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Moab Elopement Planning Guide

Moab Elopement Planning Guide

Looking to plan an elopement in Moab? As an experienced Utah elopement photographer, I offer lots of helpful info during the planning process with my clients; but I decided to put together this guide on how to elope in Moab for everyone to use! This part of Utah is so incredible to explore, and elope in! It’s a gateway to massive red rock formations in Arches National Park; and not too far from the incredible Canyonlands National Park too! Planning an elopement in Utah isn’t too hard when there’s so many incredible choose from. However, there’s so many little details to iron out in the process, which is why I’ve put together this Moab Elopement Planning guide as a tool to help couples map out their dream day!

How to Elope in Moab

Moab, Utah

Permits

To elope in Moab you will need a permit, however, this is location and detail dependent. The Moab Bureau of Land Management (BLM) requires permits for any sort of photography on BLM land. Most often your vendor/photographer is responsible for acquiring the necessary permit. They will need to have a yearly recreation permit from the Moab BLM office. This is why it is important to hire a professional who has expertise in Moab Elopements, as it’s not something you can get last minute. For couples, you just need a letter of authorization from the BLM office. This letter doesn’t cost you anything & you will just need to name any vendors and make sure they all have permits. Going to areas without permits is not allowed, and risky for you and your vendors as you may get fined.

National Parks currently always require a special use permit and/or photographer’s permit. The permit does not include the park entrance fee.

Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park require permits for any sort of elopement, wedding, or vow renewal ceremony. The permit fee is $185 plus the entrance fee ($30). Dead Horse Point requires a Special Use Permit $60 ($10 application fee and $50 permit fee). The day of the wedding will cost $15 per vehicle for up to 8 people in each vehicle, or if you bus in your attendees we charge $2 per person. Ranger monitoring is $50/hr if the park manager determines that it is necessary. However, it is generally not required.

You will also need a marriage license from Grand County along with an officiant & witnesses to legally get married in Moab.

Marriage License

Getting all the legalities of an elopement in order is essential to your planning. Some couples choose to get their paperwork done at home beforehand, while others do their marriage filing in the county they elope in. If you want to legally get married in Moab here’s some info and resources to get you started:

Marriage Licenses | Grand County, UT – Official Website (grandcountyutah.net)

  • A marriage license issued in Grand County is valid throughout the State of Utah.
  • The person solemnizing the marriage must sign, date, and return the license to the Grand County Clerk/Auditor’s Office within 30 days of your marriage.
  • The non-refundable $40 fee includes one certified copy of your license.  Additional copies may be obtained upon request.
  • Applicants must be at least 18 years of age.  Minors age 15-17 may obtain a license for marriage with additional consent requirements.

When to Elope in Moab

Moab has become extremely popular and is a tourist hot spot since it’s so easy to access. Carefully consider the best time to elope in Moab, as it will affect your experience!

Because of its relatively mild climate, and accessible location; Moab has a pretty long busy “season.” It is ALWAYS best to avoid holidays, weekends, and school vacation peak times. If you want to experience the area with more privacy, then consider eloping in early spring or late fall. There’s no guarantee you’ll have the area to yourself, but choosing a weekday is always ideal. If you’re eloping in a popular spot, I recommend choosing a sunrise ceremony if privacy is desired. You most often get the trail to yourself, and are far less likely to have a tour bus of people in your way!

Weather

Spring: Chance of rainfall, cool temperatures, wildflowers blooming

Summer: Hot temperatures, mostly sunny days.

Fall: Mild temps, cooler evenings.

Winter: Can get very cold, with snow/ice. But still some sunny/warm days mixed in!

Where to Stay in Moab

If you’re coming in from out of town, or just want to make your elopement experience more unique, here’s some unique places to stay in Moab, Utah!

Under Canvas Moab | Upscale Glamping Near Arches National Park

Moenkopi Yurts | Utah State Parks

Base Camp Adventure Lodge – Moab

Castle Valley Inn | Visit our bed and breakfast outside Moab, Utah, today!

Moab, Utah

What to Bring to your Moab Elopement

If you need tips on what to bring to your Moab elopement, here’s a guideline to follow!

General packing list:

  • Permit (printed out)
  • Water bottles/hydration pack
  • Hiking boots
  • Sunblock/glasses
  • Change of shoes/socks
  • Blanket (to sit on or change behind)
  • Portable phone charger
  • Rings
  • Vow books

Winter add-ons:

  • Layers (jacket, sweater)
  • Gloves
  • Beanie
  • Hand warmers
  • Thermos with a warm beverage

Fun things to do in Moab

Planning an adventure elopement gives you so much freedom to have a full day experience (or as long as you want!) Stay for the week, book fun activities, get out and explore all the beauty that Utah has to offer! Here are some adventure elopement experience ideas for Moab!

Leave No Trace

During your elopement adventure in Moab it’s important to follow the 7 Leave No Trace principles.

  1.  Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2.  Stick to Trails
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly
  4. Check Campfire Restrictions
  5. Leave What You Find
  6.  Respect Wildlife
  7. Share the Outdoors

Find a photographer that’s an expert in eloping in Moab!

To make your elopement experience a breeze, start by booking an experienced Moab elopement photographer! Hiring a local who knows all the ins and out of eloping in Arizona can be SO helpful. I have done countless hours of research and location scouating for my clients, and can offer help in the planning process before your elopement day!

Moab Elopement Photographer

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