the ultimate antelope island elopement guide. Plan your wedding day on antelope island to have an adventurous day you will never forget

The Ultimate Antelope Island Elopement Guide

The Ultimate Antelope Island Elopement Guide

Planning Your Wedding Day on Antelope Island

Why You Should Elope on Antelope Island

Antelope Island is a lovely State Park to elope in. The park has hiking trails, biking paths, beautiful landscapes and active wildlife. It only costs $10 per car to get into Antelope Island State Park. You can also get in with an Annual State Park Pass pass. The state park is home to animals like bison, pronghorn antelope, and bighorn sheep.

You can be sure to see bison during your visit to the park. Sweeping grasslands housing a herd of bison back dropped by snow capped mountains really makes you feel far from Salt Lake City. The vastness of the island is enough to make you feel small. While staring out over The Great Salt Lake it is incredible to think that this lake once filled the whole valley up the base of the Wasatch mountains.

Watching the sun set over that lake is absolutely incredible.

Antelope Island is a beautiful place with incredible landscapes, endless adventures, and lots of wildlife to encounter. If your elopement calls for adventure this just may be the place for you. Read on to see what you need to plan your elopement on Antelope Island.

The Antelope Island Checklist

Find Your Elopement Team

Your elopement team starts with booking your photographer. You will be spending a lot of time with them, and they can help you find other vendors and to plan your day! So hi! I would love to be considered as your photographer and guide.

Other vendors you may want to add to the team are an officiant, elopement planner, hair and makeup artist, florist, musician, and a caterer or chef. Discuss with your partner what type of team will be best for your day and find the people that speak to you!

 

Choose When You Want to Elope

Antelope Island is best visited in mid spring when the landscapes are lush and green. However, each season has something different to offer.

Let’s take a look at each season’s conditions to see which is best for you!

Spring:

  • Lush landscapes
  • Wildflowers start to bloom
  • Chance of rain
  • Insects will be active

Summer:

  • Warmer weather
  • Great time for a swim
  • Long days for adventure
  • Insects will be most active

Fall:

  • Cooler temps as season goes on
  • Chance for light rain
  • Possibility for insects 

Winter:

  • Snow looks amazing
  • Colder temps and less crowds
  • Chance of snow and ice on trails
  • Lake reflects the sky
  • Snow capped mountains!

Busy season ranges from late Spring through early Fall. Remember that eloping on a weekday means less crowds and more privacy for you and your loved ones.

Choose Your Ceremony Location

The state park designates four different locations for elopement ceremonies. It also opens up the opportunity to hold your ceremony at any location that gets approved! This is great for tiny ceremonies.

Your ideal ceremony location may depend on the amount of guests you plan on having. Working with a park ranger by filling out this form can help you determine which site is right for you.

You can send your application or ask questions to Assistant Park Manager Wendy Wilson at [email protected]

Apply For Needed Permits

You can apply to have your elopement on Antelope Island with the same application that lists the ceremony locations. Application base fees are $60 and may vary based on the size of your elopement.

 

Book Your Accommodations

You may be traveling from out of state for your elopement. Salt Lake City Airport is just under an hour away from Antelope Island. You can also opt out of flying and road trip to Utah!

You can find a cozy airbnb to stay in, book a hotel room, or camp at the state park. Be sure to find a place that fits the needs of your elopement.

Here are Some Lodging Recommendations:

Salt Lake City Loft

Beesley Cottage

Salt Lake Downtown Studio

Cute Ski Cabin

Antelope Island Campgrounds

Make it Legal

Getting your Utah marriage is a fairly easy process. The licenses are good for 30 days and you can get your license the same day as your elopement! 

To Make Your Marriage Legal:

  • 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

The Davis County Clerk Office is the closest place you can get your marriage license for $50. You can also get your marriage license in Salt Lake City for the same fee!

Choose Your Adventures

Antelope Island has a bunch of different adventure options. There are endless places to explore. I highly recommend watching the sun set over the lake to end your day!

Some Adventures Include:

Hiking

Biking

Swimming

Wildlife Spotting

Horseback Riding

Kayaking

Camping

 

Go On Your Greatest Adventure Yet! 

Now you are ready to have the Antelope Island elopement of your dreams! Do what works for you and add to this list. Your elopement is all about making a day that is all your own. I hope that this guide gets you stoked over planning your adventure together. 

Did this Antelope Island Elopement guide get you stoked? Are you ready to plan your wedding day? Get in touch so we can create your dream day.

adventure elopement photographer halie west

Halie West is an elopement and adventure wedding guide and photographer based in Utah who helps couples create their greatest adventure yet. Let’s make a day that feels right for you and your love.

contact me!

moab adventure session jeep ride to corona arch in utah

Moab Hiking Adventure Session | Moab Adventure Wedding Photographer

Moab Hiking Adventure Session | Moab, Utah

Halie West Photography | Moab Adventure Wedding Photographer

Moab Hiking Adventure

Lauren + Michael are just the sweetest souls. They wanted to celebrate their love with an adventure session in Moab, Utah. The two jeeped to the trailhead of the Corona and Bowtie Arch Trail where we embarked on our hiking adventure. The Corona Arch Trail is a 2.3 mile out and back that is perfect for all experience levels. Rated as moderate, the trail does have some steep inclines with chains to help guide your way. I highly suggest boots with great traction, a liter of water for two, some trail snacks, and headlamps. Prepared, we hit the trail to explore our way to the arch.

A trail of this length is perfect for any adventure session with the one you love. The trail rose above the road and into sandstone paradise. Lauren + Michael led one another down the trail, up the ladder, and to the arch. The Corona Arch is absolutely stunning. Nature is a fine architect using Navajo sandstone, wind, and rain to sculpt the 105 foot structure. People used to fly little planes through the arch opening, while climbers used to rap down from the top. It is easy to see how an arch could spark such creativity. Now hikers enjoy sitting under the arch and enjoying the view. We had so much fun exploring the sandstone structure and stayed until the sun went down.

Exploring in Moab

Moab is a wonderful place to explore. It is home to Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Dead Horse State Park, and many other wonderful places. You can go hiking, climbing, backpacking, mountain biking, or even rafting! Rent a Jeep and travel down some 4×4 roads for an epic experience. Rent a heli and see the desert from a new view. I love watching the sun rise over Delicate Arch, and watching the sun set at Dead Horse State Park. Grab your guidebooks and let’s get planning your next adventure!





 












Want to go on a Moab hiking adventure and see the Corona and Bowtie Arches for yourself? Let’s adventure! Contact me today to celebrate your love.

adventure elopement photographer halie west

Halie West is an elopement and adventure wedding guide and photographer based in Utah who helps couples create their greatest adventure yet. Let’s make a day that feels right for you and your love.

contact me!

Garden of the Gods adventure session with a lovely couple in Colorado. These two chose a candid and adventurous day to capture their love after getting engaged. Adventure sessions are a great way to capture what you love doing most together- exploring nature and getting outside

Garden of the Gods Adventure Session | Colorado Elopement Photographer

Garden of the Gods Adventure Session | Colorado

Halie West Photography | Colorado Elopement Photographer

Martina + Justin chose to have their adventure session at Garden of the Gods in Colorado. The two have recently began to call Colorado home. With all the incredible places to explore in they chose to return to a spot they both loved.

It was my first time in Colorado Springs. It was really rad to have a couple guide me for a change. We spent our morning wandering through sandstone giants, admiring the formations, and staring off at the distant snow dusted mountains.
Martina + Justin have been on a bunch of adventures together from their time in California to their move across the states. I love hearing about my couples favorite adventures, funny stories, and plans for the future. They plan on getting married in California on a little property with horses. This came as no surprise to me as I’ve always known Martina for her love of horses, and you should always include what you love on your wedding day!

What is Garden of the Gods?

Garden of the Gods Park is a National Natural Landmark where you can feel small thanks to the sandstone rock formations that seem to touch the sky. The park has a bunch of rock climbing routes that look like fun. The park is also full of trails that are suitable for hiking and riding along. We had a lot of fun linking trails together to see the formations from afar and up close. It is one of Colorado’s most photographed public lands, and when you see the views for yourself you will know why. This park makes a great day trip, and I highly recommend going for sunrise.

Weddings at Garden of the Gods

The park even allows tiny weddings! We saw an intimate wedding forming as we were leaving the park. Garden of the Gods has six locations that you can hold wedding ceremonies ranging from a maximum of 25 to 50 guests. Best of all, these ceremony spots are at no charge. All six ceremony spots are first come first serve and do not allow for reservations.

Garden of the Gods was a beautiful place for an adventure session, and can be the destination for your next adventure or even your adventurous wedding!













Want to have an adventure session in Garden of the Gods? Get in touch! Let’s adventure together.

adventure elopement photographer halie west

Halie West is an elopement and adventure wedding guide and photographer based in Utah who helps couples create their greatest adventure yet. Let’s make a day that feels right for you and your love.

contact me!

20 Adventures in Utah for 2020

20 Adventures in Utah for 2020

Where to Adventure in Utah

We are two month into to 2020, and I've already planned so many adventures in Utah. While I have been living in Utah for almost a year now, I feel like there is so much more to explore. In the excitement of making travel plans and dreaming of exploration, I put together a quick list of twenty places you should adventure in this year. 2020 could be your year to see some places you have never been before. Or you could revisit some old places that you have been away from for a long time. Grab your hiking boots, break out the maps, and start dreaming. You never know what you may find.

Check out the Adventure List

The list includes the Might 5 National Parks: Zion, Bryce, Arches, Canyonlands, and Capitol Reef. Other places to make the list include the following State Parks: Antelope Island, Great Salt Lake, Snow Canyon, Goblin Valley, and Dead Horse State Park and the following stretches within National Forest Land: Big & Little Cottonwood, the Uintas, Fifth Water Hot Springs, Mount Timpanogos, and Lake Blanche. Monument Valley, Bear Lake, and the Bonneville Salt Flats also made the list. Incredible adventures in Utah go way beyond this list, but this is a great place to start!

The greatest thing about each of these adventures is that they can all be different, and they can be encompassing of the things that make you happy. You can hike in them, walk up to scenic overlooks, rock climb, ski, soak in, or drive around in these lands. The adventures are endless. Here is some inspiration to get you started on planning your Utah adventure!

Love adventure? Check out my free guide to planning your wedding day in Utah's Mighty 5 National Parks!


winter mountain elopement in front of mount timpanogos in utah

Winter Elopement in the Wasatch | Utah Elopement Photographer

Winter Elopement in the Wasatch | American Fork Canyon, Utah

Halie West Photography | Utah Elopement Photographer

 

Winter in the Wasatch

Haydn + Jordan's winter elopement in the Wasatch Mountains took place at a beautiful frozen lake. We began our adventure by warming up with coffee and hot chocolate to combat the bitter cold. The day was full of snowshoeing around the lake, laughing a bunch, embracing the cold, and taking in the beauty of the area. However, Haydn's gaze was more likely to be on Jordan as she looked so beautiful in her dress, white like the freshly fallen snow.

Mount Timpanogos, and the couple's loyal pup Sykes, stood witness to their love. Haydn + Jordan's vows were filled with lots and lots of laughter, big smiles, and long embraces. Sykes was the Best Dog as their ceremony. He stood witness to their love, filled us with laughter, and showed how much he loves his parents. This goofy pup had a blast in the snow and kept us smiling while he got out his zoomies.

There's nothing more beautiful than this- a joyous experience to remember your partner and your pup.

Tips for Planning Your Winter Elopement

A winter elopement calls for peace and serenity. An adventure for those willing to brave the cold has quite the reward. Trails were empty and at times we seemed to have this grand view all to ourselves.
Landscapes look so vastly different when  blanketed in snow. While beautiful, they can also be treacherous. It is so important to be familiar with snow conditions in the area you want to elope in, follow the weather, have a backup plan, and know whether you need to use crampons, snowshoes, microspikes, or even a backcountry ski setup for your journey.

When planning a winter elopement it is important to find a dress that is easy to move in. A dress you can hide base layer pants under is a plus, and long dress sleeves can ensure that your arms are nice and warm. A thicker suit, or one you can layer under can also help you to keep warm. Being wound up in the arms of your love is also really great way to stay warm!

Thick jackets, hot drinks, hand warmers, gloves, beanies, and earmuffs are also necessary for keeping warm on your adventure. The cold doesn't have to stop you from having your greatest adventure yet! The cold doesn't have to stop you from looking your best on your wedding day either. Jordan's sweater complimented her dress and the snow, and kept her comfortable while the two read their vows to one another. A winter wedding day is an incredible adventure when you are well prepared and stoked to frolic through the snow.

 

Want to go on a winter adventure of your own? Get in touch! Let's adventure together.

 


halie west photography instagram rounup

Here's to the Adventure of 2019 | Instagram Round-Up

Here’s to the Adventure of 2019 | Instagram Round-Up

Halie West Photography | Adventure Elopement Photographer

 

With 2020 quickly approaching it’s hard not to reflect on all that 2019 had to offer. From moving to a new state, to a new job, new adventures, new highs, and new lows; 2019 will leave me will so many memories. I’m so grateful for all the places I have been this year, all the couples I have gotten to know and photograph, and all the stories I am able to tell. Many of these stories have been shared over on my Instagram, so here is a Instagram round-up from my most impactful adventures of the last year. Read on to see these stories and my goals for the new year!

Shout out to Abbi Hearne for this great idea!

 

January 3rd | San Gorgonio Wilderness, California

So far this new year has been full of a bunch of new things. I began the year in the best of places: the wilderness. I went on my first backpacking trip. I snow camped. I woke up to snow covered mountains. I melted snow for drinking water. I wore frozen boots and suffered. I learned to use crampons and an ice ax. I lost a crampon. I glacaded down a snow hill. I got to spend it with great friends. And I got to share it with my incredible partner. Here’s to the adventures this year will bring. I hope that you make it outside and explore this new year. It’s always humbling to try something new.

February 25th | Alabama Hills, California

If there is anything to be said about photographers it is that they create a beautiful community. As I enter the world of adventure weddings I’ve found that fellow photographers really want to help each other to become more successful and informed, for we all have a common goal of giving our couples a wonderful adventure while respecting the places we wander in. I really enjoyed learning from and getting to know everyone from a little desert styled shoot that I was so lucky to be a part of over the weekend. You all make me excited for the photography adventures that are to come. Shout to @christinajoyh for bringing us all together

February 27th | California to Utah

See you soon California. Thanks for raising me these past 22 years. Thanks for your constant sunshine, your lack of seasons, and your ever surprising landscape and for your wild places, the adventures, and the start of passions. You’re a rad state, but you’re a bit too busy and freakin expensive.
Thanks for all the people who cannot be described in just words. While I will miss you all dearly this is not goodbye.

I would be lying if I told you I wasn’t scared for this move. I’ll be moving from the only home I’ve ever known, but I’m doing it with the only person and only pup who has ever felt like home. So maybe I’m not leaving home behind after all.

I look forward to what Utah has to bring and to the adventures and the real seasons, the challenges and the triumph. I look forward to the growth I will experience with a new job and a new start to my business.

So see you soon California. Your wild places and wonderful friends will have me visiting real soon.

March 23rd | Red Rock Canyon, Nevada

It still blows my mind that I climbed all 1100 feet of this wall. My first big wall climb was a success, and I never thought I would ever do anything like it.
When I was younger I was that kid that got stuck half way up on the rock wall. I would grip the plastic holds for dear life until some poor gym attendant would climb up to pry me off. Then I would sit and watch all my friends climb and give up because I was too scared.

While my fear of heights came out a few times during this climb I’m real proud at how far I’ve come. Face your fears. They can end up being pretty thrilling with the right people.
Shout to my man for bringing me on this great adventure, for the constant support and encouragement, and for talking me through some panicked moments during the down climb.

April 20th | Joshua Tree National Park, California

Woah I graduated a year ago and I’ve done so much since. I went abroad with my soulmate @emily_wilt and visited two incredible countries, got one of those job things, photographed my first wedding, moved away from home, fell deeper and deeper in love, got fired from my job (yikes), wandered through seven different states, went on ten different roadtrips, expanded my love for adventure, reevaluated what I wanted from life, committed to my photography business.

Then I felt more grateful for good friends than ever before, moved even further away from home, found a new job, and learned a lot of little things about myself and that we always have room to grow.

I graduated having no idea what I wanted to do with my life. The path I had always thought I was going to take crumbled at my feet after receiving vet school rejection letters and realizing that it wasn’t where my heart was.
So maybe you’re graduating and you have no idea what comes next. That is ok! You are not alone. You have not failed. Be patient with yourself. Go out and do what you are passionate about. You may be scarred. I sure was, but life has a funny way of falling in to place.

May 21st | American Fork Canyon, Utah

I sat in the car the other day admiring the passing landscape through a rain splattered windshield and thinking about how grateful I am. Grateful to have gone on so many adventures. Grateful for a car that takes me where my heart desires. So grateful for the people who help me to feel whole.

To a partner who is both patient and honest. Who loves me in such a way and pushes me to go after my dreams, while being able to peruse his own goals. I only hope that soon I can love myself as he does and see myself as he sees me through his kind and thoughtful eyes. To family who has supported me. Brought me up to chase my dreams no matter how obscure, off the beaten path, or difficult.

You’ve accepted that my life will be full of challenge and not the norm. The acceptance and excitement you share means the world. To friends who are so much more than just that. Who welcome me with open arms, visit when I need it most, include me in their biggest triumphs and challenges, and take the time to care. To myself for working harder than ever before on my dreams, art, and self care. Right now I feel grateful. Right now is what matters most.

July 8th | Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

I tend to measure solo roadtrips in albums. Every hour or so, a new story is told through the poems of another. The Wasatch Mountains shrunk in my rear view mirror as Wish You Were Here played on. Pink Floyd’s iconic lyrics flowed through open windows, while thoughts of my love and the sweetness of my return to him lingered on my mind. My voice soon rose over the stereo like Nevadan mountains on the horizon.

The Lumineer’s Cleopatra left me thinking about the paths we walk down that shape who we become. Zeppelin’s Mothership took me rambling across open fields and forgotten places with promise of when to hold on and when to move on. The Bahama’s Earthtones had me contemplating the pain and passion that has led my wheels to hit this very road. Silence followed for time to reflect. Six hours had gone by. Half way there. (1/2)

From the Next Post

With a full tank of gas, the stories resumed. An Awesome Wave’s tempo raced with my wandering wind across the seemingly endless grassland. Hozier’s melody haunted the car as I drove deeper into canyons. The grassland soon became forest. A few hours went by filled by more silence until broken by the somber sound of Culberson County. The stories left me thinking of the struggles we all face and the solace that our public lands bring me.

The Lumineer’s first and newest albums brought me as far as the open gates of Oregon’s only National Park. They tell so many stories of their own. What lives we are able to live. With windows down and the stereo silenced, the song of the wind followed me as I wound myself around steep roads to the viewpoint. Behold. A place of beauty created by ash. A place of solitude and joy formed by time. There is more to learn: more stories to be told by the trail so along it I went. (2/2)

Photos from this series were taken on the trail and drive home so that the journey would come full circle. The story could be told as a whole.

August 7th | Home

It’s hard to describe how grateful I feel. Life is short. Hold those who matter most

October 7th | Yosemite National Park

It’s funny to think that my first visit to Yosemite was anything but memorable. Sometimes I don’t believe that I went before college. That I never witnessed those towering granite walls. The flocks of tourists. The windy roads. All I can kinda remember is the hike to Vernal Falls. And a younger kid in my group crying because he saw a squirrel and he didn’t get ice cream. Classic. Since it wasn’t memorable it wasn’t enjoyable. Luckily, my second trip was much, much different.

We took those windy roads, came through the tunnel, and I was in awe. The valley sprawled before us. El Cap, Yosemite Falls, and Half Dome seemed to rise out of the valley floor as they came into view. It was hard for me stop starring out the window. It’s a good thing I wasn’t driving. I starred in wonder at those granite faces, took in the change in scenery from one part of the park to the next, and got excited over every waterfall.

Yosemite left me with feelings of wonder and inspiration. Maybe my first trip tried to leave me with these same feelings. Maybe I wasn’t ready for them, so they waited in that valley for six years until my return. Those feelings hit me so hard that I was back in Yosemite the next weekend despite only getting to spend half a day in the park. Funny what a stretch of land can do for us. How it can make us feel and how it can invoke passion and wonder by just being itself. How we can feel a place so deeply in our bones that it must simply be part of our soul. I think that we can learn so much from the places we visit. The places we feel rather than simply see.

November 27th | Memories from Alabama Hills, California

Film has a way of making memories appear timeless. They take you back to that moment with a different feeling than digital photographs. Maybe it’s that these moments seem like they came from so long ago. Back when Ansel Adams photographed what would become Yosemite National Park. Back when William Eggleston used color photography to make waves in the fine art world. They invoke a deeper feeling of nostalgia and peace.

Film is especially fun when I find rolls from nearly a year ago, have them processed, and relive the memories in more detail and vibrance than before. Here’s the last time we went to Alabama Hills as a lil family before moving to Utah. I can feel the morning chill getting out of the car at dawn. I can hear the crunch of snow as Lilly chases after her ball, and feel the soothing water of the hot springs.

December 18th | Moab. Utah

The beauty of the desert is endless

 

I love that this Instagram round-up allowed me to go back over my year and take in some of its most inspiring moments. 2019 led me to so many fun and exciting adventures with some pretty amazing people. I’m so grateful for all the memories I made, and for all the couples who I got to photograph and become better friends with. Sharing your stories made my year so much richer, and I can’t wait for the stories that 2020 allows me to be a part of.

For 2020 I hope to

  • visit more places in nature that inspire me
  • get outside more and have fun with the new sports I’ve been learning
  • help more couples create their own adventurous wedding days
  • show more people the places I love
  • grow more as a person and as a partner, and learn some new things
  • pet all the dogs!

What do you hope to do in 2020? I hope that you go out there and explore as part of this new year. Bring the ones you love most with you and make some amazing memories!


The ultimate zion elopement guide for planning your dream elopement in zion national park. Create your greatest adventure yet by starting with this guide. See if an elopement in Zion is right for you and your love

The Ultimate Zion Elopement Guide

The Ultimate Zion Elopement Guide

Planning Your Wedding Day in Zion National Park

Why You Should Plan Your Elopement in Zion

It’s no surprise that Zion National Park is Utah’s first national park. The sweeping walls of pinks, oranges, and reds will captivate you and leave you imagining the forces it took to create such a place. Zion offers loads of hiking trails, scenic overlooks, daunting climbs, 4×4 roads, endless slot canyons, and famous river hikes. What’s not to love about a place that could leave you exploring for weeks on end?

Zion National Park is a great location for your adventurous wedding day or elopement. With impressive scenery, affordable ceremony locations, and the cutest nearby town, Zion has what you need to create a memorable elopement.

This elopement guide will outline everything you may need for a wedding day in Zion National Park. Together we can create a day that is as wild and alive as the park itself.

The Zion Elopement Checklist

Find Your Elopement Dream Team

Your elopement dream team starts with your photographer. You will be spending a lot of time with them, and they can help you to find other vendors and to plan your day! And hi! I would love to be considered as your photographer and guide.

Other vendors you may want to add to the team are an officiant, elopement planner, hair and makeup artist, florist, musician, and a caterer or chef. These vendors can be found as you plan your elopement. Discuss with your partner what type of team will be best for your day and find the people that speak to you!

Choose When You Want to Elope

Choosing your elopement date depends more on what season you want to visit Zion in. Remember that choosing a weekday is best to avoid crowds, and that you may need to be flexible on your date to get your choice ceremony location.

Let’s take a look at each season’s conditions to see which is best for you!

Spring:

  • Typically warmer weather
  • Wildflowers start blooming
  • Possibility for rain and flash floods
  • Snow can be present depending on the winter

Summer:

  • Warmer weather
  • Flash flood possibility from July-September
  • Great time to explore river hikes
  • Will be crowded

Fall:

  • Cooler conditions
  • Temps can vary 30 degrees in a single day
  • Fall colors start to come out
  • Crowds tend to lessen as the season goes on

Winter:

  • Often cold and wet
  • Snow and ice can be present on trails
  • Best time to avoid the crowds

Busy season ranges from March during Spring Break weeks and from May to September. Weekdays tend to be less busy and provide smaller crowds!

Choose Your Ceremony Location

Eloping in Zion means that your ceremony can be just the two of you, include your closest family members, or include a small group of your closest family and friends. 

Zion has a total of 6 ceremony locations that can hold a range of 10 to 100 guests. Once you have decided on how many guests you plan to have, you can choose a suitable ceremony location here.

Apply For Needed Permits

Special Use Permits for Zion cost $100 and take at least 3 weeks to process. You can apply for a permit here.

Keep in mind that some hikes, like the Narrows, or adventures, like river kayaking, also require permits.

Book Your Accommodations

You have your permit, and your elopement day is all set! Now you need to find a place to stay and plan how you will get to your elopement location. 

You could opt to find a cozy airbnb that is close to the park, stay in a hotel in Springdale, or even camp in the park if that’s your thing. The most important thing is that you choose a place that fits both of your needs.

Here are some recommendations:

Under Canvas Zion

A-Frame Airbnb in the Zion Wilderness

Driftwood Lodge in Springdale 

Zion National Park Lodge

Zion’s South Campground

Depending on where you are coming from, you may need to fly or drive to Zion. Las Vegas and Salt Lake City Airports are not far from Zion. If you choose to fly, remember to rent a suitable vehicle as your day may call for 4×4 roads. You can also up the adventure and plan a fun road trip to Utah!

Make it Legal

Getting your Utah marriage is a fairly easy process. The licenses are good for 30 days and you can get your license the same day as your elopement! 

To Make Your Marriage Legal:

  • 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

The Washington County office in St. George is the closest office to get your marriage license. It is just an hour from the national park!

Choose Your Adventures

Now for the fun part! Zion has so many different types of adventures to offer. You may want to incorporate one or more into your elopement day, or have a post elopement day adventure. 

Adventures include:

  • Hiking
  • Backpacking
  • Climbing
  • Jeeping
  • Helicopter Tours
  • Canyoneering
  • Hardcore Kayaking

Some of these adventures are better done with help. Hiring a guide service is a great way to kick start your marriage with a new experience!

Go On Your Greatest Adventure Yet! 

Time to happy dance and pack your gear! You are ready to go on your greatest adventure yet! I couldn’t be more stoked for you as you choose to have an elopement that reflects you, your love, and your values. Your elopement will be unforgettable because it feels right. With an awesome photographer and dream team to help out you will be able to relive the day for years to come.

Ready to elope in Zion after reading this guide? Get in touch! Let’s adventure together.

adventure elopement photographer halie west

Halie West is an elopement and adventure wedding guide and photographer based in Utah who helps couples create their greatest adventure yet. Let’s make a day that feels right for you and your love.

contact me!

watchmen tower of southern utah's national park zion and wedding or elopement desitination. Perfect spot for a wedding in a utah national park

The Mighty 5 Elopement Guide | Utah's National Parks

The Mighty 5 Elopement Guide

Planning Your Wedding Day in Utah’s National Parks

 

Why You Should Elope in Utah

Eloping means that you get to have an intimate and meaningful experiences with who you love most. Choosing to elope is a brave decision that allows you to create a wedding day that is truly yours. Your wedding day should reflect your love. Eloping will ensure that your wedding day is full of adventure!

Southern Utah is home to Utah’s 5 national parks. These parks are full of unique rock formations, gorgeous sandstone, and adventurous experiences for everyone. With so many great options it can be tough to choose which park to elope in. This guide is here to help you narrow down what park is right for you.

Southern Utah’s Seasons

Utah’s national parks experience a range of seasons. Each season brings different adventures in each park. Here are some things you should know about each season in Southern Utah. This can help you to decide when to plan your wedding day!

Spring

  • temperatures range from 60-90 during the day, and 30-60 overnight
  • rain is likely and canyon hikes may be off limit because of it
  • get ready to see spring blooms

Summer

  • temperatures can get well over 100 degrees
  • hiking in the early morning or for sunset is wise
  • you have the perfect reason to go rafting or visit a lake

Fall

  • temperatures range from 60-80 during the day, and 30-50 overnight
  • fall foliage is present and beautiful
  • rain can happen so pack layers

Winter

  • temperatures range from 20-50 degrees and can drop below freezing at night
  • some trails and roads are closed due to snow. Other trails or roads may be impassable
  • parks will likely be less crowded
  • the contrast of snow against sandstone is absolutely beautiful

The busiest times in the parks are from April to June and from mid-September to October.

How to Get Your Utah Marriage License

Marriage licenses are important for making your elopement legal. While it is an easy process, it is best to know what you need before you go. The coolest thing about a Utah marriage license is that you can get it the same day as your wedding!

What to know about your marriage license:

  • both you and your partner must be present, have legal ID, and know your socials at the time of application
  • your full names, your dates and places of birth, your addresses, parents names, and parents places of birth will be needed for the application
  • fees range from $30-50 and may be cash only
  • your wedding needs an officiant
  • two witnesses must sign your license

 

Arches National Park

Why You Should Elope in Arches

This park likely has more arches than you can count! It is amazing to see what nature can sculpt and how sandstone arches can inspire.

Permit Information

Wedding permit applications cost $185. This includes a non-refundable $55 application fee. These permits can be applied for up to a year in advance. You should apply within 28 days before your wedding to get consideration for a permit, but permits are typically processed within 10 business days. . Permits can be applied for here.

Wedding Guest Accommodations

Arches can allow up to 80 guests for your wedding day. Most ceremony locations allow up to 25 guests, so it is best to submit your permit earlier if you plan on having a larger wedding.

The Greatest Things to Do in Arches

  • see Delicate Arch at sunrise or sunset
  • go on a 4×4 tour
  • try to count as many arches as you can
  • visit Balancing Rock, the Windows, and Double Arch
  • hike in Devils Garden
  • do a ranger guided hike in the Fiery Furnace


Canyonlands National Park

Why You Should Elope in Canyonlands

Standing on a cliff edge and seeing the creation of time, wind, and the Colorado River is simply incredible. Each overlook tells a new story, and the colors of the sandstone in the changing light is so beautiful.

Permit Information

Wedding permit applications cost $185. This includes a non-refundable $55 application fee. These permits can be applied for up to a year in advance. You should apply within 28 days before your wedding to get consideration for a permit, but permits are typically processed within 10 business days. Permits can be applied for here.

Wedding Guest Accommodations

Weddings can have up to 25 guests at any of the three ceremony locations.

The Greatest Things to Do in Canyonlands

  • go off-roading or mountain biking on White Rim Road
  • see Mesa Arch at sunrise
  • hike or have a picnic at one of the many overlooks
  • hike to Upheavel Dome
  • check out Elephant Hill

Capitol Reef National Park

Why You Should Elope in Capitol Reef

Capitol Reef is geologically incredible. From a 100 mile geological monocline, to red and golden sandstone, towers, and natural bridges this park has a lot to see and learn about.

Permit Information

Wedding permit applications cost $50. These permits can be applied for up to a year in advance. You must apply within 7 days before your wedding to get consideration for a permit. Permits can be applied for here.

Wedding Guest Accommodations

Weddings at Capitol Reef can include up to 100 people. Most ceremony sites are more suitable for 15-20 guests.

The Greatest Things to Do in Capitol Reef

  • hike to Capitol Gorge
  • go for a scenic drive
  • hike to Cassidy Arch
  • enjoy a piece of pie at the Gifford House
  • rent a 4×4 vehicle and see Cathedral Valley
  • find a slot canyon


Bryce Canyon National Park

Why You Should Elope in Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon is a wild place. Hoodoos are some of the coolest sculptures made by nature! Bryce Canyon offers stunning overlooks and awesome hikes into the canyon.

Permit Information

Wedding permit applications cost $100. These permits can be applied for up to a year in advance. You must apply within 14 days before your wedding to get consideration for a permit. Permits can be applied for here.

Wedding Guest Accommodations

Bryce Canyon can hold weddings with up to 30 guests at either of its two ceremony locations.

The Greatest Things to Do in Bryce Canyon

  • hike the Navajo Loop Trail
  • see the sunrise at Inspiration Point
  • go for a trail ride
  • hike the Rim Trail
  • go on an ATV tour
  • hike the Peek-A-Boo Loop
  • see a waterfall on Mossy Cave Trail
  • go snowshoeing, sledding, or cross country skiing in winter

Zion National Park

Why You Should Elope in Zion

Zion is breathtaking. With its towering rock formations and rushing river, Zion’s contrast between the desert and greenery is quite stunning. There are so many adventure you can have in Zion!

Permit Information

Wedding permit applications cost $100. These permits can be applied for up to a year in advance. You must apply within 21 days before your wedding to get consideration for a permit. Permits can be applied for here.

Wedding Guest Accommodations

Zion can hold weddings from anywhere for 2 to 100 people! The type of ceremony area you can reserve is dependent on how many guests you will be having. Be sure to get your permit early to get your desired ceremony site and date.

The Greatest Things to Do in Zion

  • hike angels landing
  • see petroglyphs
  • hike the narrows
  • go rock climbing or canyoneering
  • take a jeep or ATV to a slot canyon
  • go for a trail ride
  • visit the nearby town of Springdale and grab ice cream or a beer

As Always, Leave No Trace

Leaving No Trace on your wedding day means that the future of the park is a much brighter. We should all do our part to protect and preserve wild places- especially those that we make beautiful memories in!

 

Want to get married in a national park? Check out my 4 tips for adventure!

adventure elopement photographer halie west

Halie West is an elopement and adventure wedding guide and photographer based in Utah who helps couples create their greatest adventure yet. Let’s make a day that feels right for you and your love.

contact me!

waterfall adventure at bridal veil falls utah

Bridal Veil Falls Adventure | Utah Adventure Elopement Photographer

Waterfall Adventure Session | Bridal Veil Falls, Utah

Halie West Photography | Utah Adventure Elopement Photographer

 

A Grand Waterfall in Utah

Alaina + Jared brought their pup Dingo to spend a misty morning exploring one of Utah’s tallest falls. Bridal Veil Falls is an incredible destination for the those who want a little adventure.  At 607 feet, these falls are spectacular to visit. The trail leading to the falls was so muddy that we opted to hike through the river to get a better view at the waterfall. Alaina + Jared were all smiles as they carefully traversed across rock bridges and through cold water. The two newlyweds were in awe of the power and beauty of the falls, while their pup Dingo was enjoying all the attention his parents were giving him.

Alaina + Jared spent much of their time exploring. Jared was adamant about walking down every trail that led us to discover a sport climbing crag, and led us on a steep hike up to a spot that overlooked half the waterfall. It gave us a tremendous view of snow capped mountains and really put the height of the falls into perspective. While he wasn’t finding all there was to explore, Jared has his arm around Alaina. These two were so sweet to one another and to their pup, Dingo. Love like theirs is quiet and true; a love story compiled of so many great adventures from moving across the country to eloping in a national park. Dingo was even the best dog at their wedding! This little family has such an adventurous spirit that I was so grateful to witness and capture.




Looking for someone to capture your own waterfall adventure? Get in touch! Let’s go on an adventure together.

When you bring your pet along I donate to the animal shelter of your choice! Let’s save lives together.