Updated: Nov 12
Utah Elopement Guide and Packages | Utah Elopement Photographer
A complete guide on how to Elope in Utah
Utah has some of the most amazing landscapes and ecosystems in the country. From massive mountain peaks, to crazy rock formations and beautiful desert landscapes. All these make Utah one of the most popular states in the country to Elope in. There are endless options in Utah when it comes to locations you can Elope in and in this guide we will put together a list of what we think are the best spots to Elope within the state of Utah. We narrowed down the list between to main locations, Northern and Southern Utah.
If adventure and beautiful landscapes are your vibe then Utah might be the place for you!
As outdoor enthusiasts and photographers, we feel very lucky to call Utah our home state. We are based out of the beautiful town of Park City and living here allows us to have a centralized home base of operations and to be able to easily access the many regions of Utah. This access provides us with an endless amount of opportunity to explore all that Utah has to offer. Utahs unique, pristine and natural landscapes inspire our creativity and we believe that nature offers the best wedding venues :) For us its only a short 3 hrs drive to many of the National Parks located in Utah such as Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.
Table of contents
Best Places to have an Elopement in Utah -Northern Utah Park City, Utah Big and Little Cottonwood Canyon Uinta Mountains Bonneville Salt Flats -Southern Utah Moab, Utah Lake Powell Zion National Park Bryce Canyon Nation Park Escalante St. Gerorge
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WHY ELOPE IN UTAH?
More and more couples are choosing to Elope. If you are reading this most likely you are looking for another option beside a traditional wedding day. Maybe the stress that comes with organizing a traditional wedding day is not for you or your partner. Maybe you or your partner value unique experiences over the traditional things that a normal wedding offers, or maybe you are looking for a day that will refocus on what a wedding really is. Whichever is your reason, we are here to guide you through the whole process. We love hearing the ideas and the things that appeal to our clients when it comes Elopements, this gives us a starting point so that we can put together a day that you will never forget. Utah has some of the most amazing landscapes and ecosystems in the country, making it the perfect state to elope in.
We personally believe that elopements are the best way to start a life together, and we want to make sure that your elopement reflects who you are as a couple.
Once you have figured out your reasons for eloping vs a traditional wedding we can start the planning process.
The first thing to do is to figure out the type of experience you are looking for? Where would you like to visit/see? What type of environment do you envision yourself in on your Elopement day? These questions will help you both as well as us to form a general idea of how your Elopement day will go. From there we can narrow down some locations and other logistics.
Best places to elope in Utah
We narrowed down the locations to two main areas of Utah, the North and the South. We will also talk about what time of the year is best for eloping in each location.
The Wasatch Mountains are all over the Northern part of Utah. These mountains are our playground year round and we feel so lucky to call this area home. The weather in the mountains can vary a lot depending on the season but you can elope pretty much any time of the year. Winters are cold and the Wasatch mountains get a significant amount of snow every season. Utah truly has the best snow on earth and as skiers we have found out first hand that the snow quality here truly is the best. Springs and Summers are beautiful and the weather is mostly perfect, although the nights can still get a little chilly. During the summer the mountains are covered with a lush green layer of vegetation as well as colorful wild flowers. Spring is short, but this is when the wild flowers begin to sprout and the fauna comes out of hybernation and offers good oportunities to see wildlife. Fall is spectacular the leaves change to oranges and aspen grooves turn yellow. Usually this happens mid September through first week of October, and is a perfect time for a fall Elopement.
1) Park City, Utah: Within PC (like most of the locals will call it) there are many places to elope. Park City is a quaint small ski resort town and beautiful year round. Within Park City you can find:
The Chruch of Dirt: this is a free location on the top of Empire Pass above Deer Valley with beautiful views and is a perfect place to elope. Surrounded by giant mountain peaks and gorgeous 360 degree views, this mountain top wooden chapel might just be the best place to elope in Park City Utah. Check out this intimate wedding.
Bonanza Flats: A spectacular piece of open land at the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon, tucked between Guardsman Pass, with an elevation of 10,420', and Park City. Bonanza Flats contains 1534 acres of protected and undeveloped backcountry majesty and is by far one of our favorite locations for taking photos around the Park City area. There are so many beautiful spots with dramatic landscapes to choose from for amazing pictures. During autumn the fall foliage is out of this world, during summer the lush greenery and wild flowers are spectacular and beautiful but once winter arrives the road to Bonanza Flats is closed due to the massive amounts of snow that the Wasatch Mountains receive. However, you can still get adventurous at this location and take your session to the next level any time of the year!
Bloods Lake: this location is for the adventurous and requires a moderate hike to a beautiful alpine lake where you can elope with amazing views all around you. All trails: 2.7-mile out-and-back trail near Park City, Utah. Generally considered a moderately challenging route.
Deer Valley Resort: We can't finish our list of Best Places to Elope in Utah without including Deer Valley. Deer Valley is one of two ski resorts in the Park City area. The deck at Stein Erickson or the open land right outside Montage a few pots that are beautiful and perfect for an elopement.
2) Big and Little Cottonwood Canyon: Big Cottonwood Canyon (BCC) is a canyon in the Wasatch Range 12 miles southeast of Salt Lake City. The 15-mile-long canyon provides all kinds of outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, picnicking, rock-climbing, camping, and fishing for summer time fun and In the winter you can ski and explore the two ski resorts within the canyon, Brighton and Solitude. Jordan Pines and Silver Lake hikes are also one of our go to places for photographing our clients.
Parallel to BCC you can find Little Cottonwood Canyon (LCC) which is also home to two of Utah's ski and summer resorts Alta & Snowbird. The Albion Basin in Alta is stunning for photos and is the best place for viewing wildflowers in the summer.
3) Uinta Mountains: The Uinta Mountains are a mountain range in northeastern Utah that are popular for hiking, backpacking, horseback riding and other outdoor activities. The Uinta mountains are one of the largest undeveloped areas of land and wilderness Utah has to offer. Here you can enjoy some amazing hikes which vary in length for short one day outings to full on week long backpacking trips.
4) Bonneville Salt Flats: this location is best during winter or spring, summer can get pretty hot with 100+ degree temperatures. The Bonneville Salt Flats offer amazing and unique backdrops to exchange vows in.
Bonneville Salt Flats Elopement
Winter Deer Valley Elopement
Elopement - Church of Dirt, Park City Utah
1) Moab, Utah: a vibrant small town in Southern Utah, used as a base camp for outdoor enthusiasts. Just a few miles from Moab you can find two big and popular National Parks and a State Park here.
Canyonlands National Park
Arches National Park
Dead Horse Point State Park
BLM (The Bureau of Land Management's): Tons of public land around Moab with incredible landscapes, usually less crowded than the National and State Parks. If you are looking for privacy BLM is a great option.
2) Lake Powell: one of the most spectacular and largest reservoirs in the United States. Lake Powell is located along the Southern border with Arizona. Over 185 miles long, this area provides unique landscapes and offers many locations to create a beautiful elopement.
3) Zion National Park: Zion's landscape is absolutely breathtaking., it includes mountains, canyons, buttes, mesas, monoliths, rivers, slot canyons, and natural arches. Zion along with Canyonlands and Arches are very popular and tend to get pretty crowded during summertime. It's best to plan an Elopement during sunrise or sunset or during winter to avoid crowds.
4) Bryce Canyon Nation Park: famous for the largest collection of hoodoos (distinctive rock formations) in the world. You can enjoy an endless list of outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, etc.
5) Escalante: Between Capitol Reef and Bryce Canyon National Parks and nestled on the edge of Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument, the town of Escalante offers access to some of the most beautiful parts of Southern Utah.
6) St. George and Snow Canyon: St. George is a growing town with warm weather year round. St. George is close to Zion National Park and Snow Canyon State Park which are two beautiful spots for a perfect Elopement year round.
How Can I Legally Elope in Utah?
Let's talk about the legal stuff. To legally be married in Utah you’ll need a marriage license, a licensed officiant, and two witnesses. You will also need to apply for your marriage license in person. The good news is that you can apply for your marriage license at any county clerk's office in the state. You must fill out the application in person and both applicants should be in attendance, you can do this a few days before your Elopement or even the morning of, there is no waiting period in between getting the license and when you can get married. We have recommendations for officiants and thankfully you will have a husband + wife photography team that can be the two witnesses.
Once you have an appointment at the nearest County Clerks office you must double check that you have the following documents:
Personal Information. Be prepared to share your full names, addresses, dates of birth, and places of birth. You'll also be required to share the names and birthplaces of both parents of both applicants, including maiden names.
Social Security Card. You'll need to show your Social Security numbers for both applicants unless an applicant doesn’t have one
Identification. Be sure to bring a valid photo ID to your appointment. Your passport, driver’s license, birth certificate, or state ID card work!
Money. In most counties in Utah, a license fee is charged, which includes two certified copies of the license. According to the state’s webpage, some counties do not charge a fee for the license but do charge for certified copies. Price could vary from $35 to $60.
Looking for a Utah Elopement Photographer?!
Looking to Elope in Utah?
Reach out to us! We would love to guide you through all the procedures, share more about our beautiful state and document your special day. We are more than just your photographers. We will help you craft a day that reflects you and your partner. We want to create an experience that you will remember for the rest of your life. Let's get Adventurous!