This is everything you need to know about legally eloping in Arizona from an Arizona Elopement Photographer.
Many couples are choosing to elope for a small and intimate wedding experience, and you might just be one of them!
Arizona, a location known for its incredible scenery, has quickly become a favorite elopement spot. As someone who has built their business (and life) around this incredible state, I really can’t blame them!
You want to have a desert wedding, but you aren’t sure how to do it legally.
Let’s break it down, shall we?
When you get married, you really have two options when it comes to doing it lawfully. The first is to get your marriage license in your home state before traveling to Arizona for the actual elopement. Or, you can go the route of doing everything in Arizona.
Both are great options. However, being informed on which is best for you can truly make or break your experience.
There are truly so many directions you can go when it comes down to eloping. Something that a lot of couples aren’t aware of, is that you can actually get your marriage license in your own state before traveling to another location for the actual ceremony.
If you live in New York but wish to elope in Arizona, you can pick up your marriage license in New York and then have a quick ceremony there before you come to Arizona. After completing the legal requirements and becoming “legally married” in New York, you can then travel to Arizona to have your more intimate elopement ceremony while already being married.
Elopement ceremonies offer you the opportunity to exchange heartfelt vows in a location of your choosing, surrounded by the beauty of nature. And, just because you already have your marriage license from your home state, doesn’t mean that you don’t get to experience the most out of your Arizona elopement.
Here’s a glimpse into what a typical elopement ceremony will most likely look like with Karen Castor Photography (ME) if you decide to do the legal stuff in your home state!
I will always encourage you to choose a spot that holds special meaning or captures your desired ambiance. Whether it’s a majestic canyon, a secluded forest, or a serene creekside, you can handpick a location that resonates with your love story.
As an elopement photographer + expert, my role is to create a beautifully arranged ceremony space. After selecting the perfect location with you, I ensure that every detail is taken care of, making the area aesthetically pleasing and visually appealing.
Before exchanging vows, I always encourage you to soak in the moment and the breathtaking surroundings. I will have you sit there in a heartfelt hug while I get into position. This allows you to fully absorb the moment before you read your vows.
It is always my favorite part, and I think it might just be yours too!
For the vows, you take turns sharing your personally written vows, expressing your love and commitment to one another. Once you have finished, I guide you through a “repeat after me” segment for the ring exchange, symbolizing your promises to each other.
With your vows exchanged and ring in place, you will seal your commitment with a kiss. As the unofficial officiant, I will pronounce you married!
Are you as excited as I am?!
If you don’t feel like getting married in your home state is the best option for you, you have another option!
You can get legally married in Arizona. However, before you exchange your vows among the stunning desert landscapes or picturesque red rock formations, it’s important to understand the legal requirements and steps involved in making your elopement official.
When legally eloping in Arizona, the first important thing you need to know is that a marriage license IS required. Depending on your elopement trip itinerary, this might involve planning a separate trip to an Arizona county office where you both must be present and over 18 years of age.
HERE ARE 6 TIPS FOR GETTING AN ARIZONA MARRIAGE LICENSE:
FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO GET YOUR LICENSE | CLICK HERE
You will need to arrange for an officiant to oversee your elopement ceremony.
While I am ordained, having a dedicated officiant is recommended to enhance the ceremony’s customization and meaning. You can also ask a loved one to officiate your ceremony. I love this option because it makes your ceremony even more personal. If you are having trouble finding the perfect officiant, I have a list of amazing officiants you can reach out to!
The benefit of choosing to elope is the opportunity to infuse the ceremony with personalized elements. Officiants often offer thoughtful and unique ceremonies that reflect your personality and values.
You can incorporate special traditions, such as the use of ribbons, sage, sand, or any other elements that hold significance for you. There are so many ways to make your elopement day even more “you.”
Eloping provides you with a unique opportunity to intimately and memorably celebrate your love. Whether you want some of your family or friends or just you, eloping gives you the chance to curate your wedding how you want it.
Truly, I can’t wait to experience that with you here in Arizona.
Arizona’s breathtaking landscapes offer an ideal setting for your elopement ceremony. By carefully following the legal advice provided in this guide, you can ensure that your Arizona elopement is not only legally valid but also profoundly meaningful.
Undoubtedly, for detailed instructions on obtaining a marriage license and contact information for county offices, please refer to the official websites of Arizona county clerks’ offices or consult a local wedding planner familiar with Arizona’s marriage laws.
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MORE ELOPEMENT PLANNING RESOURCES: