Courthouse or Mountains? You have elopement options! Let me show you the locations.
The Basics: How to Elope in Arizona
TO ELOPE, YOU’LL NEED:
- an officiant
- a marriage license
- and 2 witnesses besides your officiant (your photographer counts)
LEGAL REQUIREMENTS TO ELOPE IN AZ:
- Both parties must be 18 or older or have parental consent.
- Both parties must be present to apply for your marriage license.
- No waiting period!
- Marriage licenses are valid for 1 year after receiving the license, but you must mail or hand deliver the license to the courthouse within 30 days of your ceremony to be properly recorded.
- 2 witnesses over 18 years of age to sign your license, not including your officiant.
- Cost for a marriage license in Arizona is $70-$86 depending on the county, payable via check, cash, money order or credit card at the time of application.
- When applying, you’ll need a valid ID for both parties such as a driver’s license, passport, military ID. Social security numbers must be provided, if you both have one.
- A divorce decree is NOT required.
- You do NOT need to be an Arizona resident to apply for a marriage license in Arizona.
Your officiant can be a friend or family member who has been ordained online or there are so many awesome officiants in Arizona that would happy to perform your ceremony. There are no blood tests, don't need to be a resident of arizona and you can get your marriage license in the same day and it'll be valid for a whole year. Need more legal info: get that here.
Now, what about where to elope in Arizona?
Arizona is literally just covered in so many unique and interesting location choices that it can get a little stressful just trying to narrow that down. If there is a location that you've visited before that has sentimental meaning to you like where you first hiked together, where your partner proposed, or where your first date was those are excellent choices for location. That said, there is absolutely no shame whatsoever in picking a place simply because it is mindblowingly gorgeous. There are so many benefits to choosing one of these over a courthouse, but honestly the number one reason: mountains don't have ugly florescent lighting in a room down the hall from a criminal hearing. You can have your ceremony in your own way, even if it means getting married under a starry sky lit by edison bulbs. The whole day is yours, so make the schedule crazy with activities for you and your partner, or just relax and enjoy the views together. You aren't surrounded by a bunch of people so there's no shame in getting emotional, laughing, jumping out of excitement, matter of fact it is encouraged.
NORTHERN ARIZONA ELOPEMENT LOCATIONS
Northern Arizona is home to a lot of my absolute favorite locations. It's a little more temperate than Phoenix, and feels more spread out. You can cool off here in the summer and see snow covered mountains in the winter. Oh, but most importantly it's home to Horsehoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, and Monument Valley.
I can't explain my extreme love for this place, but I have used two images from it in this blog alone. Horseshoe Bend is incredible at sunsets and makes for a perfect ceremony site. Stars are super visible from here at night as well.
This is literally a couple miles from Horseshoe Bend, you could do both. These canyons are a little tight to walk through but they have the absolute best colors of any I have seen. Reservations are required in advance!
Sedona is a crowd favorite location to elope - for good reason too, it’s one of the most beautiful places in Arizona. It is a bit more touristy, but that means there's more to do. Weekdays are often much less busy than weekends.
There are several incredible spots in Payson that would be perfect for eloping- the Mogollon Rim is my favorite though. It’s also a convenient place to escape the summer heat- 15 degrees cooler than Phoenix. Avoid during monsoon season though!
The park itself is a 10 miles drive through the amazing red sandstone spires we call Monument Valley. Wedding Sites for smaller groups are where ever you find the perfect location. For larger weddings, permits may be required.
Monument Valley, Arizona
Phoenix Arizona Elopement Locations
Phoenix and the surrounding cities- Scottsdale, Gilbert, Chandler, Tempe, Mesa, Glendale & Queen Creek have so many incredible outdoor scenic areas to elope. Added bonus: the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport is close by and makes it super easy to just hop in a rental car and head out for those of you making this a destination elopement. You can finish it off by camping or heading into Scottdale or downtown Phoenix for a 4 star hotel experience.
The Superstition Mountains
The Superstition Mountains are literally amazing. Panoramic Vistas, trailheads and even a lost treasure somewhere in there. Perfect location for sunset or sunrise elopements.
Lost Dutchman State Park, AZ
This one is my hidden gem, that photo is in a spot not on a map or trail. So worth the views! Tortilla Flats has everything from epic mountains to lakes and even cliff diving!
Tortilla Flats, AZ
Talk about epic backdrops, Four Peaks is a prominent landmark on the eastern skyline of Phoenix. It is located in the Tonto National Forest, 40 miles east-northeast of Phoenix. There are multiple places to stop and see these beautiful mountain peaks.
Tonto National Forest, AZ
Located in South Mountain Park & Preserve in Phoenix, this one is by far the best sunset viewing place in Phoenix. Though it can be crowded there are many spots in this park that are empty if thats your thing.
Arizona Weather for Eloping
FALL : SEPTEMBER - DECEMBER
- Arizona has an amazing and long fall season. Throughout the state you'll see fall colors throughout the season. Peak colors begin in mid to late October in the northern part of Arizona.
WINTER : DECEMBER-MARCH
- Arizona is so mild during winter, especially if you're like me and from the midwest. You should expect average temps to be around 70º, almost no rain with sharp temperature drops in the evening. Some places have snow (north) but personally I believe this is the best time to visit desert areas to avoid the extreme heat.
SPRING : MARCH-JUNE
- Deserts bloom too! Wildflowers come in and take your breath away. Expect temperatures to being rising, hanging out mostly in the high 80s to 90s, occasionally hitting 100º depending on where you are.
SUMMER : JUNE - SEPTEMBER
- It's a dry heat, but its still hot. Most of the southern regions will be over 100º and in the north you may find it about 15º cooler. I find that 115º is much more beareable than 90º with full humidity, but its not everyone's cup of tea. This is the time to visit the northern parts of Arizona, particularly those in higher altitudes.