Congratulations! You've set a date and would like to take your wedding vows surrounded by the shimmering dunes of White Sands National Park. We know that you've got a lot to plan, so we've made the process of reserving your wedding location very simple.
When to Submit Your Permit Request
Wedding permit requests may be submitted up to six months in advance and no less than 14 days in advance of your requested date.
The group use area is the only area that you may reserve for your wedding. This is a semi-private location with limited access for the general public. There is an additional reservation fee for the group use area.You may hold your wedding in other areas within the park; however, keep in mind that these areas are open to the public. Other gated areas, such as West Filming, are off limits.
Entrance and Other Fees
Wedding guests entering White Sands for the ceremony will not be charged entrance fees. However, if you choose to have a reception or recreational activities before or after the wedding, your guests will be charged the park entrance fee.
Missile tests are scheduled anytime from one month to one day in advance and are subject to change, cancellation, or extension at any time. We recommend you call the park two weeks prior to your wedding, as well as both the day before and the day of your wedding to ensure that there are no missile-test closures planned during your wedding. In case of missile-test interference, the park may be able to reschedule your wedding at no extra charge.
White Sands National Park does not have any indoor facilities available for public use. There are, however, picnic shelters, grills, and restrooms throughout the dunefield. You may use an RV or other camper as a place for the wedding party to prepare for the ceremony.
Other than the picnic shelters, there is no shade in the dunefield. You are welcome to set up sun tents and other shelters to provide shade for guests.
Spring break, Easter, spring weekends, and Memorial Day are family times in the park. Therefore, alcohol is not allowed within park boundaries from February 1st through May 31st.
No water is available in the dunefield. If you need to fill up water containers, you can do so at the visitor center. We recommend having at least one gallon of water per person per day for each guest.
Getting Your Guests to the Right Place
You are responsible for providing your guests with directions to the location of your wedding. Please download this map of Dunes Drive and distribute to your guests with information on how to get to your wedding location.
For large groups, trash removal may be a condition of your permit.
Wedding decorations add a personal touch to your ceremony. Because your wedding is taking place in a national park, there are regulations for acceptable decorations to ensure no non-native species are introduced and to protect the sensitive resources.
Acceptable Wedding Decorations
How to Apply for a Wedding Permit1. Complete and submit the special use permit application. The application must be received by the park no less than 14 working days prior to the start of the event.
The application must contain detailed information about your wedding, such as the expected number of guests and if you will be having music, artificial flowers, candles, tents, awnings, chairs, etc. Large weddings may require you to provide port-a-potties and trash receptacles for your event. The more information you include on the initial wedding application, the faster your request will be processed. The permit is valid only for the date of your wedding.
2. Read, sign, and return with application the General Permit Conditions.
3. Submit the completed special use permit application, general conditions, and a $25 non-refundable reservation fee by appointment or via mail. Factor in additional time for payments processed through the mail.
4. Submit payment In the form of a cashier's check or money order. Credit cards and personal or business checks are not accepted. Make checks or money orders payable to the National Park Service.
If sending payment via mail, send payment to:
Special Park Uses
White Sands National Park
PO Box 1086
Holloman AFB, NM 88330
For payment via appointment, email the Special Use Permit Coordinator and write in the subject line “appointment.”
4. Once received, most applications for permits requests will be processed within fourteen working days. Requests that involve multiple locations, complex logistics or coordination with other visitor activities will require a minimum of 30 working days to process. Projects that require environmental or cultural resource evaluation must be submitted no less than 90 days before the start of proposed activity(ies).
5. After your wedding permit application is reviewed, you may be contacted to provide additional information or to discuss the details of your permit if the permit cannot be approved with the information provided or if additional fees apply.
6. After favorable review of your application, your permit will be mailed to you or you may picked it up in person at the park by appointment with the Special Parks Uses Permit Coordinator. To make an appointment, email the Special Use Permit Coordinator and write in the subject line “appointment.”
If You Have Additional Questions...Please contact the Special Park Uses Coordinator. Please write “wedding permit” in the subject line.
Last updated: January 8, 2020