Okay, so even though we love the Pacific Northwest, it’s really hard not to love Arizona. We both have friends and family who live in Arizona, so we love when we have the opportunity to visit them! It’s not very often, but we still really enjoy everything that Arizona has to offer! So, we wanted to put together this blog with lots of information about how to elope in Arizona and reasons why you should consider it!
Okay, we know that Arizona is known for it’s scorching heat and super dry weather. And sometimes it’s honestly really nice to be able to be able to soak up the sun and not worry about the clouds rolling in. But Arizon
a also has areas where it’s cooler and receives snow, like Flagstaff! There, you can even ski or snowboard in the winter months.
The southern half of Arizona boasts vast desert landscapes like the Sonoran Desert. It has a lot of different cacti, like the Saguaro Cactus and the Prickly Pear. The northern half of Arizona is actually very mountainous and has a lot of diverse plateaus and red-rock features. I mean, the Grand Canyon is in northern Arizona soooo…
Going off of the same idea, the plants in Arizona are pretty dang neat! They’re definitely very different from the plants you see in the Pacific Northwest. For example, Arizona has a ton of different desert wildflowers like the Desert Primrose, Marigold, and Daisy. Arizona is also home to TONS of cacti, like the Barrel Cactus, Saguaro, and Hedgehog.
Finally, you might not think of Arizona as having trees (other than tall cacti), but they do! Some of the trees in Arizona include Ironwood, Mesquite, and Foothill Palo Verde.
There is SO MUCH to explore in Arizona! Which obviously means that there are endless adventures that you can have for your elopement or tiny wedding. One of the biggest things that we stress is the need to make your day an adventure! You should create fun memories that you can look back on, like floating a river, kayaking through slot canyons, taking a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon, or riding horses through the desert.
So, one of our last reasons to elope in Arizona is that it’s extremely unique! While there are a lot of common places to have your elopement (which are still AMAZING options), being in the desert means that you have a greater opportunity to explore and find something unique. When you’re in the mountains (like in Washington for example), it can be hard to find unique locations with scenic views. Oftentimes, this is because you aren’t able to get backcountry permits in time, or exploring would mean trampling the fragile high alpine meadows (which is a huge no-no), or the less-traveled areas are only accessible via strenuous hikes. But in the desert, you can off-road more and explore unique spots more easily! There are still things you need to be careful of like cryptobiotic soil crusts. And you still will definitely need permits for specific areas!
If you are going to elope or have your tiny wedding in a National or State Park, you will definitely need a wedding permit! Each park is going to be different, but when you book with us, we will give you all the resources to help you apply for the correct permit. Sometimes, you might even need a Photography/Videography permit in order to have us legally capture your wedding. And if you’re wanting to camp or go on an epic adventure, you might need a backcountry permit or something like that as well. Again, we’ll totally help you with this!
Here is the Arizona Marriage License information that you’ll need to know. In order to get married in the state of Arizona, both parties need to be 18 years or older. You will need both of your Social Security numbers, valid forms of ID (Driver’s License, Passport, or Military ID), and you will need to pay a non-refundable deposit of around $70-$86 (depending on the county). Marriage Licenses are valid for one year after you receive the paperwork.
At your wedding, you will need an officiant and 2 witnesses to sign your Marriage License. Don’t worry, we can totally sign as your witnesses! And then after your elopement, you will need to mail in the license to the courthouse within 30 days in order for your elopement to be properly recorded. Usually your officiant will take care of this for you!
There are an endless number of epic locations to elope at in Arizona! And even though we’ve only been to Arizona a couple of times, we would love to go back and location scout even more spots for you! We always want to make sure that we have the most accurate and current information about specific locations for our couples. But we also want to make sure that we’re giving specific locations to our couples only. That’s why we’re only going to share some broad locations down below to get your ideas flowing! Once you have a general idea of where you want to get married, we can help you pick a specific spot to say your vows and celebrate your day together!
Not only do you have an amazing view of this giant one mile deep canyon, you also have amazing backpacking opportunities along the Colorado River. There are amazing adventure options such as rafting and helicopter tours!
Antelope Canyon is a beautiful slot canyon carved from sandstone that stretches up to 120 feet from the stream bed. You get to truly experience the beautiful desert colors of Arizona inside this wavy canyon. Although a guide is required to explore this area, it is well worth it!
Horseshoe Bend is definitely one of the most scenic spots in northern Arizona! The viewpoint is about 1000 feet above the Colorado River and the sunsets there are just unbelievable.
Lake Powell has endless opportunities to fulfill your adventure elopement dreams! There are some amazing secluded beaches along with stunning buttes and plateaus. If you are feeling extra adventurous, you can also explore beautiful canyons that are only accessible from the water!
The Salt River Canyon Wilderness is located within the Tonto National Forest. The cool thing about the Salt River Canyon is that since it’s a LONG road! It’s about 140 miles one-way and there’s just an endless amount of neat monuments and stops along the way.
If you are looking for unique scenery that is only found in a small portion of the United States you have chosen the right place. These giant saguaro cacti can provide amazing scenery and backdrops that are unique to the American west!
This is totally dependent on where you want to elope in Arizona and what kind of weather you enjoy! But from a photographer and videographer’s standpoint, the best season to elope is going to be during the off-season when the weather is the most temperate. You want to make sure that you avoid busy times, though, like Christmas break or spring break. We recommend the winter (from December to February) or the springtime (March to May). This will allow you to be able to enjoy being outside and you’ll get to see the desert in full bloom!
Photographer + Videographer: Obviously we’re going to suggest us as your photo + video team! Even though we are based in the Pacific Northwest, we love traveling. We also really love exploring the desert!
Florals: Moelleux Events
Picnic: Sandstone & Sage Picnic Co.
Suit: Stitch & Tie
We’ve worked with these vendors and love them. If you’re looking for other local vendors, we’ll totally reach out to people and help you find the best team for your day!