Utah Elopement Guide

Utah Elopement Guide

The Complete Guide to Planning Your Utah Elopement

Utah is one of our favorite regions in the continental U.S. Think of it as the perfect opportunity to plan an epic, unforgettable elopement adventure that feels like your exploring a different planet! Here are our best tips when approaching the planning process: 

  • Make a list: Zion National Park… Capitol Reef…Bryce Canyon! It can seem a bit overwhelming, we know, especially if you’re not familiar with the area. Start by Googling some of the spots and picture yourself eloping there – or at least visiting. Would you be psyched to go? Add it to the list! Not your vibe? Cool, you can visit another time. This will help you narrow down the places you want to go. 
  • Think about a road trip: We’ll talk more about travel later, but it’s important to know that the best way to see all of Southern Utah is a road trip. Many of these places are close by, and you can really take advantage of hitting all the spots you want to visit on top of your elopement. Think of it as a mini honeymoon (or you can plan your actual honeymoon here!).  

Let us help! No, seriously, let us help. We’re experts at planning THE most epic getaways, and it’s part of our job to help you build the most memorable week or weekend away for your elopement. Ready to get started? Keep reading!

Your Southern Utah Elopement Checklist

Your Southern Utah Elopement Checklist

  • Step One
  • Step Two
  • Step Three
  • Step Four
  • Step Five
  • Step Six

Find Your Southern Utah Elopement Photographer

We highly recommend finding a photographer first to make sure that he or she is available during the timeframe that you plan to elope in Southern Utah. We recommend choosing a photographer that you feel relaxed and confident that you’ll be able to be your natural selves. Every photographer has a different approach to how they capture moments throughout the day, so we think that it’s a good idea to ask how the photographer will guide you throughout the entire experience.

Our photography style is documentary focused to create a safe space for you and your other half to share authentic moments on your wedding day. We create a balance of guiding you if we have a specific vision for a shot, and allowing you both to melt into a private moment or experience. Our goal is to make you feel as if you’re adventuring with good friends that happen to take epic photos as we explore together!

Choosing the Best Time of Year to Visit Southern Utah

Utah is known for their scorching hot summers to the south and their beautiful, snowy winters to the north. You can catch just about every season in Utah, and that’s why it’s important to understand the weather when you’re thinking about eloping in Southern Utah. 

  • Winter: Winter runs from December to March and offers that beautiful, snowy, winter wonderland vibe and crisp temperatures.
  • Spring: Spring can be very unpredictable, but the cooler temperatures and springtime wildflowers are worth it!
  • Fall: This season is stunning with golden aspen groves and beautiful fall foliage – especially throughout the national parks. It’s much less busy than summer and the temperatures are much cooler!

Book other wedding services

We will provide a detailed guide for you immediately after booking with us! The elopement guide will have our recommendations from years of visiting this incredible part of the country. We’ve worked with several other wedding vendors that we highly recommend, which helps speed up your research process and allows you to book whichever vendor that you connect with the most.

We do not recommend booking an all-in-one elopement package because it doesn’t allow you to have options. We’ll share recommendations for videographers, officiants, florists, hair + makeup artists, musicians, and specialty bakeries.

How to Get Your Marriage License for Your Southern Utah Elopement

If you have your heart set on getting legally married in Utah, we can make it happen! To get married in Utah, we will likely file your paperwork in Washington County, Utah. However, if you plan to file into Salt Lake City, we can also file your paperwork in Salt Lake City

If the paperwork sounds like too much stress or too much hassle, you do have another option. You can complete all the paperwork in your hometown before your elopement and visit Utah for your ceremony and adventure!

How to Obtain a Southern Utah Wedding Ceremony Permit

No matter the destination you pick, there’s a good chance you will need a permit when eloping in Utah. If you plan to elope within a state park, you’ll need to check the specific requirements for each state park. 

If you plan to elope within a national park, you’ll need a special use permit for the park. Here’s what you need to know: 

  • You’ll need to fill out a Special Park Uses application
  • Pay the $50 non-refundable application fee online
  • The National Park Service will send back a draft of your permit for your review. If it looks okay, you will have to sign it and send it back. 
  • You’ll then receive your official, signed wedding permit 
  • Bring this permit on your wedding day

How to get to Southern Utah

There’s no easy way to get to southern Utah, so plan on a road trip to make it an exciting adventure! When you fly into the region, you have two primary options: 

Fly into Las Vegas: Las Vegas is a centrally located hub with plenty of connections to cities across the country. Once you fly into Vegas, you can rent a car and start your road trip up through to your wedding destination. 

Fly into Salt Lake City: Salt Lake City is the other closest major airport to the Southern Utah region. Once you fly into Salt Lake City, you can drive directly to Zion National Park, Capitol Reef, or whichever destination you may choose.

Best Places to Stay in Utah: Bryce, Capitol Reef, Zion National Park, and More

Best Places to Stay in Utah: Bryce, Capitol Reef, Zion National Park, and More

Our Top 8 Accommodation Recommendations

A-Frame Near Zion

A beautiful A-frame home near Zion National Park, right by the East Rim trailhead. 

Cable Mountain Lodge

The luxurious Cable Mountain Lodge offers a chance to soak in the majestic sites with expansive views.

Quanit Yurt Near Zion

Enjoy upscale camping in this quaint yurt near Zion National Park

Rock Canyon Ranch Lodge

For larger parties, this Rock Canyon Ranch Lodge makes for a romantic getaway with stunning views

Tiny House in Escalante

Relax in this tiny house in Escalante, complete with views of mountains and canyons. 

Condo Near Lake Powell

A simple condo with nice views of Lake Powell.

Quaint Retreat in Kanab

A quaint, cozy retreat in Kanab featuring gorgeous views of red rocks. 

Red Mountain Resort

Red Mountain Resort offers a lovely getaway at the base of Snow Canyon State Park. 

Best Activities for your Southern Utah Elopement

Best Activities for your Southern Utah Elopement

Top 6 Activities In Southern Utah

Go Hiking in a National Park

Go hiking: Okay…so you may be planning a hike for your elopement, but hear us out: there is SO much more to see in Southern Utah! Try planning out some time to hike and explore nearby regions. For example, if you plan to elope in Zion National Park, plan out a hike in Capitol Reef! There’s no shortage of absolutely magical spots all across Southern Utah.

Try Off Roading

Head off roading: There’s plenty of spots around Zion National Park to take advantage of off-roading vehicles (OHVs) or all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). Though these vehicles are not permitted in the park, you can opt to rent an ATV or OHV for an adventurous afternoon!

Take a Helicopter Tour

Take a helicopter tour: There’s no better way to explore Zion than by helicopter! Taking a romantic, sunset helicopter ride can be the most amazing way to celebrate your love and your elopement.

Get on a Boat on Lake Powell

Get on a boat: The Lake Powell area is best experienced by boat! The beautiful geology can really only be fully appreciated as you drift down the lake. If you rent a private boat, it can be a great way to relax, enjoy some snacks, and take in the full experience.

Go Canyoneering

Go canyoneering: There are plenty of spots to go canyoneering (or rock climbing!) across Southern Utah. Moab tends to be the most popular spot to canyoneer, but you can work with a guide or with a group to find the best spot for you! 

White Water Rafting

Try white water rafting: Even if you plan to elope further south, you can spend a day driving up north to Moab and heading out on a white water rafting trip. It’s the best option for enjoying that gorgeous red rock scenery while still having a blast!

Best Places to Have Your Wedding Ceremony

Best Places to Have Your Wedding Ceremony

Utah is it’s own magical place unlike any other. Towering red rocks. Craggy, overhung cliffs. Ancient arches next to striking mountains. Blue lakes nestled between red and golden hues. There’s so much to explore! You can trek through the Narrows, off road through the desert, and discover isolated mountaintops in time for sunset. If you’re looking for that special place to leave you speechless, in awe of your surroundings, then southern Utah is the perfect spot for your elopement.

Top Places to Elope in Southern Utah

Arches National Park

Arches National Park: North of Moab lies Arches National Park, home to more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches (including the popular red-hued Delicate Arch). It’s not just home to many arches, though: this national park has thousands of shades of red all across the park. From soaring pinnacles to giant, balanced rocks, Arches National Park is home to breathtaking wonders. Fun fact: if you want THE most insane sunset shoot, Arches is the best spot for golden hour. 


Lake Powell

Located right on the Utah-Arizona border, Lake Powell is one of several unreal spots in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. It’s more than just any lake, though: think rainbow orange cliffs, panoramic views, and scenic vistas to die for. If you love the water, Lake Powell is an awesome place to elope. Planning to climb, hike, or rappel during your elopement? Check, check, and check. Enjoy the backcountry in its full glory in Lake Powell for the ultimate adventurous elopement. 

Horseshoe Bend/Antelope Canyon

Horseshoe Bend/Antelope Canyon: Paige, Arizona may not seem like much, but this small town near the Utah-Arizona border is home to two natural wonders: Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon. Horseshoe Bend looks a lot like its name: it’s a horseshoe-shaped incised bend of the Colorado River, and sunset at Horseshoe Bend is just breathtaking. We can combine the elopement day with a private tour of Antelope Canyon for some photos. If you haven’t been, trust us: it’s totally worth the trip. You’ve never seen something so incredible.

Zion National Park

If you’ve ever googled Southern Utah, you’ve probably come across photos of Zion National Park (and Angel’s Landing, the iconic viewpoint). Zion is one of the most popular national parks in the U.S. – and there’s a good reason why! If you’re planning to visit some of the park’s most beautiful and popular spots, you can opt for a sunrise or sunset elopement. But there are plenty of amazing spots tucked away from the crowds, too.


Moab is the stereotypical adventure wonderland, and the gateway to many of Utah’s most popular national parks. There are plenty of tucked-away spots within Moab for an elopement, from rock formations to slab rock trails to rock mountains and more. From off-roading to rock climbing, Moab is a complete paradise for adventurous couples. 

Capitol Reef

Located in Utah’s south-central desert, this national park is home to golden sandstone formations, striking canyons, white sandstone domes, and unique rock formations. The national park surrounds the Waterpocket Fold, a long wrinkle in the earth. If you plan to elope here, we can head out to some of the more popular spots (see: Hickman Bridge arch, or the Chimney Rock Pillar), or opt for something off the beaten path. The iconic Cathedral Valley is also in Capitol Reef, a beautiful spot for photos. Don’t worry, we have a few favorites in mind.

Best restaurants to celebrate your elopement

Best restaurants to celebrate your elopement

Top 7 Dining Experiences in Southern Utah: Bryce, Capitol Reef, Zion National Park, and More

Riggattis in St. George

Find the best-tasting wood fired pizza at Riggattis in St. George, the biggest city in the area

Escobar’s Mexican Restaurant

Known for their killer salsa and chips, Escobar’s Mexican Restaurant has casual and tasty Mexican food nailed.

Rocking V Cafe

Rocking V Cafe serves everything from tasty vegan fare to delicious, meat-filled meals inside a mercantile building from 1892.

Bit And Spur

Bit And Spur, located near Zion National Park, offers contemporary Mexican and Southwestern food and a big selection of local craft beer.

Stage Coach Grill

Stop by Stage Coach Grill for elevated American classics in a charming, wood-filled restaurant.


Rib and Chop

Rib and Chop has some of the best steaks on this side of Utah, served in a laid back atmosphere.

George's Corner Restaurant

This comfy, laid back spot is one of the most popular restaurants in Southern Utah, and they’re known for their delicious burger and pub-style food.

The Kanab Creek Bakery

The Kanab Creek Bakery has delicious breakfast and lunch options, complete with some of the best flaky pastries and espresso.

Ranch House Grille

Homestyle Southern food takes center stage at Ranch House Grille in Paige, Arizona.