Sequoia National Park Elopement + Wedding Guide
There’s something so magical about being surrounded by towering trees and lush greenery – and it’s even more magical if you get to marry your best friend too! If you want to tie the knot amongst towering mountains, deep canyons, and the tallest trees in the world, a Sequoia National Park elopement might be for you!
This guide will tell you everything you need to know to get married in Sequoia National Park, so you can plan the wedding of your dreams!
What you’ll find in this Sequoia National Park Elopement Guide:
- Why you should elope in Sequoia National Park
- The Best Places to Elope in Sequoia National Park
- Best Time to Elope in Sequoia National Park
- The Legal Stuff: Permits, Officiants, and Marriage Licenses
- What to Do
- Where to Stay
- Example Timelines
- Alternatives to Sequoia National Park
- The Cost of Eloping in Sequoia National Park
- Sequoia Elopement Packages – Are you ready to elope Wild & Free?
Why You Should Elope in Sequoia National Park
Is an adventurous elopement in Sequoia National Park right for you? Here are a few reasons we think it is!
Two National Parks in One!
When you elope in Sequoia, you get two national parks in one. Though they’re technically separate parks, Sequoia and Kings Canyon are connected, with joint admission and gorgeous views in both! You can choose from towering trees, as well as deep canyons and stunning mountain views.
Of course, one of the biggest reasons to elope in Sequoia is to see these towering giants! The Sequoia trees are some of the tallest trees in the entire world – which makes them a pretty incredible sight, and a jaw-dropping backdrop for any adventurous wedding day.
Year Round Fun
Though Sequoia National Park offers an entirely different experience depending on the time of year, each season brings something unique! Whether you elope in the summer and hit the trails, or get married in the winter and enjoy the peaceful winter wonderland, you’ll have an incredible day.
The Best Places to Elope in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park
Choosing the perfect place to tie the knot is so exciting – and when you elope at Sequoia or Kings Canyon National Park, you have countless amazing options! The park has pre-approved locations where you can have a ceremony, so you’ll need to choose one of these. But don’t worry, we can go explore afterward and take photos at other spots!
Sequoia National Park Elopement Locations
Here are the places where you can elope in Sequoia National Park, along with the maximum number of people you can have at the ceremony.
- Beetle Rock – 75
- Giant Forest Museum Patio – 75
- Sunset Rock – 25
- Crescent Meadow – 30
- Halstead Meadow – 20
- Wolverton/Long Meadow – 100
- Lost Grove Turnout – 25
Kings Canyon National Park Elopement Locations
For mountain views, here are the places where you can elope in Kings Canyon, and the maximum number of people you can have!
- Panoramic Point – 15
- Cedar Grove – 20
While these are the only places where you can have your ceremony, you can – and should – explore the park and take photos before or after the knot is tied! If you’re eloping with guests, this is a great way to have an adventure with just the two of you.
We give all of our couples a personalized list of recommendations for elopement locations, so we’ll help you find some off-the-beaten-path spots where we can go for some privacy on your elopement day! Get in touch to learn more about our Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park elopement locations.
The Best Time for a Sequoia National Park Elopement
Sequoia National Park is stunning year-round, and while some roads close for the winter, you can explore the park any time of year! But, the seasons are very different, so you’ll need to be prepared before you set a date.
Winter in Sequoia National Park
Winters are cold and snowy in Sequoia and Kings Canyon. Some of the roads may close, and some higher-elevation areas will be inaccessible if there’s a lot of snow. But, if you elope in the winter, you’ll have the park almost entirely to yourself! There aren’t many people out and about this time of year, so getting married in a winter wonderland can be a really fun, unique experience.
Spring in Sequoia National Park
Spring is unpredictable, with a mix of sunny days and late-season snow storms. The parks are usually still snowy in the spring, but the snow does begin to melt as the weather warms up! This is one of the best times to elope in the foothills, because the wildflowers start to bloom, and spring is much less busy than summer in the parks.
Summer in Sequoia National Park
Summer is definitely the most popular time to visit the parks, and it’s the best time to elope if you want to go hiking. The snow usually melts by mid-July, so you can hit the trails while it’s warm and sunny!
Late summer is wildfire season in California, so be aware that conditions can sometimes be smokey or dangerous in the parks.
Fall in Sequoia National Park
Fall is pretty short at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, as temperatures cool down in September and snow typically starts to flurry at the end of October. Road closures may occur in November but are usually temporary to clean the roads after significant snow. What’s left is the magic of snow in Sequoia! This can be an amazing time to elope, with fall foliage or snow, fewer crowds, and mild temperatures!
Elope on a weekday!
Eloping on a weekday ensures more privacy for your wedding day! Weekends are busier no matter where you go, so plan your Sequoia National Park elopement during the week to avoid crowds.
The Legal Stuff – Getting Legally Married at Sequoia National Park
There’s some paperwork you’ll have to do to elope at Sequoia – but we’ve got you covered! Here’s what you need to know.
Sequoia National Park Wedding Permits
A permit is required to have a ceremony at Sequoia or Kings Canyon National Park – it’s the same application for both! This needs to be completed and sent to the park office within 60 days of your ceremony, but doing this ahead of time ensures plenty of time for processing.
You can find the Sequoia National Park wedding permit application here, and there’s a $150 application fee. You’ll need to know your elopement date, and the locations where you want to tie the knot before you apply!
Sequoia National Park Marriage License
A marriage license is required to get legally married, and this needs to be obtained in the state where your ceremony takes place. You can go to any county clerk’s office in California to apply for a marriage license, but the one closest to the parks is the Tulare County office.
You can find the application online and fill it out ahead of time, then go to the country clerk’s office in person to sign it and to get the marriage license. Bring your photo IDs, and $93 for the application fee!
For more info on California marriage licenses, check out this guide.
Sequoia National Park Elopement Officiant
An officiant is required to sign the marriage license to legally marry you. You can hire a professional elopement officiant to join you for the adventure, but if you want something more private, we’re ordained and can sign the papers for you instead!
Consider a self-uniting ceremony.
A self-uniting ceremony gives you the ultimate freedom and flexibility for your elopement day. You can exchange vows and have your ceremony exactly the way you want it, and then we can sign the papers to make it legal! You can learn more about self-uniting ceremonies here.
What to Do When You Elope in Sequoia National Park
Planning your elopement is all about coming up with unique ways to personalize your experience, and to make sure that your day is exactly what you want! When you plan your Sequoia National Park elopement, think about what would make this day truly incredible. Here are a few ideas for things to do on your day!
Take a Hike
Hiking through the Sequoia trees, or in the mountains of Kings Canyon National Park is an incredible experience. There are plenty of short nature walks and easy hikes, so you don’t have to do anything too strenuous to enjoy the views!
Explore a Cave
Did you know that there’s a marble cavern in Sequoia National Park? It’s a short walk through the cave, giving you a look at some unique underground scenery! Crystal Cave is fragile, so you’ll need to take a guided tour, but it’s an incredible experience to have when you elope.
Skiing and Snowshoeing
If you elope at Sequoia or Kings Canyon in the winter, you can explore the trails on skis or on snowshoes! You can cross-country ski or take a guided tour and experience the winter wonderland.
Sequoia National Park Elopement Inspiration
Where to Stay in Sequoia National Park
During your elopement, you’ll need somewhere to come back to after a day of adventures! Luckily, there are plenty of options in and around Sequoia National Park.
A Lodge in the Park
There are a few convenient options for places to stay in the park.
The Wuksachi Lodge is a cozy stone and cedar lodge in the heart of Sequoia National Park, surrounded by towering trees and views of the mountains. The John Muir Lodge is in King’s Canyon, providing a retreat amongst the forest views!
For something more private, check out the adorable Grant Grove Cabins, which as an added bonus, are dog friendly too!
Camping in Sequoia National Park
To add a little extra adventure to your elopement day, there are several campgrounds where you can camp in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park! Each one has a picnic and a fire ring, and you’ll need to make a reservation to save your spot.
Sample Sequoia National Park Elopement Timelines
When you elope Wild & Free, we’ll make a custom timeline for your day – one that’s completely personalized for you and what you want! To give you some ideas of what your elopement could look like, here are some sample Sequoia National Park elopement timelines.
Sunset Rock Elopement With Family
9:00 Breakfast & coffee at Grant Grove Cabin
11:00 Hair and makeup begins
1:00 Drive to Sunset Rock trailhead
2:00 Meet up with family at trailhead
2:00 Change into wedding attire
2:30 First look & couple’s photos
3:00 Picnic lunch
4:00 Begin hike to Sunset Rock
5:30 Photos with family
6:00 Couple’s photos
7:00 Begin hike back
7:30 Drive back to the cabin for dinner and toasts!
“Just Us” Camping Elopement
Day before: arrive at campsite and set up tent
9:00 Coffee and breakfast
11:00 Hair and makeup begins
1:00 Put on ceremony attire
1:30 First look & couples photos at campsite
2:00 Drive to Crescent Meadow
4:00 Picnic and cake
5:00 Couple’s photos
6:00 Drive to Big Trees Trail
6:30 Hike & photos!
Chat up an expert
There are a lot of things that go into making an elopement timeline – how long each part of the day takes, how much time you need to add to make sure the day is stress-free and you don’t feel rushed, and how the lighting will be during different parts of the day. Make sure you hire an elopement photographer who will help with all of that and talk to an expert about planning your Sequoia National Park elopement!
Alternatives to a Sequoia National Park Elopement
If you aren’t sure if Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are quite right for you, there are other places where you can see Sequoia trees and get gorgeous views! Here are a few alternative places to tie the knot.
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite is just a few hours from Sequoia National Park, and you can see the towering Sequoia trees here too, along with incredible glaciers and granite cliffs. The views are similar to both Sequoia and Kings Canyon, and there are tons to explore!
Sequoia National Forest
Here’s a secret – most national parks have a national forest nearby, and these national forests have similar scenery, with fewer crowds! For more of the incredible Sequoia trees, check out the trails in Sequoia National Forest.
Redwoods National & State Parks
While the Redwoods are a different kind of tall tree, they offer similar scenery to Sequoia National Park. The huge Redwood trees are mostly found in Redwoods National and State Parks in Northern California, but you can also see them around Big Sur!
The Cost of Eloping in Sequoia National Park
Budgeting is a big part of planning any wedding! So to help you plan for the costs of eloping, here’s a breakdown of a typical cost of eloping in Sequoia National Park. Keep in mind that every elopement is unique and that a small wedding day allows you to prioritize the things and experiences that are important to you!
Here are a few things that might be in your Sequoia National Park elopement budget.
- Travel – Do you need flights or transportation?
- Accommodations – You’ll need somewhere to come back to after your adventure so whether it’s a campground, trendy Airbnb, or an upscale resort, find something that fits your vibe!
- Meals – Don’t forget about food! You can pack a picnic, stop at a local eatery, or even hire a private chef.
- Marriage License – Fees vary by county, but average around $90 across the state.
- Wedding Permit – If you need a permit, depending on the park and area will average between $200-600.
- Wedding Attire – Dresses, suits, or whatever you’ll be wearing when you tie the knot!
- Hair and Makeup – You can totally do your own, but hiring a professional is so worth it and helps ensure things stay put throughout your adventure – this usually ranges from $300 to $1000.
- Florals – Add a bouquet, flower crown, boutonniere, or floral decorations to your day! A professional florist ranges from $300 to $1500.
- Photographer – Relive your memories over and over by investing in a photographer you love! Elopement photographer packages average from $4000 – $20,000
You’ll never regret investing in good photos
A photographer is usually a pretty big part of the elopement budget – and while the costs can seem daunting, the truth is that the memories of your wedding day are priceless! Being able to look at the photos and see yourselves, getting married and having a blast, as the story of your elopement day unfolds for you to relive over and over in, is something you’ll never regret investing in.
Sequoia National Park Elopement Packages – Ready to Elope Wild & Free?
You deserve a wedding day you absolutely love, and you deserve to be stress-free as you marry the love of your life. Our Sequoia National Park elopement packages are designed to include anything and everything you need to plan a day that’s perfect for you – we’ll give you personalized location lists, vendor recommendations, places to stay, a custom elopement timeline, and more, so you can have a day that’s fun, carefree, and truly once in a lifetime!
Sequoia + Kings Canyon National Park Elopement Packages Include:
- Photography coverage
- Options from 6 hours to 2-days of photography coverage with Joni, who has over 13 years of experience
- Photographer’s travel covered to your destination
- A fun photo experience where you’ll feel comfortable in front of the camera in no time and have all of your special moments captured
- Location Lookbooks to show you ceremony and portrait spots for the dreamiest photos
- Creative timeline design to make everything flow perfectly on your day
- Exclusive planning tools to help you design the best day
- Our helpful magazine + a self-paced planning checklist to guide you through designing your elopement from start to finish
- Questionnaires for us to get to know you and your unique vision
- Vendor Lookbooks to build your dream team
- Alternative reception ideas for those looking to celebrate out-of-the-box
- Sustainability and Leave No Trace education for a wedding day you can feel good about
- Officiant signature for self-uniting ceremonies
- Amazing photos + free downloads
- 3-5 sneak peek images within one week of your day so you can share your gorgeous portraits with friends and family right away
- Your full story in hundreds of edited digital images delivered within two months to relive the entire adventure over and over again
- Your own personal gallery to share your images with family and friends
- Free high-resolution digital downloads for everyone (no paying per photo or per download!)
- Printing rights to all photos
- Access to professional quality prints, wall art, magazines, and albums conveniently available for purchase a la carte right inside your gallery
Elopement packages start at $7200
Ready to elope Wild & Free? Contact us, and let’s make your dream wedding day come to life!