How to Plan a Desert Elopement


Desert elopements encapsulate an unconventional blend of romance and adventure. Imagine a ceremony unfolding under a desert sky, where you have stunning scenery as your own witnesses. The allure of desert elopements—is more than a journey into the wild sense of adventure. Picking you elopement location is not always easy considering there are so many amazing destination elopement locations but I can assure you, eloping in a desert provides an amazing backdrop for any wedding ceremony and a great opportunity for adventure.

If you're considering eloping in Utah, I wrote many blogs that might help you plan elopement in a specific elopement locations such as:

-Desert Moab Elopement- one of my favorite places to photograph elopements

-Snow Canyon Elopement- less popular buy equally beautiful state park

-Kanab Slot Canyons

-Dead Horse Point state Park- perfect location if you want grand vistas for sunrise or sunset and easy permit to obtain

-Arches National Park- an iconic National Park

-Canyonlands Elopement


Other desert elopement locations outside of Utah include: Nevada (I wrote a post about Vegas Elopement) or Sedona in Arizona.


So what do you need to know to plan the perfect desert elopement? There are a few things one must keep in mind to have the most memorable experience. Hiring an experienced elopement photographer is just one of them. You want to make sure your photographer knows how to help with the logistics such as:

  • Permits:

As always you have to inquire about any necessary permits that are location specific. Your elopement photographer should be knowledgable in getting those. Whether you're looking to elope, have a small wedding, vows exchange the permit requirement varies that's why hiring someone who is aware of the process is important.


You will also need:

  • A reliable car

Utah and Arizona desert offers some of the best desert elopement locations that provide solitude coupled with the most stunning views. That comes with long distances without many service areas so make sure you're prepared for your desert adventure. A reliable 4x4/high clearance vehicle is essential for the best exploration and freedom to roam to more remote locations.

Make sure you have enough fuel, water and sunscreen.

  • Make sure to check the weather

Although the weather in a desert is usually sunny, flood flashes are no joke and one should always check the weather for rain and storms before venturing out in more remote location or slot canyon. That's actually very important when driving off road and it's not uncommon cars get stuck in a mus after heavy downpour.

  • Hydrate and bring sunscreen

High desert sun is very strong and many people don't realize how the dry climate can quickly dehydrate not only your skin but body. Make sure to drink a lot before and during your elopement, wear hats and sunscreen especially if you're anticipating full day adventure in the desert.

Best Locations for Desert Elopements


What do you see when you think of a desert? Long sand dunes stretching for miles or red rocks with all kinds of wild formations?

Utah Red Rock Desert, renowned for its striking red rock formations, offers a plethora of breathtaking desert locations. Among these the Arches in Arches National Park stands as an iconic symbol of love against a backdrop of sandstone brilliance. As the sun sets, casting hues of orange and pink across the arch, couples can embrace the ethereal beauty that nature graciously provides.

Sedona's Red Rock Romance

Arizona's Sedona boasts a unique landscape of red rocks and canyons, creating a surreal setting for an intimate elopement. The juxtaposition of deep red earth and vibrant green vegetation forms a natural aisle, leading couples towards a panoramic exchange of vows. Sedona's landscape makes for the perfect elopement backdrop and a truly memorable experience.

Little Sahara Sand Dunes and Great Sand Dunes National Park

eloping amidst the Great Sand Dunes is a choice that whispers simplicity and echoes adventure. Here, the vast canvas of golden dunes becomes the setting for an intimate celebration. Want mountains in the background? No problem, drive a little further towards the Rockies and you soon will be transformed into mountain elopement location.

little Sahara sand dunes bride

Things to Do During Your Elopement in a Desert


The options are limitless and I promise you won't be bored.

  • If you like hiking you're in luck for some amazing hikes ranging from short to longer, from slot canyons to beautiful overlooks and arches.
  • If you like more adrenaline I recommend renting an ATV (Moab is a great place for that) where both of you can see the beautiful scenery from a bumpy ride.
  • If you want to see the grand views from above going on a hot air balloon ride might be the best elopement ideas. Remember you're saving a lot of money by but not going the traditional route so make sure you splurge a little bit on some fun desert activities.


desert elopement in utah
desert elopement in utah
desert elopement in utah
desert elopement in utah
desert elopement in utah
desert elopement in utah
desert elopement in utah
desert elopement in utah
desert elopement in utah
desert elopement in utah
desert elopement in utah

Best Time to Elope in a Desert


Spring, fall and early winter are my favorite season to elope in a desert due to mild temperatures and less crowds. These are my favorite seasons for Southern Utah and all the National Parks down there.

In the summer midday in the desert can be relentless, with the sun blazing very strong. To escape the sweltering heat and ensure a more comfortable experience, it's wise to plan your elopement either in the early hours or as the sun begins its descent. This not only minimizes the risk of discomfort but also allows you to fully savor the unique beauty of the desert without the intensity of the midday sun casting harsh shadows (really bad for pictures). As always remember to bring lots of water to stay hydrated.

Are You Ready to Book Your Own Adventure?