If you’re looking to embrace the intimate and liberating experience of an elopement, whether you’re in the beauty of nature, or in a town bursting with charm, Moab might be the place for you. The city of Moab, Utah is a perfect location for you and your bae to both escape and embrace civilization whenever it suits the two of you. From the gorgeous Arches National Park to downtown Moab, this city is an ideal location for eloping for a ton of reasons!! Let me guide you through what you’ll need to consider in planning your own elopement in Moab.
The first step in planning your Moab elopement is finding your elopement photographer (me!). Your elopement photographer will act as your guide throughout your Moab elopement. I will team up with you to research and consider all the awesome areas in Moab so we can find your ideal location. I’ll also scout the location prior to your elopement in order to figure out how to best capture this important moment for you and bae. I can help you make a timeline, fetch drinks for you, provide emotional support, or whatever it is you need from me to empower you throughout your Moab elopement.
Here’s what you’ll want to consider when choosing what time of year to have your Moab elopement. Moab has a borderline arid climate, meaning that although it is a dry desert, it does get snow during the winter months. If you and your bae don’t hate the cold, the contrast between the red rocks and the snow can make for an especially beautiful backdrop for your Moab elopement. Otherwise, expect a hot and dry climate during the spring through fall months. If you’re concerned about the heat, keep in mind that it can be worked around during sunrise and sunset. Golden hour in Moab is an extraordinarily beautiful time and place for an elopement!!
In order to avoid the crowds in an effort to make your Moab elopement a peaceful and intimate experience, you’ll want to consider the popularity of your preferred location, the time of day, and the time of year. For example, if you want to elope in Arches National Park, you’ll probably want to avoid planning a ceremony around the famous “delicate arch” during peak hours as it is a very popular year-round tourist attraction. What makes Moab such a great place for an elopement, is that it is full of wide-ranging parks and nature preserves. These sites have more than plenty of cool, intimate, and convenient spots for your elopement ceremony to take place. And if you do plan on eloping at a more popular location, a sunrise elopement will give us the best chance at avoiding crowds for your ceremony!
When choosing a location, you will want to think through the type of experience you want to have. How long do you want to hike? How do you want to spend your elopement day? Do you want to spend most of your day out experiencing the gorgeous landscapes of Moab, or do you want to explore its incredible downtown after your ceremony? There’s no wrong answer so plan for the elopement day you want to have! When it comes to choosing a site for your ceremony you’ll also want to look into whether you need a permit to elope in your preferred location. Here are some awesome sites that I would recommend for your Moab elopement ceremony.
This trail located in Arches National Park (just a ten-minute drive from downtown Moab) is less than a mile long and is considered an easy hike with incredible views. This trail is an ideal location for your Moab elopement because of the amazing rock formations along with the ease of the terrain. In order to elope in Arches National Park, you will need a permit. The National Park Service will need at least four weeks to process your permit request, so apply for one as early as possible since they allow you to schedule your elopement up to a year in advance.
If you want to elope by an epic viewpoint and you and your bae aren’t afraid of heights, the Anticline Overlook at the Bears Ears National Monument is a great option for your Moab elopement. The trail leading to the overlook is a short easy walk being just 0.3-miles out and back. You’ll need day hiking passes which are just $5 per person. If you go with this location, you might want to consider staying at a nearby lodge, resort, or campsite as it is more than an hour-long drive from downtown Moab. The views are beyond worth it though and make for one of the most incredible elopement experiences Moab has to offer!
Picture Frame Arch is a scenic spot in Moab that is not a part of a state or national park or monument. If you and your partner are on the adventurous side and are willing to take on a more challenging hike, you should consider this trail for your Moab elopement. The entire loop is 27.7 miles long, so it’ll be up to you, your bae, and your photographer to draw a line between what’s too exhausting and what’s worth it when scouting the location. It is a popular trail for hiking and mountain biking, so you’ll want to plan for a quieter time of day like sunrise. Picture Frame Arch is about a 40-minute drive from downtown Moab, so you could go either way staying in Moab or finding locations closer to Picture Frame Arch.
When planning your stay, you’ll want to consider what kind of accommodations you both want, how close you are to town, and how close it is to where you want to elope. Your options range from campgrounds, glamping resorts, and conventional hotel resorts. Here are some cool places that I recommend for your stay in Moab.
Base Camp Adventure Lodge is a quaint privately owned seven bed and seven bath lodge with a full-service kitchen. Located about 18 miles south of downtown right along the Colorado River, this scenic lodge is located in the same type of natural beauty that makes up the national parks around Moab, but without all the tourist traffic. You won’t have to walk far from this lodge to find a beautiful spot for your elopement ceremony if you don’t want to travel to a different site for your ceremony. Some of the activities made available to you at this site include hiking, kayaking, and disc golfing. As there are only seven bedrooms, you’ll want to book well in advance for this incredible experience!
If you’re looking to really embrace the outdoors without the hassle of outright camping, you’ll want to consider glamping at this resort hotel. Under Canvas Moab will make for a cool and unique glamping experience during your stay in Moab. Here, you’ll be staying in an upscale tent with a private bathroom featuring a sink, shower, and flushing toilet. As it is an outdoor resort made up of a limited number of individual tents, it is only open from early March to late October every year, so don’t wait to book once you’ve decided you want to stay at this cool resort for your Moab elopement. Under Canvas Moab is only about a 15 minute drive from Moab itself and a 10 minute drive from Arches National Park giving you a ton of options and flexibility for your elopement experience.
Located 17 miles north of downtown Moab right outside of Arches National Park, Red Cliffs Lodge is a hotel made up of individual cabin rooms and suites with great views of the Colorado River and the red cliffs which surround the property. Red Cliffs Lodge is a great option for those who are looking to stay in a conventional hotel with lots of amenities and activities to choose from. Whether you’re looking to relax and unwind with a massage and morning yoga session, adventure in a rented UTV, or even go skydiving, Red Cliffs Lodge has plenty to offer to entertain you and your bae throughout your elopement adventure!!
Here’s another unique option for those looking to have a glamping experience for their Moab elopement. The Domes in Moab is an Airbnb resort consisting of individual upscale geodesic domes to stay in. It is about 40 minutes south of downtown Moab and an hour drive from Canyonlands National Park. It is located right along the Colorado River and surrounded by the beautiful red rocks that southeast Utah is known for. Keep in mind that this is an Airbnb resort without onsite eating arrangements. That being said The Domes offer for a truly unique experience and stay for your Moab elopement, and with the gorgeous scenery around them you don’t have to look far for an elopement site if you’d rather stay close!
Now that we have an idea of some locations both for your elopement ceremony and stay in and around Moab we need to look into the logistics of the marriage itself. Utah law requires that your marriage be solemnized by a designated officiant. You will also need two witnesses over the age of 18. I can be one of your witnesses and then if no other guests are present we can find another hiker to act as your second witness. A huge benefit to eloping in Utah is that once you receive your marriage license, there is no waiting period to then get married. Utah does not allow self-solemnizing ceremonies. You can apply for your Moab marriage license here!
It is important that you honor Leave No Trace in order to respect the lands where you plan to elope. You can find Utah’s seven principles of Leave No Trace here.
Once you’ve booked me and the week of your elopement has arrived I will scout the location the day prior. We will plan out the day incorporating things that are special to you. My passion is to empower you to live out the elopement of your dreams and document it to capture the raw emotions and beauty of the experience.
So what are the next steps to planning your Moab elopement? Check out my about page an pricing pages to learn more about my process and then send me an inquiry! We can then start to plan out your Moab elopement together and put together the elopement experience of your dreams!