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The Ultimate Sedona, Arizona Red Rock Elopement Guide [Updated For 2024]

Cathedral Rock & Devils Bridge LGBTQ+ SEDONA ELOPEMENT PLANNING GUIDE

Cathedral Rock & Devils Bridge LGBTQ+ SEDONA ELOPEMENT PLANNING GUIDE

SEDONA ELOPEMENT PLANNING GUIDE

Looking to arrange a small wedding in Sedona? I created this guide on how to elope in Sedona for everyone's use. One of the best spots to elope in the US is in this wild and vast area of Arizona. Sedona has been a popular destination for adventurous elopements because of the incredible red rock formations that can be seen for miles in every direction.


Cathedral Rock & Devils Bridge LGBTQ+ SEDONA ELOPEMENT PLANNING GUIDE

About Sedona, AZ

Near Flagstaff, in the Arizona desert, is Sedona's town, encircled by red-rock formations, massive canyons, and trees. It is a popular tourist destination and playground of outdoor enthusiasts and has a thriving art scene. There is a ton of area to explore, offering countless opportunities for adventures and pictures!



Cathedral Rock & Devils Bridge LGBTQ+ SEDONA ELOPEMENT PLANNING GUIDE

PERMITS FOR SEDONA

The location and specifics will determine if a permit is required to elope in Sedona. Most of the time, special use permits are not needed for the trails in Sedona, although they could be needed for State Parks, along with an additional charge. Special usage permission and/or a photographer's permit are almost always necessary for visiting national parks. There are guidelines that you must abide by in Sedona:

  • No setups of any type, including ceremony arches, tables, chairs, etc., are permitted on National Forest Service property. Land

  • It is forbidden to introduce non-native species. This implies that using rice, rose petals, or birdseed is prohibited.

  • Due to resource damage, some parts of the area cannot accept groups.

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 confirm that no permit is necessary for the place where you plan to elope, it is recommended to get in touch with the Forest Service or a Sedona elopement photographer. We can talk about this during the elopement planning phase! 


Cathedral Rock & Devils Bridge LGBTQ+ SEDONA ELOPEMENT PLANNING GUIDE

WEATHER

Although you can elope at any time of the year, some months could be more challenging due to tourism and the weather! In general, the finest seasons for weather are Fall and Spring. During school breaks, tourist destinations like Sedona may become overrun with visitors, and the heat can be problematic. The busiest months for crowds are March/April and October/November.


A lovely sunrise or sunset ceremony is unquestionably advised if you wish to elope in the summer in Arizona. It's best to avoid weekends because of the unpredictable traffic. Sedona has one road that runs from end to end with numerous roundabouts, so on a busy day, traffic may back up rapidly.


The greatest times for more private elopements are during the week and the off-season when fewer tour buses carry students on holiday. I can always help you schedule the ideal time for an Arizona elopement if you don't have a specific date.


Sedona frequently has days with highs of 100 degrees from June through September; not fun! The phrase "summer in the sun" has a new meaning in Arizona, so be ready! Snowfall is possible anytime between November and March during the milder months. While a fine white dusting of snow may seem stunning in the desert, a few extra safety measures should be taken beforehand.


Cathedral Rock & Devils Bridge LGBTQ+ SEDONA ELOPEMENT PLANNING GUIDE

HOW TO GET MARRIED IN SEDONA, ARIZONA

Marriage License

Planning a successful elopement requires taking care of all legal requirements. Some couples file their paperwork at home in advance, while others choose to wed in the county where they elope. Here are some details and resources to get you started if you wish to lawfully wed in Sedona:


Sedona Municipal Court does not grant marriage licenses. Thus, to obtain a marriage license, you must get in touch with one of the county's superior courts. Yavapai County Superior Court in Camp Verde, situated on Highway 260, is the courthouse closest to Sedona. Marriage Licenses (yavapaiaz.gov)


  • There is no residency requirement. You can obtain a marriage license in Arizona even if you do not live in the state.

  • The fee for a marriage license is $83.00

  • Both parties must be over 18 years old and present at the time of application.

  • Two witnesses over the age of 18 are required


Other Locations to Obtain Arizona Marriage License



Cathedral Rock & Devils Bridge LGBTQ+ SEDONA ELOPEMENT PLANNING GUIDE

WHERE TO STAY IN SEDONA


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


NEARBY AIRPORTS

Chances are, you might be flying into Arizona from out of state, so here are a few nearby airports and the general travel time it takes to get to Sedona.


  1. Sedona Airport: Sedona does have a local airport located two miles southwest of the central business district of Sedona. It is roughly a ten-minute drive from the heart of Sedona. However, it is more expensive to fly in and out of.

  2. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX): Likely the most cost-effective option, located about a two-hour drive from Sedona.

WHAT TO BRING TO YOUR SEDONA ELOPEMENT

Here's a guideline to follow if you need tips on what to bring to your Sedona elopement!

General packing list:

  • Permit (if needed)

  • 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 AT YOUR ELOPEMENT

Planning an adventurous elopement allows you the freedom to spend the entire day together (or however long you like!) Stay for a week, plan enjoyable activities, and venture out to discover all of Arizona's natural beauty! Here are some suggestions for adventurous elopement experiences in Sedona.

Cathedral Rock & Devils Bridge LGBTQ+ SEDONA ELOPEMENT PLANNING GUIDE

LEAVE NO TRACE

During your elopement adventure in Sedona, 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


Cathedral Rock & Devils Bridge LGBTQ+ SEDONA ELOPEMENT PLANNING GUIDE



FIND A PHOTOGRAPHER YOU LOVE THAT’S AN EXPERT FOR ELOPING IN SEDONA


Make the first step in planning your elopement by hiring a talented Sedona photographer! Hiring someone familiar with all the details of eloping in Arizona will be extremely beneficial. I have spent numerous hours researching and scouting locations for my clients, so I can assist as you arrange your elopement!





Cathedral Rock & Devils Bridge LGBTQ+ SEDONA ELOPEMENT PLANNING GUIDE





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