Location Guides

Yellowstone National Park Elopement Guide

Yellowstone is probably “the spot” to plan your adventure elopement in Wyoming. This huge national park is nearly 3,500 sq miles with parts extending to Montana and Idaho too. There’s everything to explore here from hot springs, alpine rivers, dramatic canyons, and even gushing geysers.

This is the perfect park to plan an adventure together, but elopements and weddings here require some level of preparation to ensure you’re following the park’s rules. We put together an epic elopement guide for your Yellowstone wedding filled with places to elope, vendors, permit information, and more!

How to Elope in Yellowstone National Park

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Elopement Vendors For Your Yellowstone Elopement

The vendors below are perfect to connect with if you’re planning a small wedding ceremony within or near Yellowstone National Park!

Where to Elope in Yellowstone

Canyon Area (Artist Point)

Artist Point is one of the most photographed locations for elopements in Yellowstone. You get one of the most epic views, but this spot is also a popular spot for park visitors too. You can plan your ceremony here in the tree area on the lower platform.

Because of its popularity, this location allows a max of 40 people, and your request can actually be denied if you’re planning during a busy season and time of day. This means that summer is probably not the best time to plan here. We always recommend a sunrise or sunset ceremony here instead.

Old Faithful Area

The designated wedding ceremony location is on the east side of Old Faithful Geyser (in the gravel area directly in front of the Old Faithful Lodge). Maximum 40 people for this spot.

Parkwide Amphitheaters

Amphitheaters are a good place for a larger group gathering. However, please remember that you may not alter, change or decorate the space. Yellowstone is huge on LNT, so please respect these regulations.

Thermal Areas

Limited space on boardwalks paired with high visitor use makes thermal areas a difficult place to safely hold a ceremony; most requests to get married in thermal areas will not be approved. Speak to the permit office and your elopement vendor about possible elopement portraits here.

Mammoth Chapel

This location is great not just for big weddings, but it’s also great for elopements too! In addition to a wedding permit, a reservation (and additional reservation fee of $100) is also required to use the Mammoth Chapel. Please make a reservation by calling (307) 344-2203.

If none of the above-approved ceremony locations call your attention, then you can actually plan a ceremony outside of the park and take your portraits within the park after! If you do decide to go this route, then you’ll still need a photo permit that your photographer will need to acquire.

Wedding Portrait Spots in Yellowstone

Lamar Valley

This spot is remote and perfect to enjoy the wild herds of bison. This would be a good spot to explore together any time of the year, but especially for winter elopements since the road is open all year.

Hayden Valley

Between Yellowstone Lake and Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon (both also amazing to visit), you’ll find Hayden Valley. We love this spot for either sunrise or sunset and would pair nicely with after or before a wedding ceremony at Artist Point!

Mammoth Hot Springs

Are you a couple looking for something a bit different? You can actually take a dip in these hot springs, which can make for some pretty unique photos. Or you can explore the area around, which is pretty amazing too.

Mount Washburn

Imagine having an epic mountain view of the Grand Tetons during your Yellowstone elopement. This is the view you’ll see exploring this range that actually encompasses all of Yellowstone.

Grand Prismic Springs

This spot has unique colored pools from bacteria around its terrain, but it makes for some of the coolest photos and experiences during your elopement adventure. Please be advised this is a popular spot, so you’ll want to plan accordingly with your elopement vendor.

Secret Locations in Yellowstone

The best part about hiring a vendor who specializes in elopements within Yellowstone is being able to take your wedding portraits in locations not many people know about. You’ll be surprised where your vendors will take you! Just discuss what options you have for a more intimate experience, and they’ll suggest locations based on hiking expertise and season.


How to Get to Yellowstone

Since Yellowstone is so big (there are five entrances), it’s understandable when couples don’t really know how to get to Yellowstone. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Decide which entrance is closest to your elopement location and/or adventure.
  • Account for entrance closures.
  • Consider how busy each entrance gets. This is an important one to discuss with your elopement vendor.
  • Account for traffic in Yellowstone, especially during the busy season.
  • Consider booking your accommodation within the park.

Which Airports are Closest to Yellowstone?

  • Bozeman, Montana
  • Billings, Montana
  • Cody, Wyoming
  • Jackson, Wyoming

Again, hiring an elopement vendor who has experience in Yellowstone elopements can make the planning process a lot smoother! A lot of our vendors provide recommended guidelines and are happy to suggest the best option for your intimate wedding.

When to Elope in Yellowstone

Summer 2022 update: Yellowstone has experienced a lot of flooding recently, which has caused a lot of damage to some parts of the park, closing both the North and Northeast entrances. With this being said, keep the park’s current condition in mind when selecting where you want your elopement to take place in the park.
Normally, Yellowstone is gorgeous year-round, and couples should greatly consider planning a weekday elopement during sunrise/sunset to ensure they have the most intimate experience.

You can elope in the summer and have a warm elopement ceremony, or plan a snowy winter elopement here instead. Keep in mind summer is the most popular season to visit Yellowstone because it’s so warm. If you elope in the Winter, you’ll see snow and have a lot of the park to yourself. Eloping in the Fall will give you some epic fall foliage for your portraits, and spring is so gorgeous with the wildflowers in bloom.

Whatever season you decide to elope in Yellowstone, use the season to determine what you’ll pack, your wedding attire, and any additional activities you both want to do together. Team up with an elopement vendor to start planning your adventure.

Permits, Marriage License, and Leave no Trace For Your Wedding Day

Yellowstone Special Use Permit

Yellowstone is serious about its permits and wedding regulations. Weddings and ceremonies are allowed in certain areas of Yellowstone depending on location, group size, and even time of year and day. The park’s website clearly states, “if you want to have a large, exclusive, or decorated celebration, please consider locations outside of the park for your event.”

You’ll need a special use permit for your ceremony within the park. This permit is $250. You can apply for this permit up to 12 months in advance and no earlier than 2 weeks before your wedding day. We recommend applying for this permit as soon as possible to avoid any issues. Please check Yellowstone’s park website for the most up-to-date permit information for your day. You’ll also have to account for the park’s entrance fees for each guest in your budget.

Ceremony sites are on a first-requested, first-served basis. Please be aware that if the location you requested has already been booked or is unavailable due to weather conditions, then you’ll need to pick an alternative location. This is why it’s important to apply in advance and team up with an experienced photographer in the area.

Please note: If there are closures due to wildlife, weather, or other causes, please contact the park’s office to revise your ceremony location.

Photographers need to obtain a commercial use authorization, and videographers need to contact the permitting office for requirements.

Wedding License For Your Elopement

If you’re planning your ceremony in Yellowstone, a marriage license from Wyoming or Montana is acceptable. Applying for a Wyoming license is $30 and a Montana license is $53.

LNT in Yellowstone

As with any park location you’re visiting, please respect the land. Picking flowers is prohibited, pick a bouquet that ensures seeds don’t fall and germinate, please stay on the trail, and pick up after yourself!

Check out Yellowstone’s website for more information.

Best Places to Stay Near Yellowstone

One of the best things about eloping in Yellowstone is the number of places to stay within and near the park, specifically within! You can also rent an Airbnb/Vrbo or glamp it out at one of the campgrounds in Yellowstone. Just keep in mind most of these locations will require a reservation, so it’s important to plan ahead.

Here are some of our favorites you can check out:

Are you ready to elope? Check out our guide on how to elope for more tips!

Ready To Start Planning Your Elopement?

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