Special Use - Weddings

A bride and groom walk away from us while holding hands and looking over the river.
A bride and groom look over the river while holding hands.

Terra Fondriest

The following information will help you plan your wedding at Buffalo National River. A Special Use Permit is required to hold a wedding within Buffalo National River. Until a Special Use Permit is approved and issued, the requested date and location cannot be guaranteed. Follow the guidelines below to ensure that your permit is in place in time for your special occasion.

Permit Application Procedure
Requests for a permit application may be made in person at park headquarters, via telephone, email or letter. The application form may be downloaded from the park website. A completed application and the non-refundable application fee are required before an application can be processed. Park contact information is:


Commercial Services Office Telephone: 870-365-2702 or 870-365-2724
Buffalo National River FAX: 870-365-2799
402 N. Walnut St., Suite 136 Website: www.nps.gov/buff
Harrison, AR 72601 Email: buff_concessions@nps.gov

The information on the application will be used by NPS staff to evaluate the impact of the proposed activity on park resources and visitors. If your application is approved, a Special Use Permit sent to you for your signature. Upon receipt, please review, sign and return the permit to our office for the Superintendent’s signature. After the Superintendent signs the permit, a copy of the permit will be forwarded to you. The approved, signed permit copy must be in your possession at the time of the event.

Please submit your application at least 15 business days before the start of the proposed activity. Requests which involve multiple locations, complex logistics or coordination with other visitor activities will require a minimum of 20 working days to process. Projects which require environmental or cultural resource evaluation must be submitted not less than 60 days before the start of proposed activities. Applications are processed in the order in which they are received.

Incomplete applications will be returned to the applicant. Applications cannot be approved without the correct application fee and a valid social security number or Federal Tax Identification number.

Location
Weddings are permitted at Buffalo National River in a number of locations. The more popular sites are Tyler Bend and Buffalo Point. A visit to the park is highly recommended prior to finalizing your plans in order to decide on a location for your wedding. Some locations are only available during specific times of the year. Please contact the Commercial Services Office to inquire about a particular location. Once you determine your location, please indicate the specific location on the application. The Special Use Permit does not allow your ceremony to restrict other park visitors from your chosen location nor does it guarantee you a specific site. If you desire a pavilion, you will need to make reservations at www.recreation.gov or call (877) 444-6777. If you are interested in reserving facilities operated by our concessioner at Buffalo Point, please contact Buffalo Point Concessions at 870-449-6206. If you are interested in holding your wedding at the Tyler Bend or Buffalo Point Amphitheater, please contact the Commercial Services office at 870-365-2702 or 870-365-2724. Please note that a permit is required for weddings at Buffalo National River in addition to any reservations for specific locations.

Group Size Limits
There are limits to group sizes depending on the location in which you choose. Many pavilions can accommodate up to 100 people. Other locations may only be able to accommodate up to 25 people. Please contact the Commercial Services Office to inquire about the specific location you are interested in. Please note the maximum group size for wedding permits is 125 people – this includes the entire wedding party, photographer, etc.

Cost Recovery
The authority for the National Park Service to recover and retain costs associated with managing special park uses is found at 54 U.S.C.§ 103104. Charges established for a special park use under this authority are intended to recover costs associated with managing that activity and not to generate revenue beyond actual cost. If any additional costs are incurred, the permittee will be billed at the conclusion of the permit.
Application Cost $50 - Must be submitted at the time of the initial application. This is a non-refundable payment.
Administration Cost $100 - Payable when the permit is approved and prior to beginning the event. This is a non-refundable payment.
Management Costs If the event requires additional administrative costs to include but not limited to pre-planning site meetings, management review meetings, and/or environmental or cultural compliance, public health permits, or other costs factors such as cleaning or restoration, the cost will be payable when the permit is approved and prior to beginning the event. The scope and complexity of the permit activity will determine if management costs are required. This is a non-refundable payment.
Monitoring Cost If the event requires NPS supervision for resource protection or the health or safety of visitors, the cost will be estimated and payable when the permit is approved and prior to beginning the event. The scope and complexity of the permit activity will determine the level and type of supervision. The fee includes employee travel time to and from the event location.

Terms & Conditions To maintain park natural and cultural resources and quality visitor experiences the following conditions and requirements apply to Special Use Permits for weddings:
  1. The permittee and participants will not disturb, adversely effect, alter, damage or remove any natural/cultural resources, archeological or historic artifacts. Digging, scraping, chiseling or defacing natural features is prohibited.
  2. If flowers, an arch or walkway are to be used, they must be standalone and in no way be attached to or impinge upon NPS facilities or structures. No digging is allowed.
  3. Erecting or posting banners, signs, flyers, advertisements, or other similar materials is prohibited within park boundaries.
  4. Historical buildings or other structures may be used as backdrop only. Historical buildings cannot be used for attachments (such as banners or flowers).
  5. Attaching decorations to NPS structures, using tape, nails, staples, push-pins, ticky-tack or a similar adhesive is prohibited.
  6. Access to the area must be kept open to the public and weddings cannot interfere with normal visitor activity in any manner. The park will not exclude nor allow permittee to exclude other park visitors from the site during the wedding ceremony.
  7. All vehicles (including motorcycles) for the wedding party must be parked in designated parking areas. Carpooling is recommended; parking may be limited in some areas. Handicapped parking restrictions will be enforced.
  8. The use of a portable, battery operated sound system is acceptable as long as it meets the standards listed in 36 CFR 2.12(a)(1) and does not interfere with the use of the area by other individuals.
  9. Throwing or scattering of rice, bird seed, flowers, confetti, streamers or other similar materials is prohibited. In addition, the release of balloons, animals including birds, butterflies or other living things is prohibited.
  10. Buffalo National River Park Rangers strictly enforce all laws relating to excessive drinking. Permittee and guests must comply with all applicable federal, state, county and Park Service regulations.
  11. Permittee will assume all responsibility for cleanup of the site after the ceremony. Please remove any chairs, discarded flowers, paper, trash or other items. The wedding couple's vehicle may not be decorated with cans, paper, streamers or any other item that may be left behind in the park.
  12. Violation of the terms and conditions of the permit may result in the immediate revocation of the permit.
Other stipulations may be added depending on the specific nature of your request.

Last updated: October 30, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

402 N. Walnut Street
Suite 136

Harrison, AR 72601

Phone:

(870) 439-2502

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