Why Choose Glacier National Park For Your Wedding
Glacier National Park, with its awe-inspiring landscapes and pristine beauty, offers a truly unique setting for eloping couples seeking a wedding location that is both breathtaking and memorable. Many couples choose to get married outdoors to escape the "normal" and do something that's outside the box and breaking the mold. Choosing a National Park is just that, a location that offers a various amount of backdrops and a place where you can recreate and make memories outside of your wedding day. In this blog, you'll find a variation of locations inside of Glacier National Park to have a ceremony as well as some wedding venues outside the park for those who have larger groups in attendance.
Glacier National Park Wedding Locations
Getting married inside of Glacier National Park is such a unique experience, let's look at the numbers...
• There were over 700 special use permits issued in 2023
• There are 29 ceremony locations you can get permits for
• A ceremony special use permit costs $125
• Ceremony permits are granted in 2 hour time increments
Below I will share five of my favorite wedding ceremony locations in Glacier National Park. There are so many to choose from, so be sure to do your own research as well! The Glacier National Park website has a super helpful page dedicated to weddings and has all the locations and guidelines listed for inquiring couples, be sure to check to out.
Located in the Triple Divide (St. Mary) District of the park, Sun Point offers dramatic mountain backdrops and crystal clear blue lake surrounding you. I recommend this location for a sunrise or sunset ceremony. While it can be windy on certain days, this locations provides stunning backdrops that are breathtaking!
Maximum Participants for the Ceremony: 20 people
Seasons Available: Typically last week of May - Mid October
Accessibility: Requires a 0.2 mile hike on a rocky path to access location
Located in the Lake McDonald District, there are currently 7 (seven) lakeside ceremony locations that you can get permits at. Lake McDonald is well known for its rainbow colored rocks and iconic mountain range that surrounds the lake. Getting married on the lake is so beautiful during sunrise or sunrise, however you'll find less of a crowd during the sunrise hours. Lake McDonald is close to the Apgar and West Glacier portion of Glacier National Park. This area is among the heaviest trafficked area and will likely mean you'll have spectators at your ceremony.
Maximum Participants for the Ceremony: 15 - 20 people, depending on the location and season
Seasons Available: Most are year-round. Otherwise early May - Fall
Accessibility: Most locations require a minimal walk to the shoreline from parking area
Located in the North Fork District of the park, Bowman Lake is the ultimate location to get married at that offers a private serene venue with those sweeping mountain views that take your breath away. While located 45 minutes from the West Glacier entrance of Glacier National Park, planning to spend your entire elopement day in this area is a reasonable thought when looking at planning your timeline for your day.
Maximum Participants for the Ceremony: 15-24 people, depending on the season
Seasons Available: Mid May - Mid October
Accessibility: Requires a 0.2 mile walk on a path to access location
Many Glacier Hotel - Southwest Beach
Located in the Chief Mountain (Many Glacier) District of the park, the southwest beach at Many Glacier is one of a kind. Imagine standing on the shore of the lake, listening to the water lap at your feet, awe-inspiring mountains surrounding you, and vowing your love to your partner! The southwest beach location is a mere minutes walk to the historic Many Glacier hotel. If you plan your ceremony in this area of the park, plan to eat dinner at the Ptarmigan Dining Hall or pack a meal to eat after your wedding day is over, there is limited options for dining in this area. I also recommend that couples try to snag lodging at the hotel, it's a unique and one-of-a-kind lodging to experience in Glacier National Park.
Maximum Participants for the Ceremony: 15 people
Seasons Available: Typically last week of May - Mid October
Accessibility: Requires about a 0.2 mile walk from the parking area to reach the beach of the lake near the hotel
Located in the Lake McDonald District, Big Bend is a great location to host a ceremony if you're looking for an accessible and breathing location. You won't find much privacy as the ceremony location is just off the main road, but the views are 10/10. This is my most highly requested location for photos by couples. Please note: The ceremony must take place on the developed gravel area adjacent to the parking, events cannot be held below this area.
Maximum Participants for the Ceremony: 10 people
Seasons Available: Early July - Mid October
Accessibility: Ceremony location is wheelchair accessible, in the parking area
Glacier National Park Wedding Venues
If you and your partner find yourself in a bind due to the number of guests you want to have in attendance at your ceremony, choosing a wedding venue just outside Glacier National Park, might be the right option for you. There are many options available these days, with some even having a direct view into Glacier National Park, it's hard to say no to beautiful locations like this!
Paddle Ridge is location just 5 minutes from the entrance of Glacier National Park. They offer a variety of lodging/ceremony packages, from a 2-night package to a 2-hour ceremony space rental. This location can support up to 100 guests, offers a beautiful ceremony back drop, and is an accessible location. Available for bookings May-October, don't overlook this
Great Northern Resort
Great Northern Resort is just 5 minutes from the entrance to Glacier National Park. This venue offers an intimate wedding and all-inclusive elopement packages, perfect for a larger gathering or to get items like an officiant, bouquet, and cake included with your package. Their ceremony location offers mountain views into Glacier, a wall tent, access to electricity, portable bathroom and water. There is string lighting, bathrooms, and trash cans made available for couples and their guests.
Whitefish Mountain Resort
Whitefish Mountain Resort offers a mountain top wedding and elopement package! Get married with a 360 degree view of the Flathead Valley, Whitefish Lake, and Glacier National Park around you. Whitefish Mountain Resort ceremonies take place at our 6,817 ft. elevation mountain summit. You'll get to ride the chair lift up to the summit, what an experience! This venue can support up to 200 wedding guests.
The Nest on Swan River
The Nest on Swan River is a tranquil, waterfront venue you can't overlook! Located a little further from Glacier National Park in Bigfork, MT, this venue offers a peaceful and intimate space for elopements and weddings. This quaint little venue also offer lodging and a dining hall where you can bring in a private caterer or chef. If you're looking for privacy for your intimate wedding or venue, look no further!
Summit mountain lodge
Summit Mountain Lodge is location approximately 45 minutes east of West Glacier. A private venue that offers lodging, catering, and bar services. This venue has a ceremony platform that overlooks the peaks of Glacier National Park and can accommodate up to 100 guests. Located closest to Essex, MT and the Walton Picnic Area of Glacier National Park (you can have a ceremony here inside the park too), there's no shortage of recreational activities nearby. Hiking, fishing, rafting in the summer and snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and ice fishing in the winter. Don't miss this lovely venue!
Need More Planning and Assistance With Your Elopement?
Choosing where to get married and a ceremony spot is a huge feat, I get it. There is a bit of planning involved when you're getting married and sometimes you don't feel like you have enough resources. You're in luck because I've created a few resources that your might find helpful in the process of planning.
Of course, If you're still looking for an elopement photographer for your special day, reach out and let's have a conversation! As a local of 20+ years, photographing in Glacier National Park is second nature to me. I know the best lighting, locations and all the details to make your day seamless! Simply fill out the contact form on my website and expect to hear from me within 24-48 hours. Let's do this!!