27. March 2023

Wedding Permit Guidelines

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Rocky Mountain National Park Wedding The table below lists designated wedding sites in Rocky Mountain National Park, with conditions and restrictions. If you’re unfamiliar with the locations, we recommend visiting the site. All locations are outdoors and rustic in nature without protection from the weather. Some sites offer seating at a few picnic tables or wooden benches. In planning your wedding, please keep in mind that the park generally restricts the use of equipment such as tables, chair, tents, banners, displays, etc.; simple ceremonies that take advantage of the natural environment, views, and surroundings are recommended.

Rocky Mountain National Park weddings and elopements are a truly special way to get married! We’re a little biased – two of Adventure Instead’s photographers (Maddie Mae & Amber) live in Colorado and we love our backyard national park fiercely. Over the years we’ve gotten to witness these mountains grow in popularity and the park becomes more strict about elopement ceremonies – because of this we want you to feel prepared and ready to plan your Rocky Mountain wedding the right way. It’s definitely still one of the most beautiful places on earth to say “I do,” and we’d love to guide you through the process to make it happen!

Below you’ll read a bit more about what makes this park so special, why we think a wedding in RMNP is one of the best ways to get married, plus all the details for how to make this happen – how to acquire a special event permit, where within the park you can perform a ceremony, and what rules you’ll need to follow. 

The Rocky Mountains span thousands of miles through the continent from northern British Columbia to New Mexico. Many of The Rockies highest peaks are in Colorado, which is what makes the national park such a special place – you feel quite literally on top of the world when you’re standing on these ridgelines. The longest thru-hike in the United States, the Continental Divide Trail, follows the course of these mountains and is considered one of the most difficult long-form hikes in the world. It’s no wonder that millions of people are drawn to the magnificence of this place – over 4.5 million people visited RMNP in 2021, making it the 5th most visited national park.

The park itself is located just west of Denver, Colorado. It’s not just one of the most visited national parks in the US, it’s also one of the oldest. The borders of over 256 thousand acres of RMNP w established in 1915, and in 1976 UNESCO designated it a World Biosphere Reserve because of the incredibly special environment found here. The mountains are marked by crystal blue lakes, lush old-growth forests, and beautiful wildlife. While visiting you might see moose, elk, or even a bear! Much of the landscape is known as “alpine tundra,” which is particularly fragile but essential for the wildlife who live on these slopes.

On the eastern side, Estes Park is the gateway to The Rockies, and is a gorgeous place to stay if you’re looking to find a rustic mountain cabin to home-base in for your elopement adventure. It’s also where you can access most of what is designated “wilderness” or “backcountry” areas within the park – hundreds of miles of trails here can take you to some of the most stunning forests, waterfalls, and meadows. The geology of this region is part of what it makes it so stunningly beautiful – steep cliff sides and jagged ridgelines descend quickly into bowls and valleys.

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