Romance Amongst Majestic Landscapes: North Dakota and Montana National Parks Do Require Wedding Permits
When it comes to choosing the right place for a dream wedding, couples often find that their ideas are very different. Some people dream of saying their vows in a grand old castle, while others long for the quiet beauty of a wedding on the beach. Couples want unique wedding sites because they are all different and have their own stories. A study by The Knot found that 78% of couples think the venue sets the tone for the whole event. Also, a study by WeddingWire shows that couples put personalization first and look for unique places that reflect their shared interests and make memories that will last. With these reasons in mind, it's clear that couples want something different for their wedding venue to add a bit of personality and uniqueness to their big day. Have you thought about our national parks?
Theodore Roosevelt National Park
It might be a bit of a hike to get to that special spot, but a wedding in one of these parks would have a picture-perfect setting; nevertheless, there are some additional things to think about when organizing a ceremony in a national park. Take note though, because you need a permit. According to the website for Theodore Roosevelt National Park, advanced coordination and planning are required for large weddings in the park. Depending on the number of participants and the location, an NPS ranger-monitor(s) may be required during all stages of the wedding, including set-up and take-down. Monitoring fees will apply. In some cases and locations, the park may not be able to accommodate exceptionally large weddings.
If Theodore Roosevelt National Park is your chosen venue, you will need to submit an Application for a Special Use Permit (830k docx) along with a $50 application fee at least four weeks prior to your event. Once the permit has been approved and issued, it will be sent to you by mail.
A Special Use Permit is required for your ceremony to take place in any area of the park. Applications will be accepted up to 12 months in advance and no later than 2-4 weeks before the requested ceremony date. Due to changing conditions and resource issues, permits will not be issued more than a few weeks in advance; the approved permit must be with you during your event.
Yellowstone National Park
According to the website, weddings and other ceremonies may be permitted in certain areas of Yellowstone National Park depending on location, group size, and the time of year or day. While the park can be an unforgettable backdrop for your special day, if you want to have a large, exclusive, or decorated celebration, please consider locations outside of the park for your event.
Glacier National Park
Any and all vow exchanges, elopements, ceremonies, weddings, special events, etc. require a Special Use Permit. This is regardless of the size of the group, whether or not it is “officiated,” or if papers are being signed. If you are entering the park with a photographer only to take photographs and no vow exchange, signing of documents, or union is being witnessed, then no permit is required. Please remember that “mock” ceremonies for the sake of photography are considered ceremonies under Special Use Permitting regulations and do require a permit. You can get more information here.