Minaret Photography » Mammoth Lakes California Wedding and Portrait Photography

Mammoth Lakes Wedding Venues: Convict Lake, Top of the Sierra, Hayden Cabin, Forest Chapel, Mammoth Mountain, Parallax

This week I thought it would be worthwhile to write a post about a few of Mammoth’s most popular wedding venues.

If you’re familiar with the area, none of these spots are going to be new. If you are just gathering information about possible wedding venues, all of these are spots we shoot often and recommend to brides in search of a location.

For brevity’s sake, I won’t go into areas north or south of town this week, though there are several great spots near Bishop and the June Lake loop that we would highly recommend.

This is meant to be an informative and objective post, highlighting spots we have had good experiences with. There are a lot of great alternatives but these are the venues we shoot most often and field the most inquiries about. With that said, we love to shoot new spots and have lots of suggestions for off-the-beaten-path spots if you so desire–hit us up for some help if you’d like.

It’s worth mentioning that the crew at Green Fox Events planned and furnished a lot of the details you’ll see here. They do a fantastic job of making the big day run smooth and they make our jobs a lot easier. Objectivity aside, Green Fox is a great way to go if you need help and want to save money for your wedding.

Thanks and we’ll be back next week with more.


 Mammoth Wedding Venues:


Top of the Sierra

The venue at Top of the Sierra is about 11,ooo feet above sea level, which makes it one of the highest wedding venues in California. The views from that altitude are incredible, and the varying locations there all offer something different. In nice weather, most couple are married outdoors, overlooking the San Joaquin Valley, Red’s Meadow, and the pass into Yosemite’s Tuolomne Meadows.

Unfortunately, the weather is incredibly tricky there and many weddings (particularly in the winter) are moved indoors to a small room looking out onto the Mammoth Crest. The afternoon and evening light there is amazing.

Another aspect of weddings up there is that everybody takes the gondola up which is a huge thrill, especially if your guests aren’t from the area and aren’t familiar with the ascent between the top of Chair 3 and the upper gondola station.


Parallax is Mammoth Mountain’s chic restaurant/reception site at McCoy Station. Over the winter, they remodeled much of that end of the building with (amongst other things) a plush, glasssed-in fireplace in the center of the room. Like Top of the Sierra, it takes a gondola ride up from Main Lodge which can be pretty exciting, especially for flat-landers.

They’ve got several different dining wedding programs there ranging from buffet-style to full-service, and the food is always fantastic.

There’s plenty of room for big groups, and the Mammoth Weddings staff really knows how to handle anything you can throw at them.

Hayden Cabin

Hayden cabin is quaint, woodsy and very close to town. The cabin is quintessentially alpine-rustic and probably what a lot of people imagine when they think of the Sierras. It’s close to one of the main town roads, but quiet and private. With a very short walk from the ceremony site, views of the Sherwins, Mammoth Rock and Mammoth Mountain are easy to find. The dance floor along Mammoth Creek and the colorful staff make the Hayden Cabin a memorable spot the get married, and one that we are stoked to work more at this summer.


Convict Lake

Easily one of the most popular wedding venues in the Eastern Sierra, Convict Lake has everything you’d want from a mountain wedding. There are the super rustic, yet comfortable, cabins within walking distance of the restaurant and reception tent. The views of the lake and Mt. Morrison are second to none. It’s quiet, secluded, safe peaceful. Finally, I can say that the food at Convict Lake is amongst the best anywhere in this part of the state.

For wedding photographers, Convict is a super dynamic spot with lots of unique places to shoot formal portraits with the bridal party before the ceremony. The ridge lines have incredible backdrops and good afternoon light, which is a huge benefit for photography.

Forest Chapel

Forest Chapel is, to me, the most Mammoth spot for a wedding.

It backs up to the volcanic backside of Mammoth Mountain, but sits in the rustic high-alpine area around Twin Lakes.

Tamarack Lodge, just across the lake from the wedding venue, dates back to the early part of the century and gives a great look at how Mammoth was before it was more than a small fishing and camping destination for adventurous Southern California tourists.

The bridge between the lakes is a great place to shoot large family portraits as well as dramatic bride and groom shots, and the pine forests in every direction are exactly what traveling guests are expecting on their trip to the Eastern Sierra.













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