Can I Elope in a National Park?


Listen Here:


These days, we all lose our minds over adventure. The best photo of the mountaintop, the beautiful scenery abroad, all of it. Everywhere you look, people are trying to integrate outdoor activities in a BIG WAY. Especially on their wedding day. 

Over the last few years, we’ve all seen more incredible elopements than ever. Many of them are located in stunning and vast national parks. But standing between you and that coveted photo at the base of the Redwoods lies all the questions. 

Oh, The Questions

“How do you escape in a national park? Is there a fee? Who should I contact? Do I need to get a permit? Help!” Well, luckily for you, the answers are compiled here in one nice and tidy list. 

Almost all US national parks allow you to do events on their premises. First and foremost, buy your “special use” permit a few weeks or months prior to the date. Depending on the park, expect a payout of $50 to $500. Be aware, this permit is in addition to the park’s entrance fee. It’s important to have your permit on hand, even if you’re alone in the park. Why? You don’t want to spend all the time planning this only to be interrupted by a Park Ranger. 

A Few More Considerations

In addition to the permit, you must obtain a marriage permit to get married in a national park. Each park usually has a period for obtaining a permit. For example, you can book your permit in Yosemite from 1 year to 21 days before your wedding. It is wise to give more than enough advance time to prepare. Some parks have designated areas for weddings, which can be reserved a year in advance. 

There are general restrictions such as the number of people who can participate, the types of accessories / rentals you can bring, pets allowed, fire and firecrackers. Confetti and glass cannot be imported. If you have any concerns, please contact the park manager. 

What to Bring With You: 

  • Park permit 
  • Entrance fee 
  • Marriage license 
  • Hiking shoes 
  • A change of clothes, more wedding-esque 
  • Sweater or jacket (If you are up in the mountains or at a lookout point it tends to get unexpectedly chilly!) 
  • Water and snacks — or maybe champagne 
  • Props (a rug, flower petals, cute blanket to sit on, etc.) 
  • Headlamp or flashlight for early morning or late-night hikes 
  • Jacket and umbrella in case of rain

Bottom line, a National Park would be a magical setting for your already magical day. Follow this list and consult an expert to make sure your day goes as smoothly as possible.

Hey there! My name is Kelsey, but my friends call me Kels. 

I am passionate about emotion – love, deep connection, + happiness inspire me… endlessly

 If you’re ready for  the coolest adventures, couples, and some real life tips, tools, and strategies… you’re in the right place.



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