Sunset Elopement at Dead Horse Point State Park
Kelly and Ryan planned their sunset elopement at Dead Horse Point State Park with 4 guests, including their officiant. A guitarist played while the sun set during their ceremony, making this such an intimate moment.
Interested in eloping at Dead Horse? Read on to learn all the tips and tricks from the couple and photographer when planning here. If you’re ready to plan your Utah wedding day, then connect with one of our elopement vendors to get started!
How to Elope in Dead Horse Point State Park
Utah is one of the best places to elope, and Dead Horse Point in Utah is pretty magical for your wedding day. We love this location because you can say your “I dos” surrounded by endless canyons and cliffs overlooking the Colorado River. Kristen, the photographer, recommends the hour or two leading up to sunset for the best lighting.
Permits and leave no trace (LNT) are big at any state and national park. At Dead Horse Point, your wedding permit will cost about $60 and $15 per vehicle to park. When applying for your permit, you’ll also be asked to pick a ceremony location. There are 5 different locations that are good for as many as 100 people to as little as 5. You’ll also need to apply at least 30 days before your wedding, so make sure to plan ahead!
Kristen breaks down each ceremony site to help you during your Dead Horse Point elopement planning.
A. Shade Shelter
- wheelchair accessible
- up to 100 people
- shade cover
- chairs permit
- crowded with tourists
B. Cliff Side Site (this was this couple’s location!)
- isolated and scenic
- 20 people limit
C. Point Bench Site
- scenic and easy access
- 5 people limit
D. West Bench Site
- scenic and easy access
- can be busy with tourists
- 50 people limit
E. La Sal Site
- very scenic
- uneven terrain
- 25 people limit
Important Rules and Regulations
- Live flowers are not allowed in the park. This means couples need to get artificial flowers such as silk bouquets.
- Seeds, confetti, and any type of confetti are not allowed to be thrown.
- No Drones between March and October, and from November through February the drone pilot needs a special license.
- Must use trails and park in parking lots.
- No lighting or decorations (like arches/arbors).
About This Sunset Elopement at Dead Horse Point
This elopement at Dead Horse Point was pretty intimate and romantic. Kristen tells us Kelly and Ryan were really intentional about everything. They invited four of their closest friends, and you could tell they were handpicked to be there for a reason. No one was invited out of obligation, and all four of the guests were there solely to support and serve Kelly and Ryan.
We also love how one of their friends officiated and the others had a written letter prepared to read to the couple during the ceremony. The guitarist playing as the sun started setting was also a win-win in our book.
“Having soft guitar music play in the background really elevates the mood of an elopement. Another plug for Josh, the guitarist, is that he didn’t just play during the important moments, like the first dance. His soft guitar music played in the background throughout all their interactions after their ceremony. It was absolutely magical, and I recommend to all my couples to consider live music during their ceremonies.
I was also really obsessed with Kelly’s dress, which was custom made for Kelly by Cleo and Clementine. The dress was had all the elements of class and simplicity, while also being absolutely unique. Just because you elope, doesn’t mean your wedding dress can’t be absolutely unique to you!” [Kristen, the photographer]
Memorable Moments During This Intimate Utah Wedding Day
From the photographer:
“One of my favorite moments was after the ceremony, Ryan and Kelly shared toasts with everyone. I took a step back and documented the six friends sharing a special moment together as the sun set. Sometimes we get so caught up in taking sunset photos as photographers, that we forget to let the couple enjoy the sunset on their wedding day.
Another special moment was when Kelly and Ryan shared their first dance on the edge of a cliff with Josh playing the acoustic guitar. Most couples don’t get to share their first dance with such a breathtaking backdrop, and it was special witnessing them share the first steps of a lifetime together holding onto each other as the light glowed behind them.”
From the couple:
“It was all so lovely. We now understand why the cliches exist surrounding wedding days. Having one of Kristen’s talented friends, Josh, play the guitar as we danced during the sunset added to the backdrop of one of the best days of our lives.
Elopement offers the intimacy of acknowledging the commitment to each other in a quiet moment. The celebration amongst the community can exist, yet we feel having the two things as separate events really savor the moments.”
Advice During Your Big Day at Dead Horse Point
“For couples getting married, remember to go with the flow! If you go into your elopement with an open mind and are ready to accept anything that comes your way, you’ll end up having a peaceful and memorable experience that you’ll be excited to share with friends and family.
For photographers, I’d say remember to stop and let your couple enjoy the sunset! There’s such a small window to get great golden hour shots. I understand. But this is their day, not yours. It’s your job to put them first, and that means you should definitely give them time to watch the sunset on one of the most important days of their lives.” [Kristen, the photographer]
Photography | By Kristen Marie
More Photos From This Elopement