Weddings and Commitment Ceremonies

 
Two ducks with different coloring swimming on the water

NPS Photo/Tobiason

Grand Teton National Park issues Special Use Permits (SUPs) for wedding and commitment ceremonies that establish a meaningful association between the park and the ceremony.

Because Grand Teton is an outdoor, rustic, natural environment where the priorities include protecting the park’s resources and allowing all visitors to enjoy the park, only small, simple, rustic, and undecorated ceremonies are permitted. If you want to have a large, exclusive, or decorated celebration, consider locations outside of the park for your event.

Please carefully read the information on this page to determine whether Grand Teton will be suitable for your ceremony and how to apply for a permit.

 
 

Application Period

Applications for a 2024 Special Park Use Permit to hold a Wedding and Commitment Ceremony in Grand Teton National Park will be accepted beginning December 4, 2023, at 08:00 am mountain standard time for the following dates of issue for either permit type:

  • Reserved Site-Specific Ceremony Permit starting Friday, May 10, 2024, through Sunday, October 20, 2024
  • Small Dispersed Ceremony Permit starting Sunday, January 1, 2024, through Sunday, December 31, 2024

Applicants must submit a non-refundable $200 processing fee before the application can be reviewed. Applications will be accepted no less than 30 days prior to the ceremony date.

 
 

Prior to Applying

A Special Park Use Permit is required for holding a Wedding and Commitment Ceremony in Grand Teton National Park to ensure the activity will not interfere with or prevent general visitor use or cause resource damage. Prior to applying, review the Regulations and Permit Conditions to ensure the ceremony held is appropriate and meets the conditions of the permit. The following are key need to know items:

  • All locations are outdoors and rustic in nature and do not offer protection from the weather. The permit prohibits or restricts the use of items such as decorations, alters, tables, chairs, signs, scattering of materials, non-invasive plants, generators, catered food services, etc. Most of the locations do not have restroom facilities at or near the ceremony locations.
  • Exclusive use of any area is not permitted; therefore, ceremony sites will remain open for public use alongside your permitted activity.
  • Consider carpooling. Access to parking maybe difficult and parking spaces cannot be reserved or held in advance.
  • Group size is restricted based on the permit type and location. Group size, includes the wedding party, guests- including children, officiant, planners, photographer(s), etc.
  • Applications must be submitted by at least one of the individuals getting married. They may not be submitted by a third party (e.g., wedding planner, relative). Wedding/Event planners, officiants or photographers who are found to be ‘re-selling’ wedding permits may be denied application for permits and restricted from operating in Grand Teton National Park.
  • The permitee signs the permit to state they understand and accept the permit subject to the terms and conditions.
  • You may have portraits taken or video taken at the ceremony location during the permitted period per the permit conditions. You may also go to other locations in the park without a permit as long as the portraits or video taken are for your use and not to promote or sell a product or service which requires a Still Photography or Film Permit.
The following are useful resources for applying and planning your ceremony and visiting Grand Teton:
  • Before submitting your application, visit the Teton County website for information regarding marriage licenses as these regulations may affect your application submission. Marriage Licenses | Teton County, WY (tetoncountywy.gov)
  • Refer to the park webpage to plan your visit which includes Operating Hours and Seasons, Park Roads and Construction, General Information, Weather, and much more.
  • Consider downloading the free NPS App available through the Apple App Store and Google Play. This includes an interactive park map with the “Locate Me” icon so you will know where you are.
 
 

Permit Types

There are two types of Wedding and Commitment Ceremony Special Use Permits that can be applied for:

  1. Reserved Site-Specific Ceremony Permits
  2. Small Dispersed Ceremony Permits

Chapels or Lodges in the Park

A permit is not required to hold a ceremony or reception at the chapels in the park or a park concession facility (i.e., Jackson Lake Lodge). Entrance fees apply for all participants. Arrangements for the use of these must be made directly with the establishments as follows:
 

Reserved Site-Specific Ceremony Permits

The total number of permits issued by the park are limited to 1 ceremony per day, per location with a maximum of 60 ceremonies per year per location with the exception of Colter Bay Swim Beach, which is limited to a maximum of 30 ceremonies per year.

Ceremonies are limited to two hours maximum and must be defined with a start and end time. This time includes the arrival for set-up and ending time to including photos or video at the ceremony location.

Group size includes the ‘wedding party’, wedding guests including children, officiant, and photographer(s).

There are 6 site-specific ceremony locations that may be applied for:

  1. Colter Bay Swim Beach – Group size limit of 40 people (Full for 2024)
  2. Schwabacher Landing – Group size limit of 25 people (Full for 2024)
  3. Mormon Row (North or South) – Group size limit of 40 people (North) or 25 people (South)
  4. Mountain View Turnout – Group size limit of 25 people
  5. Glacier View Turnout – Group size limit of 25 people
  6. Snake River Overlook – Group size limit of 25 people
 
 

Small Dispersed Ceremony Permits

Group size is restricted to no more than 12 people, including the wedding party, wedding guests including children, officiant, and photographer(s).

Small Dispersed Ceremony locations may be applied for parkwide except in prohibited areas (see below). Only one permit will be issued per location per day. A location may not be permitted if the activity will interfere with or prevent general visitor use or cause resource damage.

Ceremonies are limited to one hour maximum at Small Dispersed locations and must be defined with a start and end time. This time includes the arrival for set-up and ending time to including photos or video at the ceremony location.

Applicant must provide a location description with coordinates and/or a satellite view map of the requested location.

Prohibited locations include:

  • Reserved Site-Specific Ceremony locations during Friday, May 10, 2024 to Sunday, October 20, 2024
  • The paved trails within and surrounding the Jenny Lake Visitor Plaza at South Jenny Lake, Jenny Lake Trail, and Jenny Lake Overlook
  • Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point
  • String Lake developed area and trail
  • Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve
  • Concessioner land assignments (exception for weddings sold/catered by concessioners in assigned facilities in accordance with their contract)
  • Park partner facilities (e.g., Murie Ranch, Teton Science School)
  • Within proximity of places where weddings are being managed by a chapel or concessioner (e.g., the Chapel of the Transfiguration)
  • Park cemeteries
  • If a location is behind a gate, the permittee may have walking access but not vehicle access
  • Areas where there is high visitation during the requested period or potential for resource damage
 

How to Apply

A completed application and the $200 application fee must be submitted electronically a minimum of 30 days prior to the requested ceremony date. See Application Period for submission information.

Your location and date will be “held” while the permit is being drafted and finalized. There will be a $100 reprocessing fee for changes to a completed permit (e.g., change of date within this calendar year, location, time, number of people, etc.).

Step 1: Review Options

Determine the type of ceremony permit you are applying for: a Reserved Site-Specific Wedding Ceremony or a Small Dispersed Ceremony

Step 2: Complete Application

Download and complete the Wedding and Commitment Ceremony Special Use Application (Microsoft Word).

The following information MUST be included, or the application cannot be processed:

  • Application Information
    Enter applicant information. One or both of the primary ceremony participant names may be listed (e.g., Bride and/or Groom). Applications from a third party will not be accepted. You can leave Organization and Fax number blank.
  • Description of Proposed Activity section
    Indicate whether you are applying for a Reserved Site-Specific Ceremony or a Small Dispersed Ceremony.
  • Date, Location, and Time
    • Enter your preferred date, location and start time for the permitted activity in the first row.
    • Identify and prioritize your alternates (e.g., if location is your priority you may have to be flexible on your ceremony date and vice versa). We recommend you enter up to five (5) alternate date(s) and location(s).
    • If you are applying for a Small Dispersed Ceremony site, please provide a description of the location with coordinates and/or a satellite view map of the requested location.
 
 
  • Participants and Vehicles (best estimate)
    Enter the number of people who will be at the ceremony including children, officiant, photographer(s), and planner(s). Enter the maximum number you anticipate. Once your permit is finalized, if you end up having more participants, you will need to contact the park to have your permit reprocessed.

    Enter the maximum number of vehicles and the size of vehicle you are planning and requesting to be included in your permit.
 
 

  • List of Equipment
    List any additional equipment you are requesting to be considered for your permit. Examples are an estimated number of chairs for those who cannot stand through the full ceremony or any additional equipment beyond what is described in the permit conditions.
  • Support Personnel
    Include any support personnel you may have to support your permitted ceremony activity (i.e., event planner, officiant, photographer, videographer).
  • Individual in Charge
    Enter the name and cell phone number of the individual who will be in charge of the onsite activity and is authorized to make decisions related to the permitted activity.
    This person is expected to ensure the activities during the permitted event and all participants including attendees/officiants/photographers/planners are adhering to the permit conditions.
  • Activity Questions
    Select the Yes or No checkbox for each question as it pertains to you.
  • Signature Block
    Complete the applicant name, title, signature, and date section
    If a planner or photographer is completing the application on behalf of the applicant, the applicant must sign the application and be included as a cc: in the email submission of the application. The planner information must be included in the “List of Equipment section.”

Step 3: Submit Application

Email the completed application to grte_visitor_services@nps.gov. Please allow 7 to 10 days for a response.

Step 4: Pay Application Fee

Pay the $200 non-refundable application fee electronically by visiting Pay.gov. Use the Grand Teton NP Special Use Permit Application Fee Form.

  • Click Continue to the Form
  • Fill out all fields in the Permittee Information section. The Business/Event name should be the applicant’s name.

  • Check the box for Permit Fee and enter $200.00 in the Permit Fee Amount field that pops up and fill in the Amount Due field.

  • Click the Continue text to enter your payment information and finalize the transaction.

  • You will receive a confirmation email from Pay.gov retain this for your records. The Visitor Services office will automatically receive an email confirmation/receipt of the payment. You do not need to forward this confirmation.

Step 5: Review Draft and Sign Permit

Once your application and payment have been processed, a preliminary permit will be sent for your review. You will have seven (7) calendar days to review, sign, and return the document to the grte_visitor_services@nps.gov email account for final processing.

By signing the permit, you are certifying that the applicant information is correct and that you have read, understood, and will abide by all permit conditions.

Once the permit is finalized, any changes such as the date, location, time, and maximum number of people, will require a $100 reprocessing fee.

Step 6: Final Permit

A copy of the fully executed permit signed by the authorizing official, will be returned to you via email. You will need to have a printed copy of the fully executed permit with you on site during the event.

You are expected to share the permit with the individual in charge and support personnel identified in the application as they are expected to understand the regulations and permit conditions.

 

Regulations and Permit Conditions

  1. The Superintendent may immediately suspend or revoke this permit without notice if destruction of, loss of, or injury to any park property or resource has occurred, is occurring, or appears imminent. In accordance with the System Unit Resource Protection Act, 54 U.S.C. §§ 100721-100725, any person that destroys, causes the loss of, or injures any park system unit resource will be liable to the United States for response costs and damages resulting from the destruction, loss, or injury.

  2. The Superintendent may revoke this permit at any time after providing 24 hours’ written notice to the Permittee setting forth the reasons for the revocation.

  3. The Permittee designates (Individual in Charge) (cell phone number) as the on-site person responsible for adherence to the permit’s terms and conditions. The on-site person must have full authority to make all decisions about the permitted work or activities; must be reachable at all times; and is responsible for all persons or entities performing the permitted work or activities, including the Permittee’s contractors and subcontractors.

Park-specific Terms and Conditions

  1. The permittee, in exercising the privileges granted by this permit, shall comply with the regulations of the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, and Grand Teton National Park and John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway Superintendent’s Compendium regulations which are applicable to the area of operations covered by this permit.
  2. The permit is valid for activities occurring in Grand Teton National Park and does not permit activities on any other lands or waters administered by any other state or federal land management agency, private land, or other units of the National Park Service.
  3. This activity may be monitored by a National Park Service employee or designee to ensure compliance with all conditions of this permit.
  4. Any additional information relating to the privilege applied for by this application will be furnished upon request of the official in charge.
  5. Harassment of wildlife (regardless of size) is strictly prohibited. Permittee/associates will wait until animals have naturally moved off trails or roads. The Superintendent’s Compendium states, “The following activities are prohibited: willfully approaching, remaining, viewing, or engaging in any activity within 100 yards of bears or wolves, or within 25 yards of any other wildlife including nesting birds; or within any distance that disturbs, displaces or otherwise interferes with the free unimpeded movement of wildlife, or creates or contributes to a potentially hazardous condition or situation; failure to remove one’s self to prescribed distances during inadvertent, accidental, casual or surprise encounters with wildlife; failure to comply as directed by NPS staff (employees, volunteers, or agents) engaged in administering wildlife management operations or managing wildlife viewing opportunities.”
    The permittee and designee/representatives shall avoid any inference, written, spoken, or printed, of any connection, either official or unofficial, with the National Park Service and/or its activities.
  6. All natural and cultural resources are protected by law; utmost care will be exercised to see that no natural, historic, or cultural features are injured.
  7. The area must be cleaned up and restored to its prior condition. Ensure all trash and ceremony items are picked up and packed out at the end of the ceremony. Respect the Park’s resources and tread lightly. Leave No Trace principles and practices shall be closely adhered to for all events/ceremonies that take place in non-developed and backcountry areas. For more information, please visit Leave No Trace Seven Principles and Wilderness Ethics.
  8. The following activities are prohibited:
  • Erecting or placing of alters, arbors, arches, platforms, podiums, rugs, tables, and tents.
  • Chairs with the exception of a few portable chairs (provided by the permittee) under special circumstances, such as for guests who would have difficulty standing during the window of this permit.
  • Attaching or placing decorations (e.g., balloons, banners, flower stands, lights, objects, signs, streamers) to any natural or historic object or any National Park Service sign, bench, post, building, or facility. Only handheld items that can be carried at all times are permissible.

  • Use of generators.

  • Rearrangement of park facilities (e.g., moving benches, tables).

  • Mowing and/or removal of vegetation.

  • Scattering, spreading or throwing of any materials (e.g., birdseed, rice, flower petals, confetti).

  • Releasing or throwing birds, butterflies, balloons, rice, bubbles, etc.

  • Receptions or catered food services. Small food and drink items, like a champagne toast, are permitted but must follow strict bear safety/food storage protocol.

  • Using park visitor center, restrooms, and other buildings for ceremony preparations (e.g., dressing, picture-taking, rehearsals, waiting areas) or in the event of inclement weather.

  • Unmanned aircraft (e.g., drones, model airplanes, quadcopters).
  1. Bouquets are permitted but they may not contain any plant species on the Wyoming State Designated Noxious Weeds list nor the Teton Country Declared Species List (e.g., Baby’s Breath).
  2. Participants, guests, officiant, and photographers must follow all traffic, trail, and site regulations. They must stay on established trails and on durable surfaces to minimize impacts to the natural vegetation.
  3. Vehicles will abide by state and federal laws/regulations. Parking is allowed in designated parking areas only and drivers must pull safely out of traffic lanes without damaging resources. Unauthorized parking may be subject to violation notices. Parking at sites is not exclusively reserved for the ceremony.

  4. This permit does not grant exclusive use of any area, including the approved ceremony site. The permitted location shall remain open to park visitors. Other park visitors shall not be requested to move themselves, their vehicles, or alter their selected activities by the permittee. Furthermore, all pathways and trails in the ceremony area must remain clear for visitors to freely walk the path unimpeded. Permittee must not block trails.

  5. Audio devices (radios, musical instruments, etc.) shall not be used in such a manner: (i) that exceeds a noise level of 60 decibels or (ii) that makes noise which is unreasonable, considering the nature and purpose of the permit, location, time of day, impact on park users, and other factors that would govern the conduct of a reasonably prudent person under circumstances. Sound amplification is not permitted. Vocal communication shall not exceed normal conversational volume. 36 CFR 2.12 Audio Disturbances.

  6. Entrance fees apply to all wedding participants and guests who pass through an entrance gate. A 7-day entrance pass may be purchased in advance through Recreation.gov.

  7. Photography and film/videography are authorized under the following conditions, and the permittee is required to ensure their photographer/videographer are aware of the permit conditions:

  • Photographers/Videographers, along with officiants and event planners, are included in the total participant count.
  • Equipment must be carried at all times, except for small tripods used to hold cameras.

  • Artificial lighting that is not handheld may not be used. Authorized lighting equipment includes but is not limited to on-camera flash/TTL flash, handheld light modifiers, handheld flash brackets, handheld flash heads, handheld reflectors, and handheld diffusers.

  • All business transactions, including disbursement of business cards, are conducted outside of Grand Teton National Park and the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway.

  • Photographs/videos are for the consumption of the permittee and not used for the purpose of promoting the sale or use of a product or service.

 

FAQs

 

No, not through a Grand Teton National Park Special Use Permit. Grand Teton Lodge Company has facilities that can accomodate larger weddings and receptions; you may contact the park concessioner at 307-543-2811 to inquire. Additionally, the two chapels, the Chapel of the Transfiguration and the Chapel of the Sacred Heart, may be able to accommodate larger groups. 

Entrance fees are charged for all wedding participants and guests as they pass through a park entrance station. If in a private non-commerical vehicle, the $35 entrance fee or annual passes are an option. If hiring a commercial vehicle, including taxis, the non-commercial organized group fee of $20 per person for each visitor 16 years or older.

The 7-day entrance passes may be purchased in advanced through Recreation.gov. See Fees and Passes for more information. 

The Chapel of the Transfiguration sits on private property within the park. If guests are entering only to attend the wedding ceremony at the chapel, they will not be charged an entrance fee. However, if you are holding your reception inside the park or outside the chapel complex, your guests will be charged an entrance fee.

Permits are written for two hours. This time includes travelling to the ceremony location, performing the ceremony, and taking wedding photos.

No. We are continually receiving applications and do not have the ability for the public to view a live calendar to check availability.

We ask that you provide six locations and date priorities list at the time of application. If none of your six choices are available at the date/time you want, we will contact you to try to find a different time or place. 

Depending on the volume of applications received at any given time, the time will vary. Generally, you can expect to receive communications regarding your application request within 7 to 10 calendar days.

If the area of the park for which you received a permit is closed to the public due to a fire or other emergency, we may be able accommodate you elsewhere or reschedule, though this is not guaranteed. Heavy smoke, rain, snow, wind, and other natural and unpredictable weather patterns are part of the potential hazards of holding a ceremony in a national park and are not grounds for changing your permit. Note: refunds will not be issued for permits that cannot be rescheduled, are cancelled, or that you do not use. 
 

Changes requested such as the date (within this calendar year), location, time, maximum number of people, etc. may be done, but it will require a $100 reprocessing fee. You may email GRTE_Visitor_Services@nps.gov the request with referencing permit number, details of the request, and pay the reprocessing fee through Pay.gov

Requests to change the date to future years will require a new application and application fee to be submitted when applications for that period are accepted. Requests to update the contact information for a planner or photographer are not subject to the reprocessing fee and can be sent at any time.

If you need to cancel, please email GRTE_Visitor_Services@nps.gov so the location and date can be made available to another applicant.

Generally no. Pets are allowed inside Grand Teton National Park, but they must be restrained at all times and are not permitted on hiking trails, inside visitor centers, swimming beaches, or other facilities, except for service animals. A good rule of thumb is that a pet may go anywhere a car may go: roads and road shoulders, campgrounds and picnic areas, parking lots, etc. Pets must be on a leash (six feet or less), under physical restraint, and within 30 feet of the roadway. Pets are not permitted on any park trails or in the park backcountry. Pets are not considered pack animals.

The Wedding Tree is on the Bridger-Teton National Forest and not part of Grand Teton National Park. For more information visit the Bridger-Teton National Forest website.

 

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For more information call 307-739-3616 or e-mail us.

 
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Last updated: January 8, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 170
Moose, WY 83012

Phone:

307-739-3399
Talk to a Ranger? To speak to a Grand Teton National Park ranger call 307–739–3399 for visitor information Monday-Friday during business hours.

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