20 Jaw-Dropping National Parks Where You Can Say ‘I Do’

A picture is worth a thousand words and these natural backdrops will leave everyone speechless.

Photo By: Pursuit 2019 | Glacier Park Collection

Photo By: Nicole Daacke

Photo By: Nicole Daacke

Photo By: Nicole Daacke

Photo By: Nicole Daacke

Photo By: Nicole Daacke

Photo By: Nicole Daacke

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Photo By: The Oasis at Death Valley

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Photo By: Pursuit 2019 | Glacier Park Collection

Photo By: Pursuit 2019

Photo By: Grand Teton Lodge

Photo By: Grand Canyon Wedding Packages


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Photo By: Forever Resorts

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These 20 National Parks Will Put Every Other Outdoor Wedding Venue to Shame

The United States is blessed with some truly remarkable landscapes, and some of our great forefathers had the foresight to protect many of these awe-inspiring places for the public forever. What better way to honor America than pledging your love in a national park? From western deserts and mountain tops to subtropical islands and pristine forests, here are 20 national parks where you and your sweetheart can tie the knot.

(Check park websites for permitting info.)

Joshua Tree National Park, California

Located just a few hours east of Los Angeles, Joshua Tree National Park is where two high desert ecosystems, the Mojave and Colorado, join together. The result is vast and otherworldly. The park's namesake Joshua Trees stretch from the ground like some sort of gnarled being from a Dr. Seuss book; architectural rock formations jut into the sky like strange buildings; and mule deer, mountain sheep and coyotes might scamper across the sand in the sky like equally strange high-rises. In other words: it offers mind-bogglingly beautiful photo ops. A handful of locations spread throughout the park can host weddings of up to 25 people. For couples who wish to have a larger guest list, Indian Cover Amphitheater can accommodate up to 100 guests on benches that face some of the dramatic monzogranite outcrops.

Yosemite National Park, California

Big adjectives are normally used to describe the awe-inspiring beauty of Yosemite National Park. “Breathtaking,” “majestic” and “awesome” are just a few. From its powerful waterfalls and monumental granite, to its ancient sequoias and tranquil valleys, Yosemite truly is one of the most overwhelming sights in the United States. What more could one want in a place to pledge their love for eternity? Couples with wedding parties consisting of fewer than 10 guests can pick from ceremony sites anywhere in the park, such as iconic the Tunnel View (pictured above). Larger parties have to stick to the hotels – the Majestic Yosemite Hotel is a work of art in itself – or specific sites like Sentinel Beach. Though couples can apply for permits on their own, there are local wedding planners who can help set things up, including the friendly folks at AddyRose Designs.

Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

Visible from downtown Seattle on a sunny day, Mount Rainier towers into the stratosphere at 14,410 feet above sea level. This active volcano is the most glaciated peak in the contiguous United States, giving life to five major rivers that flow through the Pacific Northwest. It sounds extreme – and it certainly is at the peak – but the lush landscape that extends around the alp looks like it came straight out of a fairytale. It’s dotted with wildflower meadows, ancient forests and magical waterfalls. Small ceremonies can be held at locations throughout the park, but for larger weddings with 60-plus guests, you’ll need to stick to one of the campground amphitheaters, like tree-covered Ohanapecosh Campground.

Acadia National Park, Maine

Encompassing the highest rocky headlands on the Atlantic seaboard, Acadia National Park boasts some of the most dramatic views in the entire eastern United States. It has a little bit of everything: cobble beaches, ancient glacier-carved cliffs, mountains, two different kinds of forests (spruce-fir-covered northern boreal forest and hardwood-dotted eastern deciduous, in case you’re wondering). It’s a photographer’s dream. Ceremonies can be held at sites throughout the park, including atop the iconic peak of Cadillac Mountain, but you’ll have to travel into town for the reception. Both Bar Harbor and Northeast Harbor have gorgeous venues where you and your guests can dance the night away after your picture-perfect national park ceremony.

Zion National Park, Utah

Utah’s equivalent to Yosemite, Zion National Park, is absolutely majestic. Massive sandstone cliffs, striated with rich hues of cream, pink and red, are juxtaposed by turquoise skies. There’s something about the way the sun lights up the place that feels like you’re in real-world heaven. What more could you ask for in a wedding venue? Couples have a variety of location options from which to choose for smaller groups. Larger ceremonies are restricted to a couple locations that are still gorgeous. South Campground Amphitheater, which already has benches and a stage setup, can accommodate 100 guests. If you prefer to stick close to the comforts and food of Zion Lodge’s, the hotel’s beautiful lawn can accommodate up to 75.

Sequoia National Park, California

It wouldn’t be a surprise to hear that the prehistoric landscape pictured in “Land Before Time” was inspired by the real-life beauty of Sequoia National Park. Its dramatic landscape could make a giant feel small with towering mountains, rugged foothills, giant caverns and the world’s tallest trees. In the park, there’s a ceremony site for every kind of nature lover. Want to say “I do” under the canopy of ancient trees? Head to Giant Forest Museum’s patio with up to 75 guests. Or would you prefer dramatic mountain vistas? Bring 75 people to Beetle Rock. If you want to tie the knot in front of 100 friends and family members in a gentle field, it sounds Wolverton/Long Meadow is your ideal Sequoia wedding spot.

Olympic National Park, Washington

If you’ve ever watched that “Twilight” wedding scene and thought to yourself, that’s exactly what I want, Olympic National Park is totally your place – though, you’d have to ask about the flowers of course. Encompassing nearly a million acres of pristine wilderness including more than 70 miles of coastline, this beautiful park protects thousands of years of human history, glacier-capped mountains and old-growth temperate rain forests. With a proper permit, couples can wed in various locations but the easiest option is to plan a ceremony and reception at historic Lake Quinault Lodge. Up to 80 guests can watch you and your betrothed finalize the deal on the shores of the scenic lake, before partying it up inside the Quillayute Ballroom.

Death Valley National Park, California

Death Valley National Park is so gorgeous you’ll want to die while taking in its views. This below-sea-level basin is a land of extremes with towering peaks frosted with white snow in the winter, vast fields of wildflowers in spring and lush oases – yes, actual oases – that harbor tiny fish and wildlife. One would be hard-pressed to find a more mystical setting for any occasion. Many couples chose to pledge their love at emblematic Death Valley sites like Dante’s View, Zabriskie Point and the semi-private Breakfast Canyon. However, if you don’t want to do all the planning yourself, the folks at four-diamond Inn at Death Valley can help you plan a luxurious wedding at sites across the historic Old California property.

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Rocky Mountain National Park covers 415-square miles of striking mountain environments. It boasts over 300-miles of hiking trails through alpine and subalpine ecosystems, spectacular fields of wildflowers, diverse wildlife and dark, starry nights. The park offers about a dozen ceremony sites, ranging from rocky outcrop overlooks for small guest lists like 3M Curve to meadows surrounded by Aspens, Pines and summer wildflowers such as Hidden Valley, which can accommodate up to 100 guests. Because the park limits weddings to two hours, many couples who want a longer, livelier party choose to hold their receptions in nearby Estes Park at idyllic venues such as Della Terra Mountain Chateau, right near the Fall River entrance to the park.

Glacier National Park, Montana

Jagged mountains, pristine forests, alpine meadows and breathtaking lakes – it sure does seem like Glacier National Park has it all. The park is a favorite among backpackers for its 700 miles of hiking trails and, for those who aren’t quite so intrepid or physically fit, its historic chalets and lodges. Glacier National Park also draws attention for its famous Going-to-the-Sun Road and heaps of travel-worthy appeal. Out of the various wedding ceremony sites scatted around the park, Apgar and Fish Creek Amphitheaters are certainly the most popular, followed by the Fish Creek picnic area on weekdays. But for couples who would like a bigger party along with some help, the staff at Glacier Park Lodge (pictured above) and Grouse Mountain Lodge can take on the bulk of the wedding planning work.

Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska

Two dream weddings wrapped up into one spectacular trip, you can take 136 of your favorite friends and family members on a cruise through Resurrection Bay for your big day with Kenai Fjord Tours. The boat can tuck into Thumb Cove, where you can pledge your love at the foot of dramatic cliffs and alpine glaciers. If you’re lucky, a sea bird, otter, mountain goat or even a whale or two might drop by to wish you luck. Couples who aren’t into boats, or don’t have the cash to splurge, can get permits to host their ceremonies on land. At the edge of the Kenai Peninsula, this living remnant of the ice age boasts nearly 40 glacier flows from Harding Icefield, lush forests and plenty of bears, moose and marine mammals.

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

The snow-capped Tetons ascend straight up from the surrounding valley, offering a dramatic contrast between sinewy peaks and gentle meadows. That’s why Grand Teton National Park is often called one of the most beautiful landscapes in the United States. Consisting of pristine lakes, alpine terrain and diverse wildlife ranging from grizzlies and wolves to moose and elk, it’s no wonder so many couples chose to say “I do” in the area. Some of the more popular sites are Schwabacher Landing, Blacktail Ponds Overlook and Signal Mountain Summit, but the most seamless has got to be the Southwest Terrace of Jackson Lake Lodge. The hotel offers a variety of packages ranging from small events to weddings with up to 250 guests.

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Banded rock in striking hues of red, yellow and cream drops down a mile from the edge of Grand Canyon. The roaring Colorado River, which carved out this geologic wonder, looks like a tiny stream from the top but it’s as wide as a football field in many parts. It’s hard not to get overwhelmed by the sheer scale and beauty of the scene, which is why it makes such a great wedding destination. The park boasts about a dozen indoor and outdoor venues for small groups. If you want a larger party, you’re going to need help from experts like the folks at Grand Canyon Wedding Packages. They offer an array of all-inclusive packages for up to 70 people, some overlooking the rim and others at outdoor and indoor venues scattered around the park.

Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Located just 75 miles away from Washington, D.C., Shenandoah National Park features 200,000 acres of untouched natural beauty. The park is full of cascading waterfalls, serene wooded hollows and breathtaking vistas. Many of the best views are easily accessible from Skyline Drive, a famous 105-mile road that travels along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The most coveted wedding venues in the park are located along that legendary route, including Skyland hotel. Set at Skyline Drive’s highest elevation, the 19th-century property is a popular location for ceremonies. Its historic conference building can accommodate up to 100 guests. Smaller parties with fewer than 62 people can take over the recently renovated 1911 cabin and the Massanutten Room at Big Meadows Lodge can accommodate up to 62 people.

Haleakala National Park, Hawaii

Haleakala National Park is an alliance of contrasts. Sunlight bounces off the dark volcanic rock. Clouds hover atop forest canopies. Ancient cultures and species live alongside modern life. This preserve is one of the crown jewels of the national park system. It’s no surprise couples would want to pledge their love in the midst of its deeply moving natural beauty. Weddings inside the park are restricted to parties of less than 25 people at eight different coastal and summit sites, including Leleiwi Overlook (pictured above). Accessed via a short trail that passes by native geranium and other wildflowers, the picturesque viewpoint overlooks ancient lava flows that have been frozen in time. How apropos.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

The morning fog that hovers atop the forests of Great Smoky Mountain National Park does, in fact, look like smoke rising from the ancient mountain range. Look out from any of the park’s striking viewpoints and you’ll be met by tree-covered ridges as far as the eye can see. It’s these views and the diversity of its flora and fauna that make this the most visited national park in the United States. With nearly 80 historic buildings, dazzling displays of wildflowers and vibrant foliage, the area’s natural beauty provides a photo-ready backdrop for all kinds of weddings. From picnic areas and dramatic overlooks to landmark buildings like the Methodist Church at Cades Cove (pictured above), there are envy-inducing venues for every kind of couple inside the park.

Big Bend National Park, Texas

Right on the border, down in Far West Texas, Big Bend National Park offers the largest protected section of the Chihuahuan desert. It’s river-carved limestone canyons and mountain peaks provide a safe haven for a wide array of plants and animals, including hundreds of bird species. The place is about as remote as it gets but it’s still possible to wed in this magnificent location with all the modern comforts of the city at Chisos Mountain Lodge. Recite your vows along the Rio Grande River or while overlooking the Basin of the Chisos Mountains as the sun sets. The hotel’s chefs can create a customized menu for your special day while you and your friends admire the incredible view from the outdoor patio.

Isle Royale National Park, Michigan

This truly natural island has remained much the same for hundreds and thousands of years. It has no road and is incredibly remote – located in the middle of the largest freshwater lake in the world – offering ancient panoramas of Lake Superior’s rugged, tree-covered shoreline. Isle Royale’s wild environment is a lovely setting for small, intimate weddings. Couples who don’t want to make their guests totally rough it can host their parties at Rock Harbor Lodge. The team can help with all the details from picking a ceremony site to creating the perfect dinner in one of the most untouched landscapes in North America.

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Bryce Canyon isn’t just a canyon. It’s an amalgamation of natural amphitheaters filled with hoodoos, irregular columns of rock that look like natural totem poles, and other geologic features carved into the edge of a high plateau. The vistas are mind-blowing, but what makes this awe-inspiring place really special is that it has the largest collection of hoodoos found anywhere on the globe. You can pledge your love in front of those magnificent towers of crimson limestone, right at the top of the most famous overlook in the world-renowned park, Sunset Point. The outcrop boasts two separate ceremony sites that can accommodate up to 30 guests, one overlooking the Main Amphitheater, the other looking down on Silent City. Both will blow your mind – and provide the perfect backdrop for some drool-worthy photos.

Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida

Nearly 70-miles off the shores of Key West, Dry Tortugas National Park is pretty remote. The 100-square mile park is accessible only by boat or seaplane. If you chose to get wed here, chances are there won’t be many visitors other than you and your guests. The string of islands is known for its crystal-clear waters, vibrant coral reefs and diverse marine life. The most famous and largest of all the islands is Garden Key, which is home to iconic Fort Jefferson. The 18th-century brick fort is a gorgeous juxtaposition to the turquoise seas and white sand beaches. Plus, it boasts an impressive moat wall that makes a pretty cool stand-in for a traditional aisle – or a catwalk.

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