This is the complete guide to eloping in Zion National Park!
Whether you are just toying with the idea of eloping in Zion, or you’re knee-deep into the planning, this guide will help make the process simple and stress-free!
This guide is broken down into seven steps for eloping in Zion National Park:
Narrow down your date
Hire a photographer
Apply for your permit
Book lodging and travel
Hire other vendors
Apply for your marriage license
Have the best day of your life!
1. Narrow down your date
One of the best parts of choosing to elope in Zion National Park is that there is really no bad time of year to get married here! However, if privacy is important to you, keep in mind that the summer tends to be crowded. It’s also very hot in the summer! The best months to elope in Zion are usually March through May and September through November. The spring months can get rainy, but embracing the weather and making it part of your day makes for a great experience and a great story! Plus photos in the rain are absolutely gorgeous.
In the winter months, the temperature is usually in the 40s in and around Zion. However, snow is still possible, and snow is absolutely stunning in Zion. During spring and fall, it is usually between the 50s-60s, but it can get up to 70 or higher. During the summer, it’s usually in the 80s-90s, and it can even get up to 100 degrees. I highly recommend spring, fall, or winter for a Zion elopement!
I am always ready to change to a backup plan if the weather keeps us from our original plan. No matter what curve balls may happen the day of your wedding, I will be there every step of the way to ensure you still have the day of your dreams!
Also keep in mind that most locations are less busy on weekdays, and sunrise is the best time of day to find a private spot.
If you’re having trouble narrowing down a date, reach out to me! I can help you with finding the ideal time of year for your vision.
2. Hire a photographer
When you’re eloping, your photographer may be the only other person besides your partner that is with you all day, so it’s so important to work with a photographer that you connect with and trust.
Many photographers, including myself, provide custom location scouting and planning assistance for your day. And honestly, I’m much more than just a photographer! I’ll start learning about you two and what’s most important for your wedding day from our first conversation. And as we begin dreaming up your day, I’ll spend the time to get to know you both better and help you with finding the perfect location and planning out your dream day.
Whether you need help with location scouting, permit research, timeline and activity suggestions, vendor recommendations, or you just want to talk through an idea – I will be here for you every step of the way. I also provide all of my couples with a 70 page elopement and intimate wedding planning guide that will help you two determine what’s most important to you on your day and give you ideas and inspiration.
I’ll be your photographer, your guide, your cheerleader, and your friend on the best day of your life!
3. Apply for your permit
The Zion permit application process is simple and straight-forward. The total cost is $100. When applying for your permit in Zion, you will need to pick a ceremony location from their designated list. The permit also allows us to travel around within Zion before/after your ceremony for photos at other spots. You can find more information about the designated ceremony locations and application for your permit here.
4. Book lodging and travel
Zion National Park is located just outside of Springdale, Utah. This cute small town has gorgeous views and is a great place to stay! Another area of Utah that I love is Hurricane, it’s only about 30 minutes from Zion, and there’s lots of unique Airbnbs. On our last trip to Zion, we stayed at an Airbnb in Hurricane with alpacas roaming the property! I usually recommend an Airbnb over a hotel for a more unique experience and better getting-ready photos.
For your travel, you will need a rental car to get around within the park and the surrounding areas. You can fly into Las Vegas Airport (about a 2-3 hour drive from Zion) or St. George Airport (it is more expensive to fly in here but only about 1 hour from Zion). I always recommend arriving as early as possible so you have time to settle in, relax, and get ready for your elopement day.
5. Hire other vendors
Once you have your photographer, date, time, and location selected – it’s time to hire other vendors for your day! As your photographer, I help all of my couples with recommending vendors for their day.
Some vendors to consider hiring for your elopement or intimate wedding are a planner, florist, officiant, or private chef (many couples prefer a private reception dinner at their Airbnb opposed to a restaurant!) And if you’re looking for a videographer, videography can be added on to any of my photography packages!
6. Apply for your marriage license
To apply for your marriage license in Utah, you will need to go into a county clerk’s office to apply. Springdale, Utah is located in Washington County, so you can apply for a license near Zion. This page has all of the information you need to apply.
Application fees for your marriage license are $35, and there is no waiting period which makes getting a license here very convenient. The license will be valid for 32 days.
While I cannot perform your complete ceremony (as I’ll be busy photographing!), I am legally ordained and can sign your marriage license as an officiant in the state of Utah. If you’re wanting to privately exchange vows without an officiant walking you through a formal ceremony, this could be a great option for you as I don’t charge any additional fees for this service. If you’d prefer a more formal ceremony or someone to walk you through your vow exchange, I can recommend some great local officiants. You will need two witnesses to sign the marriage license, but these can be anyone over the age of 18. I’ve had many eloping couples ask strangers on a trail to sign their license, and everyone I’ve ever asked has always been so excited to do this!
7. Have the best day of your life!
After all the time you’ve spent planning and preparing for this day, remember to take it all in! Sometimes things don’t go exactly as planned – and that’s okay! What is most important is that you are celebrating your love with your favorite person in the world.
Your wedding day is so much more than a ceremony and photos. It’s an entire experience. From start to finish, spending the day doing exactly what you want to do with the love of your life. No stress, no pressure, no obligations. Just the two of you, celebrating your love. Isn’t that how every wedding day should be?
Whether you need help with marriage license requirements, permits, narrowing down a location, or getting connected to vendors, I am here to help. I guide all of my couples through the process of eloping and making sure that your day is everything you want it to be! I will be your photographer, your guide, your cheerleader, and your friend on the best day of your life.
You can make your wedding day whatever you want it to be!
Scroll down for more photos of a gorgeous Utah elopement, in the middle of a February snowstorm!