Annette Ambrose: Adventure Elopement Photographer

2022 Sedona Wedding Guide: Eloping Among the Arizona Desert


HEY - I'm Annette

An Arizona based Wedding, Elopement & Couple's Photographer. I am here for the wild, messy and imperfect moments. Let me help you create an experience that will last a lifetime.


July 13, 2022

Your 2022, ONE STOP, Sedona Wedding Guide to help you plan your Arizona Desert Elopement.

Sedona, Arizona Wedding and Elopement Photographer

Arizona Wedding and Elopement Photographer

Hi! I am Annette Ambrose, Arizona Wedding/Elopement Photographer EXTRAORDINAIRE.

I get asked the question a lot from couples, “If you could elope anywhere in Arizona where would you elope at?”

My answer is simply, SEDONA!

There are so many different options for how to plan an intimate elopement in Sedona, AZ. Honestly, it can be pretty stressful! From various hikes to adventurous activities, there are a lot of variables to consider! For this purpose, I have put together this 2022 Sedona Wedding Guide.

If you and your significant other have found yourself asking: HOW DO WE EVEN ELOPE IN SEDONA?

You came to the right place! Throughout this Sedona Wedding Guide, I will explain all of the nitty-gritty details of eloping in the core of the Arizona desert.

2022 Sedona Wedding Guide: Eloping  Among the Arizona Desert


Most couples who elope have never actually “eloped” before. I mean, it makes sense for you not to have a clue where to start as far as planning goes! My 6 STEP process will teach ya everything you need to know about eloping in Sedona!

This Sedona Wedding Guide is foolproof so let the fun of planning your special day begin!

STEP ONE | Choosing Your Elopement Date + Time of Year

Arizona is a state that is always blessed with sunshine and golden rays. Very rarely does it rain or even snow. It is important to know that occasionally, Sedona can be known to snow around January or February.

Sedona is generally 10 – 15 degrees cooler than the Phoenix. This aspect alone makes Sedona a perfect wedding spot. The prime season for perfect weather is October to Spring. Early Summer can range from a dry heat of 90 degrees to late summer of 105 degrees. In the winter months, November through, February temperatures are cooler.

If you are interested in recommendations, I would either elope around the end of September to mid-November or from the end of February to the end of June.

Weekday or Weekend?

Sedona, during certain times of the year, can have a lot more tourists which means more crowds on locations or hikes. On the weekday it tends to have fewer crowds.

The most important thing to know throughout this Sedona Wedding Guide is that this spot can be a tourist trap, especially during the holidays like Labor Day. Crowds tend to die off towards the beginning of summer making it one of my favorite times to visit.

STEP TWO | Scouting Out Your Sedona Location

This step in my Sedona Wedding Guide usually takes the longest. In order to gauge what you are working with, ask yourself the following questions about locations:

Do you enjoy hiking?
Are you interested in an overlooking canyon view?
How do you feel about inviting family and friends?
What are your activity preferences?
Do you need any additional accommodations?

NOTE FOR COUPLES BOOKING ME: I do send out an elopement questionnaire form to get more information from you to see what your needs might be for the day. This questionnaire helps me grasp details about you two as a couple. It also helps me understand your activity preferences if you want to have a first look before your ceremony, if you have family coming, etc.

Ceremony Considerations with Family and Friends:

Some couples who are eloping still want to do a ceremony somewhere that friends and family can attend. If you are in that boat, you need to make sure the ceremony location will accommodate everyone.


Do you want your family or friends to come?
Do you want to say vows? Say vows somewhere private just the two of you?
Do you want to do any sort of ceremony set up like rugs, arches, lanterns, florals, etc.?
Do you want to hike somewhere to do your ceremony? How long of a hike?
Do you want your fur friends to attend your ceremony? Kids?


STEP THREE | Determining the Best Time for Photos

Golden hour is my happy hour, and it should be yours too!

Sunset or sunrise are two-time frames that I prefer to shoot around. If I had to pick between the two, I definitely recommend going for sunset photos. Because it lasts longer, you have more time to play around with locations and poses.

When your photographer starts planning a timeline, they should start with the two most important times; the sunset (or sunrise) and the ceremony time. If you know those two answers, you can easily build a timeline for your day.

Here is an example of an Elopement Timeline for more information on how to build one:
“Setting Expectations for your Intimate Elopement”.


STEP FOUR | Planning Your Adventure Activities

A popular question people have is, “What do we do besides the ceremony?”

Well, it is totally up to the two of you! I like to tell couples that elopement days are just like wedding days, but the fun part is getting to do anything you want! When you elope, especially in Sedona, you are able to design a day of fun together! Your itinerary can look however you want it to!

It can still be treated just like a wedding day with getting-ready photos, family photos, detailed shots of the dress, your shoes, or maybe your cute Airbnb. We can even still cut a cake, pop champagne, and have the first dance!

The biggest difference is doing it all while adventuring to rad locations with epic views.


Helicopter Tour Through the Grand Canyon
Pink Jeep Tour (Iconic in Sedona)
Wine Tasting
Pop Champagne
Explore the Vortexes
Hot Air Balloon Rides
Sunset/Sunrise Photos
Have a Picnic
Off-Road on ATVs

For more Elopement Activities ideas, head over to my blog post:
“Elope in the Desert: Your Guide for Planning Your Arizona Intimate Wedding”.

STEP FIVE | Preparing What to Bring

Most importantly, JUST BE AND BRING YOURSELF! However, bringing all of the essentials is extremely important.


Hiking shoes
Jackets for when the sun goes down
Snacks and Water
Marriage License
Makeup and Hair Spray

Remember: every Elopement Day can differ what you need to bring and I always send out a checklist weeks before so we can be on the same page on what we need to do.


If you work with me, then you are in luck! I am ordained and have officiated many of my couples. I can also count as one witness. As long as you have me, we just need to get one other person involved, and you will be legally legit and married!

How cool is that?!

Arizona now allows you to apply online for your marriage license or  you can make an appointment in person at any one of these Maricopa County Clerk of the Superior Court locations:

  • Downtown Customer Service Center (appointments recommended/Walk-ins accepted) – 601 W. Jackson St., Phoenix, AZ 85003
  • Northeast Regional Court (appointment required)  – 18380 N. 40th St., Phoenix, AZ 85032
  • Northwest Regional Court (appointment required)  – 14264 W. Tierra Buena Ln., Surprise, AZ 85374
  • Southeast Regional Court Center (appointment required) – 222 E Javelina, Mesa, AZ 85210


Helping couples plan their elopement day is my favorite part of my job.

I love sharing my knowledge of the area and helping you design the day of your dreams. I am not only an elopement photographer, I can also be your planner, sidekick. and new best friend!

IF you are wanting more information on “Planning a Sedona Hiking Elopement”, check this link out.

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HEY - I'm Annette!

An Arizona based Wedding, Elopement & Couple's Photographer. I am here for the wild, messy and imperfect moments. Let me help you create an experience that will last a lifetime.


Annette Ambrose

Weddings, Elopements, & COUPLES