Wedding FAQs

Can we have more than 100 people at our reception?

Fire codes prohibit us from having more than 88 people inside the dining hall. We do have limited covered outdoor seating adjacent to the dining hall that allows us to accommodate slightly more people (weather permitting).

Can we have our meals served outside?

Meals at the Environmental Learning Center can only be served inside. Our campus lies inside the North Cascades National Park boundary and abides by regulations aimed at protecting the wilderness environment for future generations. One key piece of regulation requires we maintain a “wildlife wise” campus. Cooking and serving food outside attracts animals and if food is easily available, these animals may become habituated to seeking human food. 

Can we do our own cooking or hire outside caterers?

We only offer wedding weekends as a full package including meals. This is based on the need to hold the campus private for the wedding event, the logistical challenges of our remote location, and the regulations regarding use of our kitchen space. 

Do we need to hire a professional wedding planner?

Many couples rely on their friends and family to effectively plan their wedding weekend at the Learning Center. The most successful couples do a lot of planning, keep organized notes, and have the vision and help to create a seamless and memorable wedding. Others will hire a wedding planner to help with things like invitations, vendors, timing of events, color scheme, floral design and such.

The Learning Center staff is available to offer support related to the facility and meals. This includes assisting with lights, implementing your decorations in the dining hall, and coordinating the flow of the weekend. The conference and retreat staff is responsible for managing the facilities, lodging, design and executions of the menu, educational programming, communication with staff and guests, and being point of contact for the wedding couple and their support.

Can we have a tree planting ceremony or release butterflies inside the National Park?

Regulations that apply inside North Cascades National Park boundary prohibit things like planting trees and releasing wildlife. In the town of Marblemount about 30 minutes from the Learning Center, North Cascades Institute owns property on the Skagit River with a garden where wedding groups have gathered to perform these activities.

If you have any other questions not answered here, reach out to us at