9/14/21

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How to Elope in Sedona, Arizona — Your Ultimate Guide

Sedona is a year-round paradise, featured by nice and warm temperatures, relaxing settings, spiritually uplifting elements, and a dramatic desert landscape. As such, it has the potential to be your dream destination elopement. Here’s everything you need to know how to elope in Sedona, Arizona.

In for exchanging vows in such serene scenery with the love of your life? Follow me through this article as I tell you everything you need to know beforehand, so your big day is exactly like you’ve always imagined (plus more)!

Why Elope in Sedona?

Here are some super cool facts about Sedona that make it the perfect destination for your elopement:

  • The city is filled with breathtaking beauty – lush greenery, dense pine forests, surreal red-rock formations, jaw-dropping buttes, and steep-walled canyons just begin to describe its physical features.
  • It’s a well-known haven for spiritual wellness. Swirling centers of subtle energy (called vortexes) are located in the area, and these are believed to have a healing and soul-nourishing impact. Now that’s one heck of an experience you’ll get to share with your partner!
  • There’s loads of adventure awaiting you, including hiking, ATV-touring, and mountain biking. Plus, Sedona offers world-class shopping and dining experiences, and there are lots of options for day trips towards the South and North. 
  • With its award-winning spas, you can enjoy therapeutic couple massages for some much-needed revitalization after running around non-stop for your elopement. Plus, there are meditation centers, garden cafes, local wineries, and numerous displays of art and architecture, so you have a lot to do to unwind with your partner after your big day.

You see, Sedona is a very versatile destination – your stay can get as adventurous or calming as you like! But before getting to the fun stuff, how exactly are you going to get to this city of power? Let’s find out!

How To Get To Sedona

The closest airport to Sedona is the Flagstaff airport. After landing there, you can grab your rental car and head into Sedona.. 

Alternatively, you can land at the Phoenix International Airport (PHX) and drive into Sedona by renting a car. The drive will be around 2 hours, but you’ll get lots of mesmerizing vistas along the way that will make it worthwhile.

If you happen to fly into the city by a private plane, you can land directly at the Sedona International Airport.

Whichever route you choose, find a cheap flight to Sedona now!

How To Get Around Sedona

To get around the city, the best way is to rent a car. If you’re planning on eloping amidst hiking trails or mountainous terrain, a jeep would be of good use. However, you can also use the Verde Shuttle bus service or get to nearby places on foot. 

When to Elope in Sedona

The best times of the year to elope in Sedona are between March and May when temperatures are moderately cool to warm. The summers peak into the 90s (but it’s a dry heat) so if you’re restricted to timings, the summer is also lovely. You can also head back out in mid-October when the temperatures begin to mellow out into November when you’re facing down high 60s..

Where to Elope In Sedona

Every inch of Sedona is magical and mystical, so you clearly can’t go wrong with your elopement destination.

But the diverse options it offers means choosing the right one can get overwhelming, so I’ve put together some of the top favorites to help you select the elopement destination that brings your dreams to life!

bell rock sedona elopement

Bell Rock

  • Easy 10-minute walk from the parking area
  • Offers wrap-around views of stunning red rocks
  • Perfect for sunrise elopements in the weekdays – who wouldn’t enjoy saying “I do” in privacy with roaring hues of orange and yellow in the background?

West Fork

  • Provides close access to a slot canyon
  • Beautiful views of lush greenery and golden leaves
  • A long hike, so you can certainly find a private place along the way
  • Canopy of trees keeps the area covered, so you can elope even when the sun is at its peak
  • Great for up to 75 people (that too, permit-free!)
merry go round rock elopement

Merry Go Round Rock

  • Requires a jeep ride on a bumpy road
  • Red rock vistas and cliff views bound to knock your socks off
  • A short hike needed even if you’re driving
  • Best for sunset ceremonies

Teacup Trail To Coffee Pot Rock

  • 2.4-mile trail
  • Featured by wildflowers and magnificent landscape
  • A lesser-known trail, so ideal for quiet elopements without sacrificing views
  • Great for sunset and sunrise ceremonies

Doe Mountain

  • A picturesque hiking location with vegetation, cliffs, and red rocks
  • Requires a short but steep hike
  • Ideal for sunrise elopements in Sedona – if you’re lucky, you can catch lovely views of hot air balloons rising with the sun!

Find Hidden Gems!

  • Explore secret caverns with your partner for 100% remote elopements
  • Go on an off-roading adventure – you’ll find heaps of secret locations that can be reached without much hiking to choose from for your big day!
  • Find your own secret hiking location using All Trails

Whichever location in nature you choose, just be sure to expect some antelopes around you. After all, ants love these as their ant-elopement destinations as well! (I got ya there, didn’t I?)

When to Elope in Sedona

Sedona is known to have mild temperatures year-round, so it’s perfect for eloping in any month.

However, elopements between June and August can often get the sky emotional. I mean, it can even shed a few tears during your ceremony, so you better avoid that monsoon season if you’re not a fan of rain! Also, these summer months are super busy with an influx of tourists.

So, spring and fall remain the best times with moderate temperatures, sunny days, and lesser crowds. Plus, you’ll get to see blooming cacti dotted all over the region in spring and yellow leaves paired with breezy evenings in the fall.

Winter is also great, though – Sedona sometimes gets a sprinkle of snow that makes for the best views ever!

joshua tree national park

Do I Need A Permit To Elope In Sedona?

Well, that depends on where you decide to elope.

Most locations, including hiking trails, do not require permits for elopements. However, this is subject to certain rules – for example, free-standing equipment such as tables and chairs are not allowed. 

Also, most hiking trails, such as West Fork, allow permit-free elopements for gatherings of under 75 people. If your guests exceed this number, you’ll need a permit for your ceremony. With Covid-19 still lingering around, that wouldn’t be much of a possibility, though.

On the other hand, you will most likely need a permit if you decide to exchange vows in state parks.

Arizona State Park and Coconino National Forest are two locations that require permits for elopements. 

Permits can generally cost anywhere between $25 and $500 depending on your location, and it’s a good idea to apply for one at least 4 weeks prior to your elopement to save yourself from last-minute trouble.

Wedding Vendors For Your Elopement In Sedona

Having the best team by your side during the planning process makes all the difference, but choosing the right one can get exhausting. So, to save you from the extra work, I’ve put together some of the best wedding vendors for eloping in Sedona:

Florists

Where to Stay in Sedona

All the fun and adventure apart, you need a good place to stay to make your visit worthwhile. So, here’s a list of some fantastic hotels in Sedona:

  • Hilton Sedona ResortClose to Oak Creek and features a hiking shop, tennis courts, and swimming pools
  • Sky Ranch LodgeOffers a relaxing environment with views of sprawling grounds and lush environments
  • Amara Resort & SpaLocated near Uptown Sedona and numerous outdoor adventures
  • Sky Rock InnSituated at the top of a hill amidst red rocks!
  • Orchards Inn a 3-star hotel with modern amenities in Uptown, Sedona

Alternatively, here are some super cool AirBnbs you can opt for:

Great Places to Eat During Your Stay

Sedona’s cuisine is featured by gourmet recipes, delicious flavors, and local ingredients. To make the most of its delicious food while you’re there, here are some places you must try in and near Sedona:

Ready to Elope in Sedona?

With this article coming to a wrap, I hope you now know exactly how to elope in Sedona, including choosing your dream location, hiring the right team, and booking the best hotels and restaurants. 

With its unique adventures, dramatic landscapes, and spiritual vortexes, this year-round paradise is ready to welcome you and the love of your life!

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New Adventure Productions is owned by Nate Dale, a Lafayette, Indiana wedding and elopement photographer. We travel nation and worldwide to capture beautiful and intimate weddings and elopements while providing a guidance, love, help along the way. 
He is married to the love of his life, Felicia, owner of Emerald Lotus Events, a day of wedding coordinator in Lafayette, Indiana who created the Simple Wedding Planning online wedding planning course for couples.