How to Elope in a National Park

Thinking of having an all-natural setting for your elopement? For the adventurous couple who loves the outdoors, National Parks are perfection. However, getting eloped in a National Park is not as simple as just going there and saying your “I do’s.” Here are some important factors to consider before eloping in a National Park:

Choose the Right Spot

National Parks are huge tourist attractions, especially the more popular ones. It is wise advice for you and your partner to scope out the park before planning the ceremony in order to find a perfectly peaceful and secluded spot for your elopement.

Rules + Restrictions

Restrictions are the biggest thing to be mindful of when planning your elopement in a National Park. Because National Parks are so delicate, they tend to have quite a few restrictions. Depending on the National Park you choose, the restrictions will vary. To find out about individual park restrictions, you can visit and find the contact information for every National Park in the United States. Meanwhile, here are some of the common restrictions.

National Park Permits

First and foremost, permits. In order to elope at a National Park, you must obtain a permit, regardless of which park you decide on. Permits can range in price, but one rule of thumb is that it is acquired in advance. Visit your park of choice’s website or speak to the ranger to learn about the type of permit you will need.


National Parks are about preservation, so the fewer people present, the easier it is to preserve. Not to say that you can’t have guests at your elopement, but it’s important to check with your park to ensure that you aren’t going over the limit.


Again, the primary goal of the parks is preservation. That being said, most will ask that you don’t stick anything in the ground. Most times elopements tend to be more simple on the décor, but if you are a couple who loves to have props and decorations, you may need to get creative.


Although some parks may allow pets on the premises, not all do. If you want your furry friend to be involved in your ceremony, look for a park that allows pets.


Because nature is unpredictable and these parks are outside, weather can unfortunately cause unexpected restrictions on ceremonies. Be sure to maintain strong communication with your park ranger to ensure you are planning appropriately.

Be Prepared

National Parks are not always the smoothest of terrains. With the unpredictability of mother nature, expect the best and prepare for the worst is a good motto to go by here. It is advisable to bring a change of clothes and shoes, and know where the restrooms are!

Although it is not the easiest process to elope in a National Park, it can be done with little trouble. Besides, nothing worth doing is ever a walk in the park. More importantly, if you are an adventurous, nature loving couple, the obstacles are beyond worth it.

National Park Elopement Photographer

Skyewater Photo + Film is an adventure elopement and destination wedding photo and video team based in Colorado. We help couples plan elopements all over the US, and offer insight for more than just photography: from planning assistance, finding and booking locations, vendor references and more! Reach out to our elopement photography and videography team today to get more info!

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