How to plan a Sequoia National Park Wedding
California is home to some of the most beautiful Redwood trees in the US. BUT, if you want to see REALLY BIG trees, there isn’t a better place other than Sequoia National Park. I mean, they’re seriously massive. Besides that, this park is full of cool hikes and beautiful lookouts! Eloping here is nothing short of magical, but there are a few things you need to know to plan your Sequoia National Park Wedding.
Sequoia National Park is located in California, and it’s open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Even though the park doesn’t close, weather conditions are always subjected to change and cause road closures and even Park closures.
Physical Address: 47050 Generals Highway, Three Rivers, CA 93271
Weather: because of the high elevation in this park, the weather can change drastically. It snows quite a lot every winter and the snow lingers past summer – always have chains in your car just in case. In the fall some roads start to close for the winter season. In my opinion, the best time to visit and do some hikes is the spring/summer.
Popularity: Sequoia National Park is a much more “chill” park than Yosemite, for example, but it’s still visited by a LOT of people. Choosing to have your Sequoia National Park wedding on a weekday will ensure you can escape from the tourist crowds!
Pets: more or less friendly. Pets are allowed in very limited areas of the Park, and they are not allowed in trails.
Fees: a vehicle entrance costs $35 and it’s valid for 7 days. We purchase the National Parks Year Pass every single year and it’s totally worth it. It costs $80 a year and it gives you access to every single National Park in the US.
How to Plan your Sequoia National Park Wedding
Now let’s dive into this guide, shall we? Here’s what you will find:
#1 Elopement & Wedding Permits
#2 Sequoia National Park Ceremony Locations
#3 Where to Stay near Sequoia National Park
#4 Best Time to Visit Sequoia National Park
#5 Elopement & Wedding Vendors
#6 Sequoia Wedding Venues
#1 Wedding Permits
Sequoia National Park, like most National and State Parks, WILL require that you apply for a Wedding Permit, but don’t worry! The process is really simple.
- Pick your date and your ceremony location
- Fill out the Application Online
- Pay the fee ($175+) – it can be done by check, money order, or online payment
- Once you have it all approved, print a copy and bring it with you on your wedding day
Important Update – Due to COVID, Sequoia National Park is NOT processing new wedding applications as of right now. Once they start accepting new applications again, you’ll have to apply for a permit 90 days before your desire date. You can check the Park’s official website and follow them on social media for updates.
PS. you are still allowed to take pictures at the Park, but you CAN’T have any kind of commitment ceremony. Check out later on this article a list of wedding venues and Airbnbs near Sequoia, where you could have your ceremony and/or reception, and still drive to the Park for photos!
#2 Ceremony Locations
You must choose one of the ceremony locations assigned by the Park below:
- Sunset Rock
- Beetle Rock
- Giant Forest Museum Patio
- Halstead Meadow
- Crescent Meadow – road closes to vehicles when it becomes impassable to snow
- Long Meadow/Wolverton
- Panoramic Point
Don’t worry, you don’t have to spend your whole wedding day just in one spot. Once we are done with the ceremony, we are free to roam around, explore, and take pictures in other parts of the Park!
#3 Where to Stay near Sequoia
I don’t know about you, but we always love staying in Airbnbs rather than staying in hotels. They’re often so unique and can feel like a home away from home. Plus, most of them are equipped with a full kitchen, and we LOVE to cook, even when we do road trips.
So if you’re looking for a place to stay near the Park, I recommend that you head over to Airbnb and look for cabins in Three Rivers, CA! A lot of these cabins are just a 5-minute drive away from the entrance of the Park, and they’re beautiful. Here are a few:
#4 Best Time to Visit
As I mentioned before, due to the high elevation of this Park, the weather can change pretty drastically in Sequoia National Park. We believe every season has something really special, and it gives the Park a unique landscape in each of them. Here’s an overlook on each season:
- Winter – road closures and LOTS of snow. If you’re the type of person that dreams about getting married in a winter wonderland, then eloping in Sequoia in the winter is PERFECT for you! And the best bonus is that there will be almost no tourists.
- Spring – there will probably still be snow around, but the temperatures will be milder, especially in the afternoon. It’s probably one of the best seasons to hike!
- Summer – the PERFECT time to escape the heat of the Central Valley in California! Because of the high elevation, it can be 110 degrees down in the Valley, but it will be super pleasant in Sequoia. Visit the Park on a WEEKDAY, and avoid weekends during the summer.
- Fall – Definitely one of the best times to visit the Park! Keep in mind that it can snow at any time and some roads will start to close during the fall.
- Our favorite seasons – summer (during the week) & spring.
#5 Wedding Vendors
What will you need to elope in Sequoia? To cover the basics, you’ll need a photographer, videographer, florist, makeup artist, hairstylist, and an officiant.
Because California is pretty chill, you can also have a friend or family member over the age of 18 getting ordained online, and that way, you’ll have someone special officiating your wedding! Check out this article I wrote with everything you need to know and do to elope in California.
There are a lot of amazing elopement vendors now, not just photographers and videographers, and we’ve had the pleasure of working with some of them!
Contact us if you need some recommendations and we’ll send some names your way ASAP!
#6 Sequoia Wedding Venues
If you’re searching for a place where you can have your ceremony and reception, and still drive up to the Park for photos, you should check out The Redwood Ranch at Three Rivers. Their wedding packages range from $4,500 to $15,000. You can have an intimate wedding with up to 25 guests or you can go all out and have up to 250 guests!
There really aren’t too many wedding venues super close to Sequoia, so another great option is to have your ceremony and/or reception at an Airbnb in Three Rivers! Only if you’re planning an intimate wedding, of course. Airbnbs and cabins are perfect for small weddings, and it would just be lovely to come back and have dinner with your guests at the same place you’re spending the night, right?
Here are a few ideas for you:
That’s a Wrap!
I hope this blog post gave you clarity and showed you that it’s not so complicated to elope in Sequoia National Park! If you can’t imagine getting married in any way other than surrounded by giant trees and nature, this National Park might be the perfect elopement location for you.
Don’t go Yet, Check Out:
- Eloping in California – Everything You Need to Know
- Yosemite National Park Winter Elopement
- Top 10 Elopement Planning Tips
We are Stephan & Adriana, husband and wife elopement photographers based in California. Lovers of adventure & the outdoors, and we can’t wait to hear from you!
Get in touch with us and let’s start planning your next adventure!