Planning an Elopement in Sedona

Sedona Elopement Planning

I’ve long been a portrait photographer based at Grand Canyon. With Covid, I left my life at Grand Canyon and moved back to Flagstaff. What an amazing home-base! I love to travel and photographed a few elopements in Sedona and now I am working hard to find the best locations for any client. I am working to help planning an elopement in Sedona, not just the photography.

Sedona is busier and busier these days but there are still ways to find a quiet space and elope somewhere magical. Let’s face it, there is no way to opt out of magic in Sedona. So how do you plan for adventure and solitude in a place that is so incredibly popular?

I think all you need to do is come up with the right creative team to make all your dreams come true and do the groundwork that is necessary to know a place and how it looks and feels at sunrise or sunset.

Sunrise or Sunset Elopement?

Sunrise elopement? Ouch. Nah! It’s not that bad. I think in the case of sedona, annnny time of year, I would recommend starting the first day of the rest of your life at sunrise.

Sunrise wedding ceremonies in Sedona offer the most quiet part of the day. In my experience, there are still a fair amount of people who are up for a sunrise hike but that number has got to be 15% of what a sunset hiking crowd would be.

I definitely recommend considering planning an elopement in Sedona for sunrise but if you are reeeeeaaallly not morning people, you. might want to think about a different time 😉 No one should be miserable on their wedding day.

Popular Elopement Locations in Sedona

Cathedral Rock, Merry Go Round, Bell Rock and Crescent Moon are some of the most popular places to take wedding photos in Sedona. They all come with their unique challenges but those epic views might truly be worth it.

Cathedral Rock as an Elopement Location

This location is incredible att sunset, but evvverryone know that. I would recommend hosting your wedding offsite and heading to Cathedral Rock for portraits after or the next day. Be prepared to hike on steep terrain in your dress, or carrying it. The hike is less and 1.5 miles but it goes straight up on slick sandstone. Unfortunately, there isn’t a whole lot of room to work in at the top and with so many other visitors and photographers, you might have a crowded experience. More people’s eyes will on you and it can be a stressful situation. I recommend trying this location in the very off-season and on a weekday in hopes of having a little peace in planning an elopement in Sedona.

Merry Go Round Elopement Location

This location has ammmmazing “on the edge” views. It is also a little harder to get to and you’ll want to rent a jeep and prepare for a bumpy ride. I work with Florals by SarahKay on all of my floral arrangements. She uses adventure-ready materials that can travel the gnarliest of dirt roads.

Bell Rock Elopement Location

I love this location for sunrise or sunset. The parking can get full pretty fast in even the off-season of Sedona. It’s worth it to build a lot of extra time in for parking at this location. Hiking in your wedding attire is harder, but not nearly as hard or vertical as is Cathedral Rock.

Crescent Moon / Red Rock Crossing Elopement Location

This is a really neat location as you have water in the desert and can stand at the water of Oak Creek with views of the Red Rocks and Cathedral Rock in the distance. If you are planning an elopement in Sedona, know that this location requires a reservation and $50 fee and a little more planning as it is very popular for weddings.

Off-the-Beaten Trail Elopement Locations in Sedona

Though all of the popular places I listed previously have iconic views, it comes with more people and less intimacy. I am working to identify quieter locations to host your elopement. We can always have a quiet elopement and then move on to one of those amazing locations for portraits after 🙂 I might need to hire a couple people to sit in parking spaces for us though :o.


Contact Terri.

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