Archive for Elopement
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The romance that surrounds a wedding day is only magnified when standing on the edge of the breathtaking Grand Canyon. It’s no wonder couples flock to the red rock wonder to cement their love. Some do it to escape the big wedding and others do it because a Grand Canyon wedding is the perfect place to begin a new life together.
I already shared everything a couple needs to know to plan the perfect Grand Canyon wedding. Now I wanted to share some of my recommended Grand Canyon wedding locations.
Grand Canyon National Park offers a variety of indoor and outdoor wedding locations for both ceremonies and receptions. The Grand Canyon is vast and has welcomed millions of visitors every year. Trying to narrow down a wedding location to one spot can be a challenge.
As someone who has photographed many weddings and elopements on the edge of the most spectacular landscape in the world, I want to help you find your perfect Grand Canyon wedding location.

The Best Grand Canyon Wedding Locations

Shoshone Point at the Grand Canyon

Probably one of the most popular wedding locations because it offers picnic tables, a large pavilion, grills, trash cans, and toilets. The location holds up to 85 people and is the only viewpoint available for outdoor receptions.
Shoshone Point lies at the end of a jutting peninsula East of The Village. It is available from May 1 to October 15 and is in high demand because of its spectacular views. Because of the demand, it has a slightly higher fee than other sites.

Lipan Point

Lipan Point lies half a mile north of the main drive. It offers views of the Colorado River and can hold up to 35 people. There is a mostly a 360° view – mostly because there is are pines on the east side which adds its own beauty the area. were it not for the pine woodland on the east side.  However, Lipan will soon be closed for some improvements.  Please contact me so I can update you on its availability.
The point looks down over Seventy-five Mile Creek of the Colorado River and its tributaries. Be forewarned that it is not unusual for tour buses to pull into the adjacent parking area.

Moran Point

Moran Point is one of the most visited points because of its far-reaching views.  And, because Lipan is about to close for improvements, it’s about to get even more visited.  Even so, it isn’t the busiest of locations and parking can usually be found nearby. The spot accommodates up to 35 people.
A little bit of history. Moran Point was named after famed landscape painter Thomas Moran. Moran came to the Grand Canyon for the first time in 1873. His work helped the canyon become a popular destination and eventually led to its designation as a national park in 1919. You know if its a favorite spot of a landscape painter, the views must be magnificent and dramatic.

Grandeur Point

Grandeur Point is located just west of Yavapai Point. The actual point is a small, flat promontory projecting westwards. It has a spectacular view of the whole length of the Bright Angel Trail along Garden Creek and to Plateau Point.  This is one of my favorite places for a ceremony because of it’s variety with rim views.
The location sees fewer people than the more popular Yavapai Point, but that is because there is no separate road access. Parking is available nearby but fills quickly. Follow the paved west rim trail to some spectacular views. The spot can hold up to 45 people.

Tips For Choosing A Grand Canyon Wedding Location

1. Consider the timing

One of the most important things to consider when choosing the perfect Grand Canyon wedding location is timing. Every season has its own special relationship with the canyon. Spring and Fall are more popular wedding times at the Grand Canyon. Winter at the canyon is beautiful especially if there is some snow. And then there’s summer. Summer is HOT! Regardless of the season, your wedding will be beautiful, so it is important to choose the season you love.

2. The Guest List

Who’s coming to your wedding? Consider the number of people and their mobility. Great-grandma Sue might have a hard time getting to some of the locations.  Also, if you have small children attending, please be mindful of them near the rim.

3. Required Services

What services will you need and will your providers travel? As a photographer who specializes in Grand Canyon weddings and elopements, I work with several service providers all committed to making your day a dream come true. Stay tuned for a list of service providers that specialize in Grand Canyon Weddings.

The Botton Line is with a little planning and preparation, getting married at the Grand Canyon can be as magical as the canyon itself. If you have questions, I most likely have the answers. Please don’t hesitate to contact me – no strings attached.

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October 14, 2018
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You may have figured out a few things about me by now.

1. I live in one of the most beautiful areas in the world.  The forests of Flagstaff, the red rocks of Sedona, and one of the seven wonders of the world that is the Grand Canyon are where I get to play.

2. I’m lucky enough to get to spend my days preserving memories for brides and grooms with the jaw-dropping backdrops these natural playgrounds provide.

One of the most frustrating things for me is the lack of information about how to elope to the Grand Canyon. I get lots of emails and phone calls from couples from all over the world trying to navigate their way towards marital bliss at the Grand Canyon, but by the time they find me, they are usually confused.  Well, I am about to right a wrong.

What You Need to Know to Get Married at the Grand Canyon

Let me begin by saying you can’t just show up and get married at the Grand Canyon. It requires a permit and only certain locations are available for weddings – whether you are eloping by yourselves or traveling with an entourage.

If you have questions or want help getting your permits, email me at melissa@tangledlilac.com. I am happy to walk you through the process of planning your Grand Canyon wedding and give you tips on how to start the process.  I even know some great planners who can help you along the way.

How to Get a Permit for Your Grand Canyon Wedding Ceremony

Click here to review the National Park Service guidelines for getting married at the Grand Canyon.  

Click here to get the actual permit to get married at the Grand Canyon.

Allow FOUR WEEKS to get the application processed. Email your Grand Canyon wedding permit application to grca_permits_mail@nps.gov.

Grand Canyon Wedding Special Use Permit Fees

The Grand Canyon is entrusted to the care of the National Park Service. As such, there are fees to help maintain and preserve the natural lands for future generations.

Permit fees are based on an annual cost recovery analysis conducted by Commercial Services. These fees include the cost of permit processing, administration and the basic monitoring of events. 

Grand Canyon Wedding Permit Fees for 2018:

  • General Grand Canyon Wedding Permit Fee  – $140
  • Grand Canyon Wedding Permit Fee for Shoshone Point – $420
  • Grand Canyon Wedding Permit Fee for Shrine of the Ages – $230
  • Extended Day Hiking – $175

Some additional information about Grand Canyon wedding permit fees:

1. Do not include payment information on your application submission. You will receive detailed online payment instructions after the receipt of your application.

2. Larger events or other special uses that require additional management and/or administrative time will incur additional fees at $65.00 per hour.

3. Remember to allow FOUR WEEKS for processing.

How to Get a Marriage License for Your Grand Canyon Wedding

Typically, your officiant will help you obtain your marriage licenseYou’ll need someone authorized to perform a Grand Canyon wedding in Arizona.  

If you need help finding an officiant for your ceremony, please call Phil or Gwen at Arizona Ministers.  They are the sweetest, most caring individuals and I know you’ll love working with them.  

Here is how to get your marriage license:

Getting Your Marriage License in Person

In Arizona, both parties have to show up in person to get the marriage license.  

Flagstaff and Williams are popular choices due to the proximity to the Grand Canyon. Click here for a link to marriage license information in Coconino County.  

In Phoenix, click here to make an appointment to get your marriage license.   

If you are traveling from Las Vegas, you’ll have to wait until you get to Arizona to get your marriage license.

From the Clark County Website:

Nevada marriage licenses are only valid within the State of Nevada. Marriage ceremonies must be conducted within Nevada’s borders and may not be conducted within another state or country. It is recommended that ceremonies conducted in the air or water be restated, with witness, once back on Nevada soil.”  

Also, you have to get the license in person at Clerk at a Clark County Marriage Bureau location. I find this last fact extremely funny because it throws all the romantic comedies out the window. My favorite movie is “What Happened in Vegas” and it makes me sad it couldn’t be real, lol. {sigh}

Getting Your Marriage License by Mail

Mohave County allows a marriage license by mail for US citizens only, with some restrictions

Click here for a copy of the marriage license application you can print out, fill out and mail in  

It’s all happily ever after once you get your application processed and have your marriage license in hand, right?

Well, not quite. There are only certain spots available for weddings at the Grand Canyon. And you’ll need a list of vendors that will travel to the Grand Canyon to provide services.

Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing how to pick the perfect Grand Canyon wedding spot and exactly what you need to know to plan the perfect Grand Canyon wedding.

Stay tuned. When I’m done, you’ll have everything you need to make your special day the day of your dreams.

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October 07, 2018
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Meet Alvin and Cheryl. They came all the way from Singapore to get married at one of the seven wonders of the world.  Shoshone Point is not only one of my favorite spots, it also happens to be a favorite of couples eloping to the Grand Canyon.

Eloping to Shoshone Point at the Grand Canyon

Couples interested in eloping to the Grand Canyon should know that you can’t just show up. Permits are needed and fees must be paid. You’ll also want to make sure and arrange any services (like a great wedding photographer 😉) ahead of time.

Shoshone Point lies at the end of a jutting peninsula East of The Village. Every location at the Grand Canyon has stunning views, but Shoshone Point provides the most spectacular.

There is a large Ramada complete with BBQ and restrooms at the point that can be reserved from May to October, making it the perfect spot for wedding ceremonies.

Getting to Shoshone Point

Take the Desert View Drive 1.2 miles east of Yaki Point (just beyond mile marker 244). Find the unmarked pull off on the north side of the road. Park and begin your journey to magical views with an unrivaled display of colors.

The trailhead to Shoshone Point is about one mile each way. The path follows a fairly flat graded dirt road. It is slightly uphill on the way in which makes getting out a bit easier.  With your wedding permit, you’ll be given the code to the gate and have the opportunity to drive up the road and park near the rim.

One of the best reasons to pay the extra fees to secure Shoshone Point is it will seem as if you have the canyon to yourself.

It is so much fun hanging out with a couple that is giddy with excitement. You can see how much they adore each other and how much fun they have together in the pictures.

Alvin and Cheryl made it easy to capture stunning pictures. They were naturally at ease in front of the camera. In fact, I’m pretty sure they forgot I was even there.

 

Luckily they were not afraid of heights because the ceremony and many of the photos were right on the edge of the Canyon. It’s important that you work with a wedding photographer that knows the Grand Canyon. As the sun begins to set, the shadows often create false ledges, so be careful!

In the end, though, you will have breathtaking images that will capture this special time.

The best time of day for pictures is an hour before sunset, which also happens to be the hottest time of day. Make sure and bring plenty of water and some good walking shoes.

Consider the heat and the hike when choosing your wedding garb. Some people choose to change into their finery after the long hike.

I always make a point of including some black and white images when I photograph a wedding. It may seem odd to photograph the Grand Canyon and its beautiful array of colors in black and white, but there is a timeless feeling that is difficult to reproduce in full-color images.

Alvin and Cheryl were such good sports. They were so happy to be getting married at the Grand Canyon, they didn’t mind all the little extras it took to get just the right shot.

They are one of those couples that makes you love being in love. It’s infectious.

Congratulations, Alvin and Cheryl! I am so grateful to have been witness to such a beautiful day.

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September 23, 2018
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Abby, Parker and only their closest friends made the trek from Colorado to Sedona for their big day

Sedona is known for its beautiful scenery and spectacular hiking, but a lesser known sport is its epic mountain biking. When Abby and Parker were considering locations for their intimate wedding, these avid mountain bikers wanted to include their favorite activity.

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Why Couples Choose Sedona as a Wedding Destination?

While Abby and Parker chose Sedona because it would allow them to partake in their favorite past-time, there are other reasons why couples choose Sedona to tie the knot.

1. The Spiritual Energy

Surrounded by the beauty of the red rocks, Sedona has vortexes that are swirling with a subtle energy from the earth. People have been traveling to Sedona specifically to absorb the energy of the vortexes for centuries.

If mystical energy sounds appealing, you can participate in a wedding week retreat or just a day tour to spiritually prepare you for your next chapter.

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2. Down to Earth and Stress-Free

Sedona is the perfect destination for a beautiful and elegant wedding without all the fuss. The pace of life in Sedona is a little slower than most places. Sedona, with all her beauty and magic, is a great reminder to couples of what’s really important at this time – each other.

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3. Sedona is an Outdoor Enthusiast’s Mecca

With hundreds of trails for hiking and mountain biking and a creek for fishing, if you love the outdoors, you will love Sedona. Trails vary in difficulty from easy to challenging and provide a variety of views of the surrounding landscape. Some couples even choose to hike to their favorite spot to exchange their vows.

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4. The Spectacular Red Rocks and All Their Glory

There is no denying that the picturesque backdrops and the dramatic scenery attract visitors of all kinds. You don’t have to be an outdoor enthusiast to appreciate what Sedona has to offer.

The funny thing, though, when couples are exchanging their vows the scenery doesn’t matter. Just look at how Abby and Parker get lost in each other during their vows.

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I simply adore small, intimate weddings because I always leave feeling part of the family. There is something to be said for sharing an intimate moment with those that matter the most. The emotion, love, and support for the couple shine through to the images that I capture.

Look at the images of the family and friends that traveled with Abby and Parker to celebrate with them. The love is pure and beautiful. I can still feel the love of the group as I look back on these photos. 2018-02-14_0011.jpg
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It is easy to say couples choose Sedona because of its beauty. There are no words that truly do Sedona justice. And truthfully, the images don’t do it justice either. As breathtaking as Sedona looks in the images you see, it is even more glorious when you experience it in person.

There is something about Sedona that is timeless, just like a marriage should be. Maybe there is something to those magical, mystical vortexes after all.

Abby and Parker, may the magic of the vortexes bring you many years of happiness. Thank you for choosing me to be a part of your special day.

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Meet Dana and Walter from Oklahoma. Walter’s wife of forty years passed away and he was blessed to find love again in Dana. The couple wanted to keep it simple and true to their adventurous spirit.

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They chose to elope to Sedona. Hitting the spectacular red rocks wasn’t adventurous enough, though. They wanted to add some pink to their day.

A Pink Jeep Tour Elopement

Pink Jeep Tours offers unique Southwest adventures in Sedona, Grand Canyon and Las Vegas.

Dana and Walter wanted to add a little extra something to their day. And what could be more special than a private tour around the beautiful red rocks to celebrate beginning their new life together as man and wife?

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About Pink Jeep Tours

Pink Jeep Tours has conducted over 700,000 tours during their 58 years in business. They offer quick treks or full-day excursions for an up-close look at Sedona’s Red Rocks, the mighty Grand Canyon, and the always thrilling Las Vegas.

Click here to learn more about Pink Jeep Tours.

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The Red Rocks Glow

The famous Red Rocks are made of red sandstone formations. They change color as the sun changes its position in the sky. They can look bright red in the middle of the day, a bright orange about an hour before sunset and the purple hues come out at dusk.

As a photographer that specializes in engagement and elopement sessions, I never tire of staging a photo with the breathtaking backdrops that Sedona has to offer. There is nothing quite like it anywhere else in the world. 2018-02-14_0051.jpg

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A Good Black and White Photo Speaks Volumes

Yes, the Red Rocks are spectacular in all their color. But a good black and white photo captures the soul of the subject. The timelessness of a good black and white holds a magic that is hard to capture in color.

Just look at these images of Dana and Walter. Their relationship and love become the focus – you can feel their emotion. It captures the true essence of that moment in time.

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Sunsets in Sedona are Magical

Did you know Sedona is ranked as one of the best places to see a sunset by Travel & Leisure magazine? In the world!

Travel & Leisure says:

“Watching the sunset can be a near-spiritual experience in the raw beauty of Sedona, where the desert meets the mountains. Sedona is known for its famous red rock buttes, and the sun’s setting rays make the vibrant colors of the landscape glow against the deepening blue of the desert sky.”

I’m not sure I could have said it better myself. I love late afternoon hikes that end as the sun is setting behind some of the stunning formations like Cathedral Rock or Courthouse Butte.

It also happens to be one of my favorite things to photograph. I’m glad my afternoon with Dana and Walter ended with the glow of the sun as it set on the red rocks followed by a beautiful, tranquil dusk.

I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Dana and Walter. I’m honored to be a small part of their special day.

Dana and Walter, may you enjoy each other and the beautiful images from your special day for years to come. ~Melissa

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August 19, 2018
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After a few weeks of posts highlighting a personal passion, pet photography and my new offering, Reflections Photo Booth, it’s time to get back to showcasing the beautiful area in which I live.

Horseshoe Bend is one of the most photographed landmarks in desert Southwest surrounding the Grand Canyon. I get excited every time I’m scheduled to head out that way.

Grand Canyon ElopementArizona Elopement Photography

Ivana and Kyle Arrive at Horseshoe Bend in Style

I knew I was going to adore these two when they drove up in a canary yellow 2017 Camero. There’s just something about a muscle car that drives all the girls crazy, don’t you think?

I joked with Kyle and asked him if he got to test the car‘s speed, and he smiled shyly and said it handled pretty good above 110 m.p.h. A man after my own heart, lol. 🙂

Ivana was the sweetest ever and the perfect compliment to Kyle. She looked perfect in her long lace gown with a beauty that reminded me of a young Demi Moore.

Grand Canyon Elopement

Eloping to the Grand Canyon

Kyle works as a police officer in a small community twenty hours north of Toronto and Ivana lives in Toronto proper.

Because our region is just so different from Northern Canada, these two wanted to get married in Las Vegas but do their post-wedding photos at Horseshoe Bend.

For your reference, you can choose to have your elopement ceremony at Horseshoe Bend, or just head to the area for your photos like Kyle and Ivana did.

Arizona Elopement PhotographyGrand Canyon ElopementMany people assume Horseshoe Bend is part of the Grand Canyon, but it actually resides within the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

It overlooks one of the most spectacular views on the Colorado River, 4 miles south of the Glen Canyon Dam, and 7 miles north of mile zero of the Grand Canyon.

It has all the characteristics of the Grand Canyon: The river, the canyon, and the beauty.

Horseshoe Bend is close to Page, Arizona with scenic Lake Powell and Antelope Canyon nearby.

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Getting to Horseshoe Bend

The trailhead to Horseshoe Bend is a 3/4 mile hike. A bit of climbing may be required for some of the stunning backdrops Horseshoe Bend has to offer.

There are parts that can be a little steep and there is some sand. So be prepared with hiking shoes or other comfortable footwear.

You can always change into pretty shoes when you are on location. Although some shots of what it takes to get to a spot can be fun to look back on later. Horseshoe ElopementGrand Canyon Elopement

Looking Great in the Heat

On average, the Grand Canyon has 264 sunny days per year. So, chances are you will have a bright day – and if it’s during the summer, it will be hot. With shade being scarce, it’s important to prepare for a session that might make you sweat.

Keep these tips in mind when preparing to head out to your sunny and hot photo session.

1. Bring plenty of water because hydration is essential.

2. Apply sunblock thirty-minutes before heading and out and bring some extra with you.

3. Bring towels to soak up the sweat.

4. A portable personal fan is a great tool for cooling off between shots.

5. And finally, don’t forget a makeup bag for touch-ups.

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Horseshoe Bend is Perfect All Day Long

As a photographer, there is a perfect time of day to take photos. It’s the hour right before the sun sets and is what we in the business lovingly call the golden hour.

Despite the crowds, the heat, and the fact it was high-noon with no shade (a photographer’s nightmare), we were able to get some incredible images that I hope they’ll treasure forever.

Kyle and Ivana’s tenderness towards one another was so sincere and so heartfelt, and I loved watching them interact.

Congrats you two! I hope you enjoyed your desert honeymoon!

Horseshoe ElopementArizona Elopement Photography

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