National park wedding: couple walking on a rocky mountain

Photo by Gideon Photography

National parks are filled with some of nature’s most spectacular and inspiring locales. With cultural symbolism, breathtaking scenic beauty, and a commitment to protecting our environment, it’s no wonder that they’re becoming increasingly desirable wedding venues.

To help you pull off your own national park wedding, we’ve outlined some details for you to keep in mind as you begin the wedding planning process. Plus, you’ll find some of the most popular national parks to get married in and matching invitations to make the day even more breathtakingly memorable.

How to Plan a National Park Wedding

National park wedding: bride and groom walking towards big glaciers

Planning a national park wedding involves a bit of legwork, much like destination wedding planning. You’ll need to get permits, ensure your guest count meets strict limitations, and choose environmentally friendly decor. The reward for all your hard work is a stunning wedding ceremony you’ll remember for eternity. Here are some tips to plan your national park wedding.

Apply for a Special Use Permit

You’ll need to apply for a wedding permit to host your wedding in a national park. Most parks have individual websites that will direct you to a permit specialist. The cost associated with the application and permit fee will vary in price depending on the park. Generally, you can expect to pay anywhere from $50-$400. The permit specialist will be able to guide you through the application process and provide an outline of rules and regulations specifically related to wedding planning. The official website of the National Park Service is a good place to start when deciding on a venue as there are so many beautiful options.

Arrange Guest Parking

There is a fee for entering a national park, so you’ll want to think about transportation logistics for each of your guests ahead of time. You may want to coordinate a shuttle and communicate a specific time and place for your guests to meet. This means you’d pay for just one pass (in addition to shuttle costs). 

If a shuttle isn’t in your budget, make sure you remind your guests of the fee ahead of time in your wedding communications. Be clear if you expect the quests to pay their own entrance fee and make sure to ask them to bring cash if the national park you’ve chosen doesn’t accept credit card payments.

Choose the Wedding Ceremony Location

National park wedding: couple holding hands while hugging each other

Keep in mind that like any other venue, national parks have busy seasons where tourists will visit in large numbers. This will impact the exact location for your wedding celebration as most parks won’t be able to accommodate the most popular tourist areas. You’ll want to work with your national park representative to find a secluded ceremony site where you won’t be interrupted by tourists. 

We recommend contacting the public affairs office at the national park you’ve chosen. You can ask the representative for their recommended list of suggestions. In addition, if your national park has an on-site restaurant or lodge, those could also be great options for your ceremony and reception. 

Consider Decor and Rental Restrictions

It’s essential that you leave the park just as beautiful as it was when you first arrived. After all, these parks are beloved for their natural beauty and you don’t want your wedding to negatively impact the landscape and ecosystems. 

For this reason, you’ll find that there are quite a few rules and restrictions that will limit your decor and rental options. You’ll need to get creative when it comes to planning your decorations because even something as simple as a tent isn’t likely to be approved. Stick to the national park motto of “leave no trace” when planning and cleaning up after your ceremony.

In fact, you’ll want to think twice about any rentals or decorations that require you to dig or stake the ground. Instead, see if you can find decorations that could be secured with cinder blocks or bricks or places you could naturally drape fabric or flowers. Most importantly, you’ll want to ensure you have a clear picture of what is and isn’t allowed at your specific park before you finalize any rentals. Your park representative can help with these details.


Depending on the specific location, national parks have restrictions on when and where food is allowed — and for good reason! Wildlife and various critters will require you to be cautious about how you store food and dispose of waste. We recommend coordinating with an on-site restaurant or lodge. Keep in mind that if you select a park that doesn’t have a lodge or restaurant, you may be limited to the picnic areas

8 Popular National Parks to Get Married In

National park wedding: portrait of a desert

Whether you’re planning an elopement or want to get married in a national park in a large ceremony, there are dozens of options — 63 to be exact. Here are some of the most popular national parks to exchange your vows in. We’ve paired them with our National Parks Foundation wedding invitations so you can invite guests to your big day in style while honoring the beauty of our natural surroundings. Even better, all of the invitation suites include a matching save the date, invitation, and thank you card. 

1. Glacier National Park

National park wedding: Glacier Invitation

Design: National Park Foundation

Invitation Inspiration: Glacier Invitation

Glacier National Park in Montana offers several locations to get married in. The options vary depending on your guest count with some spots allowing only 15 guests and others accommodating up to 250 guests. Some locales are for the more adventurous at heart — you’ll have to park and ski or hike in if the Going-to-the-Sun road is closed. With vistas of lakes, forested paths, and incredible mountain views, there’s something for every nature enthusiast here.

2. Rocky Mountain National Park

National park wedding: Rocky Mountain Invitation

Design: National Park Foundation

Invitation Inspiration: Rocky Mountain Invitation

With one of the most gorgeous scenic byways in America, Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado serves as the perfect backdrop for an outdoor wedding. This option is best for small weddings as the maximum guest size at any of their approved locations is 30 people. You can book up to a year in advance and plan your ceremony on the Lily Lake Dock, Upper Beaver Meadows, or Alluvial Fan Bridge, among others.

3. Yosemite National Park

Yosemite Invitation

Design: National Park Foundation

Invitation Inspiration: Yosemite Invitation

With a stunning array of viewpoints — including Tunnel View and El Capitan Meadow — there are several locations where you can take wedding photos with your wedding party at Yosemite National Park. If your wedding takes place in springtime, there’s plenty of opportunity to drink in the views of gorgeous wildflowers. Keep in mind that floral blooms depend on the winter thaw and can range from June through mid-August if there have been heavy snowfalls. As one of the country’s busiest national parks, you’ll need to plan ahead and read the fine print to ensure you adhere to all park rules.

4. Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton Invitation

Design: National Park Foundation

Invitation Inspiration: Grand Teton Invitation

Grand Teton National Park offers site-specific ceremonies and also allows smaller dispersed ceremonies for intimate weddings throughout the park. The Glacier View Turnout and Schwabacher Landing are two popular ceremony locations. Turn this destination wedding into a weekend (or week!) of fun and invite guests to join you in exploring hiking trails where you can ooh and ahh at the towering rocky peaks.

5. Arches National Park

Arches Invitation

Design: National Park Foundation

Invitation Inspiration: Arches Invitation

Head to Arches National Park in Utah for your nuptials if you want your big day to feel like something out of this world. Say your vows with a backdrop of red rock formations forming the perfect natural wedding arch. Be sure to bring along a wedding photographer or elopement photographer to catch snaps of the big day

Since this park can get hot, plan your nuptials early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid the hot sun. Keep in mind that the natural arches often involve a bit of trekking — so pack sensible shoes and plenty of water for the ceremony. Other rocky Utah options you can consider include Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park.

6. Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree Invitation

Design: National Park Foundation

Invitation Inspiration: Joshua Tree Invitation

Known for famous trees that seem like something Dr. Seuss would come up with, Joshua Tree National Park is a desert lover’s dream. Encompassing two distinct desert ecosystems, the park offers plenty of opportunities to find a stunning arid backdrop for your ceremony — including Indian Cove Amphitheater. Keep in mind, this national park can experience high heat, brutal winds, and heavy rainfall so be prepared to adjust your ceremony plans based on the time of year.

7. Olympic National Park

Alpine Lake Invitation

Design: National Park Foundation

Invitation Inspiration: Alpine Lake Invitation

Dream of exchanging vows in the middle of a mountain range full of towering peaks and waterfalls? Plan your wedding day at Olympic National Park where mountain views extend as far as the eye can see. Located in Washington State, this wedding location is perfect for a national park elopement or a full wedding ceremony. You can choose to say “I do” on the shores of Ruby Beach or Salt Creek Beach or get married in front of two waterfall options or two different lodges depending on your preferences.

8. Acadia National Park

Acadia Invitation

Design: National Park Foundation

Invitation Inspiration: Acadia Invitation

If you’re hosting a fall wedding, then Acadia National Park may be the dreamiest choice. With hundreds of trees that change colors in autumn, if your special day is timed right, you could say “I do” in front of vibrant red, yellow, and orange leaves. Remember, this is also peak season for this park so be ready to share the beauty with other people outside of your wedding guest list. Another great option for fall colors is Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. Both of these parks offer year-round access so you can also plan your wedding during less busy times.

Plan a Memorable and Remarkable National Park Wedding

Wedding invitation cards

Weddings are about love, happiness, and families coming together. And we can’t imagine a more beautiful way to celebrate one of life’s most special moments than at a national park where nature’s beauty is beloved, protected, and preserved for generations to come. 

When you choose digital wedding invitations, you avoid all the waste of paper invitations — in fact, 2.4 million pounds of paper has been saved by Greenvelope users, and our partnership with the National Forest Foundation has generated more than 100,000 trees planted. When it comes down to it, planning a national park wedding is a wonderful way to express your love for one another and the planet. Here’s to a brighter future!