elope at grand canyon arizona elopement photographer

How to Elope at the Grand Canyon

How to Elope at Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Canyon is a high-demand elopement destination, and for good reason! The views are incredible, there is so much to explore, and it’s a must-see on any bucket list! Because having a Grand Canyon wedding for two is so popular amongst eloping couples, I want to make sure you’re totally prepared for what you can expect and how to ensure the day goes of without a hitch (other than you getting hitched, of course!)

7 Tips for Planning Your Grand Canyon Elopement

From weather to crowds to permits, there’s a lot to consider that can influence the exact where-when-how of eloping in the Grand Canyon. Make sure you deep dive into these seven tips that will get you ahead of the game and help your wedding day to go smoothly!

1. Choose Your Rim

One unique feature of the Grand Canyon is that it cuts right through two different states, giving visitors two different canyon rims to choose from! You may already be tied to one side because of a honeymoon plan in Las Vegas or an interest in exploring Arizona, but here is a bit more information to help you make an informed decision:


The West Rim is located in Nevada, near Las Vegas. It’s known for its deep, plunging canyon walls and the skywalk that lets you actually get out over the canyon on a glass walkway. Keep in mind that the West Rim is also not officially part of Grand Canyon National Park and tends to be more of a tourist draw for anyone with an extra half-day to kill when visiting Vegas.


The North Rim is about 40 minutes away from Kanab, Utah and has the most limited accessibility, with the main road closed through most of fall, winter, and spring. The main benefit of the North Rim is that the crowds are significantly smaller because it’s more difficult to get to. The views are still spectacular, but really nothing compares to the awe-inspiring majesty of the South Rim!


The South Rim is my personal favorite because it’s right near Page, Arizona—one of my favorite places! This is the rim most people think of when planning a Grand Canyon visit. The views are wide, expansive, and panoramic, providing unbeatable backdrops for those elopement photos! The rest of this blog will primarily focus on planning to elope at the South Rim, because it’s simply the best Grand Canyon experience, especially for planning an elopement.


2. Prepare for the High Altitude

When packing for your elopement, be prepared for high altitude temperatures—that means fairly cold all year round! You’re at elevations of 7000ft (or 8000ft on the north rim), and even in spring it can be well below freezing at sunrise! Pack lots of layers unless you’re eloping in the middle of summer, and no matter the season you should bring LOTS of water! Higher altitudes means you need to hydrate even more than usual.

3. Avoid Too Much Hiking

While this is an adventure elopement you’re planning, I recommend saving most of the hiking and exploring for the days before or after your official wedding day. Many of the best views are easily accessible from right off the main road, though one of the most popular “ooh” and “aah” points is a very steep hike down from the rim and not very accessible until late spring or summer.

Instead of attempting a major hike in your wedding attire, I recommend sticking to the paved trails where you can easily hike along the top of the rim and still get jaw-dropping views. Don’t worry—I know all the secret good spots and will show you where to find them!

elope at grand canyon arizona elopement photographer

4. Factor in Travel Time

It takes about two hours to travel from most points in Arizona like Page or Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon Airport in Tusayan, plus the 30-45 minute helicopter tour up to the South Rim from there. For this reason, I highly suggest planning for an all-day elopement to make sure your travel time is factored in without sacrificing elopement time!

5. Plan Your Locations (and Secondary Locations!)

Planning your locations in advance will make it much easier to figure out your elopement timeline! Many of my couples have opted to spend half of their elopement time at the Grand Canyon and half of their time in and around Page, Arizona. There are so many incredible places to explore near the Grand Canyon, like Marble Canyon, Alstrom Point, and Lake Powell!

For the Grand Canyon part of your elopement, there are loads of beautiful stops along the drive between Grand Canyon Village and the Desert View Watchtower, creating the ultimate driving elopement tour. If you’re lucky enough to find some privacy, these locations are great! However, Grand Canyon National Park is extremely popular all year round, especially during the busy season of April through October. That’s why I always like to have secondary locations planned in Page to give you plenty of options to make the most of your elopement!

6. Don’t Forget Permits!

Getting your special event permits should be a top priority on your elopement checklist, right next to registering for an Arizona marriage license and finding the perfect outfit! The National Park Service has a great guide for getting married at the Grand Canyon that outlines all the paperwork you’ll need to do in advance of your elopement.

7. Keep it Intimate

If you’re here to read about planning a Grand Canyon elopement, then you’re likely not planning on a ton of guests, but this is a point worth emphasizing! If you want to have your ceremony right on the rim with views of the canyon as your backdrop, it’s best to avoid large groups as this can make things complicated. I suggest a Grand Canyon wedding for two, with maybe your two closest friends or family members if you really want them to be there!

Best Places to Stay in Arizona Near the Grand Canyon

There are a few lodges directly in the park, from directly on the rim to a few miles away. Of course, these stays are highly popular so you’ll need to book yours well in advance! You can look through the Grand Canyon lodge options here. For something extra special, the Grand Canyon sky domes are tough to beat, and the Railway hotel offers great packages to combine train rides with a romantic, rustic stay.

If you’d rather stay a little further away and get more of a balance between the park and surrounding areas, there are plenty of options in Grand Canyon Junction and Williams.

Things to Do at or Near the Grand Canyon

There’s no shortage of adventures to be had near the Grand Canyon! Some of the things you might want to put on your itinerary include:

  • Helicopter tours
  • Bus or jeep tours
  • Hiking and backpacking
  • Overnight backcountry camping
  • The Grand Canyon Railway train ride
  • Upper- and lower-canyon river rafting
  • Not to mention just seeing all the beautiful sights!

We’re Your Arizona Elopement Photography and Videography Duo!

If you’re planning on eloping in the Grand Canyon, you’ve come to the right place! Not only am I an elopement photographer with a deep love for Arizona, I’m also a certified officiant with a videographer for a husband! We’re literally your one-package deal for the ultimate elopement dream team! If you’re ready to start planning your Grand Canyon elopement, consider us your partners in crime and contact us today!

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