Yosemite Valley Chapel Weddings

Chapel Weddings and Marriage Renewals

Photo of El Capitan Photo of a Yosemite Valley Chapel Wedding Photo of Yosemite Falls


Thank you for considering the Yosemite Valley Chapel and Yosemite Community Church (YCC) for your wedding destination. Please read all of the information on this page before making your decision.

Once you have decided to choose the Yosemite Valley Chapel, then:

1. Call Faith to place a 14-day hold on the date and time of your choice. Please have 2 or 3 choices before calling Faith at 209-372-4831. If your call goes to voice-mail, then please leave a message with your email address and phone number, or contact us online.

2. A Wedding Packet of Information will be emailed to you.

3. Fill out the 'Chapel Wedding Reservation Form' contained in the Wedding Packet and return it with the payment due. Faith will send your confirmation via your email address, so please remember to include your email address on your reservation form.

Thank you,
Faith
YCC Secretary


Table of Contents




OFFICIAL Yosemite Valley Chapel Websites

We are the ONLY OFFICIAL websites for the Yosemite Valley Chapel and Yosemite Community Church (www.YosemiteValleyChapel.org and www.YosemiteValleyChapelWeddings.org).

These are our ONLY websites and we do not honor any other sites who claim to be the Yosemite Chapel.

Note: The OFFICIAL Yosemite Valley Chapel websites have the word "valley" in its web address and ends in the letters ".org". Please be careful and watch out for this.

If you have any questions about this or would like to report any suspicious looking websites to us that claim to be the Yosemite Valley Chapel website, please call 209-372-4831 and ask for Faith or see our Contact Us page.


Introduction: Welcome to the Yosemite Valley Chapel

Congratulations as you make plans for your wedding or marriage renewal ceremony! We are pleased that you are considering the Yosemite Valley Chapel as a possible site for this very special occasion.

For over a century, this humble house of God has served both visitors to and residents of Yosemite. It continues today as a place of Worship, prayer, meditation, and celebration.


Our History

The History of Yosemite Community Church: The Chapel was built in 1879 under the auspices of the Yosemite Union Chapel Association. Their stated purpose was:
"To erect an undenominational house of worship in the Yosemite Valley".
They took their inspiration from two Old Testament scripture verses:

Haggai 1:8: "Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD."

Isaiah 2:2: "And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it."

Funds were provided by private donors and monies collected in Sunday School classes across the state of California.

Although the Chapel continues today primarily as a house of worship, over the years it has become a popular wedding destination due to the spectacular setting and the quaint beauty of the building. The first Chapel wedding took place on October 24, 1884.


Getting Started

Anyone issued a valid wedding license by the state of California may have their ceremony at the Yosemite Valley Chapel.

We are able to make reservations for up to 18 months prior to your wedding or marriage renewal.

NO WEDDING MAY BE CONDUCTED ON THE CHAPEL LAWN OR GROUNDS. THIS IS NOT A SITE WHERE WEDDINGS MAY BE CONDUCTED AS PER THE OFFICE OF SPECIAL PERMITS.

The National Park Service requires that you obtain a Special Use Permit for all weddings and renewals in Yosemite National Park. For information and an application, please call the Special Park Uses Office at 209-379-1858 or visit www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/weddings.htm.


Resident Minister

Traditional Protestant weddings are available through the resident minister. Please refer to the Pre-Marriage Counseling section below.


Using Your Minister

You are welcome to bring any licensed officiant of your own choice. See paragraph Using Your Minister under Fees and Scheduling below.


Catholic Wedding

Your Catholic wedding must be arranged by Monica Diehl at Our Lady of the Sierras. Her phone number is 559-642-3452 and please pick option #100, or you may email her at monicaodols@gmail.com.

Please follow the fee schedule for Using Your Minister below. This payment is for the Chapel Rental ONLY -- all other requirements go through Monica's office.


Chapel Facilities

The Chapel seats approximately 125 people and has a center aisle (approximately 4' x 40'), altar, organ, baby grand piano, and a simple worship setting. There are nine rows of pews on each side of the Chapel.

There is only one rest room. Because this bathroom must meet the needs of not only the wedding or marriage renewal party, but also guests and the church staff, it is not possible to use the rest room as a dressing room to prepare for your wedding or marriage renewal. Please remove all items from the restroom. The Chapel is NOT responsible for lost or stolen items.

Please arrive at the Chapel already dressed and fully ready for the ceremony. There is no side room to wait in prior to the ceremony.

The Chapel is wheelchair accessible by a wheelchair lift (elevator).


Pre-Marriage Counseling

Pre-marriage counseling is only required when using the resident minister. You do not need to schedule this counseling if you are bringing your own minister.

We wish for you to have a lovely, memorable wedding day and we pray that you have a good, solid, growing marriage.

Premarital counseling is intended to equip you with the tools and skills you will need to grow together. Therefore, premarital counseling is required before your wedding in the Chapel, for those using the Chapel minister.

To facilitate this valuable aspect of your future health and vitality as a couple, and to provide you an opportunity to meet with the minister prior to your wedding, we offer a one-day Marriage Enrichment Seminar.

This seminar is held in the Chapel the first Saturday of each month (except in January, July, or September). History, experience, and feedback from participants tells us you will find the seminar time well worth your while.

The seminar begins at 8:15 AM and is over at approximately 3:30 PM.

There is a one-hour break around noon for lunch. Due to the limited lunch hour and the driving time involved to return to the Chapel on the one-way loop, we encourage you to bring your own picnic lunch to enjoy on the Chapel grounds. In addition, we provide two refreshment breaks.

Typically, 5 to 20 couples attend the seminar. Unfortunately, child care is not available and we ask that you do not bring infants or children to the seminar.

The seminar consists in part of the following:


Fees and Scheduling

The following fees, payable to Yosemite Community Church, may or may not be applicable to your given situation, but are listed here for your information:

Using Our Minister:
 

Chapel Rental

   

 

 

   1. PEAK Season
         (April through September)

   

$850.00

 

   2. OFF Season
         (October through March)

   

$750.00

 

Minister Officiation

   

$300.00

 

Marriage Enrichment Seminar
(per couple)

   

$150.00

 

Refillable Candle Fee

   

$50.00

 

Rehearsal (optional)
(this is a minister fee, not Chapel rental)

   

$75.00

 

 
Please be sure to calculate
the correct amount to remit!

 

 

Using Your Minister:
 

Chapel Rental

   

 

 

   1. PEAK Season
         (April through September)

   

$850.00

 

   2. OFF Season
         (October through March)

   

$750.00

 

Attendant fee (unlocks restroom,
brings our candelabras & assists bride)

   

$75.00

 

Refillable Candle Fee

   

$50.00

 

 
Please be sure to calculate
the correct amount to remit!



If you use your own minister, then I will need ONE of these three items from YOUR minister:

1. Proof of ordination, or
2. Proof of license, or
3. A letter on your minister's letterhead.

You pay your minister yourself.

All checks should be payable to: YOSEMITE COMMUNITY CHURCH

To confirm your reservation immediately, you may send a check for the total applicable amount along with your CHAPEL RESERVATION REQUEST FORM. This will allow us to confirm your reservation immediately assuming the date and time requested is available.

You may call the church office to check the availability and arrange a tentative date and time. We will hold tentative reservations for 14 days to allow couples time to firm up their plans.

To confirm a tentative reservation, please return the CHAPEL RESERVATION REQUEST FORM, along with your payment for all applicable fees.

Please make your check payable to the Yosemite Community Church and mail it to:
Yosemite Community Church
P.O. Box 456
Yosemite National Park, CA 95389


We will send you a confirmation of your reservation via your e-mail address.


Cancellations and Schedule Changes

We hope you do not have to cancel your reservation; but if you do, please let us know in writing as soon as possible so we may make the Chapel available to others.

If we receive the notice of your cancellation (post marked) at least 30 days before your wedding reservation, 50 percent of the Chapel and minister's fees and 100 percent of all other unused fees will be refunded.

If you notify us of your cancellation or schedule change less than 30 days before your wedding reservation, all fees are non-refundable.

In the event of a park closure due to natural disasters or other unforeseen events beyond our control, we would be happy to reschedule your event.

Please mail any cancellation notice to:
Yosemite Community Church
P.O. Box 456
Yosemite National Park, CA 95389


On Your Wedding or Marriage Renewal Day

Please arrive at the Chapel 30 minutes before the starting time of your ceremony to meet with our minister so the ceremony can begin on time. Weddings and renewals are scheduled 90 minutes apart.

You will have the Chapel reserved one-half hour before and ending one hour after the scheduled time of your ceremony.

For example, if your ceremony is scheduled to begin at 1:00 PM, then your reservation is from 12:30 PM until 2:00 PM.

The last ten minutes of your reserved time must be set aside for clean-up.

Remember that the road in front of the Chapel is one-way. If you are driving from the Yosemite Village area, give yourself plenty of time to drive to the El Capitan crossover and then to the Chapel.

There will be ample time for your wedding and pictures if you begin on time. Your Chapel reservation is only for the time that has been set and it is likely that the Chapel will be in use for other services during the periods immediately preceding and immediately following your wedding.

Please respect the allotted time for your wedding ceremony.
Please do not arrive earlier.
Please do not allow florists, musicians or other vendors to arrive prior to your allotted time.

Please respect these policies. If you feel you need more time, you MUST call the Chapel and reserve an additional time slot: see Fees and Scheduling above.


Rehearsal

If you wish to schedule a rehearsal, please contact the Chapel office at 209-372-4831. Rehearsals are scheduled for one hour only. They are usually scheduled at 6:30 PM or at 7:30 PM (although sometimes our calendar allows an alternate time within 30 days of your ceremony).

THERE IS NO ATTENDANT AND RESTROOMS ARE NOT UNLOCKED FOR REHEARSALS. Please notify your minister if you are having a rehearsal. The Chapel does not coordinate rehearsals with any minister.


Music

You are free to provide whatever music you wish for your ceremony (including instruments, tape players, etc.) as long as the volume and selections are within reason of what one would expect to hear in a Chapel.

A list of local area musicians (and other services) is included below for your reference.


Chapel Decorations and Flowers

Because the Chapel is small, we recommend that flower arrangements be kept to a minimum. The Chapel has two freestanding candelabras for your use.

Candles are rented (see Fees and Scheduling above). If you plan to light a Unity Candle during the ceremony, bring one 3" base candle, the side candles will be rented and are the Chapels property.

NO tape or tacks are permitted in decorating. Nothing is allowed that will leave any remaining "print" on the Chapel.

No decorations are permitted on the piano or organ and these instruments are not to be moved from their fixed locations.

No use of candles is permitted outside the altar area.

NO REAL FLOWER PETALS CAN BE USED INSIDE OR OUTSIDE THE CHAPEL. YOU MAY USE SILK FLOWER PETALS ONLY TO BE USED BY A FLOWER GIRL.

NOTE: Please designate a person(s) to pick up and remove all flowers, 3 inch base unity candles, paper, boxes, etc. from the Chapel and Chapel grounds. The last ten minutes of your reserved time should be used for this.

THE UNITY CANDLEHOLDER IS THE PROPERTY OF YOSEMITE COMMUNITY CHURCH. IF YOU TAKE IT, YOU WILL BE CHARGED FOR A NEW ONE.


Rice Throwing, Etc.

The throwing of rice, birdseed, flower petals, balloons, confetti, etc., is not permitted, either inside the Chapel or on the Chapel grounds.


No Receptions, Food, or Drinks at the Chapel

There is no area in which you are permitted to have a reception at the Chapel. PARK SERVICE PERMITS NO refreshments or food of any kind, NO EATING OR DRINKING AT THE CHAPEL OR ANYWHERE IN THE GROUNDS, INCLUDING THE PARKING LOT.


Pets

*** Pets are NOT ALLOWED in the Chapel!!! NO EXCEPTIONS!!! ***
Pets or animals of any kind (horses etc.) are not permitted as part of your wedding event.

For more regulations about your pets, please see the Yosemite National Park's Pets web page.


Park Entrance Fee

Please inform your wedding or marriage renewal party and guests that everyone will be required to pay applicable National Park Service vehicle entrance fees to enter the park.


Marriage License

You must bring your California Marriage License (issued within 90 days of your ceremony) with you to your wedding ceremony (California residency is not required for a marriage license).

The minister must have your license before your ceremony can begin. A Standard License may be obtained from the County Clerk in any California county.

(If you should desire a Confidential License for use in Yosemite, you must obtain that license at the Mariposa County Clerk (209-966-2007) in the town of Mariposa, California.)


Receptions and Lodging

The Chapel has no facilities for wedding receptions and none are allowed on the Chapel grounds or in the parking lot.

Arrangements for a reception can be handled directly with Yosemite Hospitality

You can call their Wedding Specialist at 888-413-8869.

For hotel reservations within the park, call 888-413-8869.


Seasonal Considerations

During winter, be prepared for snowy and icy conditions by carrying the required tire chains in all vehicles from Labor Day through Memorial Day. If you do not have chains, you WILL be turned back to the closest town outside the park to purchase or rent them.

The local 24-hour recorded road and weather information telephone number is 209-372-0200.

It is especially important during the winter months for all those who attend your ceremony to be prepared with outdoor footgear since the paths to the Chapel may be snow or ice covered.

IN WINTER TIRE CHAINS ARE REQUIRED. THEY MUST BE CARRIED IN YOUR VEHICLE EVEN IF CONDITIONS ARE NOT SNOWY OR THE ROADS SHOW NO SIGNS OF SNOW OR ICE.

Please also be aware that during peak visitation periods, such as holidays and the summer months, you should plan for extra travel time due to increased traffic into the park and possible delays at the park entrances.

In planning your travel to Yosemite National Park, please call the recorded Road and Weather line of the park at 209-372-0200 for the most up-to-date information.

For more Yosemite weather information, please see the Yosemite National Park - Is there a best time to visit section.


? Questions ?

If you have further questions, please call our office at 209-372-4831. If we are not available to take your call when you phone, please leave a message on our voice mail and we will try to call you back as soon as possible.

REVISED 7-2014



List of Local Florists, Photographers, Musicians, Videogaphers

The Yosemite Community Church, as a courtesy, provides this list of local resources if you desire floral, photography, music, video service, lodging, or an alternative/outdoor Minister for your wedding.

All arrangements and fees are made directly with the individuals. The Yosemite Community Church cannot be held responsible for arrangements or correctness of information. We recommend that you perform your own due diligence prior to signing a contract.

Florists

  • Mountain Flowers
    & Gifts
    --OFFICIAL--

    By: Mary Lee Moore
    5180 Hwy 49
    P.O. Box 1174
    Mariposa, CA 95338
    209-966-4656
    800-433-4656

  • Redbud Bouquet
    Native Design

    Laura Blackman
    49269 Road 426
    Suite B
    Oakhurst, CA 93644
    559-641-2837
    559-676-1973

Photographers

Musicians

Videographers       

  • Bob Sequera
    5700 Lehamite Falls
    Mariposa, CA 95338
    209-742-7585

Pictures of the Chapel and its Surroundings

 



If you do not see a slideshow above (requires Adobe Flash Player), then please visit our non-flash-based slideshow.

If you would like to view these photos in a non-slideshow format, then please visit picasaweb.google.com/YosemiteValleyChapel.org


Panorama View of the Chapel from 360panos.com


More photos of the Chapel shared by others can be found at Flickr:
- Slideshow 1, 2, 3, 4 (requires Adobe Flash Player)
- Non-Slideshow 1, 2, 3, 4 (does not require Flash Player)