The Best National Parks for Outdoor Weddings

Honeymoons & Destination Weddings
National Parks as Wedding Venues

Photo: Laura Kleinhenz of Docuvitae

To get a picture-perfect wedding you'll need just the right location. What better spot to say "I do" than a gorgeous national park with tons of natural beauty to offer? "Many parks offer outdoor locations for weddings with stunning backdrops and unique spaces," says Maggie Lord, founder of Rustic Wedding Chic. But it's not as simple as buying a gown and showing up with everything you need to get married.

"One thing to keep in mind is that many national parks have very strict visitor rules, so make sure you have a clear idea of what you can and cannot do surrounding your wedding," Lord advises. "This includes everything from decorations to music to shutdown time."

Also, while you might expect the event to be less expensive, you'll still most likely need to pay for a permit, and you'll have to bring in all of the rental items like tables, chairs, and linens. Still, it may be worth it to some couples.

If you're one of them, here are five parks you might want to consider.

Acadia National Park

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Acadia National Park, Maine
Unless you're having an ultra-quaint ceremony of ten or fewer people, you'll need a permit to get married at Acadia. And don't plan to bring any chairs, signage, or decorations because nothing extra is allowed. Instead, the natural landscape should act as your visual adornment. Choose from forests, marshes, mountains, or a small stretch of sandy beach. Stay at the historic Asticou Inn for heated pool and tennis court access when you're not exploring the park.

Crater Lake National Park

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Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
A gorgeous lake surrounded by rugged terrain makes for some unpredictable weather, but that might lend an air of excitement to the event if you're an adventurous, go-with-the-flow type of couple. For a white wedding, expect snow from October through April. Also note that amplified music isn't allowed. Crater Lake Country Suites is south of the lake and has private cottages and houses for added seclusion.

Glacier National Park

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Glacier National Park, Montana
A special use permit is required at this cool, ice-carved site where scenic overlooks and lakes abound amidst snow-capped peaks. The best months, weather-wise, are July and August. Just keep in mind that no more than ten vehicles are allowed at any one gathering due to space constraints. And check out Many Glacier Hotel — the largest accommodation in the park — for National Geographic-worthy views from your window.

See More: No Passport Required: 10 Stateside Honeymoon Destinations We Love

Rocky Mountain National Park

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Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Do your research before choosing this locale for your big day. You'll need a special use permit and the maximum ceremony size is 100 people. The mountain vistas are breathtaking and you'll likely see plenty of spruce, fir, aspen, and pine trees, alongside summer wildflowers and quaint streams and wooden foot bridges. As far as lodging goes, you'll have your pick of cabins and cottages, hotels and resorts, or bed and breakfasts, including the Della Terra Mountain Chateau where newlyweds and guests can enjoy private balconies with hot tubs.

Zion National Park

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Zion National Park, Utah
If the desert is your idea of romance, then Zion is your hotspot to wed. The park allows lovebirds to get married in six key areas, including the South Campground Amphitheater and Timber Creek Overlook. Be aware that park staff needs to approve of any decorations and you can't have more than 100 guests. Then, retreat to the Zion Lodge afterwards where you can rent bikes or take a horseback riding tour as newlyweds.

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