Planning an elopement in a National Park can be a beautiful and memorable experience. However, it requires careful planning and consideration to ensure that you comply with the regulations and requirements of the park.
Here are some steps to follow to plan your National Park Elopement perfectly:
Research different National Parks and choose one that appeals to you and your partner. Consider the season, accessibility, and the park’s rules and regulations for hosting an elopement. Check out this Rocky Mountain National Park Elopement for inspo!
Most National Parks require permits for weddings and elopements. Contact the park’s Special Use Permit Office to inquire about the permit process, fees, and any restrictions that apply. You may need to submit your application several months in advance. Click here to learn more about obtaining a permit for your National Park Elopement. If you are already prepared, click here to complete your permit request.
Consider hiring an elopement photographer who specializes in photographing in National Parks or photographs often in the specific state you’re looking to elope to. They can help you navigate the park’s rules and regulations, recommend vendors, and assist with logistics.
The National Park will have designated areas for wedding ceremonies. Choose a site that is easily accessible and suits your preferences for the backdrop of your ceremony.
Odds are you’ll want to hire additional vendors, including a florist, caterer, and any other services you require. Be sure to choose vendors who are experienced with National Park Elopements.
Let your guests know that you are having a National Park Elopement, and provide them with information on travel, accommodations, and any special considerations they may need to be aware of. Don’t forget to let them know information regarding the accessibility to your elopement location. I always recommend over-hyping the extent of the hike/walk so people truly understand what they are getting into when committing to being a guest at your elopement.
Opting for an elopement in a National Park means you need to be prepared for unpredictable weather especially if this location is in the mountains. Be flexible and ready to adjust – your photographer should guide you through this and find alternative locations to take you for photos if something comes up. Additionally, you may also consider renting a tent or an indoor space as a backup plan in case of rain or extreme heat.
Most importatnly, leave the park in the same condition as you found it. Ensure that you and your guests follow the park’s Leave No Trace principles, including packing out all trash and minimizing your impact on the environment. We want to make sure these places stay just as beautiful for future generations and your extra effort here makes a world of a difference.
If you’d like help planning your National Park Elopement, reach out to me here – I’m happy to help!