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 5 tips for adventure!