Arizona is literally just covered in so many unique and interesting elopement location choices that it’s honestly one of the top states to elope in. If there is a location that you’ve visited before that has sentimental meaning to you like where you first hiked together, where your partner proposed, or where your first date was those are excellent choices for your Arizona elopement. That said, there is absolutely no shame whatsoever in picking a place simply because it is mind-blowing and gorgeous. You can have your ceremony in your own way, even if it means getting married under a starry sky lit by Edison bulbs. The whole day is yours, so make the schedule crazy with activities for you and your partner, or just relax and enjoy the views together. You aren’t surrounded by a bunch of people so there’s no shame in getting emotional, laughing, or jumping out of excitement, matter of fact it is encouraged.
The Basics: How to get married in Arizona
Arizona marriage requirements:
- an officiant
- a marriage license
- and 2 witnesses besides your officiant (your photographer counts)
- Both parties must be 18 or older or have parental consent.
- Both parties must be present to apply for your marriage license.
- No waiting period!
- Marriage licenses are valid for 1 year after receiving the license, but you must mail or hand deliver the license to the courthouse within 30 days of your ceremony to be properly recorded.
- 2 witnesses over 18 years of age to sign your license, not including your officiant.
- The cost for a marriage license in Arizona is $70-$86 depending on the county, payable via check, cash, money order, or credit card at the time of application.
- When applying, you’ll need a valid ID for both parties such as a driver’s license, passport, or military ID. Social security numbers must be provided if you both have one.
- A divorce decree is NOT required.
- You do NOT need to be an Arizona resident to apply for a marriage license in Arizona.
When to Elope in Arizona
FALL: SEPTEMBER – DECEMBER
- Arizona has an amazing and long fall season. Throughout the state, you’ll see fall colors throughout the season. Peak colors begin in mid to late October in the northern part of Arizona.
- Arizona is so mild during winter, so it’s perfect for your Arizona elopement. You should expect average temps to be around 70º, with almost no rain with sharp temperature drops in the evening. Some places have snow (north) but personally, I believe this is the best time to visit desert areas to avoid the extreme heat.
- Deserts bloom too! Wildflowers come in and take your breath away. Expect temperatures to be rising, hanging out mostly in the high 80s to 90s, occasionally hitting 100º depending on where you are.
SUMMER: JUNE – SEPTEMBER
- It’s a dry heat, but it’s still hot. Most of the southern regions will be over 100º and in the north, you may find it about 15º cooler. I find that 115º is much more bearable than 90º with full humidity, but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. This is the time to visit the northern parts of Arizona, particularly those in higher altitudes.
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Best Places to Elope in Arizona
The hardest question you’ll have to answer for your Arizona elopement is: where to elope in Arizona? Not because there is low availability or few locations either. It’s tough to decide because Arizona is so full of locations to get married that it’s hard to narrow down which one fits your wedding dream the best. There are multiple national parks, state parks, and even larger cities that would all make for interesting and unique wedding days.
Northern Arizona Elopements
Northern Arizona is home to a lot of my absolute favorite Arizona elopement locations. It’s a little more temperate than Phoenix and feels more spread out. You can cool off here in the summer and see snow-covered mountains in the winter. Oh, but most importantly it’s home to Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, and Monument Valley.
I can’t explain my extreme love for this place, but I have used two images from it in this blog alone. Horseshoe Bend is incredible at sunsets and makes for a perfect ceremony site. Stars are super visible from here at night as well.
This is literally a couple of miles from Horseshoe Bend, you could do both. These canyons are a little tight to walk through but they have the absolute best colors of any I have seen. Reservations are required in advance!
The park itself is a 10 mile drive through the amazing red sandstone spires we call Monument Valley. Wedding Sites for smaller groups are where ever you find the perfect location. For larger weddings, permits may be required.
Monument Valley, Arizona
Sedona is a crowd-favorite location to elope – for good reason too, it’s one of the most beautiful places in Arizona. It is a bit more touristy, but that means there’s more to do. Weekdays are often much less busy than weekends
There are several incredible spots in Payson that would be perfect for eloping- the Mogollon Rim is my favorite though. It’s also a convenient place to escape the summer heat- 15 degrees cooler than Phoenix. Avoid it during monsoon season though!
Photographs are more than pictures, they are moments you can revisit. I’ll make sure you don’t miss the important ones.
Phoenix Arizona Elopements
Phoenix and the surrounding cities- Scottsdale, Gilbert, Chandler, Tempe, Mesa, Glendale & Queen Creek have so many incredible outdoor scenic areas to elope. Added bonus: the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport is close by and makes it super easy to just hop in a rental car and head out for those of you making this a destination elopement. You can finish it off by camping or heading into Scottsdale or downtown Phoenix for a 4-star hotel experience.
The Superstition Mountains are literally amazing. Panoramic Vistas, trailheads, and even a lost treasure somewhere in there. Perfect location for sunset or sunrise elopements.
Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona
This one is my hidden gem, that photo is in a spot not on a map or trail. So worth the views! Tortilla Flats has everything from epic mountains to lakes and even cliff diving!
Tortilla Flats, Arizona
Four Peaks Mountain
Talk about epic backdrops, Four Peaks is a prominent landmark on the eastern skyline of Phoenix. It is located in the Tonto National Forest, 40 miles east-northeast of Phoenix. There are multiple places to stop and see these beautiful mountain peaks.
Tonto National Forest, Arizona
Located in South Mountain Park & Preserve in Phoenix, this one is by far the best sunset viewing place in Phoenix. Though it can be crowded there are many spots in this park that are empty if that’s your thing.
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