Yosemite National Park is the perfect place to explore in California. This location has easily landed a spot on our best places to elope, so it’s no surprise it’s a top spot for couples to take their engagement photos too.
But how do you plan a Yosemite engagement shoot? We want to provide some awesome inspiration as well as some helpful tips to announce your engagement at such a gorgeous location.
- Pick a Rad Photographer. Picking a photographer to document your engagement photos is exciting and important. Your engagement photos are also a great opportunity for you and the photographer to bond before your wedding day. Our Wandering Weddings photographers have plenty of elopement experience and would love to document your adventurous engagement shoot.
- Decide What You’re Wearing. Engagement photos are the perfect time to wear something that represents your relationship. Ultimately, you want to aim for an outfit you feel comfortable in and also compliments your environment. We put together some key pointers to keep in mind when picking your engagement outfits.
- When to Take Engagement Photos. Like many locations, summer is usually the busiest time to visit Yosemite National Park. We prefer May and September. During these months, the park is accessible but it’s also not overly crowded. Keep in mind there are closed parts of the park as early as October due to snow. If you’re looking to take your engagement photos at a waterfall in Yosemite, then late May and early June is a good time to consider visiting.
- Explore Together. The best advice we can give couples who want to take their engagement photos here is to just have fun and explore! Yosemite is also known for one of the most epic sunset locations we have ever seen.
Ready for some Epic Yosemite Engagement Photo Inspiration?
Jump to these couples to see how they styled and had fun at this gorgeous national park together:
- Shannon and Matthias – Yosemite Valley and Waterfall Engagement
- Abigail and Jonathan – Taft Point Engagement
Where to Take Engagement Photos at Yosemite
If you’re taking engagement photos at Yosemite National Park and its surrounding areas, then you should head over to their website for the latest on permit regulations. Both engagement and elopements require a permit, which is about $150. You will apply for a “wedding permit” even if you’re planning on taking engagement photos. You will also need to purchase the permit before your big day.
We thought it would be a great idea to show some engagement sessions and list some of our favorite spots to explore. If you aren’t sure if Yosemite is the ideal location for your engagement shoot, then check out these other gorgeous engagement locations.
Yosemite Valley is a good starting point if you’re looking to take waterfall engagement photos. There is a handful of waterfalls near this open valley with mountain range views. You can find Vernal Fall, Nevada Fall, and Yosemite Falls, to name a few options nearby. This spot is also perfect for couples who want a more relaxing adventure at Yosemite. There are easy trails nearby and a handful of lookout points and picnic areas.
One of the most epic spots at Yosemite has to be Glacier Point. While it’s a good 45-minute drive from Yosemite Valley, this spot is gorgeous for sunrise and sunset engagement portraits. You’ll be able to enjoy panoramic views of the valley, Yosemite Falls, and Half Dome. The best part about this location is it’s accessible by road, meaning you don’t have to go on an epic hike to get there. Please keep in mind, this is a popular spot. Plan accordingly with your photographer to ensure the best plan of action for an enjoyable engagement photo session.
Yosemite engagement pictures need to be taken at Half Dome. With its scenic views comes a long hike. The trail itself is about 14 to 16 miles long and elevations reach 4,800 feet. If you’re brave enough to do the entire hike, then we suggest planning at least 12 hours. Wear comfortable hiking boots and make sure to bring plenty of water for your adventure.
We love Mist Trail because it’s scenic and unique. You’ll have to climb 600-steps up where you’ll enjoy epic views from the mist from the surrounding falls. This is a great spot to visit on your engagement adventure, especially if you’re looking for that mystical waterfall experience.
Yosemite Engagement Photos Inspiration
Shannon and Matthias
Shannon and Matthias planned an elopement adventure at Yosemite to take engagement pictures up close and personal at one of the epic waterfalls. Their engagement adventure through the valley at Yosemite is the perfect inspiration for couples who want to chase waterfalls together.
“Yosemite is one of the most magical places on the face of the earth and sharing it is all I dream of. No matter the time of year, the valley can’t disappoint. From hiking in the valley and watching the sunset together, we made the adventure in Yosemite even more epic together.” [Wesley]
Check out how they styled their engagement photos below.
Abigail and Jonathan
Abigail and Jonathan went on a brief hike (a little over a mile) to get to Taft Point. They enjoyed a cotton candy sky as the sun went down over the park. Adriana, their photographer, said it was one of the most gorgeous sunsets she’s ever seen.
“Abigail is a big hiker. She loves the outdoors and has climbed Half Dome twice! Jonathan, not so much… The first hike he ever went on with her was a 15-mile hike to the top of Clouds Rest, at Yosemite National Park, and that’s where he proposed to her! He definitely deserved a big yes! When they started looking for photographers they wanted to have an engagement session that represented that story.” [Adriana]
Check out how their engagement adventure photos below.
Ready to start planning your Engagement shoot at Yosemite? Connect with one of our Wandering Weddings Members:
Northern California Wedding Photographers
Southern California Wedding Photographers