Elopements are a soul-filling, thrilling, and intimate experience. Big Bend National Park is the only Mountain National Park in Texas and is located 50 miles from Terlingua, Texas. It is a shared International Border with Mexico that extends 118 miles long. The whole National Park sits on 801,163 acres of pure wilderness and deserts and marks itself as the 15th largest National Park in the United States. It has beautiful open spaces, big Texas stars and the echoing of coyotes rolling throughout the valleys. You will fall in love with Big Bend instantly. The Rio Grande separates Texas from Mexico with 196 miles of wild river. It is home to over 1,295 species of plants, 75 types of mammals and 56 species of reptiles.
If you plan on eloping or having your wedding in Big Bend National Park, make sure to use this guide and then reach out to us so we can help you in the right direction.
I highly suggest getting married either at sunrise/early morning or later on in the evening on a weekday. Weekdays give you the chance to have more of a private, intimate and adventurous time without a tourist crowd. If you plan on using campsites think about making your reservations months in advance if it falls around busy vacation times in the US or holidays.
Fall and Spring are usually the best times to plan your big day as it’s not too hot, but just perfect. During the summer you will normally see three-digit temperatures that will vary greatly between the floor of the desert and the mountains; May and June are the hottest months.
Make sure you already have your marriage certificate before you arrive and have also purchased your permits through the national park for permission to use Big Bend
Location Ideas for Your Big Bend Elopement
There is an endless supply of breathtaking locations to fit your perfect vision of your elopement or wedding in Big Bend National Park. The possibilities seriously fit every aspect you’ve ever dreamed about.
This is for the couples who love camping, the outdoors and getting lost on adventures. We will set up our bridal tent, string lights, and set that campfire for the perfect adventure. We will wake up and hike to your most favorite location to do the ceremony and then spend the day wandering the mountains and desert getting some stellar once in a lifetime adventure shots. Then we will end the day by coming back to the campsite, cutting ourselves some cake, making a toast, chowing down on some s’mores from our fire and then dancing under the Texas stars.
For those who want everything but traditional and still want their closest friends and family to be a part, there are amazing options and places for you too!
There are cabins and hotels inside the park for everyone to stay so you don’t have to worry about not getting the great Big Bend experience if you’re not a camper. If you love the thought of doing a sunrise first look, lets grab whoever you want to join you, plan out the site and then see your fiancee for the first time as the sunrays are beaming down the valley. Then we can spend the afternoon finding the most amazing places for an adventure photoshoot and have lunch. Go back to your cabin to powder up so we can meet your most favorite people on Earth for your ceremony followed by an amazing intimate rooftop dinner with Emory Peak as the background. You can all eat, drink, toast and dance the night away!
Lastly, here are my top things to know before tieing the knot in Big Bend National Park
- Get yourself some good hiking boots instead of high heels
- Yes, your dress will get dirty. It’s outside. The good thing though is that your dress can be cleaned if you’re really worried about it.
- Animals. Please be aware of your surroundings with each step. The park is full of animals so it would be best to wear bells or talk loudly as you hike.
- Water. Bring your own camelback full of water.
- I have searched high and low for hair and makeup artists that live in the area, and it just doesn’t seem available. None of my brides have had luck finding anyone either. So be prepared to do your own hair and makeup.
- There is a diner in the valley but if you’re wanting a cake or cupcakes, make sure you bring your own.
- Sunscreen. Don’t forget the sunscreen.
- I am legally ordained so you won’t have to worry about finding a pastor who is willing to hike.
- Expect the unexpected and just roll with it.
- You get to trade in the strict timeline for sunrises and sunsets through rocky mountains, so take advantage and just soak it up without worrying about what comes next.
You can also read through this helpful article to clear up the term “elopement” vs “wedding/small wedding”
Myths about Elopements
Your Safety in Big Bend National Park
1,295 species of plants, 75 species of mammals, 450+ species of birds, 3,600 species of insects, 56 species of reptiles, 11 species of amphibians, and 38 species of fish all live in this great park.
My very first time coming to Big Bend National Park I ran across a Mountain Lion near the entrance (2019). I didn’t have my camera in the front seat with me at the time and missed my chance to get a photo. I told the front desk girls when I arrived at my cabin and they said that they had seen an influx of Mountain Lions and Bears around. Just be aware of your surroundings, what you pack with you, who you are with and where you go. Big Bend is home to large predators but it’s also home to the most beautiful scenery that I’ve ever seen in my life. It reminded me a lot of Iceland in some rocky areas.
Water. Please for the love of everything holy, get you a camelback and keep water on you at all times.
These aren’t little baby hills that we are hiking. Emory Peak – 7,832 ft, South Rim- 7,375 ft, Casa Grande Peak- 7,325 ft, Chisos Basin- 5,401 ft, Panther Junction- 3,750 ft, Rio Grande- 1,850 ft.