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What are the Rules to Get Married in Arches National Park?

What are the Rules to Get Married in Arches National Park?
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What are the rules to know before you get married or elope in Arches National Park?  Well, there are several-- we'll cover them in this post, including guest count, permits, time limits, etc.  It's worth noting that many of our couples who want to get married in Arches National Park usually decide to do a venue nearby instead.  Whether or not you go the venue route, this is for you, as some couples like to know their options.  Let's jump into how you get married in one of Moab's most beautiful parks: Arches.

Wanting to get married in Arches, but need a little help with figuring out the rules?  The first thing you need to know is that Arches officials don't make it easy to get married in the park; their top priority is to protect the land and wildlife (as well as guests) and unfortunately, weddings are not often regarded as an event that helps accomplish any of those missions.   That's why we want to make sure you have the resources you need to both know the rules and have a good experience from start to finish. Updated as of January 23, 2023. 

 

 

FAQ's from Couples...

Getting married inside Arches National Park

Are Weddings in Arches National Park Allowed?

YES, weddings in Arches are allowed, though not in all locations.  Ceremonies also should be simple;  no elaborate setups are allowed and bringing in chairs can be complicated.  Below are the approved areas for weddings in Arches National Park.

Location Group Size Limit
La Sal Mountains Viewpoint 50
*The Windows Section 25
Sand Dune Arch 25
Pine Tree Arch 25
Park Avenue 15
Devils Garden Campground Amp. 80
Panorama Point 50

*North Window, South Window, Turret Arch, or Double Arch

Once you have an area selected, there are a few more things to know.  We've included some key talking points, like how the permit does not cover the entrance fee into Arches (carpool, anyone?).  That said, some couples note it's still cheaper than a venue, and if that's your feeling, here are some of the highlighted regulations:

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Can I have someone play music during the ceremony?

No.  In fact, musical instruments or amplified sounds, as well as tents, tables, butterflies, doves, rice, alcohol, or catering are prohibited.  See the full list here.

How much heads-up do I need to give to Arches?

Up to one year in advance.  While not a full year is required, the earlier you can notify them, the better.

Do I have to have a permit (is a permit required)?

YES-- and there are quite a few rules to know around this, so brace yourself.

• You'll need a special use permit, and only you or your fiancé may request it.  Wedding planners can't help you with this one.

• It takes at least four weeks to process a permit, so be sure to get a jump on it as soon as you can in the planning process.

• Holiday weddings aren't permitted due to staffing and crowds.  Also on that note, they provide the optimal times to visit here, as well as "alerts and conditions" here for essential updates to areas of the park.

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Photo by Sammie Photo

 
If you're still undeterred (we get it, the views are some of the best), here's the link for the permit below.  As a note, the fees for Arches National Park wedding permits recently increased to $385.  You'll be able to fill out the PDF using the button. 

Apply for a Permit

Otherwise, if you feel unsold on the idea with everything above, it's not a bad idea to consider a venue for your ceremony and "just married" portraits in the park.  Check with your planner and/or photographer to nail down specifics.  We hope you have an amazing wedding or elopement in the Southwest!

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Photos by Megan McPhail

DISCLAIMER: Please keep our parks beautiful by leaving no trace, including staying on designated trails, following local regulations, and respecting enforcement and wildlife.

Always check the NPS.GOV website for the latest info, as rules may change.


Want to Apply for Your Permit?  See Arches Resources​ for More

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