If you’re an outdoorsy type of person and looking for a place to get married, one of America’s national parks would be the best option in my opinion. They are each so unique and hold so many incredible backdrops to say I do! As a wedding photographer who shoots weddings all over the world and has a goal of seeing every single national park, I’ve been to quite a few. Here are some tips and tricks that can help you plan your dream national park wedding:
1. Apply for a permit.
This is the most important and necessary step! Each park might have different regulations so be sure to check the parks website (it should always have a .gov at the end of it) and there will be tons of information on permits for events. Permits help fund our parks, let rangers know what’s going on inside the park, and let’s you reserve a spot to promise forever to your loved one!
2. Visit the park beforehand!
National parks are usually pretty big and have a ton of incredible places to see. I always recommend going ahead of time so you can see what spot you love best and what is required to get to that spot! Sometimes hiking will be involved – this will help you and your guests plan accordingly. Plus, just another excuse to visit such a beautiful place!
3. Decide what time of year you want to get married.
This is huge. Each park might look completely different during a certain season so if you’re expecting Yosemite to look sunny and green in December like the last time you went in the spring, you’ll be disappointed when it’s covered in snow! Have an idea of what type of scenery you want for your big day and don’t forget to consider crowds (typically around the summer months).
4. Look for places outside the park to stay in such as Airbnbs.
These are usually bigger and hold more people than places inside the park such as small hotels or campsites! These can also be great spots to get ready on the day of.
5. Know how many guests are allowed in each wedding designated area (or elope and go wherever trails permit).
Some spots only allow a small number of guests so if you’re looking to have more you will want to be aware of what areas allow larger groups.
6. Leave plenty of time!
There will most likely be hiking involved to get to the spots you want to get married or have photos taken.
7. Always come prepared!
Make sure you have jackets, hiking shoes, water, and first aid kits! You always want to have supplies ready when in the wilderness as cell service is usually non existent.
8. Lastly, make sure you soak it all in!
You’re getting married in one of the most beautiful places on earth and that is definitely something to celebrate!
If you’re looking to get married in a national park and need a photographer, I’ve got a fun deal for you! Head over to the National Parks page on my website to read more.