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!

 

Leave No Trace

Every venture into nature should be done by leaving as little impact as possible. Your elopement is no different. If you are unfamiliar with Leave No Trace (LNT) please read the 7 LNT Principles. Staying on trails, leaving petrologlyphs alone, and picking up trash brings good wedding day karma. Throwing confetti or flower petals isn’t a good idea in a National Park. Don’t worry, you can still pop champagne to celebrate your love!

 

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.

Want to elope in any National Park? Check out my 5 tips for your elopement!

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.

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