Weddings & Other Ceremonies

Weddings, Renewal of Vows, and Other Ceremonies

 
Wedding rersized
Wedding with the Rockies in full splendor!

NPS/Debbie Biddle

Thank you for your interest in conducting your ceremony within Rocky Mountain National Park. If you are looking for a simple, rustic, no frills ceremony in an outdoor setting, the park might be what you are looking for. If you are looking for a place that allows chairs, music, decorations, runners, arches, tents, or other extras, Rocky Mountain National Park will not be your best option.

Rocky Mountain National Park is a resource protected area and a busy national park with high visitation. All ceremonies in the park are managed by and require a Special Use Permit. The Special Use Permit requires a non-refundable administrative fee of $200. After favorable review of your application, a Special Use Permit will be prepared and sent to you for signature. Upon receipt, please review, sign, and return the permit to our office for final approval. If your ceremony plans change, notify our office immediately. After the permit is approved we will send you an authorized copy. The approved permit must be in your possession at the time of the ceremony.

  • Weddings or ceremonies may be scheduled up to one year in advance and no later than 7 days prior to your event.
  • As parking spaces are limited in the park, carpooling or shuttling is strongly encouraged, and may be required.
  • Normal entrance fees apply to all vehicles associated with the ceremony.
  • Since Rocky Mountain National Park is an outdoor, rustic, natural environment, the permit includes specific conditions that protect the park’s resources and allow all visitors to enjoy the park. Please read carefully to determine whether your ceremony will be possible in Rocky Mountain National Park. We have tried to address the key points required for arranging a ceremony in the park. You will be required to read and sign the permit. Download a printable ceremony permit application.
  • Ceremonies conducted in the national park require written approval from the Chief Ranger’s Office or Concessions Management Office. For information, send an email, call 970 586-1209, or write to:

    Concessions Management Office
    Rocky Mountain National Park
    Estes Park, CO 80517
 

Ceremony Locations

Ceremony sites in Rocky Mountain National Park are located in areas that are open to the public. All locations are outdoors and rustic in nature without protection from the weather. Ceremony site use is on a first-come, first-served basis and limited to two hours maximum at all locations. Weddings are not permitted in public facilities such as visitor centers, roadside turnouts, parking areas, overlooks, or in special wildlife viewing areas. No sites can be reserved for the exclusive use of your event. Scheduled park programs and activities may be taking place at the same time and in the same general area.

Most designated sites can only accommodate small groups of up to 20 people. The number of sites available to accommodate larger wedding parties (21 to 100) is limited due to high visitation and resource protection. For wedding ceremonies, the overall number includes the wedding party, children, officiant, and photographer(s). There are limited sites that will accommodate these larger ceremonies, and these should be scheduled as soon as possible through the application process with the Concessions Office. Not all party sizes will be permitted in all areas. Size limits vary depending on parking, time of year, and location of site. The maximum size for any ceremony is 100 people.

For sites not on the list please contact the Concession Office for further information.

Read detailed information about designated ceremony sites and site restrictions.

 

Regulations

Failure to comply with any of the terms and conditions of this permit may result in the immediate suspension or revocation of the permit. [36 CFR 1.6(h)]

  1. The permittee is prohibited from giving false information; to do so will be considered a breach of conditions and be grounds for revocation: [36 CFR 2.32(a)(3)].
  2. This permit may not be transferred or assigned without the prior written consent of the Superintendent.
  3. The permittee shall exercise this privilege subject to the supervision of the Superintendent or designee, and shall comply with all applicable Federal, State, county and municipal laws, ordinances, regulations, codes, and the terms and conditions of this permit. Failure to do so may result in the immediate suspension of the permitted activity or the revocation of the permit. All costs associated with clean up or damage repairs in conjunction with a revoked permit will be the responsibility of the permittee.
  4. The permittee is responsible for making all necessary contacts and arrangements with other Federal, State, and local agencies to secure required inspections, permits, licenses, etc.
  5. The park area associated with this permit will remain open and available to the public during park visiting hours. This permit does not guarantee exclusive use of an area. Permit activities will not unduly interfere with other park visitors’ use and enjoyment of the area.
  6. This permit may be revoked at the discretion of the Superintendent upon 24 hours notice.
  7. This permit may be revoked without notice if damage to resources or facilities occurs or is threatened, notwithstanding any other term or condition of the permit to the contrary.
  8. This permit is made upon the express condition that the United States, its agents and employees shall be free from all liabilities and claims for damages and/or suits for or by reason of any injury, injuries, or death to any person or persons or property of any kind whatsoever, whether to the person or property of the Permit-tee, its agents or employees, or third parties, from any cause or causes whatsoever while in or upon said premises or any part thereof during the term of this permit or occasioned by any occupancy or use of said premises or any activity carried on by the Permittee in connection herewith, and the Permit¬tee hereby covenants and agrees to indemnify, defend, save and hold harmless the United States, its agents, and employees from all liabilities, charges, expenses and costs on account of or by reason of any such injuries, deaths, liabilities, claims, suits or losses however occurring or damages growing out of the same.
  9. Permittee agrees to carry general liability insurance against claims occasioned by the action or omissions of the permittee, its agents and employees in carrying out the activities and operations authorized by this permit. The policy shall be in the amount specified in the permit in aggregate and underwritten by a United States company naming the United States of America as additional insured. The permittee agrees to provide the Superintendent with a Certificate of Insurance with the proper endorsements prior to the effective date of the permit.
  10. Permittee agrees to deposit with the park a bond in the amount specific in the permit from an authorized bonding company or in the form of cash or cash equivalent, to guarantee that all financial obligations to the park will be met.
  11. Costs incurred by the park as a result of accepting and processing the application and managing and monitoring the permitted activity will be reimbursed by the permittee. Administrative costs and estimated costs for activities on site must be paid when the permit is approved. If any additional costs are incurred by the park, the permittee will be billed at the conclusion of the permit. Should the estimated costs paid exceed the actual costs incurred; the difference will be returned to the permittee.
  12. The person(s) named on the permit as in charge of the permitted activity on-site must have full authority to make any decisions about the activity and must remain available at all times. He/she shall be responsible for all individuals, groups, vendors, etc. involved with the permit.
  13. Nothing herein contained shall be construed as binding the Service to expend in any one fiscal year any sum in excess of appropriations made by Congress or administra¬tively allocated for the purpose of this permit for the fiscal year, or to involve the Service in any contract or other obligation for the further expenditure of money in excess of such appropriations or allocations.
  14. If any provision of this permit shall be found to be invalid or unenforceable, the remainder of this permit shall not be affected and the other provisions of this permit shall be valid and be enforced to the fullest extent permitted by law.

Additional park specific conditions for Ceremonies

  1. The Permittee, in exercising the privileges granted by this permit, shall comply with the regulations of the Department of Interior, the National Park Service, and all federal, state, county and municipal laws, ordinances or regulations which are applicable to the area of operations covered by this permit.
  2. This permit is valid for activities occurring in Rocky Mountain 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. Permittee will comply with applicable public health and sanitation standards and codes.
  4. Credit will not be given to the Department of Interior and National Park Service through the use of an appropriate title or announcement.
  5. Any special instructions received from the official in charge of the area will be complied with.
  6. Any additional information relating to the privilege applied for by this application will be furnished upon request of the official in charge.
  7. No employee of the National Park Service may work for the Permittee in any capacity whatsoever while in uniform or if directly involved in supervision of the Permittee.
  8. No personal gratuity of any nature whatsoever will be offered to any employee of the Government in connection with the exercise of the privilege granted.
  9. The Permittee and his 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.
  10. 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 and that area be cleaned up and restored to its prior condition.
  11. The designated areas 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. Further, all pathways and trails in the ceremony area must remain clear for visitors to freely walk the path unimpeded. Do not block the trails.
  12. The Southside Lily Lake Picnic Area is generally open to public use for recreational activities; however, the site is posted with a sign that informs users of the following: “If a Special Use Permit has been issued for this site you could be asked to vacate the area for the group that secured an advanced reservation and paid a fee for its use.” If you have received a Special Use Permit for this site and find that it is occupied upon arrival, kindly refer to the posted sign and advise that you have a Special Use Permit in hand that has reserved this site for the specific date and times. If you have any difficulty accessing and using the site for the times shown on your permit, contact a park ranger or volunteer for assistance by calling our Dispatch Center 970-586-1204.
  13. No banners, steamers or hanging objects will be allowed for event. Nothing shall be attached to any natural or historic object or any National Park Service sign, bench, post, building or facility.
  14. 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 the circumstances.
  15. Sound amplification is not permitted. Vocal communication with the public shall not exceed normal conversational volume.
  16. Drones are prohibited.
  17. Park visitor center, restrooms and other buildings may not be used for ceremony preparations (dressing, picture-taking, rehearsals, waiting areas, etc.) or in the event of inclement weather.
  18. Equipment such as tables, chairs, carpets, tents, floral displays, and generators cannot be used in the park. Throwing and scattering of: rice, birdseed, flower petals or other materials, is prohibited. A few portable chairs (provided by the permittee) for the elderly is permitted.
  19. Parking is allowed in designated areas only. Unauthorized parking may be subject to violation notices. Carpooling/shuttling is strongly encouraged, and may be required, as parking space is limited especially during peak times.
  20. Leave No Trace principles and practices shall be closely adhered to for all events/ceremonies that take place in non-developed and backcountry areas. Refer to enclosed handout (if applicable) for further information.
  21. Under the wedding special use permit, officiate and photographer hired by the permittee is included on the permit and is not required to obtain an additional permit for their services. If the officiate and photographer advertise that they offer services in the park and your booking done through them, then they need an additional permit.
  22. Please respect the park’s resources and tread lightly. Avoid sensitive resource areas.
  23. Make sure all trash and ceremony items are picked up and pack out with you.
  24. Normal entrance fees apply to all vehicles associated with the wedding. Advance payments can be arranged by contacting the park staff at (970) 586-1209.
 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Do we need a marriage license?
    Yes. Learn more.
  2. Can you obtain a permit on the weekend?
    No, there is no one to process the application on the weekends.
  3. Can you obtain a permit at the last minute?
    Ceremonies can be scheduled up to a year in advance and up to 7 days prior to the ceremony. A last minute request might be accommodated, but there are no guarantees.
  4. Do I need a separate permit for my photography or officiant?
    No, the photographer and officiant are covered under the wedding permit.
  5. Can I go to other places in the park to take pictures after my ceremony?
    Yes. Indicate this on the request on your application to be approved on your permit.
  6. Can I have my dog in the wedding ceremony?
    Dogs are only allowed within 100 feet of the road and must be on a leash. If your designated site is within 100 feet of the road or at Moraine Park Discovery Center Amphitheater, then your dog can be in your ceremony following park rules and regulations.
    • Dogs are not allowed at the following designated sites:
      • Sprague Lake
      • Lily Lake
      • Alluvial Fan
      • Bear Lake
      • Hidden Valley
    • Indicate on your application if you would like your dog in the ceremony.
  7. Can I have an arch?
    Only at Moraine Park Discovery Center Amphitheater.
  8. Can I have a band at my wedding?
    Amplified music is not permitted. Music must at 60 decibels or less.
  9. Does the park provide an officiant?
    No.
  10. Does the park provide wedding packages?
    No.
  11. Do the wedding party and guests need to pay entrance fees?
    Yes.
  12. Can the wedding party use the park shuttles?
    Yes.
  13. Does the park provide private transportation?
    No. However, during summer months there are free park shuttles.
  14. Is there a different cost for different sites and group sizes?
    No. The $200 fee applies for all sites and ceremony sizes.
  15. Can I have a drone take pictures at my ceremony?
    No. Drones are prohibited in all national park service areas.
  16. Can we hold a reception at the park?
    Lily Lake Southside Picnic is the only site that can accommodate a picnic or simple food reception. Holding a simple reception at that location requires an additional special use permit.
  17. Can we have boutonnieres and bouquets?
    Yes, however items like flower petals, birdseed, rice, or similar material or items cannot be used, thrown, or scattered.

Last updated: June 22, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1000 US Hwy 36
Estes Park, CO 80517

Phone:

(970) 586-1206
General park questions: (970) 586-1206. Recorded Trail Ridge Road status: (970)586-1222.

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