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!
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.
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:
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!
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!
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!
If you need tips on what to bring to your Moab elopement, here’s a guideline to follow!
General packing list:
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!
During your elopement adventure in Moab it’s important to follow the 7 Leave No Trace principles.
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 scouting for my clients, and can offer help in the planning process before your elopement day!