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Blog How to plan a Yosemite Destination Wedding
03/04/2022Catering, Events, Family Friendly, Food & Beverage, Stay with Us, Venue, Wedding Photographer, Weddings, Winery/Brewery/Wine Bars |   

How to Plan a Yosemite Destination Wedding

Firstly, congratulations. If you have reached this page, you or someone you know is likely planning a wedding. Choosing the right location for your nuptials is almost as important as choosing a partner. (We are kidding of course). Enjoy the below resource for all things wedding planning from Yosemite's southern gateway entrance.  

Couples will need to decide whether the ceremony will take place inside Yosemite National Park, or at a location nearby.

For weddings inside Yosemite National Park, a special use permit must be obtained from the National Park Service. Applications for permits can be submitted up to one year, or at least 21 days in advance. 

Imagine getting married at Lower Yosemite Falls, Tenaya Lake, Cathedral Beach, or Sentinel Beach Picnic Area to name a few. 

Note: all in-park locations have restrictions on the number of guests, dates and times, other environmental impacts. Outside Yosemite National Park, locations like Bass Lake, the Sierra National Forest, family-owned resorts, attractions like the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad, and Madera Wine Trail Wineries have more flexibility and are incredible options for ceremonies. These locations are also the perfect backdrop for epic receptions, pre-party pampering, and picture-perfect brunches. 

“Don’t get overwhelmed when you hear special permits are needed to get married in Yosemite. It isn’t as complicated as it first appears, and the park service does a great job at breaking down the process on their website. A growing number of wedding vendors are here to help guide you through your Yosemite wedding planning process. When in doubt, hire a local professional to help you!” -Jessica Trettin, The Wandering Bride, Yosemite Wedding Planner

Let's embrace it. The best part of throwing a wedding is the chance to spend time with your family and loved ones. 

Oakhurst is a fun basecamp for all the celebrations. Book a picture-perfect bridal party at Yosemite Wine Tails, a wine bar that is most adorably dog-friendly, too. Those who prefer stronger libations will enjoy whiskey, scotch, and vodka tastings from Oakhurst Spirits.

The local brew-pub, South Gate Brewing Co. is a welcoming beacon as guests arrive from out of town. For rehearsal dinners, the indelible Elderberry House Restaurant is pure quality with its locally-sourced fine dining and gorgeous setting. For post-wedding lunch and brunch services Idle Hour Winery + Kitchen has delicate wines for tasting, ample outdoor space, creative, fresh dishes, and even options for catering.  

Toast of Oakhurst: South Gate Brewing Co, Idle Hour Winery, and Oakhurst Spirits

Take the crew to boat on Bass Lake, 4x4 the backroads of the Sierra Nevadas with Yosemite Adventure Co., rent mountain bikes from Pedal Forward, learn how to rock climb, then see who can hit the target at Yosemite Axe Throwing. During the summer season, wind around the mountain on a steam train or on a horseback adventure. Make memories together, that's the good stuff.


Locally-hired vendors know how to help - find them here! Ordained officiants, like Tim Madden, at Yosemite Wedding Vows, will not only help craft the perfect ceremony, he'll hike to your location to guide you through the words.

Finding the best photographer can make all the difference at a wedding. Carrie Jenkins Photography will set everyone at ease, allowing you to relax knowing all the special moments will be captured forever. 

Many talented DJs, bands, solo artists, and musicians who live in the communities of Oakhurst, Bass Lake, and California's Central Valley know how to pack a dance floor. 

Catering services for the main event (or a rehearsal dinner at the vacation rental) are available from Dulce Sabor. Their traditional Mexican delicacies are out-of-this-world good.  

Need flowers and decor? The Enchanted Florist and Whatnots will dazzle the senses with tasteful arrangements created with the setting in mind. 

When getting ready, Ascent Spa at Tenaya Lodge, Spa du Sureau at Château du Sureau, and Serenity Spring Spa at Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino have relaxation spaces, massage therapists, estheticians, and make-up artists ready to make your day.

At a full-service destination wedding location, like The Pines Resort, a dedicated team of wedding specialists is ready to plan the wedding of your dreams. Often, many families consider hiring a local wedding planner to help navigate finding recommended vendors. The Wandering Bride, Jessica Trenton is one such planner who also can manage your all-inclusive wedding plans at The Lodge at Two Moons in the Sierra National Forest.

Paradise Springs Wedding

Say I Do, To Beautiful Views....

Learn more about planning a wedding in Yosemite National Park, or at a location outside of the park. Blend the best of both worlds with a Yosemite ceremony and a reception at a fantastic gateway location.   

Our annual Visit Yosemite | Madera County Visitors Guide can answer all your questions about visiting California's Gateway to Yosemite. From the park itself to the museums, wineries, art galleries and more throughout Madera County, our guide can help you plan the perfect vacation. Please note that we mail to the USA only, but anyone can download the guide.
Visit Yosemite - Madera County
Oakhurst Visitor Center, 40343 Highway 41, Oakhurst, CA 93644
(559) 683-4636
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