If you’ve ever had the chance to visit Zion National Park, you already know how picturesque this popular park is. So it should come as no surprise that many couples find it to be the perfect backdrop for their wedding day.
Getting married in Zion National Park not only ensures that you’ll have some incredible pictures of your special day, but also means that you’ll have a great destination to return to and relive those memories year after year. But getting married in any national park takes a little extra planning.
If you’re in the process of planning your wedding, keep reading. We’re breaking down what you need to know about getting married in Zion National Park, how to plan your big day, and why Watchman Villas is the perfect spot to host your wedding party.
Can You Get Married in Zion National Park?
One of the most important things to know about getting married in Zion National Park is that you’ll need to obtain a permit to do so. Zion requires a Special Use permit for all weddings, regardless of size.
You can find the application for a Special Use Permit online. This application needs to be submitted three weeks in advance of your chosen date and costs $100 to apply for.
Planning a Zion Elopement or Wedding Ceremony
Applying for a permit isn’t the only requirement for getting married in Zion National Park. The National Park Service also has some strict requirements and rules for all ceremonies. These are in place to protect the plants and animals that call the park home, and to avoid disrupting other guests enjoying the park.
Unfortunately, you can’t plan your Zion elopement or wedding just anywhere in the park. Instead, the National Park Service has designated a handful of pre-approved locations. Each location also has its own maximum number of people that it can hold.
When eloping or getting married at Zion National Park, you can choose from the following locations:
- Temple of Sinawava: Up to 35 people
- Menu Falls: Up to 10 people
- Zion Lodge Lawn: Up to 75 people
- Nature Center North Lawn: Up to 50 people (Available November to early April only)
- South Campground Amphitheater: Up to 100 people
- Timber Creek Overlook in the Kolob Canyon Area: Up to 20 people and four cars
Keep in mind that the maximum number of people these locations can hold include the bride and groom and their bridal party. Also, while you may be permitted to use one of these locations for your ceremony, keep in mind that it will remain open to the public during your event. This means that other visitors may be in the area during your ceremony.
Depending on the location of your ceremony and the size, the National Park Service may also require you to pay an additional $50 per hour, including travel time to your permit location, for a member of their staff to be on hand during your ceremony. Park staff will discuss this with you after they have reviewed your permit.
Other Rules to Know for Getting Married in Zion Naitonal Park
In addition to choosing one of the designated locations to host your wedding ceremony, there are a few other rules you need to know about eloping or getting married in Zion National Park.
- No physical changes can be made to the environment for your ceremony. This includes decorating by hanging things on trees. Any decorations you do use will need to be pre-approved.
- No confetti, rice, birdseed, or other materials can be thrown. You also cannot release birds, butterflies, or other animals.
- Vehicles must still follow park rules for driving and parking. This means that if the Zion Canyon Shuttle is still in operation, you and your guests will need to ride it if you choose a location on the route.
- There is no electrical power available, and generators are not allowed.
- No food service is allowed in the park. Use of any picnic areas is first-come only, and cannot be reserved.
- Chairs are permitted at a few of the locations, including Temple of Sinawava, Lodge Lawn, and South Campground Amphitheater. The number of chairs can’t exceed the number of guests. When shuttles are in operation, the chairs will need to be able to be folded, because they’ll need to be taken on the bus.
Booking a Cabin Rental in Zion for Your Wedding
Navigating the rules and requirements for getting married in Zion can be confusing. But what isn’t confusing is finding a cabin rental in ZIon for your special day.
Watchman Villa’s spacious Zion house rentals are the perfect spot for the bride and groom, parents, bridal party, and guests to stay before and after the ceremony. From the luxurious en-suite perfect for getting ready for the ceremony, to the fully-stocked kitchen perfect for making some post-Zion elopement snacks, our villas have everything you need to make your big day even more special!
If you’re getting married in Zion National Park, book a villa—or several—for your special day!