Sunrise Elopement in Sedona, Arizona

Sedona, Arizona Sunrise Elopement

So excited to share Bree and Cam’s Sedona, Arizona Elopement!! They chose to read their vows to each other at sunrise, at the most romantic spot overlooking the valley.

We met at the trailhead at 5:30am with our headlamps and estimated about an hour to hike to the top for a 7am sunrise. They both hiked in their wedding attire for this one! At the top, they read their vows just as hot air balloons started to inflate down below in the valley!! So romantic! After that, they had their first dance, and admired those gorgeous red rock views. We hiked down the trail at about 8-830am and they had the rest of their day to themselves as newly weds!!

If you’re wondering why you should have an elopement at sunrise, read on!

Benefits of Eloping at Sunrise

There’s always a couple of factors when deciding when to elope (season, day, time, etc) and that’s something I’m always happy to help my clients plan! If you have no preference on when to elope or have no idea what’s the best time of day to elope, I can offer my professional opinion as your elopement photographer!

For now, here are a couple of benefits to planning your elopement at sunrise:


I’ve found that you’re far less likely to run into the tourist crowds at the popular spots early in the morning. Usually, sunset is the busiest time for people to be at viewpoints, which can interfere with the intimate ceremony vision you may have for your elopement. While you can never guarantee complete privacy at any public location like a trailhead in Sedona, you can plan around the peak times for a quieter experience.


Choosing a sunrise elopement is IDEAL in the desert, particularly in the warmer months. Since the sun hasn’t been heating up the desert all day this is the coolest time! Hiking up a trail in the dawn of the day is really enjoyable, and unlike sunset hikes, we’re not as stressed about losing the light (although catching those first rays of the sun peaking over the mountains is always dreamy!) The desert sun can be quite unforgiving, so if you’re looking to hike to your location and not sweat off the makeup; I’d recommend sunrise!


Planning a sunrise elopement may seem difficult if you’re not an early riser, but there are some benefits in regards to your timeline! While you do have to set an early alarm, you also get the rest of the day to kick back and relax; or go celebrate as newlyweds! That means after you say I do you can go back and nap, take a shower, enjoy brunch, book an excursion nearby, go out again for sunset portraits; so many options! If you’ve booked a destination elopement, this is a great opportunity to go out and adventure together on your wedding day! Or alternatively you can go celebrate with a family dinner or intimate reception with friends.

Example Sunrise Hiking Elopement Timelines

Option 1: First Look

3:30am Get ready at accommodation (hair/makeup/pack)

4:30am Photo start time at accommodation

5:00am Leave room and head to trailhead

5:30am Hike to viewpoint

6:30am Change into wedding attire/First look

7:00 am Private ceremony at sunrise

7:15am Portraits

8:00am Hike down to trailhead

8:45am Head for breakfast/ Photo end time

Option 2: No First Look

4:00am Get ready at accommodation together (hair/makeup)

5:00am Photo start time

5:30am Leave room and head to the trailhead

6:00am Hike to viewpoint in wedding attire

7:00am Vows at sunrise

7:15am Portraits

7:45am Breakfast Picnic and Mimosas

8:15am Head back to trailhead

9:00am Head back to room to get ready for a spa day

Eloping in Sedona

Looking to plan an elopement in Arizona? I offer tons of helpful info during the planning process with my clients, but here are a few details to get you started! And check out my post on How to Elope with Guests!


For trails in Sedona, you may need a Red Rock Pass to park at trailheads for $5 per day/per car or $15 weekly. You can purchase this in advance online here, or at self-service machines at the trail. However, not all areas require the pass, but charge a separate admission fee.  You can find more information about Sedona Tourism here! To elope in Sedona you may need an additional permit, however this is location and detail dependent. This is something we can discuss in the elopement planning process.

Arizona Elopement Photographer

Contact me to book your Sedona, Arizona elopement photographer! And be sure to follow me on Instagram for more desert elopement location ideas in the US!

Sunrise elopement in Sedona, Arizona. This romantic and adventurous wedding with just us 3 had the perfect desert ceremony on the cliffs!

Sedona, Arizona elopement photo at sunrise.

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