Beautiful Scenic Elopement Locations in AZ besides the Courthouse
For a lot of people, a big wedding just isn't their thing. Big weddings can be expensive and a lot of stress. You might rather have a small gathering with their closest friends & family, or perhaps even just your partner & you and your officiant. It can be easy to get caught up in other people's expectations, but ultimately, it boils down to what is right for you and your partner. These days, you don't just have to go to a courthouse. Arizona has such stunning natural landscapes to utilitize, allowing you to have a more personal, intimate ceremony reflective of you and get amazing photos as well! To elope, you'll need an officiant, 2 witnesses besides your officiant, and a marriage license. Your officiant can be a friend who's been ordained online, or you can hire one of the many wonderful officiants here in Arizona to perform your ceremony. Even picking a place to elope can be overwhelming however, especially in Arizona with so many beautiful natural locations. The location can have special meaning to you, like where you had your first hike, first date, where your partner proposed, or it can simply be a place you just love for no other reason than it's beautiful. When you elope outside the courthouse, you trade ugly flourescent lighting for beautiful natural light, the ability to have your ceremony on your own time and in your own way, and do whatever the heck you want! You can make your own schedule- or not, if you're a more go with the flow person. You aren't limited to the courthouse's weekday hours and schedule. Best yet, you can only have people you trust present and can fully be yourselves- you can cry if you need to, laugh, jump for joy! You guys just got married and a stranger's not watching you! Have I convinced you yet? Check out these stunning ideas for scenic places all across Arizona for your elopement.
In the Phoenix Area
The Phoenix Mountain Preserve is in the heart of Phoenix, near Phoenix, Scottsdale and Paradise Valley. It's home to some stunnig mountains and desert landscapes. Check out this Phoenix Mountain Preserve elopement for some inspiration! We can take a hike to the top or stay at the base of the mountains.
Located in Mesa, the Gilbert Riparian Preserve is a favorite spot of bird watchers and little nature escape in the middle of the city. It tends to be crowded, especially around Oct-November, however it's a large property that you can work your way back into and find your own private spot. There are many small ponds and lakes which provide habitat for birds, jackrabbits and cottonwood trees.
The Superstitions are an iconic backdrop of Phoenix and Mesa. It's hard to beat their stunning beauty and the way they light up at sunset, making them a perfect spot to elope. There are a variety of spots around the Superstitions- hiking along Peralta Trail, hiking up near Siphon's Draw for the adventurous and fit couple, or just picking a spot to pull over and enjoy the view at sunset. See more from Alex & Jack's Superstition Mountain anniversary session!
Of course Sedona is a popular choice of location to elope- for good reason too, it's one of the most stunning places Arizona has to offer, if you don't mind tourists. Weekdays are often much less busy than weekends if you have some iconic Sedona hikes you'd like to have your ceremony on. See more from Krista & Matt's sweet Sedona elopement!
If you'd like to elope during the height of the Arizona summer, or you love pine trees and mountains, you should definitely consider Flagstaff. Humphrey's Peak is the highest point in Arizona and has forests of pines and aspen trees. Lockett Meadow is a popular spot, though it requires four wheel drive to get to. See Leonor & Katryna's Flagstaff engagement session to see more from their session!
Of course, I might be biased, but I definitely think that if you're planning on eloping, especially in some of Arizona's most stunning natural landscapes, you should have a photographer there to capture the beauty and beautiful emotion and story of the day you two declared your commitment to one another. I specialize in documentary style photography- capturing beautiful moments between you and your personalities and telling the story of your meaningful day. Elopements are especially great because I find that most people feel more able to be emotional without a bunch of people watching. I book elopements weekdays and weekends less than 3 months out and offer affordable elopement packages. Contact me to chat with me to see if I am a good fit for you. Personality fit is especially important with elopements because I want you to feel completely comfortable with me! I also do destination elopements- contact me! I'm always happy to travel to new places. Want to see more of my wedding work? Check out my blog for recent work and portfolio!