8 Surprising Facts About Rocky Mountain National Park Weddings & Elopements

Planning a Rocky Mountain National Park wedding or elopement? You’ll definitely want to check out this list of 8 surprising facts that you need to know!

Couple kissing at their elopement in Rocky Mountain National Park with a background of snow and trees

Rocky Mountain National Park is an absolutely beautiful place to have a wedding or elopement. It’s truly a gem in Colorado, with mountain vistas, amazing hikes, and lots of wildlife. It’s also very close to Estes Park, which means that you can enjoy the nearby restaurants for a celebration after your wedding or elopement. 

Because it’s a National Park, there are certain rules in places that you’ll need to follow and certain things you’ll want to know if you’re planning to get married here. This list is a great place to start!

Fact 1: You can only say your vows in Rocky Mountain National Park’s 13 designated ceremony locations

Rocky Mountain National Park continues to get more strict about the wedding permits they issue. Although you used to be able to get married anywhere in the park, now you can only get married at the designated locations. These are the 13 sites designated for weddings.

  • 3M Curve
  • Alluvial Fan Bridge
  • Bear Lake Nature Trail
  • Copeland Lake
  • Harbison Meadow Picnic Area
  • Hidden Valley
  • Lily Lake Dock
  • Lily Lake Trail
  • Lily Lake Southside Picnic Area
  • Moraine Park Visitor Center Amphitheater
  • Sprague Lake
  • Timber Creek Campground Amphitheater
  • Upper Beaver Meadows

Fact 2: But you can take photos anywhere in the park!

Even though you can only say your vows or have a ceremony at the designated ceremony locations, you can still take pictures anywhere in the park. This means there’s still plenty of opportunity to get photos after your ceremony at any of the other gorgeous spots in the park.

Fact 3: RMNP strictly limits the amount of permits issued

And beginning in 2022, the park has continued to limit the number of permits that can be obtained for weddings. Currently, these are the limits in place:

  • No more than 60 permits will be issued per month between May and October.
  • No more than 40 permits will be issued per month between November and April.
  • No more than 6 permits will be issued per day TOTAL.
  • No more than 2 permits will be issued at any given wedding ceremony site per day TOTAL.

All permits are issued on a first come, first served basis.

It’s also important to note that you must reserve your site no later than 7 days in advance.

Finally, currently the park allows you to apply for permits on the 1st day of the month one YEAR in advance of your date. For example, if you want to apply for a permit in July 2023, you can apply for that permit on July 1, 2022. As you can tell, it’s definitely important to plan in advance at this location!

Fact 4: Rocky Mountain National Park is only 1.5 hours from an International Airport

Many people don’t realize that Rocky Mountain National Park is only an hour and a half away from the Denver International Airport. This means that if you or your wedding guests are coming from out of state or out of the country, your travel will be easy!

Fact 5: It only costs $300 to get your Rocky Mountain National Park wedding permit

One of the great things about getting married in Rocky Mountain National Park is how affordable it is. The wedding permit only costs $300.

Couple holds a Just Married sign after their wedding in Rocky Mountain National Park

Fact 6: There are limits to the amount of people allowed at Rocky Mountain National Park wedding ceremony locations

Each ceremony location has a different limit on the amount of total people allowed, as well as a maximum number of parking spots. Here are the amounts allowed at each location:

  • 3M Curve: 15 people and 3 vehicles
  • Alluvial Fan Bridge: 20 people and 5 vehicles
  • Bear Lake Nature Trail: 20 people and 5 vehicles
  • Copeland Lake: 30 people and 10 vehicles between Memorial Day weekend and Columbus Day
  • Harbison Meadow Picnic Area: 30 people and 10 vehicles between Memorial Day weekend and Columbus Day
  • Hidden Valley: 30 people
  • Lily Lake Dock: 10 people and 10 vehicles between Memorial Day weekend and Columbus Day
  • Lily Lake Trail: 20 people and 10 vehicles between Memorial Day weekend and Columbus Day
  • Lily Lake Southside Picnic Area: 30 people and 10 vehicles between Memorial Day weekend and Columbus Day
  • Moraine Park Visitor Center Amphitheater: 30 people and 10 vehicles between Memorial Day weekend and Columbus Day
  • Sprague Lake: During the summer, 15 people and 3 vehicles. During the winter, 30 people and 10 vehicles
  • Timber Creek Campground Amphitheater: 10 people and 5 vehicles
  • Upper Beaver Meadows: During the summer, 30 people and 10 vehicles. No vehicle access during the winter.

Note that the limits above apply to ALL people who will be at the ceremony site in TOTAL. This means that the limits include the couple getting married AND any vendors such as an officiant or photographer.

Fact 7: Certain areas close during the winter time

Many people don’t realize this, but not all areas of Rocky Mountain National Park are open in the winter time. For example, A large portion of Trail Ridge Road closes in October, depending on conditions. Old Fall River Road also closes in the winter.

Fact 8: Your pup cannot join you in most areas of the park

Similar to many other national parks, you can’t bring your dog with you in most areas of Rocky Mountain National Park. You can read more about these rules here

The only areas that dogs are allowed in RMNP are on established roads, parking areas, and in established picnic areas and campgrounds.

Looking for a Rocky Mountain National Park elopement or microwedding photographer?

Looking for someone to help you document your special day? I’m a Colorado-based elopement and intimate wedding photographer, and I love helping couples turn their vision for their dream day into a reality!

I’d be honored to help you with photographing your elopement or microwedding. Learn more below!

Rocky Mountain National Park wedding and elopement photography packages

I’m more than just a photographer…I’m here to help you have the best day ever!

Based on my experience, especially with elopements and microweddings, couples need more than just a photographer.

Unlike with a traditional wedding, you may not have a venue coordinator or wedding planner helping you think through logistics, locations, or all the little details that really add up!

But here are just a few of the ways I can help you, all included with my custom elopements:

  • Elopement & Micro wedding VIP Planning Guide exclusively for Wild and Found couples
  • Questionnaires to help you through the planning process
  • Personalized location assistance
  • Local vendor recommendations
  • Logistics help and a custom timeline
  • Gear and day-of checklists customized for your day
  • More one-on-one planning help

I don’t just show up and take photos on your day. I’ll be here for you every step of the way. 

I know you have a lot of choices when it comes to picking a photographer. What makes me different is that my number one goal is to be here for YOU–not just as your elopement photographer… but as your elopement partner to help you create the epic day your love story deserves!

The Ultimate 2-Day Custom Rocky Mountain National Park Elopement Package

Can’t decide between a “just us” celebration, or a day with friends and family? Have both!

Includes 12 hours of photo coverage, split over 2 days.

Personalized assistance with locations, local vendor recommendations, custom planning tools, checklists, and more. I’ll be there to help you every step of the way.

You get an entire gallery of edited, high-resolution images great for printing, PLUS websize images ideal for posting to social media.

Includes the rights to print, share, and download all of your images.

Travel included!

$9,500

Half Day Rocky Mountain National Park Elopement Package

Our most popular package–for capturing memories of your entire elopement day

Includes 8 hours of photo coverage.

Personalized assistance with locations, local vendor recommendations, custom planning tools, checklists, and more. I’ll be there to help you every step of the way.

You get an entire gallery of edited, high-resolution images great for printing, PLUS websize images ideal for posting to social media.

Includes the rights to print, share, and download all of your images.

Travel included!

$6,500

Mini Rocky Mountain National Park Elopement Package

A great choice for simple elopements at accessible locations.

Includes 4 hours of photo coverage.

Personalized assistance with locations, local vendor recommendations, custom planning tools, checklists, and more. I’ll be there to help you every step of the way.

You get an entire gallery of edited, high-resolution images great for printing, PLUS websize images ideal for posting to social media.

Includes the rights to print, share, and download all of your images.

Travel included!

$4,500

Want to know more? Are you wanting to plan a Rocky Mountain National Park elopement or microwedding?

I’m more than just a photographer. Helping couples create their dream day is what I do best!

Get in touch and let’s chat about your vision!

Or check out more elopement planning resources…

Elopement Photographer Kim from Wild and Found Photography

Hi I’m Kim, a Colorado based photographer specializing in Adventure Elopements in Colorado and worldwide! Photographing couples on the most special day of their lives is a true honor for me. But I’ve made it my mission to take it one step further than that. When you work with me, you’re getting more than just a photographer. I’m here to help you with all of the planning resources you need to have the most amazing elopement day ever! That includes everything from assistance with location ideas, timeline planning, and lots more free resources. So you can forget the work, and focus on having fun!

Rocky Mountain National Park Wedding and Elopement cover photo

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