How to Get Married in Arizona: A Step-by-Step Wedding Planning Guide: Complete Arizona Elopement Guide

bride and groom look at view in Sedona

Last Updated: January 2024 

Welcome to my go-to guide for crafting your ideal Arizona elopement! Throughout this guide, I’ll be your virtual guide, walking you through all the nitty-gritty details of planning an unforgettable elopement in Arizona. From uncovering the hidden gems like Sedona and the Grand Canyon to tackling the legal side of getting hitched in the state, I’ve got your back. Get ready for an adventure as I spill the beans on insider tips, spill details on snagging your Arizona marriage license, and spill the tea on the best times of the year to tie the knot in this spectacular southwestern state. So, whether you’re a nature lover, a couple seeking an intimate celebration, or just captivated by Arizona’s beauty, keep on reading. Join me on this journey, and let’s make your Arizona elopement dreams a reality!

Table of Contents

Where is Arizona

Nestled in the southwestern corner of the United States, Arizona is a captivating canvas of diverse landscapes. From the iconic Grand Canyon to the red rock formations of Sedona, this state promises an enchanting backdrop for couples seeking an intimate elopement.

Why Elope in Arizona?

Arizona, my beloved home, is where I discovered my deep passion for nature. It’s not just a desert; it’s a boundless playground of beauty and adventure. Even I haven’t experienced all the wonders it holds, from the vibrant energy of Downtown Tucson to the majestic crimson mountains of Sedona. Whether you seek thrilling escapades or serene tranquility, Arizona offers a plethora of options for your elopement.

The diverse landscapes of Arizona provide a perfect backdrop for any elopement, from the stunning canyons to the lush forests and everything in between. The dramatic sunsets over the desert horizon and the star-filled night skies create an enchanting atmosphere, setting the scene for a truly unforgettable celebration of love. Whether you envision an intimate ceremony amidst the breathtaking scenery or an adventurous elopement in the heart of nature, Arizona’s beauty will leave you and your partner spellbound.

Every corner of this state exudes its own unique charm, offering an endless array of experiences that cater to every couple’s desires. You can immerse yourselves in the rich Native American history, explore the thriving arts and culture scene, or embark on adrenaline-pumping outdoor activities. Arizona truly encapsulates the essence of adventure, romance, and boundless possibilities, making it the ultimate destination for a one-of-a-kind elopement.

How to Get to Arizona

By Plane: Jetting into Arizona? You’re spoiled for choice with five international airports, but the true gem is the bustling Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona. Serving as the beating heart of the state, it’s a strategic choice for your elopement adventure. Navigate the skies and descend into the heart of Arizona, ready to explore the wonders that await.

By Car: For those who relish the romance of the open road, a road trip to Arizona is not just a journey; it’s an unveiling of nature’s grandeur. Wind your way through picturesque highways, each turn a prelude to the breathtaking landscapes that define Arizona. While the drive into Arizona may pique your interest, rest assured, the enchanting destinations that await will surpass every expectation. It’s not just a road trip; it’s a gateway to Arizona’s captivating wonders, ensuring that every mile is a step closer to your elopement dreams

Best Time to Elope in Arizona

In Arizona, the sweet spot for elopements is undoubtedly spring and fall. Why? The temperatures are just right, whether you find yourself in the enchanting mountains or the vast desert landscapes. It’s the Goldilocks of weather—neither too hot nor too cold—creating the perfect backdrop for your outdoor adventures. Summer, with its scorching temperatures, is a definite no-go. Who wants to exchange vows while battling a heatwave?

Autumn in Arizona

Personally, my heart belongs to autumn in Arizona. As temperatures cool down, the trees start their color-changing spectacle. The prime window for autumn elopements is from mid-October to December. Capture the vibrant fall foliage and, if you’re patient, even witness the first snowfall up north in the last weeks of December. Arizona in autumn? Pure magic.

Winter Wonderland

Winter in Arizona brings a mixed bag of temperatures, depending on your chosen elopement spot. While desert locations may chill your bones at night, the days are pleasantly mild. On the other hand, northern Arizona’s mountains on a snowy blanket, opening doors for winter sports enthusiasts. Dress in layers, avoid the crowds, and let the season work its wintery wonders.

Spring Spectacle

Ah, spring—the season of renewal. Picture wildflowers painting meadows and Saguaro cacti donning vibrant blooms. From February to April, Arizona transforms into a colorful paradise. Experience the beauty of this season before the summer heat kicks in.

Top 5 Best Arizona Elopement Locations

Venturing through Arizona’s awe-inspiring landscapes fills me with absolute joy, and sharing these hidden gems with my couples is the icing on the cake! Picture this: quick snapshots that capture the essence of each location, from the closest airports and drive times to uncovering nearby gems. As your go-to elopement photographer, I understand the importance of finding those intimate, uncrowded spots where your love story unfolds. Here’s a sneak peek into some of Arizona’s finest elopement havens.


Immerse yourselves in the enchanting red rock splendor of Sedona, where nature’s towering formations and scenic vistas conspire to create a truly magical elopement backdrop. Sedona, a town like no other, boasts mesmerizing red rock scenery, desert foliage, and towering formations, inviting exploration. With an array of trails and overlooks, your day can be an adventure, followed by unwinding at local restaurants or wineries. Phoenix Sky Harbor, just over a 2-hour drive away, is your gateway. Optimal elopement months stretch from November to April, and for most, no permits are needed. Be mindful of restrictions like no free-standing arches or furniture on National Forest Land. Dive deeper into Sedona’s elopement magic with my Sedona Elopement Guide

Horseshoe Bend

Stand on the edge of the iconic Horseshoe Bend, where the meandering Colorado River weaves through the landscape, offering a breathtaking stage for your vows. Page is an elopement hidden gem, not just for Horseshoe Bend, but for the chance to be surrounded by unique mountains and serene lakes, creating opportunities for unforgettable adventures. The closest airports are Page Municipal Airport (PGA) and Flagstaff Pulliam Airport (FLG), with warmer months preferred for elopements due to less traffic.


Nestled at the heart of Arizona, Phoenix is an urban haven for those seeking an elegant twist to their elopement day. The cityscape buzzes with numerous restaurants, bars, and hidden gems, offering a diverse array of venues. A mere 15-minute drive from the airport, Phoenix grants you the flexibility to explore diverse locales. Dive into the city’s vibrant rhythm while crafting your unique urban elopement experience.


This city has swiftly become a top elopement destination, stealing my heart with its stunning mountains, diverse landscapes, and eclectic, homely vibe. A hidden gem is less bustling than other popular locations, Tucson International Airport is your gateway, with October to April as optimal elopement months.


Amidst the pine-covered landscapes of Flagstaff, discover secluded spots for an intimate ceremony, embraced by the serene beauty of Arizona’s high country. Contrary to popular belief, Arizona sees snow, and Flagstaff, located 3 hours north of Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, is a winter wonderland waiting to be explored. With open fields, aspen trees, and unique volcanic rock mountains, Flagstaff is the small town that continually unfolds its wonders.

Tucson elopement at Mount Lemmon

How to Get a Marriage License in Arizona

Getting that golden ticket (a.k.a., the marriage license) is a breeze. If you’re an Arizona local, you can snag it online and have it delivered to your doorstep – talk about convenience! For out-of-state lovebirds, a visit to the county clerk’s office is in order. Some places require an appointment, so plan ahead. Kick off the application online, then strut into the office with your photo ID and the cash for the license fee (Maricopa County folks, it’s $83).

Who says your officiant can’t be as adventurous as your love story? You’ve got options – hire a pro, tap into the power of a friend or family member turned ordained minister, or, hey, let your trusty elopement photographer (that’s me!) pull double duty. Privacy and flexibility? I’ve got you covered!

Alongside your officiant’s signature, you’ll need two witnesses to make the legal magic happen. If you’ve got guests, rope them into the action. Going for an intimate vibe? Your elopement vendors or even friendly passersby can lend a hand. As long as they’re 18 and enthusiastic, they’re good to go.

Best Places to Stay in Arizona

Discover charming accommodations near your chosen Arizona elopement destination, whether it’s the luxurious resorts of Sedona or the cozy retreats near Horseshoe Bend.

Where to Stay in Sedona: My go-to place to recommend is Element Sedona and Briar Patch Inn on Oak Creek. Alternatively, for those seeking a more personalized touch, consider exploring Airbnb options in nearby cities like Cottonwood or even Flagstaff.

Where to Stay in Tucson: My top recommendation for both stay and elopement is THE JTH and a hidden gem would be Lodge on the Desert

Where to Stay in Flagstaff: Little America is always a nice stay. Sometimes I’ll do a staycation night there. The private trails they have are dope as well. The temp-controlled pool is also a nice all-day hang as well.

Where to Stay near Horseshoe Bend: Hyatt Place Page / Lake Powell. It’s newer with great views and great value! 

Fun Arizona Elopement Activities + Ideas

Imagine saying your vows against the canvas of a breathtaking sunset, enjoying a mountaintop picnic, or embarking on an adrenaline-pumping off-roading adventure through Arizona’s picturesque backcountry. Here are ten activities to consider for your elopement day:

  1. Sunset Vow Writing: Craft your vows as the sun sets, painting the sky in vibrant hues.
  2. Mountaintop Picnic: Have a romantic picnic with panoramic views from a mountain summit.
  3. Mini Winery Tour: Explore local wineries and savor the flavors of Arizona’s vineyards.
  4. Handfasting Ceremony: Add a unique touch with a handfasting ceremony, symbolizing your union.
  5. Spicy Session (Couples Boudoir): Capture intimate moments with a couples boudoir photoshoot.
  6. Stargazing Together: Lose yourselves in the beauty of the Arizona night sky. We have a plenty of Dark Sky Communities in Arizona
  7. Museum Visit: Immerse yourselves in culture by visiting a museum showcasing your favorite artist.
  8. Pop Champagne: Celebrate your love with a champagne toast at a special location.
  9. Visit Your Favorite Bar: Make it personal by incorporating your favorite bar into your elopement.
  10. Private Drive-In Movie: Rent out a drive-in movie theater for an intimate cinematic experience.

These activities are just the tip of the iceberg, and I’m here to help you curate the perfect blend for a truly unforgettable elopement day. Let’s make it uniquely yours!

Best Arizona Elopement Vendors

Connect with trusted vendors who specialize in Arizona elopements, ensuring your celebration is flawlessly executed. From florists to planners, these vendors share your passion for creating an unforgettable elopement experience.


Rental Companies







Meet Your Arizona Elopement Photographer

My name is Krissy and consider me your guide and confidante. I’m here to weave your narrative into a wedding day that transcends the ordinary, complete with jaw-dropping photos in the most epic locations.

Forget the cookie-cutter approach—I’m your go-to support, advisor, photographer, and friend. Together, let’s craft a day that not only celebrates your love but becomes a living, breathing experience. I’m not just documenting your celebration; I’m narrating your one-of-a-kind love story in every frame.

If you’re ready to embark on this adventure, let’s dive in and create some truly unforgettable moments together! Let’s turn your special day into an extraordinary tale of love in the heart of Arizona.

Sample Arizona Elopement Timeline

Half Day Timeline

  • Sunrise Ceremony (6:00 AM – 7:00 AM): Begin your day with an intimate sunrise ceremony, promising a lifetime of love.
  • Breakfast & Relaxation (7:00 AM – 9:00 AM): Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and some downtime to soak in the joyous moments.

Full Day Timeline

  • Full-Day Excursion (10:00 AM – 4:00 PM): Dive into an all-day adventure, exploring various breathtaking locations for photos and creating lasting memories.
  • Picnic Lunch (12:00 PM – 1:30 PM): Refuel with a delightful picnic, surrounded by the beauty of Arizona’s landscapes.
  • Golden Hour Ceremony (5:00 PM – 6:00 PM): Seal your love with a sunset ceremony, embracing the golden hues of the Arizona sky.
  • Dinner & Toasts (7:00 PM – 9:00 PM): Celebrate your union with a romantic dinner at a local gem, toasting to your extraordinary love story.

Sample Arizona Elopement Timeline: Two-Day Extravaganza

Day One:

  • Afternoon Arrival & Check-In (2:00 PM – 4:00 PM): Arrive at your chosen accommodation, settle in, and savor the anticipation.
  • Sunset Elopement (5:30 PM – 6:30 PM): Begin your elopement journey with a magical sunset ceremony at a stunning location.
  • Evening Celebration (7:00 PM – 9:00 PM): Enjoy a private dinner or celebration, basking in the joy of your first day as a married couple.

Day Two:

  • Sunrise Adventure (7:00 AM – 10:00 AM): Wake up to the beauty of Arizona and embark on a sunrise adventure, capturing the magic of the early hours.
  • Brunch & Relaxation (10:30 AM – 12:30 PM): Delight in a leisurely brunch, reflecting on the love shared and creating plans for your future adventures.
  • Midday Exploration (1:00 PM – 4:00 PM): Discover more of Arizona’s wonders, exploring different locales for unique photo opportunities.
  • Farewell Dinner (6:00 PM – 8:00 PM): Conclude your two-day celebration with a farewell dinner, reminiscing about the incredible moments shared during your Arizona elopement extravaganza.

Arizona Photo Elopement Packages

If you’re ready to have a wedding day that’s truly one of a kind – to elope in Arizona amongst the rocky deserts, mountain peaks, cactus gardens, and epic scenery – I’m ready to help you plan your adventure! As an Arizona elopement photographer, my job goes beyond documenting this day. I’m your planning assistant, your cheerleader, and your new adventure buddy. Here’s what you’ll find in my Arizona elopement packages, starting at $3,800:

  • Half-day, full-day, and 2-day Arizona elopement photography packages
  • Customized Adventure Guide filled with personalized elopement plans, ceremony locations, places to stay, things to see and do, and vendor recommendations personalized to your unique vision
  • Elopement Planning Guide with step-by-step instructions on how to plan your  adventure elopement
  • Unlimited planning assistance & guidance
  • Notion Elopement Planning Guide 
  • Assistance with permits and marriage licenses
  • A gallery of edited, high-resolution photos for you to download 
  • Personal printing rights
  • Officiant services if needed
  • No travel fees or hidden costs!

My Arizona Elopement Tips

Ready for an Arizona adventure that’s as smooth as your love story? Let’s sprinkle some wisdom to make your elopement as magical as the desert sunset!

Respect Leave No Trace Principles

Leave No Trace is a crucial principle for every outdoor enthusiast to embrace. It serves as a guiding compass, leading us to minimize our impact on the natural world. Think of it as a heartfelt love letter dedicated to the stunning landscapes of the Grand Canyon State. By adhering to these fundamental principles, we can ensure that our presence in these majestic outdoor spaces leaves no more than mere footprints in the sand. Let’s cherish and protect the inherent beauty of our environment for future generations to enjoy.

Hydrate Yo’ Self!

Arizona’s got that desert charm, but it comes with a heatwave warning! Keeping yourself hydrated is so important during your time in Arizona. Whether you’re hiking or just soaking in the scenic vibes, pack more water than you think. Trust me, your body will thank you for it!

Avoiding Crowds During Your Arizona Elopement

Psst… the best-kept elopement secret? Off-season escapades! Pro-tip: Weekdays are your allies and sunrise ceremonies? Pure magic. Skip the tourist hubs, and let’s uncover hidden gems. Consult your elopement photographer (ahem, that’s me!) for the perfect secluded spot – where it’s just you, your love, and the Arizona landscape.

Just Be

It’s finally your special day, and let’s take a moment to acknowledge the journey it took to bring this dream to reality. Now, as you stand on the brink of saying “I do,” soak it all in, every single moment. This is your time to be fully present, intentional, and wrapped up in the magic you’ve created together.

I’ll be right there by your side (fingers crossed for no unforeseen calamities!) to ensure the day flows seamlessly. You’ve put in the effort, and now it’s your turn to bask in the love, savor every second, and simply be with your person. No worries, no stress—just pure, unfiltered joy. Let’s make every moment count and turn your dreams into lasting memories.

  Contact me to learn more, and let’s plan your Arizona adventure!

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Whether you're seeking adventure or prefer a more relaxed vibe with easy walks and scenic views, we'll find the spot that suits both of you. Because your wedding day should reflect your unique love story every step of the way.