Yellowstone in an incredible elopement location! There’s a lot to consider while planning an elopement such as seasons, crowds, and permits. This guide is going to go over exactly how to elope in Yellowstone, as well as the best Yellowstone elopement locations!

Where is Yellowstone

Yellowstone is Primarily in Wyoming, while there’s a small section in both Montana and Idaho as well. The best way to get to Yellowstone from out of state is by flying into Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport for the West Entrance of the park. For the East Entrance, fly into the Yellowstone Regional Airport. This is less than an hour from the park!  

When to Elope in Yellowstone

The best time to elope in Yellowstone is from August to October. This is because it’s when the park has warm weather, but the crowds also get less and less as you move towards the fall and cooler months. However, Yellowstone is open year round and you can elope here during any season. It’s important to know which each season brings and what type of weather would be most ideal for your elopement!


Spring is a good time of the year to elope in Yellowstone if you’re looking to avoid crowds, and don’t mind weather within the mid 40’s. However, you’re going to want to pick a low elevation location, as snow isn’t gone until June, or sometimes July, making higher elevation locations non-accessible.


Summer is the most popular time in Yellowstone as it’s the warmest month (around 70 to 80 degrees) and it’s also when the entire park is open, as well as when all the wildflowers are out. The popular locations in the park will be crowded. However, you can absolutely find more remote locations that receive less foot traffic!


Fall is the best time for an elopement in Yellowstone National Park, in my opinion. By the end of August, crowds are starting to die down. It is cooling off, so you’d want to be okay with temps around 60’s in September and high 40’s in October. My favorite thing about fall in Yellowstone is that most of the crowds are gone BUT all the trails and roads are open prior to new snowfall!


Yellowstone is open year round, so if you’re looking to have a snowy elopement in a stunning winter wonderland, this could be a great choice for you. Remember to keep in mind that a good chunk of the park can’t be accessed this time of year. Pick a location this is open in winter, and you’re all set to have a beautiful winter elopement, with almost no one else in the park.

Yellowstone elopement

Yellowstone Wedding Permit

You will need a special use permit to elope in Yellowstone National Park, despite group size. You can apply for that permit here. Make sure you’re prepared to follow the rules set by the park for weddings. This includes having no decorations. Also keep in mind that ceremonies aren’t private, and only location in the park is still open to the public. You can apply for your permit 12 months in advance (I recommend getting it as soon as you’ve picked your location!) And you’ll also have to pay the $250 application fee.

How to Get a Marriage License for a Yellowstone Elopement

Getting a marriage license for your Yellowstone elopement is fairly easy. You do not need to be a resident of Wyoming to get a marriage license here. You will want to find a county clerks office near where you’re planning to have your elopement, as you’ll have to pick it up in person. This closest one is Park County, and you can find the application here. Start by applying online and paying the $30 fee.

Finally, you will both have to appear to pick up your marriage license. You will both have to bring in valid forms of ID. After that, you’re all set to grab your marriage license and use it right away!

How to Elope

You plan a Yellowstone elopement in similar ways as you’d plan any adventure elopement. There are a few major steps, and you can read about those here on my thorough guide on how to elope. For this Yellowstone elopement guide, I’m going over the major things you’ll need to consider!


This is an imperative part of the planning process for elopements. This is because some guests won’t have the hiking ability, some might not want to drive on winding roads, and certain locations have a cap on how many people you’re allowed to bring. Choosing a location will be much easier once you’ve determine who you’re inviting, and how many guests total you’ll have.


This might feel early in the planning process, but bear with me. Elopements don’t have wedding planners. Most elopement photographers have taken it upon themselves to help couples with some of the planning. Many actually help you find your location! And they will think of things you might not have considered, such as: lighting, elevation, difficulty in hiking in a dress, permits, and so much more.

Each elopement photographer offers something different. Personally, I send my couples a customized list of locations based on their preferences, hiking ability, who they want to invite, and what they want to see. I also help them determine lodging options, get permits, get their marriage license, recommend vendors, and create a comprehensive day of timeline, and offer unlimited guidance calls for any questions along the way.

The being said, hiring your Yellowstone elopement photographer early is going to take a massive amount of planning stress off of your shoulders. Wanna chat? Contact me here!


This is going to help you choose a date. Figure out what kind of weather you will both be most comfortable in for your elopement. Consider things like sunset time, if you enjoy heat or winter, and then research each season. Pick the one that is the best fit for your and your partner, and you’ll easily be able to choose the best time of year for your elopement.


Once you’ve decided on how much you’d like to hike, how many guests are coming, your ideal weather, and the landscapes you want, you’re ready to deep dive into researching Yellowstone elopement locations. Finding the perfect spot will be a lot simpler after considering all of your needs and logistics.

This is information I collect from my couples through a questionnaire, and then use to make a customized list of Yellowstone elopement location options for them.


Once you have your location, it’s time to consider if there’s anything you need vendors for. Do you need any event rentals? Do you want a friend or family to officiate, or do you want to hire an officiant? Will you go out to eat, or do you want something catered, like a meal at an Airbnb from a private chef?

Figure out what extra services you may want, and hire your vendors in advance!


You will need to get the correct permits for your elopement. These are usually “special use” permits that you apply for on the National Parks website, or National Forest/BLM website.

Personally, I get all permit information for my eloping couples that hire me. With that, all you need to do is fill out the application when it’s sent to you and pay the fee. Fee’s vary, but are usually around $150 or less.


Activities are such a fun part of an elopement. When you choose to elope, you’re opening yourself up to having a wedding day celebration that feels unique and resonates with you. Incorporate things that will elevate your elopement day experience. Here’s just a few ideas to get you brainstorming:

  • Going on a hike
  • Having a bonfire
  • Having a picnic on a mountain top
  • Star-gazing or astrophotography
  • Swimming
  • Cliff jumping
  • Visiting waterfalls
  • Camping
  • Glamping
  • Hiring a private chef
  • Hot air balloon ride
  • Helicopter tour (landing on glaciers, mountains, etc)
  • Kayaking
  • Paddleboarding
  • Sightseeing
  • Scenic driving with time to stop for pictures
  • Visiting hot springs
  • Exchanging gifts
  • Reading letters from friends or family


Making a timeline is an important part of any elopement. It strings together all of your locations, activities, and lets guests know where to be and when. Creating a well thought out timeline will help you feel relaxed during the day, instead of stressed or rush. Make sure to include drive times as well as buffer times between each “event.”

Here are the things I include in the timelines I make for my couples:

  • All addresses
  • Sunrise time
  • Sunset time
  • Drive times
  • A linke to Accuweather
  • A list of all names for group shots
  • Vendor info
  • Emergency contact info
  • A packing list

Lodging in Yellowstone National Park

Lodging is important when it comes to elopements. A lot of couples incorporate their lodging into aspects of their wedding day. For example, getting ready + getting ready photos, a first look, an intimate reception with friends, a dinner made by a private chef, etc. Once you’ve decided what you’ll incorporate in your day, pick a location that will allow everything you want to include.

If you want to host an intimate reception, I highly recommend a vacation rental such as a cabin or an Airbnb. You can also stay at hotels, resorts, chalets, campgrounds, etc. Here are some amazing lodging options near Yellowstone National Park:

Yellowstone elopement

How Much Does it Cost to Elope in Yellowstone

With a special use permit and a marriage license it costs $280.00 to elope in Yellowstone National Park. That being said, most couples spend an average of $5000-$20,000 on their elopement. This includes flights, lodging, permits, vendors, wedding attire, meals, and anything extra a couple might want.

Yellowstone Elopement Locations

There is a list of pre-determined elopement locations within the park that you can choose from. However, this is just for your actual ceremony. Once that aspect of the day is completed, you’re still able to explore the park and take photos wherever you’d like! They also are open to hearing a location request, and will approve it based on what your plans are, so you aren’t forced to go with just these locations. Here is the list of Yellowstone elopement locations that have been pre-approved:

Artist Point

Artist point is a stunning Yellowstone elopement location. It features beautiful canyons, trees, and massive waterfall, and a river. 40 people are allowed at this location. During peak season at the park, a forest ranger will monitor the ceremony.

Barnes Hole Road

Perfect for any season, Barnes Hole Road is a more remote location where you’re less likely to run into many other people. This Yellowstone elopement location is close to trails if you want to explore after your ceremony, and allows up to 30 people.

Fishing Bridge Visitor Center Beach

I love this Yellowstone elopement location. It’s big and beautiful, with gorgeous views of the beach and mountains in the background. You’re allowed to have up to 40 people in this location.

Lake Butte Overlook

Yellowstone elopement location

Lake Butte Overlook is another Yellowstone elopement location that provides stunning views of the mountains over the lake. You’re allowed to have up to 30 people at this location, and it’s one of my favorites.

Lamar Valley

Yellowstone elopement location

Lamar Valley is absolutely stunning. I also love this Yellowstone elopement location for winter elopements, however, you can visit here anytime of the year. There’s a river and mountain views, and this is a place that the bison like to hangout. 5 people are allowed here, making it a great choice for couples having a very intimate date

Two Ribbon Trail

This is an easy to access Yellowstone elopement location with a boardwalk that goes alongside the river. You’ll also get views of the mountains, and this location allows up to 15 people.

Virginia Cascade Picnic Area

This Yellowstone elopement location is a picnic area that features trees, and open view of the meadow, and beautiful views of the mountain. This is a good location year round, and allows up to 30 people

Trout Lake

Yellowstone elopement location

Trout Lake is apart of the Lamar Valley that allows up to 20 guests. This is a STUNNING Yellowstone elopement location. Both beautiful in summer with the wildflowers, and in the fall with the changing of the colors.

Thunderer Trailhead

Yellowstone elopement location

This trailhead has gorgeous views for a ceremony. Not only that, but if you want to hike for your elopement, you can explore this trail after your ceremony. If you get a permit for this location, your permit also applies to trout lake in case the location feels too crowded day of. You can have 20 people here.

Warm Creek Picnic Area

Yellowstone elopement location

Last but not least, this stunning Yellowstone elopement location is also apart of the Lamar Valley. Once again, your permit for this location also includes Trout Lake and Thunderer trailhead, giving you a ton of awesome options. This location also allows up to 20 people.

Yellowstone Elopement Packages

Elopement photography by Emilee Setting Photo, and everything included in my packages:

  • Explore anywhere within Wyoming, all travel fees included in the price!
  • Packages from half day elopements to multi-day elopements
  • Receive a customized location list
  • Help finding lodging that suits your needs if you’re having an intimate reception
  • Included comprehensive timeline design
  • Help obtaining your permits
  • Help obtaining your marriage license
  • A planning checklist
  • Unlimited planning and guidance calls 
  • All of your stunning photos delivered under three months
  • Day of polaroid sneak peeks

Yellowstone elopement packages starting at $6800. Want more information on my pricing and what’s included? Click here

Yellowstone elopement

Ready to Elope in Yellowstone?

This Yellowstone elopement guide is a way to get you excited about all the possibilities of what your day could look like. Although, this amount of information can be overwhelming. I’m here to help. I can answer any and all questions you have on a complimentary low pressure consultation call. If you then choose you’d like to work together, I’ll do all of this planning right by your said to alleviate any stress, and bring your Wyoming elopement vision to life. We can chat here!

Don't forget your free elopement planning checklist


You see a stranger’s puppy & it takes everything in you not to run up & cuddle it.

Your dress gets dirt on it, and you shrug.

You think ice cream & wine is always an acceptable dinner option. Always.

You LIVE for the feeling of sunshine on your skin & wind in your hair.

You’re already screaming YASSSS WHERE DO I BOOK YOU?

I'm Emilee

I'm an elopement photographer who specializes in planning, crafting, and documenting untraditional weddings. I believe a wedding day should be filled with traditions that resonate with you. I'm here from start to finish to make that happen. Want to chat about your plans? Click below to set up a free consultation! 

You see a stranger’s puppy & it takes everything in you not to run up & cuddle it.

Your dress gets dirt on it, and you shrug.

You think ice cream & wine is always an acceptable dinner option. Always.

You LIVE for the feeling of sunshine on your skin & wind in your hair.

You’re already screaming YASSSS WHERE DO I BOOK YOU?

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