How to Get Married in Utah’s National Parks
Eloping in Utah
Why Elope in Utah
Utah is an incredible state. Utah’s Five National Parks get a ton of visitors every year and for good reason. They are insanely beautiful and will leave you awestruck. You can find arches, back roads, canyon overlooks, and so much more in the desert. Whether you want privacy or to see the iconic spots there is a park that is right for any desert wedding day.
When to Elope in Utah
Utah has intense and beautiful seasons. Summers are real hot, while winters are downright cold. You can find the best snow on Earth in Utah (even near the National Parks!), and the wildflowers and fall foliage is hard to beat. The weeks around Spring break and the Summer months can leave wild places packed with tourists. Early Spring, Fall, and Winter are great times to elope and avoid the crowds.
Utah’s Mighty Five National Parks
No matter which park you choose, Utah will offer some pretty incredible experiences for your wedding day. Some parks are better if you have guests. Some are better for certain adventures. As you choose a location keep in mind what you envision for your day. We can totally chat further about what is right for you if you have a few spots in mind
Capitol Reef National Park is one of Utah’s most underrated parks. If you are looking for privacy, beauty, and dirt roads then this is the place to be. With unique sandstone towers to the North, and arch you can walk across or rap down, epic viewpoints, and plenty of trail to explore Capitol Reef is a gem.
From March to late November you can stop by the Gifford House and get a slice of pie with fruit from the nearby orchard. Explore the homestead that was originally built in 1908 and learn about how the valley was irrigated by settlers.
Explore the park on foot, by 4×4, or on horseback to travel deeper into the canyons and explore!
Bryce Canyon National Park is one of my faves. The hoodoos here are just so unique! I love watching the sunrise or sunset from the rim of the canyon as the hoodoos glow. Hike down into the hoodoos and explore to get out of the sun. You can also travel on horseback if you’d like!
Bryce has a ton of fun hikes you can choose from. Spend the morning hiking and then get married on the rim before the hoodoos. Afterwards have a picnic and enjoy the view, or go on a helicopter tour to see this unique place from above.
Zion National Park is Utah’s most visited one – and for good reason. With epic canyon overlooks, world class canyoneering, Jeeping, helicopter tours, and incredible hikes, Zion offers nearly every adventure you could want.
Explore the Narrows on your wedding day, hike Angels Landing, or visit an overlook to take it all in. Zion has some ceremony spots within the park that are great if you are bring guests along. I can also recommend some rad spots outside the park if its just the two of you.
Canyonlands National Park offers epic views of the canyons, has neat arches and overlooks, and offers sweet adventures like Jeeping down Shafer Trail.
Mesa Arch at sunrise is a sight you will not soon forget, and the sunsets overlooking the canyons and nearby mountain range are just incredible. Have your ceremony before the canyon and then go Jeeping or hiking to take in more of the sights. Canyonlands is not far from Arches, so the two could easily be explored in one day.
Arches National Park is another truly iconic park in Utah. It is home to over 200 arches, the most famous of which you will likely see on Utah license plates. Get married under an arch and then explore the park and all its beauty. Some arches are much more popular than others, so a sunrise ceremony is a good way to get some privacy. Some lesser visited arches also make a great ceremony site and require a bit of hiking. No matter your choice, Arches provides a really unique place to say your vows.
In Arches you can explore on the trails, climb a route, or Jeep out to see more arches. You could also grab a permit and go explore in the Fiery Furnace if navigating slots is your jam.
Arches does have a timed entry process that begins in April. Your ceremony permit does grant you (and your guests) entry to the park. Even with this process I still highly recommend coming for sunrise during the busier season of April-October to ensure more privacy and a parking spot.
What You Need for Your Utah Elopement
Apart from the vendor dream team to help make your elopement happen, your wedding attire, and the details for your day, here are two things you definitely need for your elopement.
Your Marriage License
Getting your Utah marriage is a fairly easy process. The license is good for 30 days and you can get your license the same day as your elopement!
To Get Your Marriage License:
- Both you and your partner must be present, have legal ID, and know your socials at the time of application
- You need to know your full names, your dates and places of birth, your addresses, parents names, and parents places of birth for the application
- You must pay fees that range from $30-50 that may be cash only
- Your elopement needs an officiant to be legal
- Two witnesses must sign your license
A Ceremony Permit
You will also need a ceremony permit for any of these National Parks. Permit costs range from $100-$185 and can typically be applied for up to a year in advance. Be sure to apply as soon as you know your date and ceremony location so that you get the spot you want!
Traveling to Utah
You can opt to fly into the state or make a whole road trip out of it!
Depending on your destination, some airports are better to fly into. Arches and Canyonlands has a nearby airport in Moab, or you can opt to fly into Grand Junction and drive the 2.5 hours through Colorado. Zion is best reached from Las Vegas. Do a little research or just talking to your photographer (oh hey! I send you all the travel advice you need) can help you find what works best for you.
Adventures You Can Go On
Adventure is pretty endless in this state. Here are some of my faves that can be done in these National Parks, or just outside of them!
- Picnic with a view!
- Mountain biking
- Helicopter touring
- Horseback riding
- Sand dune sledding
- Base jumping
Ready to Elope in Utah?
I can’t wait to help you plan your adventurous wedding day. Let’s take your love on a wild adventure!