Updated: Aug 30, 2019


Jonnie & Sonia in Capitol Reef National Park

It's no wonder you want to get married in Utah. It's arguably the best state for recreation and experiencing the outdoors. The Beehive State has an endless variety of stunning backdrops to be used for your perfect wedding day. Forests? We got it. Tall canyons? Yep. Desert landscapes? You betcha. Utah's Mighty 5 National Parks are magnificent places to start looking into for your adventurous elopement experience


In addition to its widely popular and breathtaking National Parks, Utah is home to 7 National Monuments, 43 State Parks, and all the lakes, reservoirs, forests, mountains, hills, recreation areas, public lands, and gorgeous scenery you can handle. At Elope Southern Utah, we believe that nature is the best wedding venue, and we pride ourselves on being experts on all the best spots. Wherever you decide to tie the knot in this amazing state, we've made this guide for you to help you to plan the perfect wedding adventure.



Step 1: Choose Your Dream Location

Zion National Park

What do you want to experience on your wedding day? Towering canyon walls? Rusty-red hoodoos? A glistening blue lake? Or maybe you want to hike to unique views at the top of a canyon overlook? Or maybe get lost in a thick forest with your love? , but before you decide, here are some things to ask yourself:


Who will be there?

While we believe that the best way to experience your wedding day is with just you and your partner, certainly you may want to bring along your close family or friends to support you and celebrate.


Depending on how many people you'd like to attend your wedding, your options can be limited on where you can hold your ceremony. State and National parks often have regulations on the number of guests that are allowed at your ceremony. Usually this is because of the size of the location, accessibility, and other factors that the park may need to regulate to maintain their operations and keep the park available for everyone to enjoy. The Bureau of Land Management has spectacular areas that they maintain that can work great for wedding ceremonies and they may have similar rules depending on the location. There are also other regulations that might be in place such as equipment limitations, pets/animals may not be allowed, and restrictions on amplified sound.


How accessible does your location need to be?

If your perfect wedding location is at the top of a two-mile hiking trail, are all of your guests willing and able to make it to the top? If you anticipate having elderly guests or children, you might consider holding your ceremony in a more accessible location and then taking photos on the hike afterward. After all, you want your guests to be comfortable so they can enjoy their time and have a wonderful experience!



What will the weather be like?

Surely, if we could anticipate what the weather is going to be like on a given day, we would be in a different business entirely. However, you can get an idea of what the temperature might be like and the possibility of rainfall by checking weather history and averages. First, you'll need to decide what you'd like the conditions to be for your wedding. Do you want a hot, sunny day, or a brisk wintery landscape?


In southern Utah near St. George, summers between June and August are consistently near 105F, so we tend to recommend the Spring and Autumn seasons as an ideal time to be outdoors when the temperature is more mild. Snow is also rare, but can still happen in the winter.


In northern Utah, temperatures are more favorable during the summertime, and you're sure to find all the snow you can handle in the winter season between November and March especially at high elevations.


At Elope Southern Utah, we have lots of information to help guide you to a location that will be perfect for your wedding and can accommodate all the needs for you and your guests. Feel free to contact us!




Step 2: Plan the Perfect Day

This is your wedding day! How will you make your wedding experience the greatest of all time? The options are endless! Boating, hiking, off-roading, snowboarding, stargazing, picnics, etc etc. We have all kinds of resources to help our couples plan the perfect day.


Here's one example:

-Wake up on your wedding day after spending the night in a beautiful cabin.

-Get ready for your perfect day, putting on makeup, the perfect dress, finishing writing your vows, and getting your picture taken while your loved one is in the next room ,both of you excited for the big day.

-See each other for the first time in your wedding attire in front of gorgeous rock formations and sandstone in Bryce Canyon National Park.

-Meet at Sunset Point, a spectacular overlook of the incredible beauty that is Bryce Canyon. Get incredible photos at the awesome Bryce Canyon Amphitheater, with hoodoos and rock formations as far as the eye can see.

-Have a unique, customized wedding ceremony, sharing your vows with one another and tying the knot.

-Experience a unique hiking experience on the Queen's Garden trail, stopping for photos at incredible places along the way.

-Watch the hoodoos glow at sunset while you both stand at an amazing overlook.

-Have a delicious dinner at a local restaurant.

-Share a bottle of champagne under the stars.


We're happy to offer insight and suggestions, but it all comes down to how you want to spend your day together before and after you're pronounced husband and wife!



Step 3: Make Travel Arrangements

Off-road among the Joshua Trees

Flight

If you're flying in from another state, you'll likely end up in Salt Lake City. From there, you can fly to several other regional airports across the state. Take note of the closest airport to your destination to shorten your travel time. Alternatively, driving is a great option especially if you want to experience some of Utah's other scenery.


Car

You'll want to book your rental car in advance. Consider how long you'll be driving, whether or not you'll be going off-road, gas mileage, road conditions, etc.


Lodging

There are many unique places to stay, especially near the National Parks. You might consider a cozy cabin by a lake, or maybe a warm ski lodge protected from the powdery snowfall. You could even stay in a yurt at the top of a stunning mesa, or even just camp under the stars in one of Utah's many campgrounds. There are even places where you can stay in a covered conestoga wagon for the ultimate glamping experience!


Step 4: Obtain Your Marriage License

This is an important step if you want your marriage to be legally official! You'll need to obtain a marriage license for the state you're getting married in and obtain it before the day of your wedding. This is a document you will bring to your wedding ceremony and have your wedding officiant sign along with your witnesses. At Elope Southern Utah, we help you with the steps of taking care of your marriage license, and we also take care of delivering it for you so that's one less thing you need to worry about for your wedding.


Every county within each state has a different process for obtaining your marriage license. You'll need to visit or call a County Clerk's office to get the process started. Some counties may require an appointment, in some states you can just walk in, but usually, you and your partner need to be there in person.


In Utah, both of you must appear together in a County Clerk's office, provide identification, provide proof of age, and pay the license fee (usually around $50, but it varies by county). This process must be completed no more than 30 days before the date of your marriage. After your wedding ceremony, your officiant will need to sign the license, along with 2 witnesses before the license is returned to the clerk's office to be recorded. At Elope Southern Utah, your officiant is included with your package, along with your photographer who can sign as a witness. We also return your marriage license for you once it's signed so you won't need to deal with the hassle.



Step 5: Have the Greatest Wedding of All Time


Waterfalls at Gunlock State Park

Now that you have everything planned, go have the most amazing, incredible, wonderful, ultimate wedding day of all time. Just remember that whatever you have planned, that you stay safe and come prepared. If you're hiking, always wear sturdy shoes, bring lots of water, snacks, sunblock, and wear the appropriate attire. Check ahead for weather conditions. Always remember to leave no trace so that we can keep our outdoors clean and beautiful for future generations.




Written by: Angie Schadewald

Images by: Austin Schadewald

Snow Canyon Hike - Johnson Canyon Trail

Tel: (435) 277-0665

elopesouthernutah@gmail.com

© 2020 by Elope Southern Utah LLC

All photos taken by AustinSchadewaldMedia.com

  • Elope Southern Utah Pinterest
  • Elope Southern Utah Facebook
  • Elope Southern Utah Instagram
  • Elope Southern Utah Blog