Gorgeous canyons, huge deserts with red rock formations, sparkling lakes, and mountain tops are just a few things that come to mind when we think about Arizona. There are literally hundreds of options when it comes to eloping in Arizona. With 31 state parks, 24 national parks, and endless places to stop and explore, finding the perfect spot to elope in Arizona can be a little overwhelming. Wondering how to elope in Arizona, and what are some of the best places to elope in Arizona?
We’re about to tell you everything you need to know planning your elopement in Arizona. We also have some bonus elopement stories to inspire you as you plan. Feel free to pin some of these stories for later.
Do you want to skip the information, and jump straight into Arizona elopement inspiration?
- Ashley and Jacob – Cathedral Rock Elopement
- Jennifer and Craig – Simple Sedona Elopement
- Alexandra and Tim – Romantic Sedona Elopement
How to Elope in Arizona:
- When to Elope in Arizona
- Best Places to Elope in Arizona
- Arizona Wedding License
- Arizona Elopement Vendors
- Elopement Inspiration in Arizona
When to Elope in Arizona
Most couples who decide to elope in Arizona, do so because of Arizona’s beautiful sunshine and dry weather. Our personal favorite time to plan an elopement in Arizona has to be Fall. From September to late November, you can appreciate the gorgeous hues of red, orange, and yellow in the region. These different tones make for gorgeous elopement portraits.
We also love Arizona elopements every other season. Why? Because Arizona has gorgeous weather year-round. Winters here are very mild. However, you can still experience lower temperatures at night in the desert and mountains. Overall, there’s no real “bad” choice when it comes to “when to elope in Arizona”. You just have to think about what type of look you want your day to have.
Best Places to Elope in Arizona
There are seriously so many places to explore in Arizona during your elopement. Couples can backpack together, rent four-wheelers, camp, hike, ski, and so much more. These are just some of our favorite places to elope in Arizona. Some of these places have even made a spot on our list of the best places to elope! We also made sure to link to their permit pages, so you can jump straight to the one you’re loving most. Don’t see your place listed? Let us know which location you’re loving.
Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon is probably the most well-known spot in Arizona. Comprised of the immense Grand Canyon that is a mile deep and up to 18 miles wide. We have seen some epic elopements and engagements here. Here you’ll appreciate bands of red rock containing years of history. This spot is popular for sunrise and sunset elopements. If you’re planning your ceremony here, then you do need to apply for a permit. The park requires a minimum of four weeks to fully process a request, so it’s important to submit it with time. For full rules and regulations, check out their page on marriage permits.
Cathedral Rock and Sedona’s Red Rock Canyons
One of the most photographed locations near Sedona is at Cathedral Rock. This trail is a 1.2-mile trail, but it’s sometimes very crowded, so we recommend eloping during the week. We love this place to elope in Arizona because the short hike offers gorgeous views of the red rock formations. Sedona is a popular spot to plan your elopement because there are so many red rock formations to appreciation. Here is where you’ll find epic arches to say your I dos.
“Elope on a weekday! Sedona can be very busy with tourists during the season. Also, don’t be afraid to hike or off-road! All of Sedona is stunning, but some places are one million percent worth the hike.” [Traci, Photographer from Adventure & Vow]
Glen Canyon and Lake Powell
If you’re looking for a mix of activities to enjoy together then Glen Canyon and Lake Powell are a great option. Here you can explore, camp, hike, and enjoy water sports together. Couples literally have 1.25 million acres to pick from to explore. Here you’ll find iconic locations such as Rainbow Bridge and Horsehoe Bend. These two should definitely be on your list when eloping here. If you’re planning your wedding ceremony, then applications for permits must be submitted at least 45 days prior to your event. For more information, check out their special permit page.
We love the background of the great sandstone formations that stand from 400 to 1,000 feet. If you’re looking for a unique backdrop for your ceremony, then this is probably it! Monument Valley gives you a beautiful panoramic view, especially during sunset.
Salt River Canyon Wilderness
If you’re looking for a mix of forest views and canyons, then Salt River Canyon is a great place to check out. This area has 32,101 of pure wilderness to explore. Located within Tonto National Forest, this area has an awesome river-cut canyon between the whole area. Here you’ll enjoy mountains, rivers, and cactus forests of the Sonoran Desert.
Arizona Wedding License
Applying for a wedding license in Arizona is pretty simple! There is an application fee ($83), and you’ll need two witnesses and an officiant. If you’re planning on having a ceremony with just the two of you, then you shouldn’t worry about witnesses, since our Wandering Weddings members are pros at finding adventurous witnesses to make your ceremony official.
If you’re worried about officiants, then try finding a photographer or videographer who can double as your officiant! One of the best things about applying for a marriage license in Arizona is there is no waiting period! You can just apply in person, and go get married if you wanted to.
“I always ask my couples if they have someone close to them that can officiate the ceremony. If they don’t, I have several officiants I recommend out. I can not say enough things about having an officiant that brings your love story to life and can help you find that deeper connection on your wedding day.” [Traci, Photographer from Adventure & Vow]
Arizona Elopement Vendors
Now that you know how to elope in Arizona, you need to put together an awesome team of vendors to help bring your elopement vision to life. Luckily for you, we know some pretty awesome vendors who specialize in all things Arizona elopements to help build your Arizona elopement package.
Hiring a Wandering Weddings vendor is also a good idea because they know all the remote locations in the popular destinations in Arizona. Feel free to connect with one of them and ask all the questions. If you have any immediate questions, then feel free to reach out to our team! We would love to hear from you.
Arizona Elopement Photographers
Arizona Elopement Videographers
Elopement Inspiration in Arizona
You have the information you need to plan an epic wedding day in Arizona, now what? Check out these inspiring elopements from fellow Wandering Weddings members and couples who love to adventure.
Ashley and Jacob – Cathedral Rock Elopement
Ashley and Jacob wanted to have a stress-free wedding day. They didn’t want to spend hours planning a traditional wedding to just spend the day making sure everything went smoothly. Ashley does admit that when they both told their family and friends they were going to elope, some of them did get hurt.
Announcing your elopement can be nerve-racking, but it’s important to follow your heart and do what you both think is right. After all, it’s your special day, and you deserve to celebrate it the way you want to.
“We wanted to be able to enjoy each other and be 100% present in the moment. We wanted an organically easy and beautiful day, to inspire the few people that were there with us with our love and commitment to each other. There really wasn’t any decor, besides some flowers, because the beauty of mother nature was everything we could have ever wanted and then some! Everything just kind of fell into place perfectly.” [Ashley, The Bride]
Before their actual ceremony, Ashley and Jacob decided to share private vows on Sedona’s cliffside. We love this idea! If you’re writing your wedding vows, this is a great option to have a personal moment between the two of you to really bask in the reasons why you’re getting married.
“If I’m honest with you, my heart was SO full after their wedding day. It was incredible to see how much choosing to get married this way meant to them. It’s moments like those that absolutely make me fall even more in love with my job – like who the heck gets the honor of being a part of such a rad day as theirs?! Me – I do. And man, was it amazing.” [Allison]
Gown Designer: Willowby | Bridal Shop: Emily Hart Bridal | Groom Attire: Houndstooth | Florals: Mountain High Flowers | Cake: Sedona Cake Couture | Catering: Tortas de Fuego | Venue: The Resort at Bill Gray
Photos From This Elopement:
Jennifer and Craig – Simple Sedona Elopement
Jennifer and Craig planned on having their elopement at Lake Powell. However, because of Covid-19, they had to change their plans. Despite postponing their actual elopement plans, they didn’t want to wait to become husband and wife. They readjusted their location to one that was open and wouldn’t be crowded to share their vows and become husband and wife.
Traci from Adventure & Vow captured the moment for these two. Despite needing to change their plans, these two still had a beautiful ceremony. Traci’s biggest advice while planning your elopement is to be flexible.
“Be open-minded and chat with your vendors. We do this all the time and have connections throughout the industry. Lean on us to help bring your vision to life and give you ideas. Stay true to who you are as a couple! Eloping is so special, truly dig in and plan a day that is perfect for how you two see fit to get married. I also always tell couples that everything takes longer than you think because you really don’t want to worry about the time the day you just want to enjoy the time together.” [Traci]
Jen Paul – Life Passages Wedding Officiant
Photos From This Elopement:
Alexandra and Tim – Romantic Sedona Elopement
Alexandra and Tim wanted to have an intimate ceremony, so they could feel completely comfortable. They decided Sedona’s backdrop would be perfect for their adventurous elopement.
One of Alexandra and Tim’s favorite memories of the day was when they came upon a musician playing in one of the squares.
“He winked at Tim and started to play wedding music. I got to twirl and dance, and have such a fun, spontaneous moment. It really made us feel embraced by Sedona, and even though we weren’t having a traditional reception, we got to share a special first dance!” [Alexandra, The Bride]
These two had their wedding ceremony in the desert and decided to incorporate their loved ones in a unique way. Alexandra wore her mother’s necklace, while also rocking Tim’s U.S. Army pin on her bouquet, and they carried their best friend’s handkerchief in Tim’s jacket throughout the day.
These two read their vows to each other surrounded by the red rocks, and a few hikers passing by stopped to sign the marriage license!
Florist: Sedona Mountain High Flowers | Wedding Dress Designer: Willowby by Watters | Bridal shop: BHLDN | Tim’s suit: Traveler Collection Slim Fit from Jos A. Bank | Rings: H&A International Jewelry | Ring bowl: The Painted Press | Vow books: Ox and Pine | Rug: Cost Plus World Market | Blanket: Tribe and True Studio
Photos From This Elopement:
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If you’re looking for more awesome places to elope, then check out our different elopement packages for more inspiration.