6 Steps for Planning Your National Park Wedding

It comes of no surprise that some of our most popular, shared weddings, to date, are outdoor, natural settings. It’s just feels good to be outdoors, embracing all of the lovely landscapes surrounding us, so why not get married in a National Park, State Park or Beach! Here are some tips to help you plan an ‘Al Naturale’ wedding :

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Photo credit: Tegyn Friedman Photography

1. ‘…So here’s my number… CALL ME MAYBE!’

I feel pretty confident that I may or may not have just ruined your day with that earworm (that is a song that gets stuck in your head), but I wanted to get my point across loudly! This step is most important! If you are looking to have a wedding on public property, national park, beach, etc… MAKE SURE YOU CALL! However it may seem like there is enough space for the whole world to get married at that location, most limit the amount of weddings held per day and have strict guidelines for doing so. SN: When I got married 11 years ago there were 5 other brides within a mile walking distance from my beachside ceremony, it is a small price to pay for sharing paradise… errr public places…  with others!

Contact the National Park Services or State Park Directory for a park weddings.

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Photo Credit: APaige Photography | Dress: Celia Grace 

2. Paper Trail :

You must receive a permit to have a wedding at any of the public places you’ve been dreaming about- NO EXCEPTIONS! For national parks, you can request one hereAPA_6380

Photo Credit: APaige Photography | Dress: Celia Grace

3. The Smaller, The Better: 

When considering a park wedding, go small on the guest list. The more intimate the better, because of the impact of a larger scale event could have on the environment. Most vendors wouldn’t be able to disturb the grounds, ex. no stakes, digging, etc,  and work off of little to no power driven machinery for the event, so the more intimate the less to worry about. Just enjoy the view, enjoy each other, explore the space and then have dinner at a local farm to table restaurant/venue down the road.

NOTE: What you bring in you must take out! So sort your recyclables, waste and compostables and plan with minimalism in mind.

4. Make it an Adventure!

Utilize your wedding as an opportunity to fully explore the parks offerings. Most National Parks/State Parks have camping/lodges on site, renting a canoe/kayak, etc.

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Photo credit: Tegyn Friedman Photography

5. Always be prepared for Plan B:

When planning a park wedding it is always in your best interest to prepare for all appropriate forms of weather. Bring umbrellas, coats, etc. and have a back up plan, in case you are rained/snowed in.

Be Beautiful

Photo Credit: APaige Photography / Dress: Celia Grace

6. Give Back :

Overall, park based ceremonies are a more budget friendly alternative. After a fun day, full of love, and natural beauty, consider using the money you saved and donating a portion back to that park’s preservation efforts for the generations to come. BONUS: Tax write-off.

Visit the National Park Services or your state’s tourism site for more information.

 

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