Elopements have had a major face-lift since the days of Elvis officiating in Las Vegas and trust us, they’ve totally rebuilt their reputation! We’re obsessed with elopements. Now, many couples are opting to elope in beautiful and remote locations with their loved ones or by themselves. We have nothing against the iconic elopements in Vegas, but we definitely have a soft spot in our hearts for romantic elopements at breathtaking destinations! One location we have spent a lot of time at with many couples is The Grand Canyon. This National Park is one of our absolute favorite elopement spots for soooo many reasons! Regardless of where or when you’re eloping in The Grand Canyon, you’ll have a stunning backdrop for saying “I Do”.
Many of our couples have asked us for recommendations and tips when eloping in The Grand Canyon, so we decided to whip up 5 things you’ll need to know before eloping at The Grand Canyon. And while we share our tips with you we also wanted to share photos from two elopements we did a while back!
Jocelyn and Wade (above) eloped at the North Rim. This area is soooo pretty and for sure my FAVE part of the Grand Canyon, but it’s definitely a bit of a drive! Kahley and Doug (below) eloped in December and the weather was bitter cold, but it made for one of the prettiest, coziest elopements we have ever shot.
All right, let’s get into our list! Here are 5 things you’ll need to know before eloping at The Grand Canyon.
Similar to many other National Parks, if you plan on eloping at The Grand Canyon you’ll need to get a special use permit ahead of time. At the park, there are limited areas that can be used for elopements and each space has specific rules. Certain areas of The Grand Canyon will allow you to bring more guests than another, so make sure you do your research before sending out the invites!
Securing a permit for your elopement at The Grand Canyon is a lot easier than it sounds! Luckily, the National Park Service maps it out really well for you but here are the most important details to remember. First, fill out the application form and make note of the non-refundable application fee that is due at the time of submission. Weddings can be scheduled up to one year in advance and the park requires a minimum of four weeks to fully process a basic permit request — don’t wait until the last minute!!
Once accepted, it’s onto the fun part! Make sure you secure your marriage license for the elopement; this can be done anywhere in Arizona. Then, once the day arrives it’s time to say “I Do!”
Whether you are flying into the Phoenix airport, Flagstaff airport, Las Vegas airport, or are local, you’ll need to figure out how you’re getting to and from your elopement location. If you’re coming in from out of town, we recommend picking an airport to fly into based on how long you’re willing to drive for!
No matter where you’re coming from you’ll have to put a few miles on those tires to get there. Make sure you account for travel time in your elopement timeline and be aware of anything that could delay your trip.
Aside from determining your wedding date and securing your permit, finding a place to stay is the next most important part of your elopement plan. The Grand Canyon offers some cabins within the park, and you are also allowed to camp if that’s your style!
Note: The North Rim Lodging is closed for the winter. However, lodging on the South Rim and at Phantom Ranch is available year-round. You can book your stay directly on the Grand Canyon’s Lodging website, be sure to hop on it ’cause the reservations can go fast!
If camping and cabins aren’t your cup of tea, luckily the South Rim of The Grand Canyon is close to the city of Tusayan. Tusayan has some great hotels to choose from such as the Best Western Canyon Squire Inn, Grand Canyon Plaza Hotel, Holiday Inn Express, and more! But keep in mind Tusayan is a very, very small town so you’ll want to bring everything you need with you.
If you’re not down to camp but are interested in luxury Glamping, Under Canvas is going to be a dream spot for you. Not only is Under Canvas so much fun but it would be absolutely perfect for your elopement! We adore these private luxury canvas tents. Plus, just imagine how many cute photos you can take!
You’re surrounded by the natural beauty of The Grand Canyon, now what? Make the most out of your trip and enjoy some great outdoor activities to really soak in all The Grand Canyon has to offer. You can go hiking, take a Jeep or helicopter tour, go on a mule trip, and so much more!
Make note of when you’re visiting The Grand Canyon, as certain parts of the park may be closed or only open for limited periods of time. If you visit during the warmer months, consider spending a day on the river! You’ll need to get a permit for river trips and they are given out on a first-come-first-served basis.
We highly recommend you spend some time listing out your Grand Canyon must-do’s and base your trip around that (and of course, your elopement)! Planning ahead will allow you to make the most out of your day.
Determining the time of year you want to elope is crucial, regardless of where in the world you’re tying the knot. If you choose to elope at The Grand Canyon you’ll definitely want to keep the season in mind. The peak seasons are always temping, but remember this is also when the park is at its busiest! From our experience, we would recommend eloping in The Grand Canyon between March-May and September-November.
We’ve shot elopements at The Grand Canyon in so many environments — snow AND warmer weather. Regardless of the time of year you choose to elope, we can say with confidence that you’ll have a beautiful experience. Just check up on any restrictions or warnings that may come with eloping at any given time of year.
Did you know that the park updates its road conditions and other park conditions throughout the year to give visitors an idea of what they can expect? You can check it out right here on their website. Another great perk is that they will clearly identify roads, portions of the park, and attractions that are open or closed. Life saver!
Are you ready to start planning? We hope these tips help you and your love bring your elopement dreams to life. If you’re still in search of the perfect wedding photographer & videographer team, we would LOVE to chat with you! Here’s a breakdown of our elopement packages:
Photo Packages: Starting at $3,500.00 and up
Photo + Video Packages: Starting at $6,500.00 and up
What your package includes:
Ready to have the best elopement EVER?! Send us an inquiry, and let’s chat!