• Taylor & Brandon

A Desert Elopement in Snow Canyon State Park

One of the most popular locations for elopements in Utah is Zion National Park, but with that popularity comes a lot of foot traffic that can make elopement photos and private moments difficult to capture. We always encourage our Utah elopement couples to have a backup plan, but this couple knew from the beginning that they wanted to elope in Snow Canyon instead!

Meet the Fenners!

Taylor and Brandon met in college in Michigan five years ago and eloped in May of 2023. They both were obsessed with the rustic, desert vibes and warm red rocks of western landscapes like Utah parks but had never been before – making eloping the perfect opportunity for some adventure! They planned to elope in Snow Canyon and spend a week honeymooning and exploring the area more.


The happy couple invited their closest family members to join them for the ceremony, as none of their relatives had been out west before either! “We decided to elope because we wanted an experience that lasted more than a couple of hours and something that felt more intimate than hundreds of people we haven’t seen in years watching us recite vows,” explained Taylor and Brandon, “We wanted to be excited to get married, not stressed.”

Snow Canyon State Park

The Stay: A Beautiful A-Frame Cabin!

The bride and groom stayed at an AirBnB in Hurricane, Utah, about thirty minutes from the park. We started the day at this beautiful A-frame cabin called “The Cabin Under the Stars” where Taylor and Brandon got ready alongside their family and had their first look. This cabin actually opens up to the sky so you can look at the stars while inside – it’s magical!

To add a little extra fun to the day, this AirBnB has a game room that even has a few classic arcade machines! The family had a blast playing games like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fighting game and Space Invaders…and we may have gotten in on the fun just a little as well!

The Ceremony: Snow Canyon Overlook

The ceremony took place at the Snow Canyon Overlook with their officiant and close family gathered around. Both Brandon and Taylor wrote their own wedding vows, which they read from beautiful leather booklets. Both of them were wiping tears from their eyes during the vows, it is so sweet and clear that they are madly in love!

Even though the ceremony was earlier in the day, it was already 90 degrees outside – so don’t let the name “Snow Canyon” fool you! Apparently, it isn’t named for “snow” as in weather, but for prominent pioneering Utah leaders Lorenzo and Erastus Snow. If you’re looking for a snowy elopement location, you won’t find that at Snow Canyon State Park! Might we recommend an Alaska elopement, in that case?

The Elopement: Exploring Snow Canyon State Park

Now came the fun part! After the family photos, the four of us ventured down into the main part of Snow Canyon State Park to explore and take photos until sunset. We started out exploring the desert and exterior rock formations, but eventually hiked out to a beautiful slot canyon where it was at least ten degrees cooler – the perfect place to hide from the heat!

This slot canyon – called “Jenny’s Canyon” – is shorter than a lot of slot canyons you might hike in Utah, making it ideal for elopements where you want to explore without breaking out the hiking boots. The entire canyon round trip is only about half a mile, but it is no less gorgeous for the short distance! The couple had a blast exploring and dancing inside the canyon, and Brandon even broke out a sleek black cowboy hat for some photos.


Rather than a champagne toast or charcuterie board, this couple marched to the beat of their own drum by sharing a watermelon. With how hot it was that day, this was a great way to stay hydrated and refresh from the sweltering sun – and watching the bride and groom attempt to eat the juicy fruit without ruining their formal attire was pretty entertaining!

While much of the Snow Canyon landscape is red rocks, we are experts at finding unique spots and unexpected backdrops for our couples to explore. In this case, Brandon and Taylor spent some time skipping down the road, cuddling in a spot with lighter sand that almost looked like a beach and posing surrounded by green desert plants and small white blossoms. We even discovered a massive alcove in the rocks that made for some of the best shots of the day.

We had actually spent a couple days prior to scout out the area and find all the best angles and times for the different places we wanted to shoot in.  Don’t forget though, just like with a lot of other state and national parks, you need to apply for special permits to get married here.  

Finding the Right Fit for Your Elopement Photographer

Your photographer is a vital part of your elopement experience. They are the ones who usually know the locations the best, the ones who will capture your love story with incredible images and videos for you to share with friends and family who cannot join you, and the ones you will spend the most time with at your elopement aside from one another!

“We spent hours and hours searching for a photographer and videographer and had multiple consultations but nothing felt right,” shared Brandon and Taylor. “Once we stumbled across Kim and Jesse we knew they were the right fit. Their aesthetic in photos and video editing style were exactly what we were looking for.”

If you like our aesthetic and want a photographer/videographer duo for your elopement who loves adventure and keeping it real, take a look at our travel plans for the year and contact us for a consultation!


We photograph elopements all around the world so if you have that special place you are thinking of, just like Snow Canyon State Park, we can make it happen.  Communication is key when it comes to planning your perfect day.

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