What it really comes down to is choosing a place that makes your spirit happy. Not sure where to start? We’re here to give you all the best tips for choosing your elopement location in Arizona, Colorado or Utah.

From the Cactus Deserts to the Ponderosa Pines...

where would you choose?

not sure where to start?

So you’ve made the courageous choice to celebrate your elopement day in true fashion to YOU, ready to throw on some boots and take the outdoors by storm. Maybe the traditional wedding isn’t what you envisioned, or maybe you’ve just always dreamed of traveling, creating new memories together without the added pressure of a large guest list. 

Whether you’re dreaming of a Red Rocks elopement in the heart of Sedona, or an adventure in one of Utah’s many national parks, the Southwest is a one-of-a-kind destination to plan your dream elopement day. 

One of the greatest parts of planning an adventure elopement is that the sky is truly the limit. You can throw away the rule book of the “traditional wedding” planning, and focus on creating a ceremony and celebration that is most meaningful to the two of you.  

If you’re just starting to think about planning your adventure elopement, I challenge you to start brainstorming by answering this question:

On your one perfect day to celebrate your love, what would you do together? 

There are SO many magical places in the Southwest to explore and perhaps you'll find yourself watching the sunset over the Rocky Mountains or scrambling Cathedral Rock to soak in those Sedona views. 

Southwest Elopement?

why plan a

Despite what you may have heard, an adventurous Southwest elopement doesn’t mean you have to spend your whole day hiking (though it certainly could if that’s something that you both enjoy!). There are so many fun activities to incorporate into your elopement day that will make it more enjoyable and unique to the two of you. Start by thinking about what you love to do together, and what might be a fun way to incorporate those activities into your wedding day. Some fun activities could include getting ready together, exploring a state or national park, having a picnic, canoeing, skiing, playing board games, wine and cheese tasting, off-roading, reading, or playing music.



Inviting family or friends to your elopement day is a wonderful way to celebrate with your most loved ones. Some couples choose to celebrate with a quiet ceremony with up to 30 guests, while others may invite only one or two. It’s important to keep in mind that the number of guests that you invite can impact your options for ceremony or reception locations, especially if any of those guests have certain accessibility requirements. Places like public or national parks may be a great place to start, though some have permit considerations. If you’re planning something more strenuous like walking or hiking to your ceremony location, just keep in mind that this may not be for everyone! Either way, you can choose to plan portions of your day independently of your guests if you’d like some special time to adventure together. 



Seclusion is important to many couples who choose to elope and luckily Arizona, Utah and Colorado have many gorgeous and scenic spots that are off the beaten path. However, with an influx of visitors in recent years, many towns and national parks have become tourist destinations which is important to consider for your elopement day location. For example, you’ll find that during March and April, spring breakers flock to Sedona to enjoy the sunshine and hiking. More recently, some national parks have become overcrowded during certain seasonal times and obtaining the necessary permits has become a more rigid process. If privacy and seclusion is most important to you, be sure to notify your Southwest elopement photographer when discussing locations. Your local guides will be the best to find those lesser-known, hidden gems that won’t pop up on the “Top 10” lists of Google.



Whether you are planning an elopement day for just the two of you, or inviting a handful of guests to celebrate, it’s important to consider accessibility for the locations you are planning to visit. Even if you are both avid hikers who would like to spend the day on the trail, you must be aware of the length, difficulty, time and accessibility before embarking on an adventure. If you or your guests are not a fan of steep cliffs, wind, deserts or water, it’s important to note these in your photography location questionnaire so that you can plan accordingly. Also think about transportation to said locations. Do you need to rent a car? Book an airline ticket? Take a train or boat? The goal is to make your day as relaxed and enjoyable as possible without the added stress of unknown accessibility restrictions.



Each state in the Southwest has an abundance of unique scenery that will transform your elopement day into an unforgettable adventure. Arizona is so diverse with its beautiful geography – the sun-drenched desert landscapes, stunning red rocks, scenic fields of cacti, dreamy lakes, and dramatic canyons – make it such an exciting location for a dream elopement adventure. Utah is an outdoor enthusiast’s heaven – with over 40 state parks and five national parks, the options are endless, especially if you’re a couple that loves to hike, run, camp, kayak, and adventure together! And Colorado, with four national parks, rugged mountains, sweeping plains, and breathtaking landscapes – can provide the perfect backdrop for an intimate and unforgettable celebration that is unique and authentic to just the two of you. 



The Southwest is filled with diverse landscapes from cactus deserts to snow-covered mountaintops and everywhere in between, which makes it such a unique choice for an adventure elopement. Depending on where and when you choose to elope, you will want to take into consideration the different climate, weather and seasonality for each state.
The ideal months to elope in Arizona and Utah are late fall and early spring and you’ll want to avoid the hot summer months because temperatures get into the 90s and 100s. Peak busy season for the mountains is June-August and for the desert is late spring and early fall. The best months to avoid the busy season in both locations are March, April, October, and November. During these times, it is often sunny but not too hot or cold, and it’s also in between the usual top tourist seasons.



factors to consider

Southwest Elopement Locations

Southwest Elopement

Hike Cathedral Rock to watch the sunset over the red rocks in Sedona with a picnic and bottle of champagne.

Wake up early to catch the sunrise on the Bonneville Salt Flats and capture an intimate ceremony, exchanging vows with the vast expanse as your backdrop. 

Take a scenic boat tour on Lake Powell and admire the breathtaking red rock canyons. Enjoy a romantic picnic lunch on a secluded beach, and take a leisurely kayak or paddleboard ride on the lake.

Rise early to catch the first shuttle to the Zion National Park's Canyon Scenic Drive. Take a scenic helicopter ride for an incredible bird’s-eye view of the park.

Southwest Elopement

itineraries for your

choose your own adventure

Where To Elope in the Southwest

If you’re a couple looking for stunning backdrops and loads of adventure, then choosing to elope in Arizona might be right for you!

Not a lot of people consider Arizona when planning an elopement – usually because it’s thought of as being too hot – but if you go during the right months, it has a great temperament. Plus its diverse beautiful geography – the sun-drenched desert landscapes, stunning red rocks, scenic fields of cacti, dreamy lakes, and dramatic canyons – make it such an exciting location for a dream elopement adventure. 

Where to Elope in Arizona



horseshoe bend

grand canyon

petrified forest

If you and your partner want an elopement filled with adventure and natural beauty, then Utah might be just the place.

There are always new and exciting things to discover in Utah – with over 40 state parks and five national parks, the options are endless, especially if you’re a couple that loves to hike, run, camp, kayak, and adventure together!

If Utah sounds like the place for your elopement, read on to discover which Utah area might be just the perfect fit!

Where to Elope in Utah

arches national park

bonneville salt flats

zion national park

bryce canyon national park

canyonlands national park

If you're hoping to plan an adventure in some of the country's most bountiful mountain peaks, Colorado is the perfect place to elope!

Colorado has a diverse landscape of desert, river canyons and is home to the snow-covered Rocky Mountain National Park. 

Spend your elopement day hiking to one of Colorado's beautiful natural natural springs or hitting up the slopes to ski down the mountain in style!

Where to Elope in Colorado

rocky mountains

estes park




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Once you reach out, I’ll be in contact within 48 hours to schedule an intro call so that we can get to know each other a little bit and start to envision your dream day together! I’ll tell you all about myself, my style and approach, and get to know the two of you a bit more to see if I might be a good fit for the two of you on your elopement day! 



If we're a great fit, I will send over an elopement photography contract and 25% deposit invoice will secure your date, making our adventure together official! Once the deposit and signed contract are received, I'll send along my elopement planning guide and location scouting questionnaire so we can start bringing your vision to life!


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About a month prior to your elopement day, we will connect to nail down all the details and finalize a timeline for your elopement day. My goal is to be as prepared as possible so that when I show up, you can just relax and I'll do what I do best by capturing the authentic moments  of your story.


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IT’S HERE! All of our planning and preparation is behind us, and today’s the day for you to live in the moment and celebrate the heck out of each other! I'll be behind the lens giving you guidance and direction here and there, but mostly just capturing  the day as it unfolds.


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              GALLERY DELIVERY

Within a week of your elopement, I’ll be in touch with a handful of sneak peeks to hold you over until your full gallery is delivered. The completed digital photo gallery will be sent to your email within 90 days for you to share with friends & family, download images, and order prints right from home! 


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Does eloping sounds like the perfect way to celebrate your love? Are you down to get in your hiking boots and explore the mountains or maybe just spend the day with each other in a way that is most meaningful to the two of you? Let's connect and talk about your vision! Click View Pricing or Contact Me below to get in touch today!

let's do it!

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Elopement Experience

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Planning Your Adventure Elopement


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I partner with couples to authentically tell their story & capture all of life’s moments through timeless photography.

I am a New England and Southwest-based photographer who is about more than just your typical posed photography. I’m here for the loving, passionate, adventurous souls out there who are not afraid to get their feet a little dirty and their hair a little messy while having a TON of fun exploring Vermont and New England. I’m here to capture all the moments that show the REAL you in the best light. 

I love wine, beach days on Lake Champlain, and hiking the gorgeous Vermont Green Mountains in the fall. Click below to learn more about Amelia Marie Photography!

Amelia Marie Photography

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