Congratulations! You’ve finally found the one and are ready to tie the knot at a national park wedding. No matter where you get wed-locked, the idea is to make the celebration unique and memorable. Surely, a national park wedding is going to be a one-of-a-kind wedding celebration.
So, if you’re wondering where shall you start with your national park wedding planning, then this post is for you.
In this post, we shall share with you some of the best tips for hosting a stunning wedding at the national park.
Let’s get started…
Table of Contents
Guide to Arranging a Wedding in a National Park
National Park weddings are becoming pretty famous, with more and more couples opting for that. Of course, you can tie the knot at any national park; however, you’ll need to put in the time and effort to make it an unforgettable event.
Whether you’re having your wedding close to home or as a destination, planning a wedding in a national park can be stressful. Even though there are a lot of things to think about, here is our list of tips for you to pull off a successful event:
1. Pick Your Time of Year and Location
First things first, the time and the location of the wedding. It is essential that you pick both after careful consideration. You will need to see the different aspects before choosing the right wedding date for a national park wedding.
The natural splendor of a wedding site in a national park is an integral part of the experience. When it comes to hosting a national park wedding, you have choices from hosting your wedding in breathtaking mountain vistas to deep valleys or apparently endless forests. Once the setting for the ceremony and reception has been decided, the appropriate time of year can be selected. The combination of these factors will determine which park you pick.
2. List Down the National Parks that Best Represent your Ideals
Once you have an idea of what you want, you may start compiling a list of national parks where you could host your wedding. There are numerous national parks worldwide; however, not all represent your ideals. You need a place that best suits your needs. If you are looking for parks with interesting landscapes, then consider Arches National Park in Utah or Joshua Tree
National Park in California. And if you want snow-capped peaks, breathtaking scenic drives in the backdrop, then Glaciers Montana National Park is your place.
No matter which park you choose, the idea is to select wisely, keeping all your needs in mind. To find the best location, sit with your spouse-to-be and figure out what matches well with your needs. It may be somewhere you’ve always wanted to go with or somewhere you know will be the perfect backdrop for your big day. Beyond that, it is essential to think about who will attend your wedding in a national park.
Is it going to be an adventurous kind of wedding?
What kind of experience do you want your guests to have at the wedding?
What kind of wedding you’re planning to host at the national park?
Are you going to hold both your wedding and reception at the same location?
And so on.
3. Identify an Appropriate Site
The next step is to select an appropriate location inside the park for the wedding ceremony. Before settling on a final plan, you should inquire about the park’s guidelines on permitted and prohibited areas. Think of where people will stand, where they can sit, and whether or not there are facilities nearby.
Keep in mind that national parks, like any other site, have busy seasons when there will be high numbers of visitors. Given that most parks won’t be able to accommodate the most popular tourist sites, this will affect where you hold your wedding celebration. Find a private area apart from other visitors by working with the park’s official agent.
We suggest getting in touch with the park’s Office of public affairs. Your national park may possibly have a restaurant or lodge that would be perfect for your ceremony and celebration.
4. Prepare for the Climate
More often than not, weddings at the park are outdoor weddings. Having an outdoor wedding anywhere in the world simply means you’re at the whim of the weather. You have to be very careful of the weather conditions of your chosen location. You should have a plan B if the weather turns bad.
5. Apply for Wedding Permit
In the vast majority of national parks, a marriage license is required. Both the setting and the number of guests influence the regulations in place. Simple ceremonies with fewer than 16 persons (including the officiant) do not require a permit at Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.
To know whether or not you require a permit for a wedding, you must visit the website of the particular national park. There, you may learn more about getting a “permit” to have your wedding in the park. Keep in mind that, at present, some parks do not permit marriages.
Parks have daily wedding quotas, and some parks do not issue permits on holidays or holiday weekends, so you’ll want to submit your application as early as possible. The cost of a permit may vary depending on the location and other conditions. However, usually, the cost can be anywhere from $50 to $500. Also, know that you and your guests will still be required to pay admission fees even if you have a permit.
6. Send Wedding Invites
Once your national park wedding venue is selected, it’s time to send out SAVE THE DATES to your guests. It is to ensure that all of your invited guests will be able to attend. The ideal time to send out invites is 8 – 10 months prior to your wedding. It is because your guests will need time to make travel arrangements for a wedding held in a park.
In addition, let your guests know about the challenges of being in the park for the wedding. It includes the scarcity of parking, the possibility of bad weather, entry charges, and the absence of reliable cell phone service. Informing them beforehand will help your guests make better arrangements for your wedding.
7. Arrange for Shuttle Services
The majority of national parks can be found across expansive regions of the country. In order to get to the location of the wedding, you and your guests might have to walk quite a distance. Therefore, it is essential that you arrange for shuttle services for your guests.
Also, let your guests know when and where to meet for a shuttle service. If you can’t afford to provide a shuttle for your guests, make sure they know that in advance. If the national park you’ve chosen does not take credit card payments, make sure the guests know they’ll need to bring cash to cover the entrance cost.
8. Hire Professional Wedding Vendors
If you’re planning on holding your wedding in a national park, you should know that there are strict regulations. You may or may not be allowed to bring in, hang or affix embellishments here and there. Hence, it is critical that you hire professional wedding vendors who have earlier arranged national park weddings.
Usually, weddings in parks do not require extra embellishments as natural scenery works well. Still, you will need to hire a decorator, caterer, wedding photographer, and so on. Make sure the vendors you hire have prior experience with national park weddings. It will help you have an easy time you’re your vendors.
9. Know all the Limitations
Know that national park weddings come with restrictions, unlike weddings at banquet halls. You will need to follow all the regulations in order to have a memorable wedding in a national park.
You may not be allowed to bring your own food. Aside from that, your photographer won’t be allowed to use drones, as drone use is often prohibited in parks. In several parks, utilizing speakers or other forms of audio equipment is also prohibited. You will have to get the list of regulations from the respective park in order to host a successful wedding.
10. Book Rooms in or Around the Park
You will need to make arrangements for your guests’ stay as well. It is advised that you book rooms in or around the park. Don’t book rooms far away from your wedding venue, as it will add to your cost and effort.
Many national parks have resorts and lodges inside and around the area. You can book your rooms inside the park or look for some arrangements near the location. This way, you and your guests could stay close and attend and enjoy all the functions easily.
There are often tight regulations about when and where food can be consumed within national parks, and for all the good reasons. It’s important to be careful about how you keep food and trash from wildlife in the park. Usually, park authorities do not allow outside food in the park. In such a situation, we suggest arranging everything with the hotel or restaurant within the park. If the park you choose doesn’t include a lodge or a restaurant, your dining options may be restricted to the picnic grounds.
To conclude, this is how you may have a beautiful wedding in a national park. If you stick to these guidelines, organising your wedding in a national park will be a breeze. If all this sounds like too much work, consider hiring a wedding planner that specialises in events at national parks.
10 Best National Parks Wedding Venues To Host A Stunning Wedding
No matter where you host your wedding in a national park, all national parks are breathtaking. Hosting a wedding is a great way to have a stunning celebration amidst serene and splendid views.
If you’re planning to host a national park wedding and wondering which park would be ideal, then scroll down to read ahead.
Here is our list of the top 10 National Parks to host a memorable wedding. Take a look…
1. North Cascades National Park, Washington
Located in Washington, the North Cascades National Park is the least frequented national park in the country. It is one of the most beautiful parks in the world where you can host a memorable wedding. It is home to craggy mountain peaks and snow-capped glaciers that will serve as beautiful backdrops at your wedding. You will need to pay a fee of $50 for special use permit application.
Best Time To Host A Wedding At North Cascades National Park, Washington: between mid-July and early October.
2. The Grand Canyon, Arizona
Located in Arizona, USA, the Grand Canyon is yet another beautiful destination for national park weddings. This location is broad, deep, and expansive to host a stunning event, such as a wedding. It is an ideal site for the two of you to make a solemn vow to one another. Permit fees might be anywhere from $100 to $500, depending on the locality.
Best Time To Get Wed-Locked At The Grand Canyon, Arizona: During the March-June and September-December.
3. Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado
Although the state of Colorado is best known for its towering mountains and high altitude 14ers, the Great Sand Dunes National Park in the state’s southwestern corner is home to a breathtaking desert landscape. Huge sand dunes, including the iconic Star Dune, can be found here. You will witness sights here that you have never seen before. In the distance, snow-capped mountains contrast with the endless expanse of sand dunes. Sunset eloping here is out of this world. There are hiking routes to alpine lakes like Medano Lake, where you may fish for trout and see wildlife that lives in the tundra. The Special Use Permit costs $200 for each wedding application.
Best Time To Get Wed-Locked At Great Sand Dunes National Park: During May and early June, and September and October.
4. Acadia National Park, Maine, USA
Acadia National Park in Maine is another fantastic location for a national park wedding. The coolest thing about this park is that you can host your wedding at any time of the year, depending on whether you want a flower-filled spring and summer ceremony, a breathtaking autumn display or a winter wonderland ceremony. You will need to apply for a special permit, which costs $75 if there are more than ten members in your party.
Best Time To Get Wed-Locked At Acadia National Park, Maine, USA: September and October.
5. Virgin Islands National Park, St John, USA
The Virgin Islands National Park in St John is yet another wonderful location to host a national park wedding. This location has several venues to host your wedding, including Peace Hill, Annaberg, Trunk Bay, and other park beaches and pavilions. You can host weddings with up to 40 – 50 guests here. This beautiful setting is surrounded by clear waters with colourful fish swimming close.
The cost of permits begins at $25.The Best Time To Tie Knot At Virgin Islands National Park, St John: Mid-April through June.
6. Yosemite National Park, California
Yosemite National Park in California is one of the most visited national parks in the United States. This stunning park is full of undiscovered beauties and amazing backdrops for hosting a memorable wedding. Established in 1864, Yosemite National Park is most well-known for its waterfalls. Also, it is home to deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient gigantic sequoias, a vast wilderness, and much more. A special use permit at Yosemite national park costs $150.
The Best Time To Tie Knot At Yosemite National Park, California: May to September.
7. Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
Mount Rainier National Park in Washington is yet another wonderful location for a national park wedding. It is home to snow-capped mountains that can serve as a backdrop at your wedding. It is home to the world’s largest volcanic glacier cave system (which may be found in the summit crater), as well as the largest alpine glacial system outside of Alaska. You will need to spend $175 for a special use permit for your wedding. And the entrance fee is thirty dollars for each person in the park.
The Best Time To Tie Knot At Mount Rainier National Park, Washington: July and August are the best months to get wed-locked here.
8. Zion National Park, Utah
Established in 1919, Zion National Park in Utah is one of the best locations for national park weddings. This place is great for adventure lovers. So, if you and your partner love adventure and want to host an adventurous wedding, then Zion National Park is your best bet. There are backcountry paths for the more experienced hikers. This place is home to beautiful multicoloured cliffs and a wide variety of flora and fauna. This is the place where you can host an unforgettable wedding. A Special Use Permit that costs $100 is required for all nuptials, irrespective of the number of guests. Applications must be submitted three weeks in advance.
The Best Time To Tie Knot At Zion National Park, Utah: between the months of April and November.
9. Joshua Tree National Park, California
Joshua Tree National Park is an exotic National Park in southern California that is well-known for its unique trees. This National Park is one of the most ethereal in the United States for hosting a memorable wedding. There are many Joshua Trees at Joshua Tree National Park. The craggy rock formations that border the pathways are great for some fun climbing. The unusual, twisted, bristly trees provide a picturesque backdrop for a romantic wedding. You will love to host your wedding amidst stunning natural beauty here is Joshua Tree National Park.
Special use permit costs $120. Also, you will need to take separate permits for engagement and wedding photos.
The Best Time To Tie Knot At Joshua Tree National Park, California: March to May and October to November.
10. Glacier National Park, Montana, USA
If you’re looking for snow-capped peaks, breathtaking scenic drives, and an abundance of animals for hosting a wedding, then Glacier National Park in Montana is your best bet. Glacier National Park in Montana spans the Rocky Mountains for a whopping 1,583 square miles, all the way to the border with Canada. There are more than 700 miles of trails to explore. Glacier is a dream destination for those who seek untamed places with a rich human past. Chalets, lodges, and the iconic Going-to-the-Sun Road will transport you back in time. You can also go camping, biking, or hiking when in Glacier National Park. It is one of the best places for hosting an adventurous national park wedding. Glacier National Park charges $125 for a special use permit, and the permit is issued through the National Park Service.
The Best Time To Tie Knot At Glacier National Park, Montana, USA: July and August.
1. Why Have a Wedding in a National Park?
National Park weddings have gained immense popularity in the past few years. There are numerous national parks where you can host a stunning wedding. National parks are great places for outdoor weddings. The best thing about a national park wedding is that you don’t need to spend on wedding décor as you can use the natural beauty as backdrops. Moreover, national parks are great for getting the best wedding pictures.
2. How to find the Perfect Park for a wedding?
Since there are numerous parks all around the world, finding the best national park may seem like a task. However, there are ways you can find the best park for your wedding. All you have to do is to discover what kinds of landscapes most appeal to you. Based on that, you can narrow down your spots.
Decide which park setting you like best, and then find out if ceremonies can be held there. Consider not only the emotional significance of the spot but also the weather, season, and accessibility of the area.
3. Which are the best months to host National Park Wedding?
More often than not, national parks are surrounded by beautiful landscapes. You can host a stunning national park wedding in the months of March, April, May, October, and November.
These months are great for hosting outdoor weddings. Usually, the weather in these months is good and bearable.
4. How much is the Cost of Hosting a National Park Wedding?
The cost of hosting a national park wedding may vary based on the number of guests you invite, the permit fee, the entry fee per guest, food, and so on. Usually, weddings at national parks could end up costing significantly less than those held on beaches or in exotic locales. It usually costs you somewhere around $15,000 to $25,000. Since certain national parks have strict limits on the number of persons who can attend this type of ceremony (often between $100 and $200), your costs may naturally be lower because the guest count will be fewer. Keep in mind that planning a wedding in a national park requires careful consideration.
Happy Wedding… 😊 😊