The Best Utah Elopement Location (Top 3 Picks for 2023)

July 8, 2022

Elopement, Resources

If romantic, boho martian vibes are your thing, eloping in Utah is FOR YOU. The otherworldly landscapes in Utah are breathtaking. This desert dream-world requires a bit of planning when it comes to choosing your Utah elopement location. 

In this bog post I will cover permits needed, the best season to visit, and fun facts about each location. Let’s dive in!

My top three picks for Utah Elopement Locations:

Utah Elopement Location #1: Moab

Moab is a popular Utah elopement location – for good reason. There are two national parks located within the area that provide you with multiple photoshoot locations and adventure options! Arches National Park will inspire you with her stunning rock formations, varying red colors, and the 2,000 arches throughout the park. Keep in mind there is a limit of 10 spots for your ceremony location within the park. Either way, you will be blown away by these photos.

The most fun feature about Canyonlands National Park is that the rivers separate the area into four unique districts: Island in the Sky (closest to Moab), The Needles, The Maze, and the actual rivers. You will often find that the crowds are less hectic at Canyonlands versus the very popular Arches National Park.

Permits for Moab Elopements:

Arches National Park

  • Entrance Pass into National Parks: $25 USD
  • Elopement or Wedding Permit: $185 USD
  • Photography and Videography Permit Required
  • Find all information regarding permits for Arches National Park here

Canyonlands National Park

  • Entrance Pass into National Parks: $25 USD
  • Elopement or Wedding Permit: $185 USD
  • Photography and Videography Permit Required
  • Find all information regarding permits for CanyonLands National Park here

Best season to elope in Moab:

Spring is the best time of the year to elope in Utah — hands down. Spring is the most popular time of the year to visit Moab. Prepare to schedule your elopement around the crowds. Eloping at sunrise and sunset produces the most dramatic and beautiful photos. The sun hits different against the bright red colors in Moab.

What to expect:

  • Temperatures ranging from 58 to 70 degrees (aka heaven)
  • Freshly blooming wildflowers
  • Gushing waterfalls

Moab is one of my favorite Utah elopement locations to date. The scenery is unbelievable and is ancient! Did you know that Moab has been inhabited since 10,000 B.C.? These beautiful desert lands are filled with really interesting facts. You can read more about the history of Moab here.

Couple holds hands and looks in opposite directions in Arches National Park, one of my favorite locations for a Utah elopement.

Utah Elopement Location #2: The Salt Flats

Utah is known for its righteous red landscapes! However, the Bonneville Salt Flats offer a completely different vibe. This Utah elopement location spans 300,000 acres of Utah’s west desert. The Bonneville Salt Flats is technically a densely packed “salt pan,” aka the remnants of a dried-up lake! This landscape is known for its bright white sands (actually salt) against clear blue skies. The contrast in colors is show-stopping and looks incredible with elopement photography. 

Permits for Bonneville Salt Flats:

  • Entrance Pass into Salt Flats: $0 USD
  • Elopement or Wedding Permit: $100 USD
  • Photography and Videography Permit Required
  • Find all information regarding permits for The Bonneville Salt Flats here

Best season to elope at the Bonneville Salt Flats:

This lovely Utah elopement location is open all year round! If you want to access this location for exceptionally bright photo opportunities, definitely check it out when it is dry during the summer months. When it does rain, it is also magical! A layer of water will remain on top of the salt flats and create unbelievable reflections of the mountains that surround the flats. 

What to expect:

  • Temperature in the summer: 80-100 degrees
  • Lots of privacy and opportunity for intimate locations
  • Stunning white salty grounds surrounded by beautiful mountains
  • View a full gallery I shot at the Salt Flats here!

Fun Facts about the Bonneville Salt Flats

Natural beauty aside, the Bonneville Salt Flats are also an international speed racing location! You can find information here about speed racing events, history, and more. For a thorough history and guide for vacationing at this destination, check out this jam-packed guide by visitutah.com.

Couple leans in for a kiss during elopement at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.

Elopement Location #3: Antelope Island

Antelope Island State Park is my final choice for Utah elopement locations! The reason that I chose this location for my top three is because of how different it is from your typical Utah elopement. Instead of vibrant red rocks, here you will find vast grasslands filled with primitive campsites and a variety of wildlife. This location is known for the pack of wild roaming buffalo and millions of unique bird species that come and go all year long. Biking, hiking, and swimming in the salty lake is a huge draw for summer visitors and elopement couples alike. There are four designated elopement/wedding ceremony locations at Antelope Island State Park! 

Here is the list of elopement spots:

  • Historic Fielding Garr Ranch (picnic area)* 
  • Buffalo Point (deck) 
  • Beach Area
  • Ladyfinger Point 

Permits for Antelope Island State Park:

  • Entrance fee: $15 per vehicle up to 8 people
  • Elopement or Wedding Permit: $60 USD
  • Photography and Videography Permit Required: DOWNLOAD HERE
  • Find all information regarding permits for Antelope Island here

Best season to elope in Antelope Island:

Spring is the most desirable time to elope at Antelope Island! During this time, there are a manageable number of visitors! The landscape is vast and spread out. Finding private locations for elopement photography is easy and each season has something unique to offer!

What to expect:

  • Temperatures ranging from 58 to 70 degrees 
  • Lush greenery 
  • Freshly blooming wildflowers
  • Insects are noticeable
  • Wildlife is present
Groom helps bride fluff the train of her dress during portraits at Antelope island, a Utah elopement location.
bride leans on groom's shoulder, eyes closed, among the brush at their Utah elopement location (Antelope Island)

Choosing your elopement location doesn’t have to feel like rocket science. When it comes to nailing down the details and making the magic happen, hiring a professional elopement photographer is crucial! If you are interested in planning an elopement in Utah, I would love to connect! Don’t hesitate to reach out for more information and the next steps for planning the elopement of your dreams!

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