hours maximum. If the location you've requested with your permit has already been booked or is unavailable, you will be contacted to discuss an alternative location or preferred date for your elopement. My favorite locations for elopements in Yosemite are Taft Point, Glacier Point, Tunnel View, Sentinel Dome, Bridalveil Falls, Yosemite Falls, and El Capitan meadow, but there are so many great places to elope in the park. Check out some more great locations for elopements in Yosemite here.
The best times of the year for a Yosemite elopement are May, early June, and October for a few different reasons. In late spring, the temperatures are starting to rise so it's nice and warm, and the waterfalls are still streaming. Some locations tend to look better at sunrise than sunset and vise versa, you'll often have more privacy at sunrise. Sunrise and sunset also offer the most gorgeous light for capturing your intimate elopement or wedding, so it's a win-win! For avoiding crowds, weekdays (Monday-Thursday) are always best. Choosing a weekday will give you more privacy during your ceremony and create a more intimate feel all throughout. The park is the most crowded during July and August so you should avoid eloping during that time if you want to avoid the crowds that come with.
Lodging and Airports Near Taft Point Yosemite
There's a lot of lodging outside the park, my husband and I stayed at Yosemite View Lodge which is about 5 minutes from the El Portal entrance. It's the nearest lodging to the park without being inside the park, but the hotels inside the park are more convenient and nicer. Find a list of all the great lodging locations here! For traveling to Yosemite, there are plenty of airports to choose from. Merced Airport is a 2 hour drive to Yosemite Valley, and Fresno-Yosemite International is only 1.5 hours to Wawona (2.5 hours to Yosemite Valley). Mammoth Yosemite Airport is a 1 hour drive to Tuolumne Meadows (2.5 hours to Yosemite Valley) when Tioga Road is open (typically late May or June until November). Find more nearby airports listed here. Once you've gotten all these key details in order, you're ready to get married and make some unforgettable memories with your loved one!
Ready to celebrate your big day in Taft Point Yosemite next?
Count me in! You'll need to hire a photographer to join in on the adventure and capture all the love and laughs that come with. I'm a Wisconsin based photographer who is ready to hop on a plane and meet you anywhere! Capturing adventurous elopements is my passion and I can't wait to continue making long-lasting memories along the way. Learn more about me and my mission here. If you think I'd be the perfect photographer for you, then inquire now! In the meantime, check out more elopement guides like this one on the blog.
Abigail Traver Photo | Wisconsin + Destination Photographer
Come and see the rest of this dreamy Taft Point Yosemite elopement below!