If you’re like most people, your wedding day is something you’ve dreamed about your entire life. Since childhood, you’ve spent hours upon hours thinking about floral arrangements, what song will play for your first dance as a couple, maybe even testing out different versions of the vows you’ll take.
If you live in Utah, there’s a chance that you’ve thought about having your wedding at Bryce Canyon. Maybe you visited there as a child and the unique, pink cliff scenery has always stuck with you. Or perhaps you visited recently and were captivated by the scenic vistas and awe-inspiring natural beauty. For whatever reason, you might be wondering, if you can get married at Bryce Canyon?
The short answer is yes, you can—but there are certain restrictions, rules, and other things you need to know about before you dive head-first into planning your wedding there. But don’t worry—we’ll walk you through all you need to know about a Bryce Canyon wedding, including:
From budgets to choosing your wedding party to setting a date, there’s a lot to consider. But one of the first things you’ve probably started thinking about is where to have your wedding.
Bryce Canyon, located in southern Utah, is one of the country’s most beautiful and unique national parks. Every year, more than two million people flock to Bryce Canyon to go on an adventure and marvel at its series of natural amphitheaters, stunning red, orange, and white rock formations, and other outdoor attractions, like:
But more and more often, couples choose Bryce Canyon for their weddings. It’s a beautiful, picturesque location that offers a unique and memorable spot for any wedding—but especially for couples who want a wedding that goes a little further than most.
Getting married in a national park isn’t as far-fetched an idea as it might seem. Across the country, couples make use of the nation’s more than 400 national parks for just that purpose—scenic, inspiring weddings that are unique, personal, and unforgettable. But it isn’t quite as easy as renting a church or event space, so let’s go over some of the things you need to know about having your wedding at Bryce Canyon National Park.
If you’re considering having your wedding at Bryce Canyon, there’s a good chance your tastes are a bit nontraditional. That’s great for planning a memorable National Park wedding, but it can make it difficult to find wedding paraphernalia that truly reflects your taste. With Zola, you can customize and design all of your own wedding paper, like:
Using Zola for all your wedding papers needs is a great way to ensure that every aspect of your wedding has your fingerprints all over it.
Like most national parks, Bryce Canyon has a set of very specific rules and regulations that must be closely followed if you want to have your wedding there, including steps you’ll need to take well before your wedding day.
Here’s what you’ll need to do:
Bryce Canyon National Park requires any couple who wants to wed on park grounds to obtain a marriage license from the state of Utah. There’s a $40 fee for the license, which can be obtained from any courthouse in the state. Both you and your intended must be present in order to obtain the license.
Weddings at Bryce Canyon National Park require a special use permit, which is issued by the National Park Service directly. The permit costs $100 and must be issued at least two weeks before your wedding day. Keep in mind that the permit can take up to four weeks to process, so don’t wait until the last minute to put in your request.
When you request a permit, you’ll be asked to provide a good amount of information about your wedding. The more prepared you are to provide this information, the smoother (and hopefully quicker) the process of obtaining the permit will be.
The information you’ll need to provide includes:
You can download the permit application from the Bryce Canyon National Park website, but you’ll have to submit it by mail, so be sure to factor mailing time into your planning as well. The address is also available on the Bryce Canyon National Park website.
As a national park, the importance of preserving and protecting the natural wonders of Bryce Canyon cannot be overstated—which is why the park has other, non-administrative rules you’ll need to abide by during your wedding.
They might seem like a hassle, but these rules are in place to make sure that our national parks stay beautiful and serene so that they can be enjoyed by generations to come.
Ceremony Locations: The park offers two locations for your ceremony in an area of the park known as Sunset Point: the Main Amphitheater Overlook and the Silent City Overlook. Both locations are spectacular options. The Main Amphitheater Overlook offers stunning views of the park’s largest natural amphitheater and its unique colored rocks, while Silent City looks out on an astonishing array of the park’s famous hoodoos—tall, pillar-shaped rock formations formed over 50 million years ago.
Attendance Restrictions: If you’re planning a large wedding, Bryce Canyon is, unfortunately, not the location for you. The park caps the maximum number of guests at 30, making it the perfect option for a small wedding that makes a huge statement, but not larger gatherings.
No Receptions Allowed: Unfortunately, the ceremony is the only part of your wedding you’ll be able to have at Bryce Canyon, as wedding receptions are not allowed within the park.
No Balloons, decorations, or Signage: Bryce Canyon National Park also restricts the use of balloons, decorations, and any wedding or directional signage on park grounds. This also includes anything that might be thrown after the ceremony, like rice or confetti.
No Chairs or Props: If you have your ceremony at Bryce Canyon, your guests will need to be prepared to stand, as the park doesn’t allow chairs or seating of any kind to be brought in. This also means you won’t be able to bring along props, like trellises or altars.
No Music: You won’t be able to play any music during your Bryce Canyon wedding, but fortunately, when you move the party to an off-site location for the reception, you can jam to all the tunes you want.
If the restrictions on decorating and furnishing your wedding seem unappealing, keep in mind that one of the biggest reasons couples choose to have their weddings at Bryce Canyon is because of the truly amazing views. At Bryce Canyon, with its magnificent geographic features and unbelievable landscape, the park itself is all the decoration you’ll need for a truly stunning wedding.
One of the big draws of having your wedding at Bryce Canyon is the plethora of opportunities it offers for truly fantastic wedding photos. As one of the nation’s most beautiful parks, every square mile of Bryce Canyon is picturesque and photo-ready, but here are some of the best places to show off your nuptial bliss for the camera:
Silent City: The hoodoos and monoliths of Silent City make for an interesting and surprisingly elegant backdrop for your wedding photos. On clear nights, the sky is lit up with bright stars and other cosmic wonders, making for wedding photos that are truly out of this world.
Navajo Trail Loop: Your wedding photos will be truly unforgettable when you use the Navajo Trail Loop as your studio. This series of sandy switchback hiking trails descends gently down a slope between two colorful limestone cliffs on the Two Bridges side and is the perfect setting for photos that capture that desert wedding vibe.
Bryce Canyon Amphitheater: The phenomenal hoodoos of the Bryce Canyon Amphitheater make for a magical and breathtaking wedding photoshoot unlike any other. This series of multicolored rock formations known as the Pink Cliffs is viewable from several places in the park, including Bryce Point, Sunset Point, Sunrise Point, and Inspiration Point, so it’s a good idea to scope out each location to determine the view you most want to capture.
Fairyland Point: For an angle on some of Bryce Canyon’s youngest rock formations, shoot your photos at Fairyland Point. Located at the park’s northernmost point on the Paunsaugunt Plateau, this location offers lush, romantic views of Fairyland Canyon. The name comes from another term used to describe the park's hoodoos, “fairy chimneys.”
Fairyland Loop Trail: If the scenic views of Fairyland Point aren’t quite what you want, you can venture along The Fairyland Loop Trail for more unique options. This trail takes you along the canyon rim and even into the canyon, exposing some of the most incredible views Bryce Canyon has to offer. The Fairyland Loop Trail can be a bit of a rough hike, however, so it might be best for those truly adventurous couples (and photographers).
No matter where in Bryce Canyon you choose to set your wedding photoshoot, you’re guaranteed excellent vistas and extraordinary results.
Don’t have a photographer in mind? Don’t worry: We have you covered with Zola’s database of pre-screened wedding photographers in every part of the country. Let us know the aesthetic you have in mind, and we can personalize our recommendations to match you with a photographer who’s ready to execute your vision. You can even read customer reviews.
Browse our list to find a wedding photographer you can trust to capture your special day from all the best angles.
Choosing your wedding location is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make when it comes to planning your wedding. Not only is location a key factor in establishing the specific vibe and tone of your wedding, but it’s also important to many practical decisions, like choosing your date and staying within your budget.
It can also be one of the more stressful and time-consuming parts of elopement or wedding planning. Zola’s extensive database of pre-screened wedding venues is your go-to guide for choosing the best location for your wedding. You can go into your wedding day with peace of mind knowing that we vouch for your venue. And we’ve scoped out more than just venues. Our database also includes:
Here are some can’t-miss tips for selecting the location for your wedding:
Be True to Yourself: The setting of your wedding is going to have a big impact on the event’s aesthetic, so it’s important that you choose a location that reflects your vision. You should also consider the size of wedding your plan to have, as that can make a huge difference when selecting a location.
Have a Budget: One of the very first things you should do when you start planning your wedding is figure out your budget. This will save you time when you start scouting wedding locations and will keep you from getting your heart set on locations that are outside of your price range.
Consider Your Guests: Yes, your wedding day is primarily about you and your partner, but it’s always a good idea to think about the kind of experience you want your guests to have. With regard to choosing a location, this means keeping in mind things like lodging, transportation, and accessibility.
Consider What the Locations Have to Offer: You’ll definitely want to make sure that the location you choose for your wedding has enough space for you to have the event you want. But you should also consider what other services a location might have to offer, such as catering, event setup and cleanup, or even floral services. Often, all-inclusive locations can save you time and money.
Your wedding day is one you want to remember fondly for the rest of your life. And for truly memorable weddings that go off without a hitch, planning is key.
That’s why Zola is committed to helping you put together the wedding of your dreams—no matter what that looks like. We make wedding planning easy by offering a range of services that cover every aspect of your wedding, from planning and wedding venue selection to designing your invitations and setting up your gift registry. You can do it all on one website.
Zola also offers:
Plus, you can make use of our database of fully-vetted wedding venues and vendors for all your nuptial needs, from location planning to finding a caterer for your reception or dinner. This means you don’t have to worry about unreliable characters ruining your special day.
There’s no need to let the stress of elopement or wedding planning consume you. Let Zola help.