Being able to photograph a wedding at The Paseo is always a magical experience for us, Shaice and Seth’s modern wedding at The Paseo was no exception! The venue itself is Arizona’s number one most sought after venue to get married at. We often have couples come from all over the world to get married at The Paseo because absolutely nothing compares! If you are looking for an incredible desert wedding experience then Shaice and Seth’s wedding will not disappoint!
The Paseo is an exclusive, unique and luxurious venue directly in front of the Superstition Mountains. Surrounded by Saguaros, Cholla and an expansive desert as the backdrop! This is the perfect location to hold any wedding celebration. As an elopement and wedding photographer in Arizona, we are always drawn to color palettes that enhance the natural beauty of the venues and locations we are working with during events. Shaice and Seth chose to go with a mix between modern and bohemian with their sleek all black bridal party outfits and the stunning dried florals decorated all throughout the venue.
Shaice and Seth are huge family people! When we met to discuss their vision for their modern wedding at The Paseo they emphasized how important capturing the moments between them and their families were. They are so close with their families they really wanted to capture that during their big day and we were so honored to be a part of such intimate and special moments between all of them! Seth and Shaice were long distance for many years while they both finished school and also had most of guests come from out of state to celebrate them so this day was a big one for everyone!
After Shaice and Seth exchanged their vows in front of the Superstition Mountains, they wandered through the desert to enjoy some desert views and get the majestic golden hour photos that everyone dreams about! As the sun began to set, guests were invited into The Paseo’s massive reception space. Tables decorated with dried florals, sleek black tablecloths and candles welcomed guests as they sat for dinner with the large barn doors open unveiling the Superstitions as the sun set. It was the perfect design for a modern wedding at The Paseo!
Shaice and Seth’s wedding at The Paseo was so fun! A few of our favorite touches that felt like they brought more personalization to the day was the classic car we used for an exit along with some epic bridal photos during reception, the super fun champagne tower and the glow sticks they brought to liven up the dance floor!
Mount Lemmon Elopement | Arizona Elopement Photographer
Kassidy and Owen celebrated their Mount Lemmon Elopement just the two of them and their sweet baby boy! Mount Lemmon is located in Tucson, Arizona and was the perfect location for their special day. Not only is this location insanely gorgeous and so versatile but it also holds such a sentimental meaning to the couple. When they first began dating Owen would take Kassidy on dates to Mount Lemmon to look out at the city lights after a hike and enjoy the views, being able to bring them back to celebrate so many years later was so surreal!
This Mount Lemmon elopement took place in January of this year! The weather was still chilly and some areas even had snow. The really awesome thing about Mount Lemmon is the versatile scenery you will see here though! The top of the mountain may have been chilly with snow and intense wind but the base was comfortable and covered in saguaros and sun while the middle of the mountain is covered with lush forest. It is truly one of my favorite locations to bring couples because it is a location where you can really experience it all!
Kassidy and Owen knew that including climbing was an absolute must for their elopement day! This climb was extra special for them though because this was the first rock they climbed when Owen taught Kassidy many years ago, they used to climb on date night together and watch the city lights and now this is the rock where they shared their vows many years later. Thank you so much Kassidy and Owen for letting me capture such an incredible day for you two!
Head to my contact page to book with me as your elopement photographer so that I can create a magical experience for you as well 🙂
Coming up with unique wedding exit ideas does not have to be a difficult task in planning your send off! As wedding photographers, we are pretty involved in helping couples plan aspects of their days that they may be unsure about. After all we do see hundreds of weddings in our careers and most couples have maybe attended a dozen weddings in their lifetime, so it totally makes sense that they may need some help brainstorming!
Whether you are going for classic or creative, there are wedding exit ideas out there for every couple! Here are some of our favorite send-off ideas that we have seen throughout the years. Browse through these awesome send offs to find the perfect fit for your wedding vision!
Traditional Wedding Exit Ideas
While sparklers are an absolute classic when it comes to wedding exit ideas, more venues over the years have begun to not allow this option due to fire hazards or guests being unsafe with them! If your venue does allow sparklers and you are not at risk of fires, I say go for it! You can’t go wrong with a sparkler exit!
Flower Petals are a personal favorite of mine for wedding exits! Flowers can be more budget friendly as well because you can either use extra florals from your florist, or if you want to save even more money, buy some bouquets from Trader Joe’s the night before or day of to de petal toss!
Bubbles are a super fun and easy wedding exit idea! They are fairly inexpensive and all guests can hold a wand easily for a send off. If you want to really go crazy and have a TON of bubbles for your exit try these giant bubble guns!
Streamers are a fun and festive way to head off toward your honeymoon! They are completely customizable with color, size, and length. A cool way to customize them could be to use your wedding colors as well for them!
Glow sticks are also a really easy and stress free send off option! They are decently priced and you can buy in bulk to make sure every guests has a few to really brighten your exit up. If you can, try and find the longer sticks rather than the short because they don’t photograph as well! Glow sticks or wands are also super fun to add to the dance floor for fun dancing shots!
If you are in an indoor venue and they don’t mind traditional confetti this is a great send off option! If you are exiting outdoors in nature you’ll definitely want to invest in some biodegradable confetti instead. It looks no different but isn’t bad for the environment and is an easier clean up! If you do not want traditional confetti you can always go the dried lavender or hole punched leaves route!
Unique Wedding Exit Ideas
Is there anything more epic than fireworks lighting up the sky as you exit your wedding? This is the most incredible and unexpected way to end the night! Guests will be shocked and love this exit because it’s such a rare idea it isn’t done often but dang does it look cool!
Cold sparks are the perfect sparkler alternative! If you are wanting something epic like sparklers but your venue does not allow them this is the next best thing! The cold sparks are perfectly safe and can be used indoor or outdoors making it a safe option for locations with fire hazards.
Smoke bombs are such a fun and unique way to be sent off! Typically this send off is done while it’s still light out or for epic bridal party photos since it’s tougher to see these outdoors. If the venue has additional outdoor lighting this is a really cool option though! If doing smoke bombs make sure you keep a good distance from the white dress so it doesn’t stain!
Using a getaway car at the end of the night is such a classy and fun way to end your wedding night! It is great not only for photo ops but also gives you a way to say see ya to guests at the end of the night without having to wait around for an Uber or a family member to pull a car around. Pro tip – have the car arrive before sunset so that you can use it for bridal photos before v it’s dark out!
Finding The Perfect Elopement Location | Arizona Elopement Photographer
Your Guide For Finding The Perfect Elopement Location
No matter where in the world you and your partner decide to elope, the fact that you are making the decision to pledge your lives to each other in such a brave, meaningful and intentional way already makes your wedding day pretty dang perfect. Finding the perfect elopement location is just the cherry on top of that.
When it comes to helping our couples find the perfect elopement location there are several factors that come into play. It is so important to us to find hidden gem locations that cater to the needs of our couples, every couple is different – so naturally, so are each of the location guides we create. When narrowing down your locations you will want to consider locations that speak to your couple, align with their vision, and most importantly fit in line with their beliefs, values and needs for their wedding day.
Finding The Perfect Elopement Location : Choose A Meaningful Place
The first thing you will want to consider when finding the perfect elopement location is a location that is meaningful to both you and your partner. This location can be somewhere you have experienced already together and have memories that you love here or even an incredible new destination that you have always dreamed of seeing. There is something magical in watching a couple experience an epic location for the first time especially on their wedding day. It is also so incredible to see a couple elope in a hometown they grew up in, a family home or their favorite national park hiking trail. There are so many heightened emotions in saying I do in a location meaningful to you as a couple, it only makes sense to make this a big factor in finding the perfect elopement location for your special day.
Finding The Perfect Elopement Location : Consider Seasons
Seasons play a huge part in finding a perfect elopement location. Different locations throughout the world will have peek and off seasons during the year. For example, where I live in Arizona, it is common for our couples to elope in Arizona in the spring or fall. Summer season in Arizona is extremely hot and unsafe to be outdoors and hiking in these higher temps. When researching different elopement locations you will want to consider the best time of year to elope here. What will the weather look like? Will you need rain boots or an umbrella? Or will you need extra water, cool clothes and a way to cool down? Will this location be busier during peek season? Are there road closures during this time of year? These are all important things to consider when eloping during different seasons of the year. Road closures during winter may prevent easy access to popular locations or you may require snowshoes to hike a snow packed trail – which is absolutely okay, but it is something you will need to consider! During peek season you may need to plan further out to secure permits in time for your elopement along with accommodations since it will be a busier time of year. For popular locations you may need to consider a sunrise ceremony or a remote location to keep things intimate and avoid bigger crowds.
Finding The Perfect Elopement Location :Let An Activity Guide You
The possibilities are endless when it comes to incorporating activities into your elopement day. Whether you are an avid hiker or just love the idea of saying your vows at the top of a beautiful mountain peak, letting an activity guide you to finding the perfect elopement location is key. If your dream has always been to elope in Alaska with glaciers, you know immediately that one of your activities could look like a helicopter tour to the glacier, personal vows and if you are feeling extra brave, even taking a polar plunge. Or your vision for ending the day could look like a sunrise hot air balloon ride, a helicopter tour over the state, horseback riding, kayaking, rock climbing at your favorite trail, a sunset hike, the list goes on and on. Sometimes our couples come to us ready to go and already have a plan for the day for what they would like to do and some have an idea but need help with the logistics, that is where we come in. Your elopement photographer and guide can help you find a location suitable for the activity you want, the best time of year and other experiences that will give you the wedding experience of a lifetime.
Finding The Perfect Elopement Location : Research Research Research
We can say with confidence that some of the most incredible places to elope in the United States are on the roads less traveled, but that does not mean you can’t get a little inspiration from researching through social media platforms. Google, Instagram and Pinterest are all really helpful in the early stages of planning to help give you an idea on what locations pull at your heart strings. Once you have an idea of what you like it will be so much easier finding the perfect elopement location for you and your partner.
This is where we would come in – as your elopement photographer and guide we love helping our couples see these less popular locations because they are less crowded, more intimate and insanely beautiful. The popular places on social media are easier to envision, sure. That is because there are thousands of photos that help make the idea seem more real, but with that also comes crowds and a less intimate setting. When you are willing to step outside of the trendy locations on Instagram there is a world of opportunity in dreamy off the beaten path locations. Wandering Weddings has a great blog about different locations to elope if you need any inspiration to kick start your location planning!
A big factor to consider when finding the perfect elopement location is accessibility. Accessibility is important for a few reasons, whether you are making the decision to elope just the two of you or to include close family or friends, considering how accessible locations are will help to narrow it down to a location that checks all of your boxes. In cases where couples decide to elope just the two of them, it is easier to pick an off road epic adventure location because you are able to make the hike or pay for an off-road vehicle tour or if you are feeling especially adventurous renting a 4×4 yourself and making an off-road activity part of your elopement plans. With guests into consideration, it is typically more difficult to coordinate getting several other guests off-road up to an epic location. Or maybe you have family who are older and have a harder time walking longer distances. In these instances it is best to have a location that has an accessible trail for ease to all members attending and then after ceremony you and your partner can escape for your adventure and some time alone for experiences just the two of you.
At The End Of The Day
Eloping is intentional. Eloping is making the decision to make your day about you instead of social media, instead of family or any one else’s needs or wants. It is making the brave decision to not only do something different but to have an experience true to you as a couple. When finding the perfect elopement location absolutely allow yourself to search all outlets but give yourself the space to be creative and think outside of the box. You never know what trail you might end up on. After all is said and done, what matters most is YOU ARE MARRYING YOUR PERSON. Your dream elopement location will help create an unforgettable experience and memories that will last you a lifetime. But this is only the start of your adventure!
Arizona has some of the vastest scenery in the country ranging from sun-drenched deserts, cactus views, stunning overlooks, and mountainscapes. Also enchanting red rocks, slot canyons, forests, and even winter wonderlands in the right seasons. So it’s no wonder couples travel far and wide to elope in Arizona!
Arizona is home to 24 National Parks including the infamous Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest, and Saguaro National Park. Along with 31 state parks and 6 National Forests. With the many parks and forests to choose from, there are many hidden gems off the beaten path to adventure. Couples can enjoy as well as spiritual journeys in everyone’s favorite destination, Sedona. Thus, making Arizona a destination fit for every type of couple’s wedding dreams.
As an Arizona Elopement Photographer, I’ve explored everywhere finding the best locations to share with couples. It’s best for making the decision to journey to Arizona for their elopement day. If you aren’t sure how to elope, make sure you check out my 10 steps on eloping blog!
When couples decide to elope in Arizona, it’s no surprise that Sedona is on the top of their list. Sedona is known for its colorful, surreal red rock formations. Its unique energy surrounds the vortex sites, with the infamous pink jeep tours. In addition amazing food, views, and incredible hikes throughout the town. The list of locations to elope in Sedona are endless, but here are a few favorites. The West Fork Trail, Bell Rock, Cathedral Rock, Red Rock State Park, Merry Go Round Rock, Seven Sacred Pools. The Red Rock Airport, Red Rock Crossing, Crescent Moon Ranch, Bear Mountain Trail. These are just a few incredible options for couples choosing Sedona as their destination!
The Grand Canyon is one of the main reasons couples choose to elope in Arizona. It is one of the most famous national parks in the entire United States. Containing 277 miles of the Colorado River, many-branched canyons, filled with a multitude of geologic features and rich archeological history. The Grand Canyon also has some of the most breathtaking lookouts you could ever dream of including :
With its incredible views and natural beauty, Horseshoe Bend is a top destination for those who elope in Arizona. Its 270° bend in the Colorado River offers a lookout view over the river and unique Navajo sandstone walls. Horseshoe Bend is a popular tourist attraction for those exploring the Southwest. There are also tons of activities near Horseshoe bend for those who are planning a road trip through Arizona. Suggestions in seeing the Grand Staircase Escalante, Antelope Canyon, Lake Powell, or a Horseback ride through the canyon!
Slot Canyons are formed by millions of years of wind and water erosion. These incredible rock formations are known for their flowing smooth shaped sandstone. It makes them one of the seven natural wonders of the world. It is also with being one of the deepest gorges on the Earth. It’s no mystery why flocks of tourists seek to explore these canyons every year. It is truly one of the most magical places you can explore when planning to elope in Arizona. Some beautiful slot canyons to explore include Upper Antelope Canyon, Lower Antelope Canyon, Rattlesnake Canyon, and Mountain Sheep Canyon.
Flagstaff is the perfect location for couples who want to elope in Arizona but don’t want the desert heat. Nestled at 7,000 feet near the base of the San Francisco Peaks, Flagstaff reigns as the mountain jewel in the crown of the desert state of Arizona. Flagstaff is popular among the outdoor adventure community who come to see the vast aspen forests, cool crisp weather, hiking, and historical sites, you can even stargaze at the Lowell observatory! Flagstaff is also perfect for couples who love the a-frame elopement vibe, here is my favorite a-frame AirBnB for you to stay if you are considering eloping in flagstaff!
Monument Valley is not a valley at all, but rather a wide, flat landscape interrupted by colorful red buttes and spires rising hundreds of feet into the air. Couples eloping in Arizona choose Monument Valley to experience one of the most majestic and most photographed places on earth. This great valley boasts sandstone masterpieces that tower at heights of 400 to 1,000 feet, framed by scenic clouds casting shadows that roam the desert floor. The angle of the sun accents these graceful formations, providing scenery that is absolutely breathtaking.
Lake Powell is part of the Colorado River in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. The beautiful rocks and cliffs are majestic against the turquoise blue water. The long and winding Lake Powell is known for its scenic beauty and recreational opportunities including houseboating, swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling, boating, water skiing, and jet skiing. Lake Powell is top on our list of where to elope in Arizona!
This mountain range, less than an hour east of Phoenix, is famous for more than its beauty. Its very name derives from the mystery surrounding it. The Superstition Wilderness offers a stunning desert environment to explore. Sun-drenched mountains, golden light with massive saguaro’s, and cotton candy skies are some of our favorite things about the Superstition Mountains and one of the reasons many couples decide to elope in Arizona! At the base of the Superstition Mountains, is Lost Dutchman State Park – one of Arizona’s most popular state parks! Lost Dutchman is a perfect spot to experience the beauty of this desert region and a great spot to elope in Arizona! They even allow hourly rentals as well as unique setups for couples wanting to say “I do” in the desert!
Coal Mine Canyon is an incredible hidden gem in Arizona we’ve been wanting to tell you about for a long time. And it will blow your mind. It is one of the most remote canyons in Arizona and its main characteristic is the rainbow of colors painted on the badlands, the pinnacles, the hoodoos, the ravines, and the unique balanced rocks that emerge from the base of the gorges. This canyon gets around 200 visitors each year making it the perfect place to elope in Arizona if you are longing for privacy and breathtaking views.
This list is only a glimpse into some of the absolute gems Arizona holds, and it was so hard to narrow it down to just 10! But any place in Arizona will give you a magical experience. Hopefully, this list helps you begin the search for your dream elopement location. Let’s start planning your elopement day!
10 Step Guide on How to Elope | Arizona Elopement Photographer
Congratulations, you’re engaged! Now that the question has been popped and you have had a moment to relax… you are probably wondering how to elope, that’s where we come in. First things first, a big question we get asked often is what is an elopement anyway? Eloping means that all of the wedding day choices you have to make, are yours entirely. You make the rules. You can truly make your day any adventure you want. Your elopement day can be a day that reflects the two of you instead of being focused on everyone else’s needs, opinions, and expectations. In traditional weddings it is easy to feel like you are putting on a production for guests and to feel so much stress on how to please others that you often forget about what the day is truly about – YOU. Elopements used to be only known as a quick, hush hush ceremony in a Las Vegas church or a trip to the courthouse but we are here to break that stigma and to tell you about how you can have the wedding day of your dreams without the hassle of a huge production. All of this freedom to plan your dream day can feel a bit overwhelming but we are here to help! How to Elope requires 10 easy steps:
How to Elope: Step by Step Guide
Envision your dream wedding day
Create an Inspiration board
Determine a budget
Decide on a location
Start booking your dream vendors
Book lodging, rental cars, flights
Start thinking about attire and details
Announce the big news to family and friends!
While planning an elopement is a lot less stressful than planning a traditional wedding, there are still many aspects you will need to consider when jumping into planning your big day. Being an elopement photographer over the last few years has helped us compile a list of tips and tricks to help guide our couples on how to elope with the least stress as possible! In the past we have found that couples tend to shy away from an elopement for a few reasons, typically it all comes down to them not understanding how to elope, what an elopement truly is and how their day could look when they choose to elope. Having been in this position ourselves when we got married, we are here to tell you that you CAN have the wedding day of your dreams without the hassle of planning a traditional wedding. You can incorporate family, friends and traditions to where you are still getting the full wedding day experience without the headache of a huge production and regret from not planning your wedding the way you intended. We are here to help you plan the wedding day of your dreams, feel free to check out this Arizona elopement for more elopement ideas!
How to ElopeStep 1: Envision Your Dream Wedding Day
When you are first looking into how to elope, a big task that you will want to start with is envisioning what your wedding day will actually look like. The best way to brainstorm ideas that will truly make the most of your elopement day is to sit together and dream about what means the most to you on your wedding, things you would love to experience together and what time of year or scenery is pulling at your heart. A fun date night would be a great time to do this together! It is important to keep an open mind when envisioning your elopement day. This is a place for you to think of your wildest dreams. If you could elope anywhere in the world, where would it be? What landscapes scream your name? Try not to get caught up in the logistics just yet of what you can and can not do. This is a time to be open minded and lay all of your ideas out on the table.
How to ElopeStep 2: Create An Inspiration Board
Creating an inspiration board plays a huge part in how to elope in a way that encompasses everything that you love and want to be a part of your wedding day.I know it may seem cliche to say to look at Pinterest but it is actually a great way to look into other couples elopements, get an idea of different and unique things that you can incorporate into your day and see different locations that you may not have even thought about. It is important to put together colors and styles on your inspiration board that you are drawn to, this will help you tie in flowers, decor if you have any, colors for attire and will also help your photographer to determine locations that may work best for the color and style you are looking for. If you still need any help thinking of some great styles, we loved the style of this Airbnb elopement!
How to ElopeStep 3: Determine A Budget
When determining your budget, it is essential to look into how to elope in whichever area your eyes are set on. This can mean researching several different locations as costs will be different ranges in different areas of the world but it will give you a good estimate to go off of. The average for a traditional wedding in the US is $34,000, but you can absolutely have an incredible elopement for less than half of that cost. Expect to spend a majority of your budget on photography and the rest on travel, attire, rings, flowers, hair & makeup, an officiant, food, activities, and your marriage license. This is definitely the least exciting part in wedding planning but it is very important to determine a budget range early on so that you can see what experiences may be doable and what you should not waste as much time on. We suggest starting at a base range that you are both comfortable with and then a top range of your budget where it is not as likely you will get to unless you find an out of this world experience that you HAVE to do. It is definitely easier to splurge when it comes to experiences that excite you!
How to ElopeStep 4: Begin Research
Research plays a big part in determining what you will need to do in order to have your elopement at a certain location. You will need to look into how to elope at certain locations. This can mean looking into permits, regulations, weather and the best season to get married at your destination. When determining your ceremony site, make sure you first confirm that it is legal to have a ceremony or photos taken there. Certain locations may or may not allow this and it is important to realize and plan for a new location rather than showing up and finding out the hard way. As well as any restrictions you will want to stay up to date on any permits your destination may require. Some locations require multiple permits for both you and your photographer so it is important that you check into your sites rules and regulations to make sure you do not hit any bumps in the road on your elopement day. It is also important to look into weather and seasons at different locations as this plays a huge part in how to elope in these places. Different locations will be busier during certain times of the year based on the weather, meaning you may want to plan around these to avoid hikers or large crowds of tourists. You also want to research so that you know what to pack to keep yourselves comfortable and prepared. Will you need thermals for cooler weather? An extra change of clothes if your location has rainstorms frequently? Hiking boots for a rugged hike to your ceremony? These are all key factors to keep in mind when planning your elopement day!
How to ElopeStep 5: Decide On A Location
At this point, you should have a location nailed down. This is the part where you look into how to elope in that part of the world. Now that you have your budget decided, an inspiration board filled with the most magical ideas, you have researched a ton on different locations and seasons – it is time to decide on where to hold your wedding day! If Arizona made the cut, we have a great list of the best places to elope in Arizona. Certain factors to keep in mind when deciding on this location are: Do you want this experience to be just the two of you? Do you want family and friends to join you on your epic elopement, if so how many will you have join you? Once you have nailed down who and how many people you will be expecting for your big day then it becomes easier to nail down specifics like exact locations for a ceremony, an adventurous hike to bridals or a cozy camping spot to stargaze at the end of the night. Another great thing about elopements is that couples often can save money by eloping and combine their elopement with their honeymoon to their destination of choice, it’s a win win!
How to ElopeStep 6: Start Booking Your Dream Vendors
The next and our personal favorite step is to book your dream vendors! If the elopement day is only the two of you it is especially important to book the right photographer and videographer quickly as those will be the only real images and memories you will have for the day, you want someone who can capture it perfectly for you. This is also a great time to book other services for your elopement day such as florist, hair, make up and experiences like a helicopter ride, renting paddle boards or kayaks, a boat tour or a hot air ballon ride! How to elope and have the best experience is to make sure you and all of your vendors are on the same page, this can mean sharing timelines, vision boards or viewing galleries prior to the elopement day to ensure your vision fits their styles!
How to ElopeStep 7: Book Lodging, Rental Cars and Flights
Depending on where you are eloping as well you will need to research on if your location requires an officiant, if you can self-solemnize or have your photographer sign for you, if they are ordained. When booking other services like flights, lodging and rental vehicles keep it mind that the closer your hotel is to the ceremony site, the more streamlined your timeline will be. You will also want to keep in mind lodging size if you are expecting guests, you may want to look into a larger Airbnb or a hotel block so that you can all stay close together. When it comes to transportation you will need to factor in how traveling to your ceremony location will look like. If it is a rugged road that requires off roading you will need to look into a 4×4 or consider a rental company that provides an off road service.
How to ElopeStep 8: Start Thinking About Wedding Attire and Details
This is such a fun step, especially if you have decided to go the route of no guests. We have found that a great way to keep family feeling involved in the wedding process without actually being present on the day of is to invite them along on some wedding errands – especially dress or tux shopping! When deciding on attire try to keep in mind the location that you have chosen and elements that will look beautiful in these places. An example of this was this epic wedding in San Francisco where our couple had a traditional dress for their ceremony and then changed into her more functional but fabulous dress to attend outside lands for their reception see it here! Factors you will want to keep in mind are if your location requires lots of hiking or uncertain weather where you would need to bring a change of shoes and some extra clothes to keep warm. If you will need to bring an umbrella to shield yourselves from rain or a change of clothes if you are wanting to change into your dress at your ceremony location. This is a great time to pack momentos, letters from relatives or any heirlooms!
How to Elope Step 9: Finalize Details
To keep yourselves feeling free of stress make sure that you finalize a game plan ahead of time. It is easiest to make a 1 month, 1 week and 2 day prior schedule to ensure that you have taken care of any last minute duties. All vendors should be booked at this time and have a copy of your day of timeline to be best prepared as well as your marriage license if needed. This is also a great time to plan a surprise for your significant other like a gift, a special song to share your first dance or letters from family members that could not attend. You will want to sketch our a rough timeline and check list to keep everything running smoothly, make sure you take adequate time to eat, drink and rest so that you can enjoy yourselves!
How to ElopeStep 10: Announce the big news to family and friends!
A big question we get is how to elope without feeling like we are not including our family and friends. The choice to elope is a big, bold and brave decision that ultimately only you can make but it is so worth it. It can be tough making the choice to elope without friends and family. A few things that you can do to help ease uneasy family members is to keep them involved as much as you can. You can bring them dress shopping with you, make lunch or dinner plans together to talk about activities you will be doing during your elopement, take them along to florist appointments or even throw a BBQ “reception” to still include family in your celebration. Ultimately, this is up to you and your comfort level and what you feel comfortable including family members on!
How to Elope in Arizona | Arizona Elopement Photographer
As an Arizona Elopement Photographer – i’m here to give you the scoop on how to elope in Arizona and all of the tips and tricks you will need to make the most of your time in the beautiful Grand Canyon State. Arizona is filled with so many epic locations, whether you are wanting a private elopement or an easy space open to the public to host your intimate ceremony, this guide on How to Elope in Arizona is the perfect place to kick start your planning! In this guide I will show you Arizona’s top Elopement locations, the best time of year to Elope in Arizona, the best activities to include and how to do it all legally!
When you are first looking into how to elope in Arizona, the first thing you will want to determine is location. Arizona is filled with vast mountainscapes, stunning desert views and red rocks that will take your breath away. Once you’ve determined your desired location you will want to find the nearest airport, transportation companies (if needed) and lodging. The major airport a majority of our traveling couples use is Phoenix Sky Harbor airport, this airport is generally 2-4 hours on average away from most of the desired locations. Transportation can be fairly easy if you will not be having a location that requires off-road travel, 2 wheel drive vehicles can be rented straight upon arrival to the airport but for more intense travel consider renting a 4×4 vehicle or hiring a travel company that can get you to your desired location.
A big question that comes to mind for many couples who are looking into how to Elope in Arizona is “how much will it cost?” On average our couples spend $500-$20,000 on their Elopement day. The cost varies mostly on experiences you will want to include on your big day. You can expect a majority of your budget to be spent on hiring a Photography team or travel guide with the remaining budget going to experiences, attire, hair, make up and florals. To make it legal in Arizona, you will need an Officiant and two witnesses. This can be taken care of back home at the courthouse if you would prefer your adventure to be solo!
Now that we’ve gotten logistics out of the way…. let’s talk about the exciting part of how to Elope in Arizona. Locations like these are the reason so many of our couples fly to Arizona to say “I do.” Arizona Scenery is unlike any other, you can truly find the most magical places within a short drive making it ideal for couples who want to experience the most on their wedding day. You will want to keep in mind when making decisions that every part of Arizona has it’s on and off season that can affect how easily you will be able to Elope in certain locations, that’s what i’m here for!
How to Elope in Arizona : Mogollon Rim
Payson, Arizona – 2 hour drive from Sky Harbor Airport. The best time of year to Elope in Page is March-October.
Small cost for parking at this location
Accessibility & Crowds
Certain areas at this location are accessible with 2 wheel drive. Most areas at this location will have either a paved or dirt parking lot but there are more areas within this location that require a bit of a bumpy drive. You can easily spend 3-4 hours at this location just exploring. This location is busier on weekends but there are hidden pockets to escape the crowds.
Sedona, Arizona – 2 hour drive from Sky Harbor Airport. The best time of year to Elope in Page is September-April.
Parking passes are $5 for this location, you can obtain this from the kiosk in the parking lot. Arches, decor or set up of any kind is NOT allowed per Sedona’s latest rules. Follow leave no trace guidelines.
Accessibility & Crowds
This location is fairly accessible by car – however, as of the last year this location has become increasingly popular and it is extremely difficult to get a parking spot here. If you are planning a sunrise Elopement you will have a better chance of getting into the parking lot but keep in mind that if you are dead set on a sunset Elopement, weekends are nearly impossible and week days may be doable IF you are able to get a Sedona Uber or shuttle service which is also very difficult with the lack of Uber services in Sedona. This location also requires a steep hike on all fours to get to the lookout – it’s worth the view but no easy task!
Hiking, camping, off-roading, star gazing, wineries, jeep tours, hot air balloon rides.
How to Elope in Arizona : Superstition Mountains
Apache Junction, Arizona – 40 minute drive from Sky Harbor Airport. The best time of year to Elope in Page is September-April.
There are several different locations near the Superstition Mountains. If you are going into a recreational area like Lost Dutchman you will need to pay for a parking pass, photo and wedding permit. You can access their permit information and application here! Other areas around the Superstitions will be more private and you may not necessarily need to pay for a permit for these locations.
Lost Dutchman will be one of the only locations in the Superstition Mountains that will be accessible by 2 wheel drive. Make sure you ask your Photographer about certain locations, if you can carpool or if you’ll need to rent a different vehicle to get to more intense locations. On weekends more popular areas around the Superstitions will be a bit more packed than a weekday with hikers, it isn’t unbearable though and there are plenty of more hidden gems that your Photographer can take you to to avoid these crowds!
Hiking, off-roading, camping, stargazing, hot air ballon ride, rock climbing, breweries, spas, resorts.
How to Elope in Arizona : Horseshoe Bend
Page, Arizona – 4.5 hour drive from Sky Harbor Airport. The best time of year to Elope in Page is September-April.
$10 per car entrance fee
$200-$300 wedding permit from Glen Canyon
Accessibility & Crowds
There is a paved parking lot with a path down to the rim, about 1.4 miles roundtrip. It is not a very long walk down but the hike back up can seem grueling in the warmer seasons. Make sure you bring good shoes and water! This location is extremely crowded during weekends. Consider having a sunrise ceremony or booking a tour with Horseshoe Bend Tour Company for a private ceremony.
Best Time To Elope Here
The best time of year to Elope in Page is September-March
Boating, helicopter tours, kayaking, hiking, off-roading, camping, stargazing. You can also do a same day trip to Slot canyon to experience the most at this location!
How to Elope in Arizona : Merry Go Round
Sedona, Arizona – 2 hour drive from Sky Harbor Airport. The best time of year to Elope here is September-May.
Accessibility & Crowds
For this location, the road is extremely rough, unpaved and has large rocks that you will need to crawl over in a high clearance 4×4. You can absolutely use one of Sedona’s many jeep tour companies but the down side is that you will not get to choose how long you spend up there. It’s best to rent your own vehicle and make the trek up. You can expect about 45 minutes of rock crawling to get to the top of Merry Go Round. Crowds are very manageable here with how tough of a location it is to get to!
Hiking, off-roading, camping, wineries, breweries, spas, resorts, stargazing, hot air ballon ride, rock climbing.
These locations are just a few of the many incredible spots Arizona has to offer. There are tons more that are hidden gems that we like to keep secret for just our couples! Make sure you let us take you there 🙂 Cheers to planning your epic Arizona Elopement! If you are loving the Sedona look in Arizona, make sure you check out our blog on eloping-in-sedona-arizona!
The Ultimate Guide for Eloping in Sedona | Arizona Elopement Photographer
Eloping in Sedona is a dream for couples residing in Arizona and all over the world. Over the years we have had couples travel to have their wedding day captured in Sedona’s enchanting red rocks. Whether you are looking for a location with spiritual values, an outdoor adventure, or just incredible views, Sedona is it!
More about Sedona, Arizona
Sedona is known to be one of the most magical locations in Arizona. The energy vortexes attract many couples wanting a more spiritual feel for their Elopement. Also while also having an abundance of nearby hiking trails, wineries, and resorts. It is perfect for those who want to make a weekend trip out of their Elopement! The possibilities for Eloping in Sedona are endless. Being an Arizona Wedding Photographer has given us the chance to experience Sedona many times and never gets old.
Having visited Sedona many times, we have also had a chance to off-road in our Jeep. Being able to access those difficult off-road trails that couples come to love and desire for an epic overlook for photos! Couples are able to do Pink Jeep Tours to access most spots but for a more intimate feel, we always recommend renting your own jeep for the weekend or jumping in the Jeep with us!
What to Wear
Depending on what time of the year you are planning on Eloping in Sedona is a major factor to consider! Sedona weather varies and depending on the month. You could be changing for your Elopement after a hike in hot weather or bundling up and trudging through snow! We shoot in Sedona frequently and have truly seen it all. A few things we recommend to bring, hiking boots, water, an emergency bag, and a flashlight or headlamp if we are exploring a location where it could potentially get dark quickly.
Sedona more often than not has beautiful weather year-round. However, it is Arizona so you can expect bipolar weather here and there. Personally, I feel weather changes like a surprise rainstorm can make Elopement photos that much more epic! Typically Spring and Fall are our most popular dates for couples Eloping in Sedona. Spring is wonderful and if you are lucky you’ll find gorgeous spring flowers blooming. Fall is equally as charming with the leaves changing color and the cooler weather.
While we still photograph many Elopements during Summer and Winter, they are much less than the latter. Summer in Arizona can be tricky as sometimes the temperature can reach above 100 degrees. Summer is also the monsoon season in Arizona, so random flash floods can make it harder. Winter in Sedona can absolutely be a dream. The snow covering the red rocks is one of the most incredible sights to see. It is chilly so we always recommend our couples to bring layers, warm coffee or hot chocolate, and hand warmers!
One of the best parts about Eloping in Sedona is the variety in scenery Sedona provides. Breathtaking overlooks, red rocks, and creeks are everywhere! This makes it the perfect destination for any couple to say “I do”. While we do keep some of our favorite spots a secret to keep our clients’ experience exclusive, we will share a few of our favorite spots below!
Cathedral Rock is famous for its magical overlook at sunset! Over the last few years, it has become popular for weddings so eloping on a weekday may be more ideal. It gets super crowded quickly with weddings and hikers enjoying the scenery.
Hiking distance is just about 1.2 miles and the 740+ ft elevation gain makes this a moderate to difficult hike. There are portions of it, where near-vertical climbing is required. From the trailhead, the hike can be half hour to an hour each way. Plan for around an hour and a half total just for the hike and photos at Cathedral Rock. Always remember to bring good hiking shoes, water, flashlights, or a headlamp in case the sun sets and you are hiking down in the dark after photos at the top!
Oak Creek Canyon
Oak Creek Canyon is a river gorge located in Northern Arizona between Flagstaff and Sedona. The canyon is often comparable to the Grand Canyon because of its scenic beauty. There are several locations in Oak Creek Canyon to elope, and permits may be needed for some of these locations. Eloping in Oak Creek Canyon for couples who don’t want to hike or have elderly families who can’t walk far.
Crescent Moon Ranch
Crescent Moon Ranch is a perfect option for more low-key elopements with lower guest counts. Currently, Crescent Moon caps guests at 15 for Elopements with a permit fee of $50. Crescent Moon Ranch offers a beautiful backdrop of Cathedral Rock alongside Oak Creek Canyon. This location is easily accessed by taking a short hike from the parking lot. It is one of our top recommendations for couples who want something jaw-dropping without going too far.
Courthouse Vista is a popular trailhead with dramatic red-rock views without a terribly difficult hike. The 2.2-mile hike, which leaves from Upper Courthouse Vista, is a loop with a few descents——– The Court of Flags area features two short paths, one behind the Flag Court that leads to another viewpoint overlooking the monument. A second path goes around the West Front Grounds, past the benches on the south end where you can sit and enjoy your surroundings.”This location is one of our favorites when couples want something similar to Cathedral Rock without wanting the hike included. There is plenty of parking available and a beautiful 360 view of Sedona at the top.
Tlaquepaque Arts and Shopping Village
Tlaquepaque can host one wedding reception per evening and can accommodate wedding ceremonies in the Tlaquepaque Chapel or Courtyard. Couples who are eloping can pay a permit to photograph here. Tlaquepaque is known as one of Sedona’s most romantic staging grounds for weddings and vow renewals.
Elopements are in and the 1975 Cabin is the perfect Airbnb Elopement in Pinetop to hold your special day! Originally Taylor and Daniel were planning a beautiful wedding in the woods of the Pacific Northwest until Covid-19 brought those plans to a crashing halt. Still wanting to incorporate the woodsy feel of Oregon Taylor and Daniel found the perfect Airbnb tucked in a pocket of pines in Pinetop, Arizona. At first glance of the Airbnb you are welcomed with a massive A frame structure and incredible updated modern fixtures throughout the cabin. Between the several rooms for guests to stay and nearby scenic locations to plan your ceremony it is the perfect choice for an Airbnb Elopement in Pinetop!
Taylor began her day surrounded by her sisters and best friends in the downstairs portion of the Airbnb while Daniel got ready upstairs with his groomsmen. They incorporated things like Daniels jewelry that Taylor adores and Taylor’s cheeky converse visible under her slit dress to keep it feeling the most them. Daniel made sure to slip us a note for Taylor as he stepped out of the cabin before heading to the ceremony, which *que the tears* had a drawing he had done of her with a love note. There was no shortage of happy tears for this Airbnb Elopement in Pinetop.
Taylor and Daniel found a hidden meadow filled with pines and flowers for their ceremony space. Guests sat together in the meadow, aisles were lined with fresh flowers and the pair had a copper arch made with dangling floral strings to complete the whimsical feel of their Elopement day. One thing that really stood out was as Taylor walked up the aisle and they faced each other for the first time, they were so overcome with emotion that they just embraced. A rule breaker, yeah yeah. It was one of those moments that you witness and truly understand how much love is really there. They shared captivating hand written vows in front of guests before running down the aisle, I mean running. You could not find a couple happier to finally be married than Taylor and Daniel.
After the ceremony, we returned to the Airbnb for celebratory shots. How else are you supposed to celebrate? The couple celebrated and embraced friends and family before ending their Airbnb Elopement in Pinetop with an epic champagne pop off the front of the A-frame balcony.
As an Arizona Wedding Photographer there is not shortage of gorgeous locations around the state to shoot your Engagement! See Taylor and Daniel’s Engagement Session here!
Eloping During Covid-19 | Arizona Wedding Photographer
We’ve compiled a list of ways you can make Eloping during Covid-19 a breeze! First, go ahead and throw out any expectations that your dream day can not happen because of the current state of the world right now. You can have an incredible, out of this world Wedding still while also keeping those around you safe! Being an Arizona Wedding Photographer, we’ve seen it all and we are here to help!
Eloping during Covid-19 does not mean you two will run away to some hidden place where no friends or family will witness your special day. I mean, unless that’s what you want, because if that’s the case Adventure Elopements are a dream. I’ll help you plan it! With most states right now the rule of thumb is 50 guests or less. To some, that may push their comfort levels and to others they feel they are eliminating a huge portion of their guests. Whether you have 10 guests or 50, a way to include those guests who are not able to attend is Live Streaming! You are able to stream on Facebook Live and even save the video for yourselves after. We have also seen couples have a relative record via Zoom or call friends and family on FaceTime during the ceremony so that they are still able to take part in the event. Another way you can include guests is a drive by cocktail hour, this way friends can drive by and say congratulations or drop a card off!
Next, you’ll want to plan a spot to take formal photos! If the location you are getting married at is say a backyard of a friend or a random park, maybe there isn’t a ton of picture perfect options. Working with your Photographer you can create a timeline that will allow you to find a special place that’s private to the two of you. Jasmine and James, the couple in the photos here, planned their photos to take place in downtown St. Louis! This was a perfect choice for them as they live in the heart of St. Louis and it’s where their relationship blossomed. Eloping during Covid-19 and a Pandemic, taking photos of the current state of the city around them was extremely important to them. Jasmine and James are a true reflection of how love always wins.
Keep it clean! If you are Eloping during Covid-19 the number one goal is keeping everything sanitized and safe for you and guests. Disposable utensils, pre packaged drinks and a few sanitize stations around the event and you are ready to roll! Skipping buffet style dinner and pre plating is also a huge way you can reduce risk for guests. To top it off, you could even throw the utensils, some sanitizer and a mask into a bag and count that as your wedding favor. Easy, practical and guests will thank you for thinking of them!
Last, there’s the huge question of venues needing to shut down again. If your venue is mandated to shut down but you do not want to wait several months to tie the knot, you have options! Exploring into a huge open meadow for a ceremony, finding a cute Airbnb to host your friends and family or reserving a local lot at a State Park are all amazing options for a last minute Elopement location.
Charlotte Francis | Arizona Intimate Wedding + Elopement Photographer
LGBTQ-friendly | All skin colors & body sizes are loved here
Phoenix, Arizona based but fly us anywhere to document your love story