If you are interested in holding your marriage ceremony at Cape Lookout National Seashore, the following information will be helpful in making your plans. A Special Use Permit is required to hold a wedding anywhere within Cape Lookout National Seashore. Until a Special Use Permit is approved and issued, the requested date and location cannot be guaranteed (permits do not guarantee exclusive use of the area). Follow the guidelines outlined 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 the Harkers Island Visitor Center, via telephone, email or letter. The application form may be downloaded from the Special Use Permits webpage. A completed application and the non-refundable application fee are required before an application can be processed. Park contact information is:
The information on the application will be used by NPS staff to evaluate the impact of the proposed activity on park resources and visitors. Allow at least two weeks (10 business days) for processing. Requests which involve multiple locations, complex logistics, or coordination with other visitor activities will require a minimum of 15 working days to process. Projects which require environmental or cultural resource evaluation must be submitted not less than 30 days before the start of proposed activities. Applications are processed in the order in which they are received.
Applications will be returned to the applicant if submitted incomplete, cannot be approved as submitted, or are received without payment. This greatly extends the time required to process your permit.
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.
The following areas are restricted for use (are generally not available):
The authority for the National Park Service to recover and retain costs associated with managing special park uses is found at 16 U.S.C. 3a, 16 U.S.C. 460l-6d, and 31 U.S.C. 9701. 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.
Application Cost: Must be submitted at the time of the initial application. This is a non-refundable payment.
Administration Cost: Payable when the permit is approved and prior to beginning the event. This is a non-refundable payment.
Federal procedures (31 USC 7701) requires your Social Security Number or Tax Identification Number on the back of all checks accepted for deposit. You must supply your Social Security Number or Tax Identification Number in order for your check to be accepted and your application to be processed.
If your application is approved, a Special Use Permit will be prepared and mailed to you for 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. This should all be done well in advance of your chosen date. The approved, signed permit copy must be in your possession at the time of the event.
Terms & Conditions
To maintain park natural and cultural resources and quality visitor experiences in addition to the standard terms and conditions, the following conditions and requirements apply to Special Use Permits for weddings:
Last updated: March 4, 2020