If you are an adventurous couple who loves to enjoy the open space and fresh air then eloping in a national park might be for you! Whether you enjoy hiking, skiing, snowboarding, fishing or having some s’mores by a campfire your day is all about you and you bet you can incorporate whatever it is you enjoy about the outdoors into your special day. Some of the most beautiful landscapes are found in national parks in the U.S. so here are some Tips for Eloping In A National Park!
Tips for Eloping in a National Park
National Park Elopement Permits
There can be so many questions surrounding the logistics of getting married in a national park. Most of the National Parks in the States allow for you to elope there, but there is always going to be a special use permit that you will have to pay for and the price ranges from $50 to $300. Even if you are keeping it as simple as possible it is ALWAYS a good idea to get that permit. Don’t you think it would be pretty terrible to get stopped in the middle of a ceremony and be asked to leave and not be able to celebrate the way you planned?! It sure would be!
So, if you want to elope in a national park be sure to apply for a permit months in advance. You can get it as quickly as 3 weeks, but be sure to give yourself plenty of time as they will most likely take longer.
For example, Yosemite allows you to schedule permits a little over a year in advance. Parks like Yosemite get a lot of applications and have designated areas for ceremonies that book up fast! It’s your responsibility to apply and purchase the permit.
National Park Restrictions
You can usually only have a max of 50 people allowed to attend your wedding, but there are a few parks that allow more. There are also restrictions and props, chairs, pets, etc. If there are certain things that you would like to do that aren’t allowed in a National Park don’t forget to check out State Parks or a national forest, because those tend to have fewer restrictions.
Planning Your Elopement Day
I am the biggest advocate for all day elopements! Your elopement day is a day that deserves to be captured from beginning to end! It’s a day that you will celebrate forever and you should be able to look back on your day and remember it like it was yesterday. When you think about it it’s common and expected that anybody who has a traditional wedding will have their photographer there for 8-12 hours. Why should elopements be any different?! They shouldn’t!
Find a photographer that will help guide you through every aspect of your elopement and be there as an advocate for you to help celebrate and document your day from beginning to end. One thing to remember is that it’s not an 8 hour photo shoot. You be standing there and posing for 8 hours! It’s all about documenting your day and having an unforgettable experience on your one of the most important days of your life!
As far as choosing a time for your elopement ESPECIALLY in a national park is to have your vows be at sunrise or sunset. Depending on the location and which national park you decide to elope in sunset can still be fairly busy so in that case sunrise is the best choice to have a more private and intimate ceremony!
Being Prepared on Your Elopement Day
You definitely want to be prepared for anything when you elope in a national park! If you are eloping towards the end of the year be sure to have a raincoat and jacket to stay warm. If you are going on a hiking elopement be sure to bring a change of clothes and then when you get to where you want to say your vows or start your adventure you can change into your elopement attire! If you are doing a lot of walking or hiking then definitely wear your hiking boots or comfortable shoes. For more tips for being prepared for hiking on your elopement day click here!
National Park Location Scouting
I love to location scout and find new and cool places! Part of the service I offer my couples is location scouting and finding the perfect location for the you! Some couples already know where they want to get married and others don’t. If you are eloping in a national park that you have been to before try choosing a location that you two love or contacting a park ranger and they might have some ideas as for you as well! Another thing I love to do is to search through Instagram or Pinterest for locations. Google maps does a pretty find job of location scouting as well!
If you have an adventurous spirit and desire to have an intimate experience on your wedding day then eloping is probably a great choice for you! Eloping is all about having a stress-free, laid back and incredible experience. It is about starting your lives together on a rad adventure and committing your lives together in a place you’ve always dreamed of or in an extremely meaningful place to the both of you. If you are looking for an elopement photographer and for someone who will be by your side and help guide you through planning your dream elopement then I would be so honored to be a part of your special day! You can contact me >HERE< and I cannot wait to talk to you about your elopement!
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