Did you get engaged over the holidays and want to elope in Yosemite but not sure where to start? While hiring a wedding planner may be an option, if you're like many couples who prefer more of a DIY approach, then read on for our top tips on making your destination wedding planning a little easier...
First, and most importantly, hire local! If you're not planning on using a venue, then start with finding a photographer who is local to the area or familiar with shooting inside the park. These people are going to know the ins and out of the park as well as the best places to shoot! There's much more to Yosemite National Park than just Glacier and Taft Point. Photographers who shoot here regularly know all of the lesser known spots and you won't end up with photos that look like everyone else's out there. You'll find many adventure and destination photographers who have a lot of experience shooting here. If you're still having trouble finding one that suits your style and budget, ask us, we work with some of the best in the industry!
Which brings us to referrals. Once you book your vendor, ask them for local referrals, they're going to be your best resource for other vendors such as your florist, hair and makeup, officiant, etc.! The mountain community is a small one and those of us who live here work with each other frequently so we'll know which direction to steer you in. We work with countless couples other states and countries and when we ask them about their planning from afar experience the ones who asked for referrals were the ones who had the easiest time planning, in our experience. Many of them had never even visited Yosemite until their elopement!
Last but not least, hire early! It's never to soon to start the inquiry process so you can budget accordingly. If you find a vendor that you love, don't wait to book them, especially if your date is on a weekend because chances are that if you do, you'll find that it's already gone. Many destination vendors typically book out anywhere from nine to twelve months. So what are you waiting for? Go get that planning started!