When it comes to planning a wedding, where you tie the knot is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make. A destination wedding can make your big day even more special. It gives you the chance to choose a beautiful destination for your wedding. You’ll create some special memories. Plus, you’ll ensure that your wedding will be truly unique. When it comes to choosing a beautiful wedding venue in Southern Utah, you can’t beat a national park.

Southern Utah has plenty to choose from. From the stunning red rock peaks of Zion National Park to the open expanses of Capitol Reef, there’s no shortage of landscapes to choose from. 

But can you get married in a Utah national park? And should you? Keep reading as we answer both questions. Plus, we’ll introduce you to one of the newest wedding venues in Southern Utah, located at Water Canyon Resort.

Can You Get Married in a Utah National Park?

The short answer is that yes, you can get married in most national parks.

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you can host your dream wedding within a national park. In most cases, national parks have strict requirements for what your wedding can look like. They may limit the number of guests and your use of chairs, tables, or other props. You’ll also be limited in where you can choose to tie the knot.

How to Get Married at a National Park

If you don’t mind sticking to some strict rules, you can tie the knot in a national park of your choosing. The first thing that you’ll need to do is apply for a permit. In most cases, you will need a “special use permit.” You can apply for this permit by visiting the National Park Service’s website, searching for the specific national park that you’re thinking of, and then searching for “permits.”

Permits range in price. For instance, those looking to get married in Zion National Park will need to pay $100 to apply for their special use permit. In addition to your special use permit, you and your guests will also need to pay the entry fee or present a national park annual pass to enter the park. Besides paying the fee to apply for a permit, you’ll also want to familiarize yourself with the rules and guidelines for getting married in a park.

Getting Married in Zion National Park

In Zion National Park, a number of popular sites have capacity limits that weddings must meet. If you want to get married on the front lawn of the Zion Lodge, for instance, you can have up to 75 people. But if you want to get married in front of Menu Falls, you can only have 10. This number includes you, your soon-to-be spouse, your wedding party, guests, and any photographers or wedding planners.

Getting Married in Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef National Park has similar restrictions. Sites in the park can accommodate anywhere from 15 to 100 people. Additional rules and restrictions are also included. For example, you can only use a few folding chairs for elderly guests, and cannot use any tents, carpets, floral displays, or generators. You also can’t scatter flower petals, rice, or other materials, or hang any kind of decorations. Park facilities, like restrooms and the visitor center, can’t be used for preparations, rehearsals, or as waiting areas.

Is a National Park a Good Wedding Venue?

A national park can be a stunning backdrop for your wedding ceremony. However, the many rules and restrictions that you’ll need to follow mean that national parks are usually a better choice for a small, informal elopement rather than a full wedding ceremony.

Additionally, unpredictable weather in the park, as well as other guests hiking or enjoying the area where you’re planning your special moment, can make a national park wedding less romantic than you might be imagining.

The Newest Wedding Venue in Southern Utah

If you’re dreaming of the incredible backdrop that a national park wedding could provide, but are worried about the crowds in the park or the endless rules, you’re in luck. The newest wedding venue in Southern Utah offers an amazing alternative.

The pavilion at Water Canyon Winery is one of the premier event venues in Southern Utah. The outdoor venue overlooks an acre of grape vines. Behind them is a backdrop of the stunning red rock mountains in the distance. You get the incredible beauty of a national park wedding. But you also get a roof over your head in case of a rainy day, no crowds of tourists, and access to a variety of facilities, like restrooms and our very own beautiful winery.

Plus, your wedding party and guests can stay just a short way away from the ceremony and reception space. The Modern Cabins at Water Canyon Resort offer a spacious, luxurious place to get ready for your special day. They’re also perfect for your guests to relax and unwind throughout the weekend.

Planning Your Southern Utah Destination Wedding

Dreaming of planning a Southern Utah destination wedding? Think twice before choosing a national park as your ceremony venue. A national park like Zion can be an incredible backdrop for an intimate elopement ceremony. But if you’re hoping to have more guests or a more elaborate affair, the many rules and guidelines can be a bit restricting.

But a stunning outdoor wedding venue in Southern Utah can be a great alternative. At Water Canyon Resort, you’ll still get to enjoy Southern Utah’s incredible natural beauty. But you can do so without the endless restrictions and lack of facilities.

Whether you’re planning your wedding or a weekend getaway, book your stay at Water Canyon Resort today!