Women elope at Dead Horse State Park in Utah with Outshined Photography

Utah Elopement Locations for the Adventurer at Heart

Tips, and tricks for creating a magical Utah Elopement

I fell in love with Utah over twenty years ago. I started visiting for mountain biking adventures, which quickly turned into landscape photography excursions when I understood all of the natural beauty this incredible state had to offer. From red rocks, to blue skies, to bright starry nights, if you are looking for an elopement location with vivid backdrops, stunning skies, and a wild range of possibilities, a Utah elopement could be exactly what you are seeking.

Night sky photography for your elopement in Utah

Dark Skies, Landscapes, and Awe 

Utah is often an overlooked location for special celebrations but is quickly becoming one of my favorite places to photograph and officiate elopements. Utah has five National Parks and 43 of the most beautiful state parks, giving couples plenty of areas to choose from!

Perhaps my favorite thing about Utah is it has the most Dark Sky Parks in the United States. Natural dark sky places are quickly decreasing because of the increased population and light pollution, so it’s very special to have these areas where constellations and Milky Way shine through.  Utah elopements provide the opportunity to capture this dark sky in photos, and provide an intimate location for you and your partner to say “I do.”

Couple elopes in Arizona slot canyon

The Most Magical Utah Elopement Locations

From nature’s artistic rock formations to epic mountain views, your Utah elopement can take on whatever natural feature or adventure your heart desires. Below you will find a few of my favorites to get the creative juices flowing on where you can tie the knot in Utah:  

Southern Utah

Zion National Park

Zion National Park was Utah’s first national park and is home to unbelievable rock formations, hiking trails, and canyons. From deep valleys to winding trails, this national park is sure to provide you with the perfect combination of adventure and beauty.

Snow Canyon State Park

Snow Canyon State Park comes alive with flowing red rock and sunsets like nowhere else on earth. If you are looking for a Utah elopement location with big skies and unforgettable views, this is for you.

Lake Powell

Lake Powell provides a unique elopement location for those who want to incorporate a water activity into your elopement experience. Who doesn’t want to include boating, paddleboarding, and taking a dip in the lake after you say “I do”?

South Central Utah

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park is for lovers of the strange and unusual; this national park provides red rock formations as you have never seen before. (Hint: contrast these rock creations with the winter snow and you are in for a treat, photos with incredible contrast.)

Dixie National Forest – Red Canyon

Something about the Red Canyon in Dixie National Forest just feels like home. This park has unbelievable archways and dynamic plant life which makes this lesser-known National Forest a stunning Utah elopement location.

Capitol Reef National Park

Golden sandstone and striking rock features are some of the most epic features of Capitol Reef National Park. If your goal is to take note of the profound power of eloping in nature, then this is for you.

Eastern Utah – Moab

Dead Horse State Park

On the edge of Canyonlands and overlooking the Colorado River lies Dead Horse State Park. If nighttime stargazing is on your to-do list, the dark skies of this park make it the ideal location for your Utah elopement.

Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands National Park is iconically Utah, with vivid desert landscapes and sky-high rock formations. This national park provides an unbelievable backdrop for elopement photos and provides a natural playground for the avid adventurer.

Arches National Park

If you are considering Utah for your elopement, chances are you have envisioned yourself in Arches National Park. The arches are recognized far and wide by nature lovers, though this park does tend to get crowded during peak season. (Hint: Your elopement planner can help you determine the time of day that will provide you and your partner the most privacy!)

Couple elopes on Utah BLM lands with Outshined Photography

Utah Desert BLM Land

Castle Valley

For a less crowded Utah venue with a slower pace and incredible views, Castle Valley could be your dream Utah elopement destination. If you imagine your ceremony away from the crowds and into the wilderness, this spot is for you.

Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument

If you have ever dreamed of tying the knot on Mars, this could be as close as you are going to get! Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument provides jaw-dropping rock walls you will have to see to believe. 

Let’s Talk Logistics: Permits and Marriage License Requirements for Your Utah Elopement

Once you choose your elopement location, you will need to ensure you have the proper documentation in place to make it official. Don’t worry! Details and logistics are my sweet spot:

The Marriage License

It costs $30 – $60 for your marriage license, depending on the county in which you get married, and the fee will also get you one certified copy of your marriage license. Utah makes it pretty easy to apply, and you can fill out your application online

(Pro tip: When you get your marriage license in Grand County, it is valid throughout the whole state of Utah, not just Grand County! This is a great way to ensure you have a plan B in place for your Utah elopement!)


You will most likely need a permit to have your elopement ceremony in Utah unless you are eloping on private property. Permits can be confusing (and that’s where a good elopement planner comes in handy.) 

A few points on permits worth noting:

  • Elopement ceremonies in Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park require a special use permit that the couple is responsible for obtaining. 
  • At Dead Horse State Park, if you have ten or more guests, you will need a special use permit for your wedding ceremony.  
  • To elope on Utah BLM land, the permit is issued to the elopement photographer. The photographer obtains a yearly permit and must also pay a percentage of each session to the BLM. 

Permits help fund conservation efforts and projects, and I am always supportive of fees that fund projects I believe in.

How to Select your Utah Elopement Location

Now that I’ve sold you on eloping in Utah, how do you possibly decide which location is the best for you? The answer can be found by answering these three questions:

  1. Is there a type of scenery you want for your Utah elopement?
  2. Is there an elopement activity you and your partner would like to participate in?
  3. Is accessibility a priority?

Your Ideal Scenery

Have you always dreamed of tying the knot near the water? With a red rock backdrop? With the milky way? Determining your ideal scenery can help you deduce what location is best for your Utah elopement.

Consider Your Utah Elopement Activities

Your Utah elopement isn’t just about photos (but some awesome shots don’t hurt!) If you choose to elope in Utah, it’s not just for the photos…it’s also for the experience.  Determining the activities can help you decide what location is best for you and your partner. Consider these below and more for your Utah adventure elopement.

Consider the following to make your special day that much more memorable. 

  • Jeeping
  • Mountain Biking
  • Hot Air Balloon rides
  • Epic hikes
  • Slot Canyons
  • Backpacking
  • Kayaking or boating 

Remember, Utah has a very dry climate, so you’ll want to make sure you stay very hydrated the entire time you are there! It’s also worth mentioning that summer in Utah is HOT, so I recommend avoiding the summer months for your Utah elopement.


If you or your elopement guests require certain accommodations for the ceremony – be sure to choose a location that can accommodate all who are attending! From ramps to restrooms to nearby parking lots, together we can find a stunning location where you (or your guests) will feel comfortable.

Magic, Mystery, and Love: Your Own Utah Elopement

From star-studded nights to majestic red rocks, vivid blue skies, and a land full of adventure, Utah provides more than an elopement location – it provides an elopement experience. If you want to learn more about what it looks like to elope in the magic of Utah wilderness, or learn more about what location may be the best fit for you, reach out

I can’t wait to help you experience the magic, mystery, and love of your own Utah elopement.

Utah Elopement Photographer

Stacy – The adventure elopement planner and creative artist who tells your elopement story with photos

I hope that you found this article helpful in understanding just a few of the ways that you can enjoy eloping in Utah. You can read more about me and why I love helping couples elope in this blog about what inspired me to become an elopement photographer.

Are you ready to plan your Utah Elopement?

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  1. Utah seems like such an adventurous destination on its own, so it’s easy to see why there are so many spots for couples to choose from when it comes to an elopement location!

  2. This is such a helpful resource for eloping couples! I’ll also be saving it for my own personal Utah travels haha!

  3. Utah is literally one of the most perfect places for an elopement. The variation in landscapes, the ability to really get away from people, and star photo opportunities!!! This is such a helpful guide to finding those places!!

  4. I think it can be hard to know what sorts of steps and planning an elopement takes. This really breaks it down and gives lots of great ideas of location in utah to elope!