Looking to Elope in the Desert? Here is an ultimate guide for planning your Arizona intimate wedding!

If all you know is that you want to get married in Arizona with the gorgeous red rock canyons or the desert cactus vibes, and you would like to know more, this blog is for you! Here you will learn all of the ins and outs of planning your Arizona intimate wedding!

Let’s plan your Desert Elopement!

WHAT YOU DEFINITELY NEED TO KNOW BEFORE ELOPING IN THE DESERTS OF ARIZONA

There is a lot of information out there. Without a doubt, it is hard to hang on to it all! My goal is to give you the basics that you need to know as you plan your Arizona intimate wedding!

  • You need to have two witnesses BESIDES just your officiant. Most elopement photographers are ordained so that you don’t need to worry about finding a different officiant if you don’t want to.
  • Obtaining a marriage license in Arizona is relatively easy! You do not need to be an Arizona citizen to apply for an Arizona marriage license. They are also valid for one year after receiving them.
  • In the state of Arizona, you must be 18 years or older to get married legally.

DETERMINING THE LOCATION FOR YOUR ARIZONA INTIMATE WEDDING

When couples come to me with absolutely no clue where they want to elope, I always go over the basics with them. This process ensures that they are able to pick somewhere that is meaningful for them as a couple and will fit their elopement needs.

ASK YOURSELF THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:

  1. Is the scenery you are surrounded by a big deal?
  2. Which locations options would allow you to be present at the moment and draw your adventurous eyes?
  3. Desert color tones do you prefer — red or neutral colors?
  4. Are there any locations that set you apart as a couple?
  5. What do you envision for your elopement?

I professionally and personally recommend eloping somewhere you want to adventure together, you both have never been to, OR that is sacred between the two of you. Another thing that I like to tell my couples is to consider a place that is easy to throw a reception at or travel to a location that can be used as a family getaway.

NAVIGATING THE ARIZONA TERRAIN

The vast amount of desert terrain that Arizona has makes it a top destination for intimate weddings! Don’t believe me? SEE FOR YOURSELF!

CHECK OUT THE FOLLOWING ARIZONA LOCATIONS

  1. Sedona has the gorgeous red rocks
  2. Horseshoe Bend with the beautiful red rock canyons
  3. Grand Canyon National Park with blue and red tones and overlooking canyon views
  4. Lake Powell where the water meets desert with dusty tones
  5. Superstition Mountain Range with green hues and huge mountainous landscapes

Take note that driving certain distances could also be a factor when choosing a location for your Arizona intimate wedding. Some locations are as far as 4.5 hours away from Phoenix (Horseshoe Bend area) and as short as 35 minutes away (Superstition Mountains).

PRO TIP: RESEARCH THE DISTANCE FOR EACH LOCATION

COMPLETE LIST OF SPECIFIC ARIZONA LOCATIONS

BEST TIME OF YEAR TO ELOPE IN ARIZONA

Picking the right time of the year can be important to people especially if you can’t handle the heat in the summertime in Arizona. For more information on the best times of the year to elope in Arizona, click on my latest blog post for more details.

PRICING OUT YOUR INTIMATE WEDDING

Depending on the Arizona county you decide to elope in, you are looking about spending $70 – $80 to begin with.

AVERAGE PRICES OF WEDDING PERMITS:

  1. Saguaro National Park Wedding Permit: $100
  2. Horseshoe Bend Permit: $300
  3. Grand Canyon National Park Permit: $150
  4. Lost Dutchman State Park Permit: $200-225

NOTE: IT IS IMPORTANT TO KEEP IN MIND THAT THESE PERMIT PRICES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE

ELOPEMENT ACTIVITIES

  • Helicopter ride around the Grand Canyon
  • Helicopter ride around Sedona
  • Hiking
  • Horseback ride
  • Canoe through the Salt River
  • Pop Champagne over a canyon overlook
  • Roast Marshmallows under the stars in Sedona
  • Picnic in Saguaro National Park
  • Canoeing/Paddle Boarding through the slots canyons
  • Say your vows somewhere private at a rad location with a view
  • Pink Jeep Tour: Sedona
  • Reception with friends & family at an Airbnb
  • First dance under the stars
  • Off-Roading
  • First look
  • Cake cutting
  • Go to your favorite bar or tavern for a drink

#1 TIP FOR PLANNING YOUR INTIMATE WEDDING FROM AN ARIZONA ELOPEMENT PHOTOGRAPHER

HIRE A LOCAL PHOTOGRAPHER WHO KNOWS THE AREA

As a local photographer, I have location guides I can send you about each location on where to elope. I do my best to help you with any questions you might have. I know all the inside ins and out’s of Arizona and can give you my advice since I am from the area.

The best part — sending you recommendations for local vendors and helping you get started in the right direction when planning.

LEAVE NO TRACE DURING YOUR INTIMATE WEDDING

When picking a location, make sure to be courteous of the landscape and the land. Make sure to follow on the trails where there is a trail and don’t veer off on the desert lands where there says no walking.

There is a lot of life in the Arizona Desert and we want to preserve the plants that are growing. Stick to the trails and try not to wander off just to get that “epic photos”. Try not to leave trash from your wedding festivities out in the wild and make sure to pack it out.

Anywhere you decide to have your Arizona intimate wedding, you can’t go wrong with gorgeous views and epic backdrops. Start the beginning of your new life together with an adventure!

Need some inspiration? Take a look at these blogs in Arizona to get more of a feel of the different locations.

Horseshoe Bend, Paige, AZ

Superstition Mountains

Saguaro National Park

If you need any help on planning your adventure elopement, reach out to me, and let’s get the planning process started!

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