Chapel Weddings and Marriage Vow Renewals
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,
1. Call Faith (the Yosemite Community Church Secretary)
If your call goes to voice-mail, then please leave a message
with your email address and phone number.
2. A Wedding Packet of Information will be emailed to you.
If you left a message, Faith will return your call.
3. Read the Wedding Packet and call Faith
to place a 14 day hold on the date and time of your choice.
Please have two or three choices ready before calling Faith.
4. Fill out the 'Chapel Wedding Reservation Form'
contained in the Wedding Packet and
return it by mail along with the payment due.
Faith will email you a confirmation, so
please remember to include your email address on your
We are the ONLY OFFICIAL website
for the Yosemite Valley Chapel and
Yosemite Community Church
This is our ONLY website and we do not honor
any other sites who claim to be the Yosemite Chapel.
Note: The OFFICIAL Yosemite Valley Chapel website
has the word "valley" in its web address and
ends in the letters ".org".
Furthermore, the word "wedding" or "weddings" is NOT
in its domain name (the
is the part after the "http://www" all the way to and
including the ".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.
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 as both
a beacon and clarion, brightly shining and triumphantly
declaring the love of God to those who live here and
those who visit.
By way of introduction, we want to familiarize you with us in a
general way and specifically as it relates to the use of the
Yosemite Valley Chapel for weddings and marriage renewals.
Doing so will allow you to have the information you need to
determine if the Yosemite Valley Chapel is
the most suitable location and setting for your special day.
We have a lot of information for you on this page and we
hope that it will cover most of your questions.
Please see our Questions section
near the end of this page if you have any further questions.
The History of Yosemite Valley Chapel
The Chapel was built in 1879 by those who recognized that
the God who created our wonderful surroundings is even
more incredible than His creation. As the psalmist declares
"O God, You are more awesome than Your holy places"
The Chapel would serve as a gathering place for residents
and visitors alike who understood that by opening to
God's love and embracing His plan for our lives,
we can know Him personally, fellowship with Him ongoing,
and worship Him eternally.
Over the years, we have maintained that emphasis.
To this day, Yosemite Community Church continues
to be a church where God's children are welcome,
Christ Jesus our Savior is exalted, and
His Word is proclaimed.
All this for the glory of God.
For more details, please visit our
The Mission of Yosemite Community Church
To be a caring community of believers serving as a center for
spiritual growth and renewal where those who live, work, and
visit in Yosemite National Park may encounter the living
Christ through joyful worship, Bible study, and regular fellowship.
While striving to bring others to Christ by invitation and example,
we are called to minister to the spiritual, physical, and emotional
needs of every person as God gives us strength and direction
through the Holy Spirit.
The Ministry of Yosemite Community Church
Our ministry, the activities associated with the Chapel, are
by definition an outflow of our mission, which, in turn, is
born out of the purpose for which the Chapel was originally
Therefore, services and ceremonies conducted in the Chapel,
by nature, must reflect that mission and purpose which
adhere to the basic tenets of the Christian faith.
The resident minister of Yosemite Community Church is
therefore only available for services and ceremonies
that reflect the traditional Biblical view of marriage.
For other ceremonies, please contact the office for a
referral minister or you may bring your own minister.
The information provided below, outlining the practices and
policies consistent with our mission and ministry, will
ensure that we have met our responsibility to help you
have a meaningful ceremony and that you have established
a foundation upon which you can grow together in your
Anyone issued a valid wedding license by the state of
California may have his or her ceremony at the
We are able to make reservations for up to 13 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
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
Couples desiring a CATHOLIC WEDDING must arrange directly
with Father Duffy, the resident Catholic priest of Yosemite.
He will send you his special wedding packet for
Please call Father Duffy at 209-372-4729 or write to:
P.O. Box 457
Yosemite, CA 95389.
This packet you are reading DOES NOT pertain to a
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 (9) rows of pews on each side of the chapel.
There is only one rest room, which is used by the public.
Because this bathroom must meet the needs of not only the
wedding or marriage renewal party, but also guests,
the church staff, and the public in general,
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
Pre-marriage counseling is only required when using the
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
The seminar begins at 8:15 AM and is over at
approximately 4:30 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:
Thought-provoking and fun worksheets
Christian values in marriage
Review of the wedding ceremony and comments on rehearsals
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:
Marriage Enrichment Seminar
(total of 14 and 2 for unity holder)
(this is a minister fee, not chapel rental)
With Rehearsal (optional) $980.00
Using Your Minister:
Attendant fee (unlocks restroom,
brings our candelabras & assists bride)
Refillable Candle Fee
I will need ONE of these items from YOUR minister:
1. Proof of ordination, or
2. Proof of license, or
3. A letter on your ministers 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.
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.
Please mail any cancellation notice to:
Yosemite Community Church
P.O. Box 456
Yosemite National Park, CA 95389
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
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 at the $400.00 chapel
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 14 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.
You are free to provide whatever music you wish
for your ceremony (including instruments,
tape players, etc.) as long 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.
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
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
IF YOU TAKE IT, YOU WILL BE CHARGED FOR A NEW ONE.
The throwing of rice, birdseed, flower petals,
balloons, confetti, etc., is not permitted,
either inside the Chapel or on the Chapel grounds.
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 are NOT ALLOWED in the Chapel!!! NO EXCEPTIONS!!! ***
For more rules about your pets, please see the
Park's Pets web page.
Please inform your wedding or marriage renewal party and guests
that everyone will be required to pay applicable
Service vehicle entrance fees
to enter the park.
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
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
(209-966-2007) in the town of
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
North Companies, Inc.).
You can call their Wedding Specialist at
For hotel reservations within the park, call
During winter, be prepared for snowy and icy conditions
by carrying the
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
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
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.
If you have further questions, please call our office at
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.
Thank you for your interest, for allowing us to share with you,
and for respecting the policies and practices outlined above.
We pray that God will guide you as you plan and bless you
as you honor Him in your lives.
The Yosemite Community Church, as a courtesy, provides this list
of local resources if you desire
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.
P.O. Box 1470
Merced, CA 95341
Anything on Video
5799 Lehamite Falls
Mariposa, CA 95338
Tin Lizzie Inn
B&B and Model T
7730 Laurel Way
Fish Camp, CA 93622
David & Sheran Woodworth