Arizona elopement

This Arizona elopement guide is here to provide you with some gorgeous Arizona elopement locations, as well as how to elope in Arizona. This state does not disappoint, and has incredibly unique locations such as Saguaro National Park, the Grand Canyon, and so much more.

Elopement Locations in Arizona

Arizona has an array of amazing elopement locations. Especially a lot of “hidden gem” locations that people don’t know about. Here I’m going to list a few of the more commonly known ones as well as some of their features. If you want to escape the crowd and get an elopement location list specifically customized for you and your partner, reach out to me!


Arizona elopement

Sedona has an array of absolutely stunning elopement locations. Many of them include super easy hikes for couples who want “drive up” locations. There’s also quite a few with water features if you’re looking to have a way to cool off or if you like being around water. Here’s my full Sedona elopement guide.


Flagstaff is apart of Arizona that doesn’t look like the rest of the state. Filled with mountains, alpine lakes, and forest. This is a beautiful Arizona elopement location that remains a lot more temperate than the rest of the state during summer, with snow capped peaks and even a ski resort.

Saguaro National Park

Arizona elopement

Saguaro National Park in an incredible Arizona elopement location. Filled with the massive cacti native to this region of the state, and even more beautiful in spring when the flowers bloom.

Lake Powell

Lake Powell is a gorgeous lake that is partially in Page Arizona, and with other parts located in Utah. However, the Arizona side of this lake is stunning. You can even rent house boats here to explore the lake and have an elopement on the water, or in the many coves and canyons within it. You can read my full guide on Powell Lake here.

The Grand Canyon

Arizona elopement

The Grand Canyon is a classic Arizona elopement location, and for good reason. This park can be heavily touristed, but less busy on certain trails and within “hidden gem” locations. You’ll want to visit this location on the off-season, as it can get scorching hot in the summer.

Salt River

Salt river is a beautiful and unique Arizona elopement location. Plus, who doesn’t want to be near water in the desert? This river is filled with beautiful locations, and perfect for couples who want to incorporate being on the water for their day, such as rafting, paddling, or kayaking.

Horse Shoe Bend

Arizona elopement

Horse Shoe Bend is one of the places that you can’t really imagine until you’ve seen it. The massive red rock in the center of the river is far bigger than you can possibly imagine, and the surrounding cliffs are stunning. This is a busy location and a short hike, it’s better visited during its slower season to avoid crowds.

Vermillion Cliffs

The Vermillion Cliffs are a hidden gem Arizona elopement location. People crowd areas like Antelope Canyon to see the gorgeous swirls along the rock walls. However, this is a less touristed area and equally as beautiful, with so much to explore.

The Petrified Forest

This rainbow forest is filled with petrified wood, and is a gorgeous and unique Arizona elopement location. With sunrises and sunsets more beautiful than any I’ve ever seen, a ceremony in early morning or evening would be stunning.

Arizona Elopement Lodging Options

There is an array of lodging options for a Arizona elopement. You’re going to want something that caters to your needs. For example, if you’re more adventurous, maybe you want to stay in a treehouse. You can glamp in the desert under the stars, stay in a fancy resort, rent a quaint Airbnb on the ocean, or even rent a large home in a stunning natural area where you could have an intimate reception with friends and family.

There have been a lot of couples that I’ve helped find vacation rental homes that are in such beautiful areas that they stay local to where their lodging. So long as the owner of the home agrees to it, you’re even able to get rentals for ceremony seating or have a private chef cater a meal to you. Looking for more ideas than what’s listed in this Arizona elopement guide? Here is my list of the best Airizona Airbnb’s for elopements.

Here are some options of places to stay in Arizona for an elopement:

Arizona elopement

How to Elope in Arizona: The Steps

Step 1: Choose a Date for Your Elopement

Here, we’re going to go over the major planning steps in the Arizona Elopement Guide. Number 1. Getting an idea of your elopement date is important. You can choose a date that’s meaningful to you. Secondly, this will help you be able to secure a photographer and lodging when you’re ready. I’d consider what season will be best for you as well.

Step 2: Pick Your Elopement Photographer and Arizona Elopement Package

Choosing an elopement photographer is a crucial element to planning out your day. Not only do they help you pick your location, but they help you figure out what package would be best for you. Maybe you want a short half day elopement exploring the mossy forest. Maybe you want a multi-day elopement where you have a day just for you two, and then a day to explore and celebrate with your loved ones.

Most elopement photographers help with various steps of the planning process, and we’re pros at it. Personally, I include: sending a planning checklist, location selection, vendor referrals, timeline design, help finding ideal lodging, obtaining permits, and more. This is a great step to help you get guidance on planning your big day.

Step 3: Choose Your Arizona Elopement Location

With the help of your elopement photographer, you should have a ton of ideal locations to choose from. I send my clients a list of about 4-8 locations that fit all of their needs and specifications. From here, you can pick one or multiple locations for your day. Remember! You can have different locations for different activities.

This is a huge step, and once you finish, everything starts to fall into place with ease.

Step 4: Pick Any Activities to Include in Your Elopement

When I say “activities” I mean things you want to include in your wedding day that will be a special and memorable experience for you. This includes the regular events such as getting ready and the ceremony, but can also include anything that is important to you.

Having an intimate celebration, hiking, picnicking, there are so many different options. You elopement day certainly doesn’t need to only include a ceremony and taking photos. Make it a day that you would want to re-live over and over by including these special activities that are important to you and your partner.

Step 5: Hire Any Required Vendors

Once you’ve decided on your activities, you’ll know what vendors you need. Maybe you’d like a 3 course meal at your Airbnb and want to hire a private chef. Maybe you want a florist to decorate an arch for your ceremony location. This is the time to book any remaining vendors and get them locked down.

Step 6: Finalize Timeline, Obtain Permits, Apply for Marriage License

Once you’re about two months away from your Arizona elopement, it’s time to finish up your last major step. Go over your timeline with your elopement photographer, and confirm start and end times with all other vendors. Also make sure any guests that are invited are aware of the timeline for your day.

Finally, you will need to get permits for any public locations that might be involved in your day. I hope my eloping couples with this step, but if you’re doing it on your own you will need to reach out to the national forest service and figure out where to apply for your permit. Last but not least, apply for a marriage license through the county you’ll be getting married in! If you want more detailed steps about how this all works outside of the xx Elopement guide, we can chat here! I’m here to help.

Do I Need a Permit to Elope in Arizona?

The short answer is: it depends. National Forests sometimes require a permit if you’re having over 75 guests. Most eloping couples don’t plan on including that many people for their elopement. However, some public land is more senstive and the rules and regulations are more strict, and will require you to get a permit.

You always need a special use permit within National Parks, and they have the strictest rules. They aren’t super hard to follow, but important to pay attention to when choosing your elopement location. This is because they can restrict guest count, car count, vendor count, and some even restrict decor. There are locations where you can’t hold a ceremony at all. So this research is imperative prior to nailing down your Arizona elopement location. Once again, this is all research I do for my couples.

Arizona elopement

How to Get a Marriage License in Arizona

Getting a marriage license in Arizona is actually pretty easy and straightforward. You do not need to be a resident of Arizona to get a marriage license. All you need to know is where you’re eloping, and what county clerks office it is closest too (or on your route from the airport.) Once you find out what county will be easiest to pick up your marriage license in, you will apply online.

Starting the application online is easy, and all the steps are listed for you. After applying online, you will both have to appear in person to pick up your marriage license. You will want to do this three days prior to your elopement, as there is a three day waiting fee. Alternatively, you can let them know in advance you’d like to waive the three day waiting and pay the fee. The fee for your marriage license in Arizona is $83

Do I Need an Officiant and Witnesses to Elope in Arizona?

You need both two witnesses and an officiant to elope in the state of Arizona. The good news is, anyone can get ordained online and be your officiant. Your vendors can also be witnesses if you plan on not having many guests. For example, a photographer can sign as a witness. If you’re having guests, anyone over the age of 18 who isn’t your officiant cant sign as a witness.

When is the Best Season to Elope in Arizona?

The best season to elope in Arizona is going to be March-April or October-November. This is when you have weather within the 70’s range, and are getting tons of perfect blue sky days. The summer days are absolutely scorchers, and full day elopements can be exhausting and even dangerous in the heat if you’re planning to hike or be outside all day.

Summer is less hot in Sedona and Flagstaff, however, they both have a lot of local tourism in those seasons from Phoenix and Tuscon due to being cooler.

Winter in Arizona gets extremely cold. If being chilly is your thing, then this is a great time for an Arizona elopement because it’s when there will be the least crowds and amenities will be the cheapest. Regardless, pick the season that you feel most interested in!

Arizona elopement

Can I have guests at My Arizona Elopement?

You absolutely can! Most eloping couples keep their guest list to 25 and under. This is simply because most couples choose to elope to make their wedding day, a day that’s about prioritizing them, their love, and their goals. Once more people are added into the mix, it’s easy to start addressing what everyone else wants.

It also becomes more difficult to find a location, since there are restrictions on guest counts in certain areas. Some couples choose a small venue if they want more guests. Some even rent an Airbnb on beautiful private land to host something small and beautiful. The choice is truly yours.

How Much Does Arizona Elopement Photography Cost

The cost of elopement photography in Arizona can vary based on if your photographer is traveling, what’s included in their package, and their skill level. You can expect most experienced elopement photographers to start at $5500-$7000.

Many elopement photographers offering some kind of planning or location scouting in their packages. To read more about what elopement photography costs and what’s included, click here!

How Much Does an Arizona Elopement Cost

Technically, the cost of an Arizona elopement is $83, the cost of your marriage license. However, you’ll also have to consider entry costs to National Parks as well as permits cost. That aside, most couples spend between $5000-20,0000 on their elopement.

This includes travel, plane tickets, car rentals, lodging, vendors, food, drinks, experiences, etc.

Activity Ideas for Eloping in Arizona

The way elopements are so uniquely different from traditional wedding days is that elopements are primarily about have an experience. And a unique one, at that. Many couples don’t want to simply have a ceremony and call it a day. One of my favorite things about photographing elopements is that it’s not an all day photoshoot or performance.

I’m often capturing couples doing things together that they enjoy the most. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Bonfire
  • Hot air balloon ride
  • Scenic helicopter tour
  • Hiking in one of Arizonas’s many National Parks
  • Ziplining
  • Having a picnic in a meadow of wildflowers
  • Cliffjumping
  • Swimming
  • Exploring waterfalls
  • Stargazing in the desert
  • Hammocking in the forest
  • Rock climbing
  • Cafe hopping and trying various food and drinks
  • Going on a boat ride
  • Wine tasting
  • Exploring slot canyons

These are just ideas, you can include anything, and I mean anything that sounds fun, cozy, or memorable to you in your elopement day.

Arizona elopement

Arizona Elopement Packages

Arizona elopement photography by Emilee Setting Photo, and everything included in my packages:

  • Explore anywhere within Arizona, all travel fees included in the price!
  • Packages from half day elopements to multi-day elopements
  • Receive a customized location list
  • Help finding lodging that suits your needs if you’re having an intimate reception
  • Included comprehensive timeline design
  • Help obtaining your permits
  • Help obtaining your marriage license
  • A planning checklist
  • Unlimited planning and guidance calls 
  • All of your stunning photos delivered under three months
  • Day of polaroid sneak peeks

Elopement packages for Arizona starting at $6800. Want more information on my pricing and what’s included? Click here

Ready to Elope in Arizona?

This Arizona elopement guide is a way to get you excited about all the possibilities of what your day could look like. Although, this amount of information can be overwhelming. I’m here to help. I can answer any and all questions you have on a complimentary low pressure consultation call. If you then choose you’d like to work together, I’ll do all of this planning right by your said to alleviate any stress, and bring your Arizona elopement vision to life. We can chat here!

Don't forget your free elopement planning checklist


You see a stranger’s puppy & it takes everything in you not to run up & cuddle it.

Your dress gets dirt on it, and you shrug.

You think ice cream & wine is always an acceptable dinner option. Always.

You LIVE for the feeling of sunshine on your skin & wind in your hair.

You’re already screaming YASSSS WHERE DO I BOOK YOU?

I'm Emilee

I'm an elopement photographer who specializes in planning, crafting, and documenting untraditional weddings. I believe a wedding day should be filled with traditions that resonate with you. I'm here from start to finish to make that happen. Want to chat about your plans? Click below to set up a free consultation! 

You see a stranger’s puppy & it takes everything in you not to run up & cuddle it.

Your dress gets dirt on it, and you shrug.

You think ice cream & wine is always an acceptable dinner option. Always.

You LIVE for the feeling of sunshine on your skin & wind in your hair.

You’re already screaming YASSSS WHERE DO I BOOK YOU?

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