Miles and miles of caverns carved out by the Colorado River, narrow slot canyons, dense groves of pine, cactus filled deserts, towering butes, and so much more… welcome to Arizona!
No matter where you go, you’re bound to find an amazing backdrop – so how do you pick the perfect spot? Here are the 8 best places to elope in Arizona to get the gears turning – but this is just the beginning!
The nation’s largest cacti – the Saguaro – have found their home in Saguaro National park, so whether you love the boho vibe of desert elopements or you want to see how you measure up to these green giants, this is definitely one of the best places to elope in Arizona! The desert is sunny year round, making this the perfect destination for a winter elopement.
Most national parks require a permit for all elopements (even if it’s just the two of you!), and Saguaro National Park is no different. There is a $100 application fee, but this money funds the park and keeps it beautiful! You can find permit information, along with the application, here.
The grand canyon is probably Arizona’s most iconic landmark, but for good reason! Whether you get married at an overlook that peeks over the massive 18 mile wide canyon, or you hike all the way down to the Colorado River and elope at the bottom of the canyon, you’ll be rewarded with incredible views of the million-year-old rock formations.
Permit fees for elopements at the Grand Canyon vary depending on the location, but typically range from $240 – $500. You can find the most up to date permit information on nps.gov!
The unique sandstone butte formations of Monument Valley have been the backdrop of several Western films, and they’d look pretty good in your elopement photos too! Located right on the northern border touching Utah, this park is an incredible place to elope in Arizona, and the sunset over the red rock is nothing short of breathtaking.
To elope at Monument Valley, you’ll need to get a permit from the Navajo Nation.
The desert town of Sedona dazzles visitors with the unique red rock formations that surround it. You can explore miles of hiking trails on your elopement day, then return back to town and wander through the quirky shops, art displays, and local restaurants. Kick back with a beer at one of Sedona’s breweries, or relax after all that hiking and end your elopement day at one of the spas!
Just south of Utah’s border is one of the most remote places to elope in Arizona – the Vermillion Cliffs. This area houses slot canyons, towering cliffs, and the famous formation called “The Wave,” known for the unique stratifications in its red rock walls. Permits are required to even hike to the wave, but if you do so on your elopement day you’ll be rewarded with a private spot to tie the knot!
No permit information is listed for the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, but contact information for the Field Office can be found here!
This might be one of the most iconic spots in Arizona, second only to the Grand Canyon. The Colorado River carved the sandstone into the shape of a horseshoe, and you can stand on top of the cliff looking down at the river below! Sunrise is magical at horseshoe bend, but keep in mind that this place has gained a ton of popularity over the last few years, and even early in the morning there are often crowds taking in the view.
Permit applications can be found here, and must be submitted at least 45 days before your ceremony.
The petrified forest isn’t your average forest! There may not be many stranding trees, but it’s a unique desert location, with a rainbow full of petrified logs, as well as off the beaten path trails through buttes, badlands, fossils, and even wildflowers! This colorful location is one of the most unique places to elope in Arizona, and the 200 million year old landscape is something you’ll wish you could explore for weeks.
The most up to date information on wedding permits for Petrified Forest National Park can be found on nps.gov.
The Chiricahua National Monument is also unofficially named the “Wonderland of Rocks,” and one look will tell you why! The landscape looks like something out of a Dr. Seuss book, with the unique pinnacles and mushroom shaped rocks that tower over the trails. The formations were formed from volcanic ash, compacted and sculpted into rock.
A permit is required to have your elopement at Chiricahua is required, along with a $100 application fee.
While these are some of the best places to elope in Arizona, there are so many lesser known, less traveled spots where you can have your elopement ceremony, without an audience. As an elopement photographer, a huge part of my job is scouting these off the beaten path locations, and sharing them with you! If you’re ready to start planning your elopement, and ready to find the perfect location, contact me!