The City of Flagstaff and the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau were looking for some images for a campaign that promoted the close proximity to Phoenix baseball and the Grand Canyon. We live in a spectacular part of the world and are within two hours of some awesome places with Sedona, Prescott and the Grand Canyon all in our backyard. Having the Grand Canyon, a natural wonder of the world, only 75 miles from my front door, is such a treasure. I’m probably at the Grand Canyon once a week, on average, for weddings and I love how different it looks each time I’m there. It’s a beautiful place for portraits, weddings and commercial shoots like this one.
Grand Canyon has some spectacular locations to choose from but we chose Lipan Point at the Grand Canyon because of it’s grand views, beautiful outcroppings and a great view of the Colorado River. I think it’s one of my favorite overlooks at the Grand Canyon National Park. However, it’s not best for anyone with issues with heights. There are drop offs at each angle of approach and you’ll need secure footwear and no vertigo to navigate them.
Jerome and his daughter, Grace, are clients and friends of mine. When the City of Flagstaff described the models they needed for the shoot, I knew they’d be perfect. Plus I loved the thought of using a real father-daughter relationship for this commercial photo session. I try and use organic situations when I can because they lead to better, natural expressions. I did Grace’s newborn photos and can’t believe she’s this old now. Where does the time go?
If you want to visit Lipan Point, I recommend approaching it from the East Entrance of Grand Canyon National Park. Plus, that route will take you through the vast lands of the Navajo Nation and it’s beautiful landscape. On a clear day, you’ll even be able to see the Painted Desert in the distance on your drive. Sunset and sunrise are both spectacular times to visit this gorgeous point.
The Grand Canyon is a magical place to photograph. Every time I go there, I’m met with different cloud coverage and hues of the magestic rock walls. Keep in mind, however, if you’re planning a commercial shoot, you’ll need a permit to do so. I’m a big proponent of permits and how they help regulate the impact of our public lands.
Clifton and Jennifer chose a gorgeous day at the Grand Canyon for their intimate elopement. Surrounded by their
The moments right before the wedding are some of my favorites with elopements. I get to hear about their story, how they met and why they chose the Grand Canyon. Most of the time, as was the case for Clifton and Jennifer, it was the beauty and peace that drew them there. And I would have to agree, I don’t think there is a more beautiful place to be married on earth.
After their ceremony I heard about their hopes and dreams, challenges and obstacles in getting to this day. I found out how kind they both were as Clifford told me about going to Puerto Rico after the hurricane to help restore power to the island. As he spoke of befriending many of the native islanders and helping them get back to normal, I knew why Jennifer adored this man so much.
I say it every time, but I mean it every time with my whole heart. It was such an honor to have been there for you both and I wish you a lifetime of love, adventure and happiness.
Getting married at the Grand Canyon is beautiful, but also presents some challenges. The permitting process isn’t very transparent and for visitors who have never been to this National Park, simply picking out a location for the ceremony can be daunting. If you’re considering an elopement at the Grand Canyon, check out my blog post on locations and the necessary permits and marriage license requirements.
Grand Canyon National Park is situated in Northern Arizona. The nearest cities are Flagstaff and Williams. To get married in the park, you’ll need the necessary permits and a valid Arizona marriage license.
Officiant: Phil Waring, Arizona Ministers
Photographer: Melissa Dunstan, Tangled Lilac Photography
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.
Brittney and her family traveled from Canton, Georgia to the southwest on a business trip that also involved sightseeing and relaxing with the family. The whirlwind trip involved a couple of days in San Francisco, some time in Scottsdale and of course, the Grand Canyon National Park. Brittney and her family had never seen the Grand Canyon until all of us approached the rim to start her photos. Being that I live so near, and frequent the Canyon so often, I often forget just how incredible the view really is. As they neared the edge, I continued to talk (yes, sometimes I talk too much, lol) and I noticed no one was responding. As I turned to look at them, I could almost hear all their hearts stop. They were all staring into the Canyon, mesmerized. It really is breathtaking and yet, impossible to put in words. The Grand Canyon is just something that you need to see in person.
Brittney is graduating from Woodstock High School this coming May and I loved chatting with this beautiful and bright young lady about her future. It’s not often that I get clients from my home state, and I adored listening to updates about my alma mater, the University of Georgia, and all the changes that have happened in Atlanta since I left the South in 1995. (Has it really been 21 years!?!) This young lady has big plans for the future and I can’t wait to follow her success.
Congrats Brittney! I hope you and your family enjoyed your visit to Arizona! ~ Melissa
The Grand Canyon at sunset is something magical, and the evening of Julie and Jason’s ceremony was perfection. Together with their mothers and two daughters, this sweet couple exchanged their vows while overlooking some of the most magestic views in the world. This beautiful couple picked one of the most beautiful overlooks at the Grand Canyon, Shoshone Point. This was the first time at the Grand Canyon for the entire family and it couldn’t have been a more perfect evening. As Flagstaff and Sedona Photographers we are so lucky to get to go to some of the most beautiful places in the world. It’s evenings and families like this that makes our jobs so fulfilling! We wish you Julie and Jason a beautiful life! Congratulations!
As Arizona wedding photographers, the Grand Canyon is one of the most beautiful and scenic places to get married. Meredith and Miles traveled from New York because they knew the Grand Canyon’s Moran Point would be a perfect spot for their intimate I do’s. This sweet couple invited just their parents to join them on their big day, keeping a secret from the rest of their family and friends until they returned from their honeymoon. After their beautiful ceremony they celebrated with their family at the El Tovar and then backpacked into the canyon to Phantom Ranch for their honeymoon. What an amazing wedding and honeymoon! Meredith was nice enough to share how her and Miles met and some fun stories about their big day!
Tell us about how you met?
Miles and I met at a McDonald’s on the upper east side after a night out with friends. Miles approached my friend and I asking ” hey ladies what’s good here”. He claimed to be a lawyer but my friend and I didn’t believe him telling him we were both lawyers. He then told us that he went to Brooklyn Law School which we replied no we went to Brooklyn Law School. He then started naming professors and we finally were convinced. It turned out that miles and I lived near each other and ended up sharing a cab home to Brooklyn and have been together ever since.
Tell us about your wedding planning and honeymoon:
We had a small wedding at the Grand Canyon with just our parents. No one else knew we were getting married until we got home. It was tough for everyone to keep the secret but thankfully we had only planned the wedding a month prior so everyone was able to hold out. Meredith’s parents and Miles Dad and girlfriend had never met each other prior to the wedding weekend but were like old friends almost immediately.
Our honeymoon was at Phantom Ranch at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. We hiked to the bottom the morning after our wedding and spend two nights at the bottom of the canyon before hiking back up to the rim. We explored Ribbon Falls and Phantom Canyon while we were down there.
What type of things/hobbies/interests do you both have in common?
Hiking, Biking, Swimming , Travel, Pizza , Roast Beef sandwiches at Brennan and Carr in Brooklyn AND mutual dislike of cruises, we were once left behind by the boat in Bermuda