Are Free Wedding Venues a Myth?

As Wedding Know How editors, we write about things that we love and we think you'll like too. We have affiliate partnerships and sponsorship and may generate some revenue from these at no cost to you.

You may be inclined to think that free wedding venues are a myth, but surprise, surprise! they aren’t. You can hold your wedding for free or for an extremely low cost if you choose to have it in any one of the places we’ve listed in this article. Let’s take a look!

1. The State of Oregon

state of oregon

Oregon is a great state to start off with when it comes to free wedding venues. In fact, this magical state has been named the best place to elope because of all the beauty heaped in one place. Believe it or not, you get to enjoy it for free!

Imagine that! You and your beloved, get to tie the knot in this lush beauty of nature with the rugged coastlines of the Pacific Ocean and the volcanic mountain peaks for a backdrop. Sounds dreamy, doesn’t it? Well, here are some of the places you can hold your wedding in Oregon at no cost:

2. Columbia River Gorge

columbia river gorge

Whether you want to capture the river itself, the treacherous peaks, the stunning viewpoints, or the gorgeous waterfalls in your wedding pictures, the Columbia River Gorge is yours to create memories in. All you have to do is pay the $5 – $35 worth of entry fees and get a permit for any wedding structures and guests exceeding 75. An important tip for this destination would be that you will need to avoid peak season and visitation hours since it’s a popular site.

3. Cannon Beach

canon beach

Known for its lush coastal forests, warm weather, beautiful cliffs, and expansive beaches lined with haystacks Cannon Beach really is a dream destination for a wedding. All this you will get to enjoy for free and with no need for a permit as long as the number of guests doesn’t exceed 50 people.

4. Skamania Old Stone House

Now this one is a gem for anyone who knows how to turn rustic into magic. Set within a forest, this old stone house covered in green moss is bound to produce a substantial Instagram following. What’s more? the venue comes at no charge and with no need for a permit.

5. Crater Lake National Park

crater lake national park

Truly, the best things are free! This park hosts a crystal-clear lake that circles 26 miles of the crater, with an island in the middle. The views may be breathtaking and the trails spectacular, yet all you need to wed in this beauty is a $50 application fee and 10 weeks buffer time. We must admit, we are amazed.

6. Smith Rock State Park

smith rock state park

Those that love rock climbing will love this one; if you are one to mix your wedding with adventure and fun, you will be happy to know that Smith Rock State Park, which only requires you to get a special permit lets you marry for a free while overlooking beaches, mountains, red rock cliffs, and river canyons. What’s more? Your pets get to enjoy your special day for absolutely free as well.

7. TEXAS – Chapel Dulcinea

Located just 20 minutes from Austin, Texas, the Chapel Dulcinea is an outdoor Chapel, at the edge of a walking trail that offers a free wedding venue. The cliff offers a beautiful all-natural backdrop for photos.

8. SOUTH CAROLINA – Myrtle Beach

myrtle beach

Myrtle Beach offers wedding venues free of charge and only requires a permit for a wedding with more than 500 guests or with chairs exceeding 101.

9. CALIFORNIA – Yosemite National Park

yosemite national park

Near the entrance to Yosemite, lies a half-mile loop of beautiful falls that have been rightly named – the Bridalveil Falls. This is a beautiful place for weddings and the state of California has rightly utilized it by offering a free venue and asking only for a special permit that costs $150.

10. COLORADO – Rocky Mountain National Park

rocky mountain national park

Home to the glorious Upper Beaver Meadows, the Rocky Mountain National Park offers two different yet similar wedding experiences. It has two paths, one paved and the other a dirt trail for couples who like to shake things up a little. Both of these trails lead to stunning views of the Continental Divide. All you need to celebrate your day in this beautiful place is a special permit that costs $350.

11. UTAH – Zion National Park

zion national park

Zion National Park is ideal for couples who want to keep their wedding small and intimate. The pull of the place is the Timber Creek Overlook, which has a trail that overlooks the Kolob Canyons and offers the site of Mt. Trumbull, which is situated close to the northern edge of the Grand Canyon. The best time to get wed at the Timber Creek Overlook is during summer because it offers a spectacular display of wildflowers. All these you get free except for a special permit worth $100.

12. ARIZONA – Grand Canyon National Park

grand canyon national park

For only a special permit worth $240, you get to enjoy a beautiful ceremony at Moran Point, a free venue that is located West of Desert View Drive. Moran Point offers a spectacular view of the Grand Canyons and the Colorado River.

13. WASHINGTON DC – The Olympic National Park

olympic national park

Want to have an enchanted wedding? Well, the Hoh Ran Forest situated at the Olympic National Park is the place for you. The hiking trails, nature loops, mosses, and ferns offer a spectacular venue that will give you stunning photos to remember your big day. The cost for this venue is only $50.

14. City Hall

city hall

City Hall weddings are relatively cheap and are ideal if you plan to have a small group of guests. What’s more, many of them are housed in historic buildings offering gorgeous photo backgrounds.

In Brief

Even with the listed venues, it’s good that you keep in mind that it is impossible to have an entirely free wedding. For one, the marriage license will cost you a small fee and you may still need to feed your guests and incur some transport costs, among others. Still, there are a lot of gorgeous places, mostly in nature, that will reduce your wedding costs greatly and let you say your “I DO” without breaking the bank.