What is the best place for my wedding ceremony?
That’s a big question and the answer is almost like a choose your own adventure story. Make sure you visit our Yosemite Ceremony Location Guide for details and photographs. It’s a growing collection of approved sites for large groups as well as examples of weddings from all over the park.
- If you have under ten people total… You can basically go any place in the park. Want to get married at the top of Half Dome (or even the side)? No problem. How about the Wedding Lawn at the Ahwahnee? No problem either. So long as you’re not damaging the land it’s open to you. Just make sure you get your wedding permit from the park.
- If you have between ten and fifty people total… Now you start having some limits. The entire park is not available to you, but still some of its most beautiful locations (with adequte parking too) can be reserved for your wedding. You’ll have options that include waterfalls, lakes and breathtaking views. It’s up to you.
- If you have more than fifty people total… Your options are becoming limited, but the good news is that they are limited to excellent locations. Inside of the park, you can use some of the nicest locations in the park, the Ahwahnee Wedding Lawn or the Yosemite Valley Chapel. One great thing about the Ahwahnee Wedding Lawn is that if the weather turns on your wedding day, you will have the option of moving your ceremony under the shelter of the Ahwahnee. After these two options, you’ll be looking at moving your ceremony outside of the park. Luckily
What is the best time of day for my wedding?
If everything was up to me, generally I’d say either at just before dawn or two hours before sunset (we love the alpenglow). Both of these time put us right in the sweet spot for photographs in the park. Of course no one really likes getting up in the middle of the night to get ready for their wedding, so the later afternoon is more common. Just make sure you leave enough time to get dinner!
If these times don’t work for you, worry not. We are set up to be able to create beautiful photographs in Yosemite at any time of day or night.
We also prefer weekdays whenever possible. More on that in a minute…
What is the weather like at this time of year?
During winter snow will often cover the rim of Yosemite valley. The oaks will be bare and the grass will be brown. Snow will cover the valley floor for a while after cold storms too. Waterfalls will be coming back to life too. Temperatures are cold during the day, often dropping below freezing at night.
Spring brings the largest waterfalls and fresh life to the valley. Blooms are everywhere. Storms will generally be warmer, bringing rain to the valley floor. Temperatures are usually mild.
Summer warmth opens the park to exploration. Tioga Pass and Glacier Point Road should be open providing easy access to the high country. Waterfalls will start to slow down as Spring storms pass. Daytime temperatures are often quite hot.
In the Fall, nighttime temperatures begin to cool, creating the beautiful fall colors throughout the park. Cold storms will begin to move in and may provide an early snow and start to bring the waterfalls back to life.
While precipitation is most likely in the winter, storms can come at any time of year. For historical weather averages, visit this climate page from NPS.
We want to have snow for our Yosemite wedding. What time of year should we plan for?
The safe bet is late December through early March, but even that isn’t guaranteed in the valley. It’s really all dependant on the weather of any particular year. Of course, if you’re set on snow, one option is to go up into the high country.
Is there any time of year when we shouldn’t get married in Yosemite?
Yes, but probably not for the reason you’d think. Depending on where you want to get married and what time of day, if you can be flexible, it is not wise to plan a wedding for a major holiday weekend in Yosemite. Yosemite is an incredibly popular park and the valley in particular tends to get very crowded on holidays and summer weekends. Even weekends tend to draw far larger crowds than weekdays (and this seems to be getting more common every year). You will be faced with long waits at park entrances, traffic congestion in the valley (often one lane of traffic is reserved for busses on summer weekends), and limited parking. Likewise, Free Entrance Days tend to be very crowded.
If you still want to get married on a summer weekend in Yosemite, please know that we can not guarantee that you will be able to travel around the park for photographs. While we will do everything within our ability to make this happen for you, there are many things out of our control.
Does my wedding qualify as an elopement if we have guests?
Yes! Our elopement collections are based on the timeframe for a wedding, not the guest count.
What are digital proofs? Are they the same as digital files?
Digital Proofs are just like the full resolution Digital Files, only a bit smaller in size. Fully edited and ready to print, they have been reduced from full camera resolution to a size of 2000 pixels long.
We want you to be able to have access you your wedding photographs and make prints on your own. Share photographs on Facebook or Twitter, make your own Thank You cards or Christmas Cards, and make small prints whenever you like. You will be able to make prints up to 8×10 with no loss of quality.
When you are ready to have large prints made, you can easily place your order online through us and have it printed at our photography lab. The papers used are designed to last for years to come and the colors will be accurate, something that we can’t guarantee when you make prints on your own. So go ahead and use the print credit to get some big prints of your favorite wedding photographs.
Digital Files are the exactly what we use to make prints when you place an order through our lab. If you feel like you need them, you can always order the Digital Files which will include each and every pixel we have. This opens the door to making larger prints on your own, but we still can’t guarantee color accuracy of any prints you make on your own.
Are all photographs edited?
Yes, all photographs are edited to the same standards as you see on this site and in our proofs. If you require more work to be done, we will be happy to do this on a per photograph basis when ordering prints and albums.
What if we want to get married on top of Half Dome?
Let’s do it! This takes a bit more planning that a typical wedding to ensure that everyone obtains the proper permits, but it is entirely possible if you are ready to take it on.
How long will it be until my photographs are finished?
While we do our best to get your photographs finished as soon as possible, this will depend on the time of year and our current schedule (we really do take time to edit each and every photograph). Your photographs will be ready within six weeks of the date of your event. If you are in a unique situation where you need the photographs sooner than that (maybe you are planning a reception back home when you return from your elopement) just let us know and we will do our best to make it happen.
What is the investment?
We have Elopement Collections starting at $1500 and Wedding Collections starting at $2400.
Where do we go to take our portraits?
Most of the locations will be within a short distance from a parking spot and not require long hikes. If it is left up to us, we will decide where to go on your wedding day as we look at the weather, light, and other conditions of the park to create the best possible photographs. We have been to most places in the park at most times of day.
Do you have a favorite special place in Yosemite? We are open to any ideas and suggestions that you have.
Should we hire a limousine for our wedding day?
It’s not necessary and you are more than welcome to ride in our car. Of course, it’s up to you, but if you ride in a different car it does create some logistical problems that can affect your wedding photographs. What do we do when we are traveling though the park and find the the perfect spot for your portraits but only enough room for one car to park?
Is the a deposit required?
Yes, we require a 25% deposit to secure your wedding date.
How long do you keep my proofs online?
We have no plans to ever remove proofs from our online server. Of course with technology, things eventually changes, so if we ever need to migrate your proofs, we will contact you and let you know.