One of the most underrated elopement destinations, but one of Utah’s coolest National Parks. Lace up your boots and walk amongst the world’s highest concentration of hoodoos – Bryce Canyon National Park is our latest pick for a super unique elopement location.
What makes Bryce Canyon National Park a Great Elopement Location?
We love Bryce Canyon as an elopement location for adventurous couples looking to explore something that feels otherworldly and unique. The way the light hits the already intensely orange hoodoos in breath-taking at sunrise. Bryce Canyon also has one of the darkest skies in the country, making it perfect for stargazing or taking starry nighttime portraits. You’ll experience quieter trails, and views that you can’t get anywhere in the world. It’s worth taking a detour here on your adventures, even if your elopement is happening at one of the other parks in southern Utah. We’ll break down all you need to know about choosing Bryce Canyon as your elopement destination.
How to Elope in Utah
First things first, let’s talk legalities. There are a few things you’ll need in order to make it official in the great state of Utah.
How to Get a Marriage License in Utah
You’ll both need to be present to get your Utah marriage license. The fee is $40-$50, and there’s no waiting period, which means you can get married as soon as you receive your license (woohoo!!). Be aware that the license is only valid for 30 days, so if they don’t receive it back by then you’ll need to apply for a new one.
Do We Need an Officiant to Elope in Utah?
In short, yes! There are only a few states that allow self-solemnizing ceremonies. You will need to either hire an officiant, or have a friend or family member do it to keep things personal! There are some great officiants in Utah who specialize in elopements and don’t mind traveling or hiking a bit to get to your ceremony location.
Will We Need Witnesses?
Yes, you’ll need two witnesses for your ceremony. If you planned on eloping just the two of you, don’t stress! If you’re working with us, we’re always a team of two, or any other vendors you bring along can act as your witnesses. You can also recruit fellow adventurers on the trail – many people would be more than happy to do so, as long as they are over 18.
Bryce Canyon Special Use Permit
And finally, you’ll need to acquire a special use permit to be married within Bryce Canyon National Park. All of the information on getting married within the park can be found on the park website.
The permit cost is $100, but admission fees are waived for the two of you and your officiant on your elopement date. (Regular admission is $35 per private vehicle)
Bryce Canyon Elopement: What Else Do We Need to Know?
Bryce Canyon Ceremony and Portrait Locations
Wedding ceremonies are permitted at two locations at Sunset point – the main Amphitheater overlook or the Silent City overlook. Special use permit requests should be submitted at least two weeks in advance according to the website, but I would suggest applying much sooner.
While the ceremony itself must take place at one of these designated locations, there are tons of spots around the park to explore and use for unique portrait opportunities. You can experience some of the most striking views from Sunset and Sunrise points, and wander down amongst the hoodoos on one of the trails that meander through the canyon. One of the most popular trails in the park is the Queen’s Garden Trail,. It’s an easy 3 mile look that takes you below the rim and into the hoodoos.
Best Time of Year to Elope in Bryce Canyon National Park
The best time to visit Bryce National Park is absolutely during the summer months.
It can get extraordinarily cold in Bryce during the wintertime. The trails also jump between being very snowy or very muddy, but it is fun seeing the contrast of the snow against the orange hoodoos. You can still venture down into the amphitheater, but you’ll want to have some type of ice spikes for your boots and prepare to get that orange mud all over.
During the summer time, the weather is nice and mild. Bryce isn’t nearly as heavily visited as Zion, which is less than two hours away. So you should be able to enjoy your time here without managing the levels of crowds happening over there at the same time.
Where to Stay for Your Bryce Canyon Elopement
Stay at the iconic Bryce Canyon Lodge for beautiful views of the hoodoos and easy access to all of your adventuring. This is the only lodging within the park, which makes it the best option if you’re hoping to watch the sunrise (Something I highly recommend!). They also have a gift shop and dining room open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
There are also some affordable AirBNB properties in the nearby town of Tropic if you prefer having a place all to yourself.
Things To Do Near Bryce Canyon National Park
Within driving distance of Bryce Canyon, you can also visit Zion National Park. For some less crowded options in the summer months, also check out Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument or Kodachrome Basin State Park.
Bryce Canyon Elopement Photography
We love Bryce Canyon for elopements for its totally unique landscape and because it tends to fly under the radar of the masses. This makes it a great stop for having a more unique elopement experience. Our recommendation is to turn your elopement into your honeymoon by making this one stop on an epic road trip around Utah’s other National Parks and natural landmarks.
We take all the hassle out of planning your own adventure elopement, by walking with you every step of the planning process. Reach out today to get started on building your own perfect adventure.