Planning an elopement in Phoenix, Arizona? Welcome to The Ultimate Planning Guide for your Arizona elopement! Whether you want to get married in the desert surrounded by cactus, in your backyard, or a gorgeous resort venue, this article will help guide you towards planning the elopement of your dreams! Find out when and where to elope as well as recommended elopement vendors who can make your vision come true.
Arizona is traditionally known for warmer temperatures. However, depending on what region of Arizona you choose, the ideal time of year to elope might change!
I typically recommend planning your elopement in the Phoenix, Arizona area between September and May. In the fall months Phoenix averages 75-100 degrees Fahrenheit. In the winter months Phoenix averages 65-75 degrees. And in the spring months Phoenix reaches up to averages of 85-100 degrees. Unless you are planning to elope in a shaded or indoor location, I would personally avoid the summer months.
In average temperatures like 100-110 degrees, it can become dangerous to spend longer hours outdoors in wedding attire and direct sunlight. So, if you are hoping to plan your elopement in a summer month, I would look to locations like Sedona or Flagstaff, Arizona.
Lost Goldmine Trail is right outside of Gold Canyon, Arizona. It is about a 45 minute drive from Phoenix and is a stunning oasis of massive cacti and dry shrub. This location is fantastic because the majority of the drive is paved, until the last half mile. Therefore, it is a great choice if you aren’t into off-roading but still want a location that looks off the grid!
Another stunning and cactus filled location you should look at is Lost Dutchman State Park. Just like the Lost Goldmine Trail you will find massive Saguaro Cacti. You will also find a stunning view of the Superstition Mountains that lay in the backdrop of this park. It is a popular elopement location, so I would recommend picking a weekday to plan your elopement here.
Estrella Mountain Regional Park is located in the south western corner of Phoenix. This location includes a beautiful variety of lush greenery, saguaro cacti and the sweeping Estrella Mountain range. So, if you are looking for a little more greenery surrounding your elopement, then this would be a great spot!
Below you will find a few vendors that I highly recommend to inquire with for your elopement day! I have personally worked with some of these businesses, and the others are highly recommended by other fellow photographers.
Something to consider when choosing your flowers is picking native flowers! For example, marigolds, primrose, California Poppy and the New Mexico Thistle are some flowers you could incorporate.
Primrose + Peonies – Florals By Kendra – Kendra’s floral work is featured in the photos included in this blog post! She created a stunning set of pastel rainbow inspired pieces that popped against the neutral tones of the Arizona desert.
Cloth & Flame – All inclusive event space design and culinary creation
Sap & Honey Charcuterie Boards – With this company you can take the wooden platter home with you after your elopement!
Maire Bridal – Scottsdale
Luv Bridal – Phoenix
Brilliant Bridal – Mesa and Phoenix
Makeup by Velvet – Velvet’s artistry is featured in the elopement photos included in this blog post. She is incredibly talented at creating glamorous, timeless and gorgeous makeup looks for all of her clients.
Alicia Stephanie – Hair – Alicia’s skills are featured in this blog post as well. She created a wonderfully intricate braided half up-do for the bride.
Taylor Rose Artistry – Navajo artist who offers hair and makeup services!
Nomadic Love Nuptials – Sarah offers one simple package for weddings in the Southwest region, and a base travel fee for outside of the area.
AZ Weddings By Amy – Specifies that she is LGBTQ+ affirming. She has officiated hundreds of weddings!
If you are eloping with just you and your partner, I can also officiate for your ceremony! I was ordained through the Universal Life Church online and can legally wed you and your partner! I’ve married 5 couples so far in my career.
If you are choosing to elope in a public outdoor location, it’s likely that you will need a photography permit. For instance, many parks like Coconino National Park require permits. This is to help regulate the park use over time. As a Leave No Trace aware photographer, it is extremely important to me to make sure we are celebrating your love in a legal and safe way for the public spaces we are using. This document is essential to fill out and send in to the Arizona State Parks. It will ensure you are allowed to have your elopement in the location you desire.
What is Leave No Trace? You might think to avoid littering while on public trails, but it is so much more than that! Leave No Trace is a set of 7 principles to guide you in your choices while you travel to new places and public places. Here are the principles:
Do some research and understand the environment you are traveling to. Equip yourself with the proper gear and clothing, and adequate water to keep hydrated.
Did you know that most of the surface of the desert in covered by cryptobiotic crust? This crust is known as the “desert glue” and is a harder layer of dirt, microorganisms and bacteria. It is difficult to spot with a naked eye, but most areas that aren’t a carved out path is cryptobiotic crust. This is why it is super important to stay on the trail when you are choosing a location!
This principle is pretty straight forward. Anything you pack in or use during your elopement needs to come back home with you! One thing that isn’t often thought of however, is your florals! It is really easy for petals to fall off of flowers without you knowing, so always check around you before you leave a space!
The Saguaro cactus pieces that fall off of the cacti and the flowers that bloom are fun and beautiful, but they should be left where you found them! Cacti takes many years to grow (some even decades) so removing pieces or plants can have a decade long impact on the ecosystem. Therefore, let’s keep the beautiful Arizona landscape in the ground for generations to come!
Although campfires are oftentimes allowed in public spaces, they should be prepared safely. Because Arizona is a desert state, it is dry and fires can become quickly out of control. If you decide to have a campfire at your elopement, please be sure to assign a friend or family member to be in control of the fire at all times. Let’s prevent forest fires!
Some native animals you might come across in public parks are javelinas, deer, coyotes, black bears and raccoons. When you elope in public or national parks, you are entering their homes. So, make sure you are prepared to safely encounter them. The Leave No Trace center has great tips for safely traveling near wild animals.
Lastly, be considerate of other visitors! Yes, your wedding day is exciting and important, but it is important to be mindful of other visitors who might be on the same hike or at the same park. That could mean keeping trails open for people walking by or finding an approved spot off of the trail. This could also look like not playing music loudly if you choose to have music incorporated in your ceremony. And the biggest one of all, showing others kindness as you cross paths. We all travel to beautiful locations for various reasons, and we should all give each other the opportunity to absorb and enjoy the experience as full as we can!
Florist – Primrose + Peonies
Tablescapes – Scottsdale Boho Events
Charcuterie Board – Rosa’s Boards
Invitation Suite – Saguaro Stationary
Hair Artist – Alicia Stephanie Ruiz
Makeup Artist – Makeup By Velvet
Dress – Le Bride Atelier
Accessories – Anthea Bridal
Planning – Cactus and Pine Co
In conclusion, it can be very easy to plan your elopement in Phoenix, Arizona! With the right vendor team by your side, you can make your elopement vision come to life. As a part of my business, I offer full elopement planning services! Those services include high quality vendor referrals, location scouting, timeline building and even officiating if it is just going to be you and your partner present!
Wondering if you should elope? Hop over to this blog post to see if planning an elopement is the right thing for you and your partner.
December 17, 2021