Broadcast your love: get hitched in a state parks amphitheater

Lake Chelan amphitheater

Insert your special day here. Lake Chelan's amphitheater is a spectacular setting for an outdoor wedding.

Feb. 27, 2019

Nothing evokes the spirit of romance quite like an outdoor wedding.

Whether it’s the mystic quality of a rocky shore, the grandeur of a mountain backdrop or the fairytale tranquility of a forest, an alfresco setting is tops for memorable nuptials.

But if the thought of lugging folding chairs into the woods is giving you cold feet, why not consider reserving an amphitheater at a Washington state park? They come in a wide range of sizes and complexities, but all of them are built to showcase the beauty of the park. They make gorgeous, ready-made settings for a captivating wedding and come at a bargain price as ceremony venues go.

Here are a couple of state parks amphitheaters examples to spark your outdoor wedding planning dreams:

Lake Chelan State Park

Imagine strolling down the aisle to your beloved awaiting you before a backdrop of towering pines, sky-blue waters and the majestic peaks of the North Cascades mountain range. Sound amazing? You’ll find all that and more at Lake Chelan!

In addition to its beautiful setting, Chelan’s amphitheater boasts seating for up to 120 guests and those ever-important electric outlets. If the kids get impatient with the ceremony, an adult can take them over to the playground to work off some steam. The park’s small kitchen shelter does not have electricity, but it does offer a cozy fireplace and could accommodate a simple, intimate reception.

Note: Chelan is a popular park, and parking fills up fast. Park staff recommend planning alternatives for getting guests to the wedding. If you are looking for a similar setting with more parking, Alta Lake State Park is a wonderful alternative. It does not have an amphitheater, but does boast lovely lakeside locales perfect for saying "I do!"

Deception pass amphitheater

Rustic class: Set your wedding-planning sites on a ceremony at Deception Pass' amphitheater, which showcases all the best of Pacific Northwest outdoor beauty.

Deception Pass State Park

Jaw dropping wedding photos? With a stunning bridge, Rosario Strait and the San Juan Archipelago in the background, it’s hard to find a spot at Deception Pass that is NOT visually appealing. The park’s amphitheater seats up to 300 of your closest friends, is ADA accessible and has electricity. A small wood shelter protects the happy couple from stiff breezes, but guests get a view of the water to the northeast of the park.

Looking to complete the day in one spot? Hold your reception in the rustic beauty of the Bowman Bay Kitchen Shelter, or one of Deception Pass' 10 other Civilian Conservation Corps-built shelters.

Notes: Park staff highly recommend contacting the park directly to make arrangements for this location. Also, Naval Air Station Whidbey Island is located close to the park. Your vows could potentially be punctuated by the occasional jet engine roar. And in the interest of full disclosure, the bridge will be undergoing a two-year painting and refurbishing project, which might affect traffic. To get updates on the project, check in with the Washington State Department of Transportation here

Inspired yet? You’ll discover lots more parks and many more amphitheaters to choose from. Start your search by typing “amphitheater” into the search engine on our website today!

Looking for a more traditional venue? 

We’ve got that, too! Some state parks have become such popular wedding destinations that they may even have rentable equipment, indoor wedding and reception halls and even catering on site. Click here to learn about even more state parks wedding options!


Toast your heart’s desire by the fire! Hold your reception at one of Deception Pass State Park’s historic kitchen shelters.

Wedding Planning Tips

The great outdoors is a wonderful setting for saying I do. However, nature is unpredictable — holding an outdoor wedding takes planning, patience and flexibility. When planning for a wedding in a state park, we recommend considering the following for a start:

❤ Get that permit. The first call you should make (after your BFF) is to staff at the park you are interested in. Special activities permits are often necessary when holding a wedding at a state park. Plus, the more heads up park staff have about your special day, the better.

❤ Have a rainy day plan. Holding hands in the rain is romantic. Getting married in it, not so much.

❤ Size matters. And so does accessibility. Your dream location can become a nightmare if it is not the right fit for your guest list or their abilities.

❤ Location, location…transportation. Remember, you and your guests need a Discover Pass if you want to park at a state park. Also, your wedding party will be sharing the parking lot with lots of other people, especially in the summer. Consider enlisting a shuttle service for getting guests to the park on time — and happy.

Have you got a great Washington state parks experience you would like to share?
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