Capitol Reef National Park elopements and weddings are so dreamy. As a hiker and outdoor lover, this is right up my alley. Capitol Reef National Park allows small, intimate weddings and elopements in the park under certain conditions. I hope this blog post acts as a guide if you’re trying to plan an intimate wedding elopement in this gorgeous national park. To get married in Capitol Reef National Park, you’ll need a special use permit. In general, the park will approve permits for small weddings in locations around the campground, front-country areas or picnic area. Weddings in the park need to be simple, rustic and no-frills. If you are looking for a place that allows extras such as chairs, music, decorations, runners, arches or tents, an elopement or wedding in Capitol Reef National Park will not be your best option. Permits will not be approved for backcountry locations as per wilderness management policies. My advice for avoiding crowds or people would be to schedule the elopement during the off-season, usually October-March, and doing the ceremony early in the morning.
I’ll link you the application for your special-use permit. Once your application is reviewed, the park will contact you for any clarifying information that they require. After approval, a special use permit will be prepared and sent to you for your signature. After you receive that, you’ll need to review, sign, and return the permit to their office for final approval. If your ceremony plans change, you’ll need to notify the office immediately. After the permit is approved, the office will send you an authorized copy. It’s very important to note that the approved permit must be in your possession at the time of the ceremony. Wedding permits are $50.00. Payment may be made through pay.gov. You shouldn’t submit payment until receiving authorization from the Park. The application needs to be submitted to:
Special Park Uses Coordinator
HC 70 Box 15
Torrey, UT 84775
Rules + Regulations For Capitol Reef National Park Weddings + Elopements
- Capitol Reef National Park elopements, weddings or ceremonies can be scheduled up to one year in advance. They may not be scheduled any later than 7 days prior to your event.
- As parking spaces are limited in the park, carpooling or shuttling is strongly encouraged, and may be required. Travel to and from the site must be via established trails and roads.
- Normal entrance fees apply to all vehicles associated with the Capitol Reef National Park elopement or ceremony.
- The number of participants may be limited to 15 to 20 persons, depending on the selected location. The maximum number allowed for any location is 100 guests.
- Because activities may not interfere with normal visitor use of the park, duration of ceremonies is usually limited to twenty (20) minutes. Post-event activities, such as receptions, shall take place in designated picnic areas or a pre-arranged staging area. Exclusive use of an area is not permitted. No area shall be closed to the public during the ceremony or reception.
- Areas normally closed to the public cannot be used, and certain sensitive resource zones (as identified by the park superintendent) cannot be used.
- The Park visitor center, restrooms and other buildings may not be used for ceremony preparations (dressing, picture-taking, rehearsals, waiting areas, etc.) or in the event of inclement weather.
- Under the wedding special use permit, the officiator and photographer hired by the permittee must be included on the permit and are not required to obtain an additional permit for their services. If the officiator and photographer advertise that they offer services in the park and your booking is done through them, then they need an additional permit (I can easily obtain that permit).
- Music accompanying the event is limited to non-amplified musical instruments. Amplification of any sound before, during or after the ceremony and connection to park utilities is not permitted.
- Equipment such as tents, carpets, floral displays and generators cannot be used in the park. A few portable chairs (provided by the permittee) for the elderly is permitted.
- Throwing and scattering of rice, birdseed, flower petals or other materials, is prohibited.
- Decorations such as banners, streamers or hanging objects may not be tacked, stapled, nailed or attached to any trees, plants or park facilities.
- Leave No Trace principles and practices shall be closely adhered to for all events/ceremonies. Make sure all trash and ceremony items are picked up and packed out with you. Please respect the park’s resources and tread lightly. Avoid sensitive resource areas.
- Drones are prohibited.
Your Capitol Reef National Park Elopement Photographer
I would love nothing more than to be your photographer for your Capitol Reef National Park wedding! I hope these questions and answers were helpful as you’re navigating the planning process, and I would absolutely love to answer any questions that you have regarding eloping in other places or photography or anything wedding related. Being your Utah wedding or elopement photographer on your big day, whether it’s at Capitol Reef or anywhere in Utah, would be awesome. Either way, just get in contact with me to see if I still have your wedding date available. If you’re still on the hunt for other venues in Utah, check out these other blog posts!
Again, I hope this all was helpful! Happy venue shopping 🙂