How to Get Married in a National Park

by Weddings Editor

Items you will need

  • marriage license
  • special use permit

How to Get Married in a National Park. If you're fond of the great outdoors, a national park can provide breathtaking vistas as a backdrop to your wedding ceremony. Not all parks can accommodate weddings, and there are some hoops you'll have to jump through, but the result can be spectacular.

Step 1

Go to the National Park Service web site at www.nps.gov/parks.html to find a list of all the national parks.

Step 2

Check individual parks for each one's policy on weddings. Often, they will list popular wedding venues within the park.

Step 3

Apply for a special use permit to hold your wedding. This form often can be downloaded from the web site.

Step 4

Submit the permit, pay the fee ($50-200) and wait for the park to issue the permit. The wait may be several weeks, so allow plenty of time.

Step 5

Familiarize yourself with the regulations that surround being married in a national park, including permissible guest count, accessible areas and parking restrictions. These should be listed on each park's web site.

Step 6

Find a qualified person to officiate at your wedding.

Step 7

Get a marriage license for the state where the park is located.

Step 8

Gather your loved ones for a wedding in nature's beauty. An approved, signed copy of the permit must be in your possession during the ceremony.

Tips

  • You and your guests will have to pay the normal park entrance fees when you come to the park to get married. Some parks have chapels and reception facilities, while others may simply allow you to use a picnic site for your reception. Yosemite Chapel, in Yosemite National Park, has been voted one of the best places to get married; Grand Teton National Park boasts the rustic Chapel of Transfiguration; Glacier National Park offers the Grouse Mountain Lodge for nuptials; and Smoky Mountains National Park includes the lovely Gatlinburg Wedding Chapel.

Warnings

  • Even if you book ahead, you will not have exclusive use of the location. Tourists may wander in and out during your ceremony, especially if you chose a popular spot. The number of vehicles allowed in the park for a wedding may be limited to less than 10. The guest count also may be limited.