How to elope in Moab, Utah
One of the perks of being elopement photographers is discovering so many beautiful locations that we may have never got to experience otherwise. We’ve traveled to secret beaches, remote mountain edges, deserted forests, the middle of the desert, ice-covered lakes, and more – there’s never a boring day when you’re accompanying a couple on their elopement adventure!
It’s hard for us to choose our favorite location across so many beautiful elopement destinations, but there’s one we’ve been blown away by again and again that we’d like to put on your radar. It’s time for you to get to know Moab (if you’re not already familiar).
Where is Moab?
The first thing you’ll see when you visit the official website of Moab is the tagline ‘nature’s masterpiece’, and they’re not exaggerating. Moab is located in Utah, a 4-hour drive from the Salt Lake City International Airport. This makes it an easily accessible venue for couples who often choose to fly into SLC, grab a rental car, and hit the open road.
Of course, Moab’s also a beautiful destination for a road trip. At 729 miles from Los Angeles, 467 miles from Phoenix, and 354 miles from Denver, this centrally located slice of red rock paradise attracts visitors from all over the country.
You may feel like you’re the only people in the world in some of Moab’s breathtaking national parks and public lands, but you won’t need to travel for days to get there. It’s the best of both worlds.
What’s so special about eloping in Moab?
Moab offers a rich melting pot of vast, exquisite natural landscapes and unique, cozy small-town hospitality. Home to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, Moab also offers beautiful rivers, forests, and thousands of square miles of rugged, natural state-managed land. This makes it the ideal elopement destination for couples looking for somewhere that has awe-inspiring red rock desert beauty, as well as lush scenery.
As photographers, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to Moab’s natural beauty. Some of our favorite elopements take place in Moab. With such a vast array of options for scenery and setting, we’re able to capture a large array of magical moments without adding on too much travel time. This helps our couples to stay focused on their elopement ceremony and allows them to pack in even more fun!
Is eloping in Moab for you?
An elopement ceremony in Moab suits couples who are looking for dramatic natural beauty, as well as those looking for the rustic charm of small-town America. For those who are looking for a remote elopement venue, Moab delivers. With dramatic desert landscapes that extend far beyond the horizon, you can feel entirely alone together within the vastness of Moab’s national parks.
It’s also a great choice for couples who are looking to hike to their elopement location, with a wide range of hiking trails offering all kinds of distinct elopement ceremony opportunities.
If you’re bringing along family members for a micro-wedding or an elopement with family, you can also find a breathtaking location that’s still accessible for a wide range of physical abilities. Moab offers so many beautiful spaces that you can truly customize your elopement experience to suit your needs and preferences.
Best elopement locations in Moab
One of the most obvious reasons you should elope in Moab?
You’ll be overwhelmed with choices when it comes to where to shoot your elopement photos!
We’ve shot some of our most incredible elopement photos ever in Moab. With such a wide range of breathtaking natural locations, all kinds of moods and visual styles can be captured in this region. Some of our favorite picks include…
Dead Horse Point State Park
An immense desert landscape of canyons, high desert woodland, and miles of trails invite visitors to explore Dead Horse Point State Park. The park has wonderful campgrounds with modern amenities, beautiful views, and connections to nature that will create long-lasting memories. Sunrises and sunsets are especially memorable, with canyon walls bathed in golden light, creating a stunning scene reminiscent of vivid watercolor paintings. Dark Skies filled with thousands of stars encourage travelers to look up and enjoy a view unparalleled while they visit the park. So plan your trip and be prepared to be awed by the stories you’ll make and remember for the rest of your life!
Delicate Arch, Arches National Park
Believe it or not, Moab offers a natural archway that’s the perfect framing for wedding imagery. While it’s a decent hike to get there, you’ll find an arch that evokes just the right kind of mystical beauty for unforgettable, romantic photos.
Shafer Canyon Overlook
This location comes without any hiking requirements, offering easy access for everyone. Pull over into the right parking lot, and you’ll find yourself on the edge of a view that’s dramatic, beautiful, and inviting. The hardest part will be choosing which angle of the beauty to capture!
Island in the Sky/Mesa Arch
This natural wonder has to be seen to be believed. The Island in the Sky mesa sits on sheer sandstone cliffs that are over 300 miles higher than the surrounding terrain. Every direction you turn will offer another stunning opportunity for dreamy elopement shots.
Adding more adventure to your Moab elopement
Choosing to elope in Moab could also solve the next item on your to-do list: where to settle in for a romance-filled honeymoon.
Moab offers an adventure for every kind of visitor. Backpackers are welcomed here, with no shortage of natural beauties to explore during the day. If camping’s more your style, you’ll find no shortage of beautiful, welcoming campsites that make it easy to settle in, enjoy the fresh air, and make the most of local adventures. It’s not uncommon for our couples eloping in Moab to build in some time for off-roading and rock climbing – with some of America’s best places to climb hiding away in Moab, you’ll be well rewarded for your efforts!
No matter how you choose to spend your days in Moab, there’s one secret we need to make sure you’re in on: the stargazing is second to none. With deep, dark nights, the night sky at Moab has to be seen to be believed. It’s a testament to Moab’s beauty that the stars give the dramatic desert canyons a run for their money when it comes to what’s more likely to take your breath away!
What do I need to elope in Moab?
To get married in Utah, you need to apply for a marriage license. There is no waiting period before you can get married. As soon as you get your license, you can get married. However, the license is only valid for 32 days. If you did’’t get married within that time, the license will expire.
You will need the following to apply for a marriage license:
An in-person application with both applicants present at the time of application.
Full names, addresses, and dates and places of birth of both applicants.
Social security numbers of both applicants, unless an applicant doesn’t have a social security number.
Names and birth places of the parents of both applicants, including mother’s maiden name.
Valid picture ID such as a passport, birth certificate, driver’s license, or state ID card.
A license fee – this is charged in most counties, which includes two certified copies of the license. Note: Some counties do not charge a fee for the license but do charge for the certified copies.
Different areas of the US require different permits, and Moab is no different. The right permit for the right location can be tricky to navigate, but with plenty of Moab elopements (and hundreds in general) under our belt, we can take care of this for you!
We’ve made it easier than ever for couples to focus on the most exciting elements of planning their destination elopement. By letting us take care of the necessary permits, you can focus on bringing the rest of your elopement dream to life.
The added benefit of eloping in Moab is that a portion of the permit fee will go back into funding conservation projects in the local area. You can enjoy peace of mind in knowing that your elopement ceremony is helping to preserve the ongoing beauty of its natural environment.
The best time of year to elope in Moab
While you could elope in Moab year-round, we recommend considering spring, fall, and winter. As temperatures rise throughout summer, your elopement or micro-wedding experience can be much more enjoyable when you’re not sweating like crazy through your wedding outfit!
Spring and fall offer a beautiful climate for an elopement, with cozy temperatures that only add to the magical small-town experience. For those looking for a different kind of desert wedding, eloping in Moab in winter would give you the opportunity to get married in the desert while it’s covered with snow. There are also fewer visitors in winter, making it even more intimate for your perfect elopement location.
Moab Elopement Packages
We love every part of the elopement adventure process, including bringing them to life. We offer our elopement expertise from over seven years combined of elopement coordination to every single one of our eloping planners. Not only will we capture breathtaking photos of your elopement experience that will stay with you for decades to come, but we can also simplify the entirety of your micro wedding or elopement. We like to call ourselves experience co-creators for a reason: we’re focused on making sure you have an elopement adventure you’ll never forget!
Lisa and Simon as your photographers
Simon as your officiant
Unlimited video chats and emails to plan your dream day
Private, custom online gallery with unlimited downloads
Copyright release for the personal use of the image
Starting at $5,000
With numerous Moab elopements under our belt, we’d love to work with you to bring your dream Moab elopement to life. Get in touch so we can learn more about how your intimate wedding can become a reality.