Elopement Ceremony and Brunch at Cathedral Beach in Yosemite, CA

Elopement Ceremony and Brunch at Cathedral Beach in Yosemite, CA

Lauren and Corey planned a micro wedding ceremony at Cathedral Beach, one of the approved wedding ceremony locations at Yosemite National Park. After their ceremony, they had a picnic brunch with their loved ones. Get all the details, plus a breakdown of cost so you can plan something similar!

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About This Wedding Ceremony at Cathedral Beach in Yosemite

Photography by Authentic Collective

Lauren and Corey decided to mix elements from a traditional wedding and elopement by settling on a wedding ceremony at Cathedral beach and having a romantic brunch after.

Cathedral beach is located within Yosemite Valley. This specific location is pretty awesome because it’s a short walk from the parking lot, and has some amenities such as bathrooms and a picnic area.

“Lauren and Corey hired Desert Rose Creative to create an elegant brunch for their guests to experience following their intimate ceremony. This was an incredible way to bask in the joy of their union as a group, while not introducing any additional travel. We’d highly recommend this as a consideration for any future couples having a wedding in Yosemite.” [Savannah & Greg, the photographers]

Planning Your Wedding Day at Yosemite

Cathedral Beach is one of the approved ceremony locations at Yosemite. You will need a special use permit ($150), and this specific spot allows up to 50 guests for a wedding ceremony, which is ideal for small weddings. If you do decide to have more than 35 guests, then monitoring is required.

This spot is open most of the year, but it is closed from November through Memorial Day weekend. Another thing to consider is this location closes at dusk after memorial day through October 31st.

“As always, keep leave no trace principles in mind when visiting any park. Stay on the designated trails and avoid feeding the animals/leaving trash that can endanger animals.” [Savannah & Greg, the photographers]

Are you thinking about planning a similar elopement experience? This is a rough estimate of the cost breakdown for this wedding at Cathedral Beach in Yosemite:

Special Use Permit at Yosemite: $150
Dress, suit & shoes: $3,500
Photography: $3,000
Hotels: $2,000
Dinner for 12: $4,000
Florals & Decor: $2,000
Hair & Makeup: $1,000

Total: $15,650

Looking for more of a breakdown? Check out our guide on elopement costs.

Advice When Eloping in Yosemite

“Keep an open mind when planning. This is your elopement (or micro wedding) and rules/traditions can be thrown out the window.
Plan for a weekday and consider having a morning ceremony as there will be less people and it allows you to spend more time overall with your family on the wedding day. Ensure you pick an accessible location for everyone that you have invited.

We highly recommend couples hire photographers who have been to Yosemite before to ensure they’re familiar with the different locations and conditions throughout the park. For example, some ceremony locations in Yosemite that are perfect in late July are under water in early June! There are also popular locations that get very busy, but photographers who know the park can take you to other spots that have a better view with no crowds.” [Savannah & Greg, the photographers]

Looking for more guidance? Check out our Yosemite elopement guide.

Deciding to Plan a Micro Wedding

“We’ve always known that we’d do something very small and keep the focus on us, our vows and our families. While I absolutely love being a guest at big weddings, I knew the stress and budget that goes along with them was not something that we wanted. A simple ceremony outside surrounded by immediate family just felt very us!

Yosemite National Park is one of our favorite spots to vacation and we have been making trips there with our families and together for years. We’ve both always thought it was the most beautiful place on earth and couldn’t think of a more meaningful place to get married. They offer wedding permits for small groups in wilderness adjacent areas so you don’t have to go the traditional hotel or church route like they require of larger parties.” [The Couple]

Explore more places to elope in California.

Memorable Moments During This Elopement

From the couple:

“We had an early morning ceremony to take advantage of the beautiful light in the Valley and lack of crowds. Being alone in the middle of a meadow at sunrise reciting our vows to each other in private was such a special moment for both of us.”

From the photographer:

“Lauren & Corey approached the elopement with such a relaxed, calm demeanor, understanding that the day was truly and experience and they were so present throughout the day, soaking in the emotions and beauty that surrounded them. It was so easy to see how much they were relishing in the love of their elopement, surrounded by their favorite people.”


Photographers – Authentic Collective
Florist – Desert Rose Creative
Bridal Store – Grace Loves Lace
Suit Designer – Calvin Klein
Shoe Designer – Sezane
Rings – Good Stone

Photos From This Wedding Ceremony at Cathedral Beach

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