Cape Henlopen State Park

Beach settings, spectacular vista, surrounding sites and sounds of the seaside nature and coastal history are just some of the amenities Cape Henlopen State Park has to offer.  After a peaceful ceremony on the beach you may want to treat your guests to a beach reception, or do something completely unique.  Make your wedding a special event with Cape Henlopen State Park as the backdrop.  To assist potential wedding or ceremony patrons, the following information has been compiled to serve as general guidelines for weddings and ceremonies.


Weddings and commitment ceremonies are allowed year round during daylight hours, with some time restrictions during the summer. 

  • Due to heavy visitation in the Park between Memorial Day and Labor Day, weddings are not permitted before 5 p.m.
  • On Saturdays and Sundays in May and September weddings are not permitted before 5 p.m.
  • Weddings are not permitted on or near Holiday weekends.
  • The formal ceremony may not last more than one (1) hour. 


Reservations/ Letter of Intent


Reservations and a special use permit are required for all ceremonies.  Anyone wishing to have a wedding or commitment ceremony at the Park must send a letter of intent with detailed information for consideration at least 60 days in advance and up to 1 year. It is very helpful if the letter of intent contains every detail of the event so the Park representative can better assist the client.  The letter of intent must include both the bride and grooms contact information, date and time of ceremony, number of guests, professional photographer information, decoration plans, etc.  A Park representative will respond with a written letter detailing the fees, which are based on the individual’s needs. 


An onsite meeting must occur one month prior to the ceremony with either the Bride or Groom, or one of the partners present. At this time, a Park representative will be assigned to the wedding to coordinate your activities within the Park.  If any outside companies are used for chair, trellis, arbor rental, etc. they must be in contact with the Park representative prior to the wedding as this may incur additional fees.  Professional photographers must apply for a permit through the main office of Delaware State Parks before the ceremony.  Set up is allowed only 1 hour before the ceremony and clean up is to be completed immediately after the ceremony.


Park Fees


If Park entrance fees are being collected at the time of your wedding or ceremony, all people associated with the wedding or ceremony, including guests, the wedding party, clergy, DJ’s, etc., must pay the entrance fee or have a season pass unless your package states otherwise.  Coupon Books may be purchased in advance to distribute to the wedding guests and participants before entering the Park, and they are available at the Park office.  Entrance fees are assessed per vehicle. 


Wedding or Ceremony Guidelines


  1. For environmental reasons, many items may not be released into the air.  This includes, but is not limited to balloons, rice, birdseed, butterflies, and rose petals. .
  2. The wedding clients are permitted to set out free standing directional signs.
  3. If any wedding participants or guests need to be transported to the beach area you may want to look into renting a beach wheelchair.  The wedding area is not accessible to vehicles of any kind.  In addition, some locations are very difficult to reach for anyone with limited mobility.
  4. It is the responsibility of the users to make sure Park areas are clean and picked up, and all items that have been brought in have been removed. Failure to do so will result in a charge of $100.00 per hour for a cleaning service.
  5. Driver services such as limos, carriages etc. are permitted on roadways and in parking lots only.  Written permission is required for use of carriages, which are prohibited during heavy visitation days or hours. 
  6. All areas within the Park are open to the public, including the wedding site.  Wedding clients may not require any park visitors already on the beach to move out of the way for the ceremony.
  7. Please be aware that Cape Henlopen State Park is a public place with heavy use during the summer months.  There have been occasions when the Park has reached maximum capacity and no more cars have been allowed in the Park.  Entrance to the Park cannot be guaranteed.
  8. The Park representative has the right to stop proceedings, change the location, or make changes as needed, at any time, to ensure the safety of the wedding party, guests and the general public, or in the event of an environmental emergency.
  9. It is at the discretion of the Park representative to require a Park Ranger for assistance with the event.  A fee is charged for Ranger assistance.
  10. The beach and access pathway to the beach at the wedding site is subject to environmental changes.  There may be an environmental event that can affect changes to the wedding site such as limited and difficult beach access because of dune damage.  We cannot predict or guard against these events and the wedding site may have changed on the wedding day.



Wedding Locations


Hawk Watch Beach (Bunker Overlook)

This location is on the beach in front of the Bunker Hunter, also known as Hawk Watch.  Parking is in the Beach Bathhouse parking lot located next to the Pavilion area.  From the parking lot the wedding party and guests use the pathway to walk to Hawk Watch.  Weddings are not permitted before 5 p.m. May-October


Gordon’s Pond Beach

This location is only accessible through Rehoboth Beach.  Vehicle entrance fees are $5 for each in-state vehicle or $10 for each out-of-state vehicle.



Herring Point - New for 2016!

Located at the South end of Cape Henlopen State Park, Herring Point is situated on a picturesque dune overlooking the coast of Rehoboth and Cape Henlopen State Park’s Beach.   Due to heavy visitation in the park, weddings and ceremonies are only permitted during the off season (January-June, and September-December), after 5:00pm.


The Officer’s Club is available from November 1st until March 31st of each year.  The Club is rented as a Youth Camp facility during the warm weather months.  There is seating for 75 people and a maximum capacity of 250 people per the Fire Marshal.  There is a full service kitchen, including commercial size ranges, refrigerator and freezer.  Renters must provide all cooking utensils.  No fires are allowed in the fireplace.  The Officer’s Club may be used for a Bridal changing area both before and after the ceremony, when rented for your reception. Canned or bottled alcohol beverages are allowed in the building. Beer trucks are prohibited.  The fee for an event is $550.00.



Thank you for your interest in Cape Henlopen State Park for your wedding or wedding reception.  Please feel free to call the Biden Center (302) 644-5005 for availability and additional information.

15099 Cape Henlopen Drive

Lewes, DE  19958