Finding the perfect location for your elopement ceremony is not easy. There are so many absolutely breathtaking spots all over the U.S. (and world, honestly). And if you’re a national park lover, it can be even harder—there are just so many incredible parks to choose from. National parks are absolutely magical, filled with exquisite natural beauty. They’re the perfect place for outdoor lovers to elope.
If you’re not into all of those big wedding traditions and you want a more authentic, meaningful wedding day, eloping in a national park is the perfect way to say “I do.” But before we jump right into which national parks are the best for elopements, there are a few tips I want to give you.
First, you’ll want to find a photographer who has experience shooting elopements at national parks, or adventure elopements in general. They are experts in outdoor shooting and when you can trust your photographer will get ‘the’ shot, it makes your whole experience that much more magical. It’s also important to make sure you know if the national park you want to elope in requires a permit. More than likely your photographer will help you with this, but it’s also fairly easy to find on the park’s website.
Last but not least, when going anywhere in the outdoors is essential to practice Leave No Trace. This is a set of principles outdoor lovers can follow to ensure they leave a place exactly as they found it. This is especially important if you’re bringing food, makeup, flowers, etc. out on your hike with you.
And, finally, what you all came here for, the best national parks to elope in!
One of the most stunning national parks in the entire country is Glacier National Park. This park is situated in the Northwest corner of Montana and seriously feels like you’re in a magical fairytale land everywhere you look. From boasting mountains and pristine alpine lakes to meadows blanketed with colorful wildflowers, there is no corner of this park that isn’t breathtaking all year round.
One of my all-time favorite parks is, of course, Yosemite. This is where I fell in love with traveling and photography. This iconic national park is a popular elopement destination, but for the best reasons. Just imagine getting to elope with the incredible Half Dome in the background, whimsical wildlife, and some of the most breathtaking views you’ll ever witness.
If you’re more of the desert type, then heading off to Moab is the easiest decision you could make for your elopement. Moab is situated in between two beautiful, yet vastly different national parks: Arches and Canyonlands. To be honest, both of them are exactly as they sound. Arches is filled with impeccable natural arches in the landscape and Canyonlands is essentially a smaller version of the Grand Canyon. Both are the epitome of the iconic red rock desert scenes we all love so much.
Do not sleep on North Cascades National Park for your elopement. This park is located in the PNW, known for its rainy, moody seasons. And let me tell you, this park is one of the United State’s hidden gems. It doesn’t get enough love, in my opinion. This alpine landscape is breathtaking year-round, but if you’re a winter lover, this is your place. The forested valleys filled with endless trails, wildlife, and cascading waters complement the jagged snowy peaks and over 300 glaciers this park has to offer.
I had to give a shoutout to my home state here with this one. Great Smoky Mountains National Park is situated on the border of Tenessee and North Carolina. If you want to elope in the fall with hues of reds, oranges, and yellows of the ever-changing leaves in the background, this is the place. This national park is full of diverse landscapes and wildlife. Not to mention, there’s plenty of absolutely epic spots for your perfect elopement ceremony.
If your favorite park wasn’t on this list, don’t worry, that doesn’t mean you can’t elope there! If you’re not sure, just check out the National Park Service website for your park to see whether they allow weddings and what permits you might need. And if you want a little more help planning out your national park elopement, I’m your gal! I absolutely love all things outdoors, and I’ve helped plan a few epic park elopements in my day. Sound like you? Contact me today and let’s get started!!