What You Need to Know
As someone who has gotten married in a National Park myself, I have a good understanding of how to properly make it happen!
My wife and I got married in Arches National Park in 2022. It’s nestled right outside the town of Moab in Utah. It was an amazing experience and we wouldn’t have it any other way!
The Hard Part
Other than choosing your National Park, the hardest part is getting the permit. Fortunately, the NPS has made it pretty easy. You can visit the website of your National Park and find the Special Use Permit Application. The Special Use Permit is what will be required for your ceremony. There's usually a $50 application fee for the permit and there may be additional fees depending on the park, date, amount of guests, etc.
Pros & Cons
Let's discuss the pros and cons of getting married in a National Park.
- You will be a part of a very small percentage of people that have also gotten married in a National Park. It’s a unique experience for you and everyone involved.
- If the scenery and location is important to you, getting married in a national park just makes sense. You are guaranteed amazing views and beautiful scenery.
- The purpose of National Parks is to keep the land the most natural for ages to come. Unlike a normal wedding venue that may close its doors in the future, you will always be able to revisit a National Park and stand where you did during your vows.
- Most people elope in a national park by themselves but you can bring a small party with you. If you’re ok with a micro wedding of a limited guest list (about 25 guests) then it is definitely an opportunity to get married in a national park!
- Depending on what park you want to get married in, you may have to travel with a lot of people or possibly even hike to your location. It’s important to use the Park Rangers as a resource to help you plan the best location!
- Permits are required for weddings inside National Parks. Most permits have an application process that requires a fee and then a permit fee. You can expect to pay up to $200 to get married in a National Park.
My wife and I knew we wanted something different for our wedding. Being in South Carolina means that most wedding venues look the same, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. But being a wedding professional myself, I didn't want to get married at a venue I've worked at or I would work at in the future.
If you're looking for breathtaking views and incredible scenery, then getting married in a National Park is for you. We love the fact that we can revisit our ceremony site whenever we want and knowing that it will always be there. I personally can't wait to take my kids there one day and share that special moment with them.
I'm happy to help you plan your wedding of your dreams, especially if it's in a National Park!