Yosemite National Park’s Revised Permit Policies | Wedding and Elopement Photographers


yosemite adventure wedding and elopement booking rules for permits in the national park



Dear Fellow Photographers who are hired to capture couples in Yosemite National Park.

I just got off the phone with the head of Yosemite’s wedding permit department, Catherine, who is responsible for managing all the wedding requests, permits, and licensing in the Park. She was helpful in communicating with me on behalf of all you photographers to clarify some issues that many have had in Yosemite. There has been some confusion I must admit. Some of you have heard that Yosemite has been cracking down on photographers and couples without a permit and that is true. Some of you have been turned around without a permit.

Yosemite is trying to keep track of the weddings in the park while trying to maintain a generous park experience for all.

It is well known that if you are a couple getting married inside Yosemite National Park, you (the couple) must apply for a permit and be approved before having your ceremony. However, now there are revised rules for photographers.



If you are a photographer hired to photograph a wedding or elopement with 35 or more people in Yosemite National Park, whether it is at the top of Glacier Point or at the Majestic Hotel, you are now required to apply for a PERMIT. That means one permit for the wedding couple and one for the photographer. However, you may apply using the same exact permit application the couple uses. You may apply here:  YOSEMITE WEDDING PERMIT (Scroll down to the Wedding section when clicking this link).

If however, you are a photographer hired for a wedding or elopement with LESS THAN 35 people in Yosemite National Park, you as a photographer do not need to apply for a separate permit in the park. The couple will still need a permit in the park to get married.

On the Wedding Permit Application, please write “Wedding Photos Only”.



Wedding photographers may use social media, like blogging, Instagram, and Facebook, to showcase weddings couples in Yosemite, but may not sell them commercially to the general public without a commercial permit. In addition, you may use Yosemite wedding images for your website to showcase your work with those wedding couples, as long as your website does not exclusively showcase Yosemite weddings. If so, you will need to apply for a COMMERCIAL PERMIT. You must have a variety of wedding images other than Yosemite on your website to be considered a non-commercial photographer.



If you are applying for a commercial permit, you can apply here:

If you are applying for a wedding couple or photographer permit, you can apply here:




  1. If I have a wedding at the Majestic Hotel, do I also need a wedding photographer’s permit?
    Answer: If there are more than 35 people in your wedding, then yes. If less than 35, no.
  2. What is the cost for a Yosemite wedding permit?
    Answer: The cost right now is $150. More information can be accessed on the Yosemite website below.
  3. I have a Yosemite wedding coming up soon, is it too late to apply?
    Answer: No, Catherine has told me she will rush the approval for your wedding if it’s soon.
  4. Where can I read more information about Yosemite Weddings?
    Answer: Visit the main Yosemite Website for more info here: YOSEMITE WEDDINGS.


If you have more questions, you can contact the Permit Department here:



For wedding permit information contact Catherine by email or by phone 209/379-1858.

Attn: Catherine Carlisle-McMullen
Special Park Uses/Film & Weddings
Yosemite National Park
P.O. Box 700
El Portal, CA 95318


If you searching for a wedding photographer for your Yosemite wedding, you may visit here:
Charleton Churchill Photography


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Mountain Elopement Photography Mt. Cook, New Zealand | Destination Wedding Photographer

Adventure Elopement Photography with Konrad and Cristine
in Queenstown, Mt. Cook, New Zealand
Adventure Wedding Photographer Charleton Churchill

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Mountain adventure couple Konrad and Cristina chose to elope in New Zealand. Hiking, adventure, and epic landscapes is how they wanted to define their wedding day memories and photography. Goal accomplished. Yet, while you enjoy the photography and wedding couple in their glory, there were also challenges. We spent a morning hiking up a steep mountain that was muddy and slippery from the rain. Cristina hiked covering her head and face with her Gore-Tex jacket while it rained, protecting her hair and make-up. As we climbed higher, the terrain became steeper, visibility lessened, the air more chilling, and it began to come down harder. The further we climbed, the more dangerous it became to turn around. On top of that, our epic view from the summit would have been non-existent.  So we turned around and called it a morning.


It almost felt like a waste of time. After all, we prepared and planned for this time of photos. The couple had event scouted the locations a few days prior. Expectations were assumed, but looking back, it made their story even more adventurous. They worked hard for their wedding photos. They earned themselves a true adventure wedding. So when they proudly hang their two large portraits on their wall (they purchased two epic wall canvas prints), they have more than just cute wedding photos to show off; they have an adventure story to share with everyone.

Not only that, there was bitter cold weather; Cristina’s veil kept twisting in the wind and we had to constantly unwind; our helicopter flight kept getting pushed back another day; and it almost seemed like nothing went as planned, but in the end, we captured many images not planned. The God-sent rainbow in the sky we chased was a perfect example. We didn’t plan for a rainbow, but we got some incredible photos with them.

Konrad and Cristina were both great and hungry for adventure. We woke up early and worked hard until sunset. In the end, we captured some gold nuggets I’m proud to share on this blog post. Congratulations to both Konrad and Cristina on their epic adventure elopement.


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