Permit Application Process
To apply for all types of special use permits, submit an application.
For a wedding permit, download the application [826 kb DOCX] and mail the original application with payment (check or money order) to:
Special Park Uses/Film and Weddings
Yosemite National Park, National Park Service
P.O. Box 700
El Portal, CA 95318
Special Park Uses/Film & Weddings
Yosemite National Park
5083 Foresta Rd
El Portal, CA 95318
For wedding permit information contact Catherine by email or by phone 209/379-1858.
Permits cannot be processed until we receive your original application and any required payments.
A special use permit is required for any wedding or commitment ceremony held at any location within Yosemite National Park. The permit cost is $150 (if event monitoring is required, you will be charged an additional $50 per hour).
Weddings or ceremonies may be scheduled up to one year in advance and more than 21 days prior to your event. Please complete the application [826 kb DOCX] and include any special needs of your party (e.g., access for persons with disabilities, elderly guests, etc.). Be sure to include the nonrefundable application fee of $150 with your application.
Please review the ceremony location list for ceremony sites in Yosemite and indicate the specific location on the application. If you are interested in reserving facilities operated by our concessioner, please contact Yosemite Hospitality.
After favorable review of your application, a special use permit will be prepared and mailed to you for signature. Upon receipt, please review, sign and return the permit to our office for final approval. The application fee and permit processing fees are non-refundable once the permit office has received your permit application. The applicant's Social Security number (bride or groom) must be listed on the wedding application. If the Social Security number is not listed, the permit will not be processed. (If you do not have a Social Security number, please contact us.) If your ceremony plans change, notify our office immediately. After the permit is approved we will send you an authorized copy. The approved permit must be in your possession at the time of the ceremony.
Entrance fees into the park are not waived for either ceremony participants or guests (read more about entrance fees).
Visit the state of California's website for information about marriage licenses.
Get current road and weather information by calling 209/372-0200 (press 1).
Restrictions and Event Management
A visit to the park is highly recommended prior to finalizing your plans in order to decide on a site for your ceremony. Review the ceremony locations list and all group size and site specific restrictions. We do not issue permits for formal ceremony receptions in day use areas.
The ceremony permit does not allow your event to restrict other park visitors from your chosen location nor does it guarantee you a specific site. It is recommended that you avoid sites that attract a large number of visitors, or schedule your ceremony for early or late in the day, and/or on weekdays, when there are fewer visitors in the area. The wedding or ceremony party is allowed up to two hours for the event. Permits will not be issued on holidays or over holiday weekends due to heavy visitor use activity.
An additional charge of $50.00 per hour will be incurred for an event monitor for those outdoor activities of 30-50 people or more (excluding events managed inside facilities operated by Yosemite Hospitality). All fees are non refundable. Additional restrictions are imposed as follows:
Natural Resource Protection: The meadows and riparian areas (riverbank and stream drainages) areas of Yosemite are important components of the park's renowned resource, and an important habitat for a host of plants and animals. These areas attract a great deal of visitor use, which results in considerable environmental impact. To minimize such impacts and to maintain the scenic and ecological integrity of these sensitive sites, any other environmentally sensitive areas, no events will be permitted in them that will cause unacceptable impacts.
Cultural Resource Protection: The Permittee and participants will not disturb, adversely effect, alter, damage, or remove any natural/cultural resources, archeological or historic artifacts. Digging, scraping, chiseling or defacing natural features is prohibited. Cultural Resources in Yosemite National Park are protected by the Historic Preservation Act of 1996 (16 USC 470), and the Archeological Resources Protection Act of 1979, as amended (16 USC 470aa), which carries criminal and civil penalties for removing or damaging archaeological resources.
Sequoia Groves: Ceremonies are not allowed around the bases of sequoia trees.
Releases: Butterfly releases, and all other living and/or inanimate object releases or dispersal, including birdseed and rice, are prohibited. Food items provide an unnatural food source for park wildlife.
Decorations/Signing: The use of balloons, arches, or any other type of decorations will not be authorized. Event or directional signs are not allowed.
Seating: Chairs, tables or other furniture are not allowed at the ceremony site. Consideration is given to those with special needs. Use existing picnic tables and benches only, for events in picnic areas. An additional food table and chairs may be used, for those with special needs
Audio Disturbance: The Code of Federal Regulations (36 CFR 2.12), addresses audio disturbances and prohibits the following: use of radio, television sets, tape deck or musical instruments, in a manner that exceeds a noise level of 60 decibels measured on the A-weighted scale at 50 feet. No amplified music or public address systems are allowed
Vehicles: All vehicles (including motorcycles) must be parked in designated areas only; no off-road traffic. Car pooling is recommended and may be required at specific locations. Vehicle limits are imposed at specific locations.
Pets: Leashed dogs are allowed on fully paved roads, paved sidewalks, and bicycle pathways. Dogs (leashed or not) are not allowed on trails, within the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, in non-developed areas (including beaches and dirt surfaces) and Wilderness areas, on the O'Shaughnessy Dam, within Camp 4 and backpackers campgrounds, or in specific areas as posted by signs. Learn moreabout Yosemite's pet regulations.
Conveyances: Special conveyances, including but not limited to horse drawn carriages and hot air balloons, are prohibited.
Law Enforcement: Yosemite National Park Rangers strictly enforce all laws relating to excessive drinking. Permittee and guests must comply with all applicable federal, state and county regulations.
Receptions: Formal receptions are not allowed in picnic areas.
Drones: Operating a drone is prohibited.
Yosemite is a wild place and wedding plans often go awry. On any given day, chances are everything will be fine. However, you should be aware of some events that commonly disrupt weddings:.
Smoky conditions: This is possible all year, with wildfires in the region common in summer and fall, and prescribed burns possible fall through spring. Smoky conditions are most common in August and September, when one to three weeks of unhealthy or worse air quality occurs most years.
- Road closures: Road closures are possible on all roads at any time, most commonly due to winter conditions, fire,or rockfall. Tioga and Glacier Point Roads are normally closed due to snow from sometime in November through late May or June, however closures on these roads do sometimes occur in October and occasionally in September. While other main roads remain open all year, winter weather can cause closures for a few hours or few days. All roads in or to Yosemite can close due to fire in summer or fall, or due to rockfall at any time of year.
- Floods: Yosemite's largest floods historically have occurred in winter. These large floods are not common (less than 10% chance in any given year) but can cause the entire park to close. Spring floods are more common (often in May, but possible in April and June) and can result in partial or full park closures.
The Yosemite Community Church (Chapel) secretary schedules all ceremonies in the Chapel. The Yosemite Valley Protestant minister and the church secretary can be reached at: 209/372-4831, or by writing to:
Yosemite Community Church
PO Box 456
Yosemite National Park, CA 95389
You may arrange to have someone from outside the park perform the ceremony.
Yosemite Hospitality Facilities
There are limited park facilities for receptions and other group events. Visit Yosemite Hospitality reception facilities to learn more about making arrangements with the concessioner.
For further assistance or information about permits, please contact the the Special Park Uses office at 209/379-1434 or by email.