There’s something magical and humbling about Sedona, Arizona. Standing amongst the towering red rocks, you begin to feel small—but not in an insignificant way. It’s like walking into a world of wonder and mystique. It electrifies the senses and reinvigorates the soul. I’m not sure where I stand on vortexes or Sedona’s new-age woo, but there is something undeniably powerful in the Verde Valley.

Sedona is one of the most beautiful locations in Arizona. For better or worse, this also means it’s one of the busiest spots in the Copper State. But if you’re willing to brave the crowds and grab an elopement photographer who knows their way around, you too can have an epic red-rocks wedding.

What Permits Do You Need in Sedona?

The amazing thing about Sedona is how much there is to see. There’s something special tucked away in every corner, on top of every cliff, amongst the red rocks, sinkholes, winding rivers—it defies comprehension. Even the town itself hosts plenty of local charm.

Sedona’s variety is amazing but also makes the permitting process more difficult. Every area has its own rules. Some public lands don’t require passes, while some state parks do. Keep in mind, there are some wilderness areas off-limits to events.

Sounds complicated? Don’t worry, as your adventure wedding photographer, I can help you navigate these rules. This means that if you book with me, you’ll get a list of locations and all the necessary information that comes with them. After all, you’ve got enough to think about when it comes to your wedding day.

Protect Sedona and Leave No Trace 

You and your fiancé love the outdoors. We do too! That’s what makes us adventurous people. But it’s also important to be responsible people. Consider the Leave No Trace (LNT) principles to help protect and preserve the great outdoors.

Items that aren’t okay include arches (unless they’re on private property), non-native seeds, and pets in some areas. Chairs are only acceptable when absolutely necessary for certain guests. Parts of Sedona also have cryptobiotic soil, a type of soil that is very delicate and alive. If you elope here, keep an eye out and stick to trails.

These rules aren’t meant to be a bummer. They are meant to keep the land happy and healthy for generations to come. We are all visitors of this ecosystem, and we owe it to the earth and the generations before and to come, to keep Sedona thriving.

When to Get Married in Sedona

Sedona is in the sweet spot between sweltering Phoenix and snowy Flagstaff; yes, it snows in Arizona! This ideal weather makes Sedona all the more appealing.

Seasons in Sedona make every trip feel unique. So, let’s hop into the need-to-knows:

  • Winter: Winter gets cold, snowy, and rainy—crazy desert states, right? Snow is beautiful, but it will absolutely shut down some trails and dirt roads. But there’s an upside too—winter means smaller crowds. Just prepare to change gears if road closures occur. It never hurts to bring chains or rent a four-wheel vehicle, but it’s arguably easier just to change course.
  • Summer: Sedona boasts roasty-toasty summers. One August wedding I shot was over 100 degrees. It was still a gorgeous ceremony. The summer heat does a good job of dispersing crowds. But be sure to bring plenty of water and setting spray for your makeup. Last tip: Monsoons are a thing which means hot and rainy. It’s hella pretty though, so don’t be afraid to get wet! Hot tip: Clear umbrellas make for dreamy photos. 
  • Spring and Fall: Ah, the temperate times. While spring and fall are the best times to get married, they bring the crowds. Prepare by setting your expectations of privacy, planning ahead for parking, and getting married on weekdays. Also—rain is always a possibility in Sedona no matter the season. Fall is particularly beautiful because of the changing leaves in the valleys, but it’s very busy. If you can, take a moment to harvest some apples in the area.

An outdoor wedding requires that you prepare for the elements. Bring some cover for rain and sun, layers work for dramatic temperature changes, and keep water and vitamins nearby. We really can’t stress this enough, be prepared for all types of weather! A happy wedding day is a healthy wedding day.

Where to Stay in Sedona, Arizona

Sedona is full of campgrounds, hotels, and Airbnbs. Just be aware that during peak times, there’s less availability. Plenty of people get married in hotels and Airbnbs, it’s a good way to ensure more privacy while still having the option to take photos in the surrounding areas. 

*Disclaimer: Rules and regulations are always changing. Sometimes this is Airbnb, other times it's the county. Make sure to contact hosts before booking anything!

Here are some of our favorite Sedona Airbnbs and rentals:

Always ask rentals for permission before using the property for parties, ceremonies, and receptions. Not all rentals will allow it, so it’s important that you get permission and pay any extra fees.

Check out some of our favorite rentals for smaller elopements. Any of these could be your ideal spot to have your wedding day—or it could be where you spend your wedding night:

Getting Around Sedona

It should go without saying, but parking lots easily fill up during peak season; especially during weekends or at sunset. Rideshares are an easy way to get around packed parking lots, but you could ask a friend or family member to drop you off at a trailhead too.

Part of the fun of Sedona is off-roading. You can absolutely rent a 4W-drive vehicle to get some remote places for your elopement.

Hire Your Sedona Wedding Vendors

First things first, you’ll want to book your wedding photographer ASAP. You have to capture your special day, of course. Your elopement photographer can cover the ceremony, the reception, the prep, the first look—whatever you want! If you have a small wedding, your photographer can act as an elopement planner, helping you navigate the details, and plan your day.

To make your wedding legal, you’ll need someone to perform the ceremony. This person is known as an officiant. Before the ceremony itself, you’ll need to request a marriage license from your county clerk-recorder’s office. This isn’t too tough—just Google your area and you’ll find it. You can either finalize your marriage right then and there in the government building, then have your ceremony later. Or you can take the more traditional route of signing the paperwork at the ceremony itself. Don’t worry—your officiant is happy to walk you through the process if you need help.

The Best Advice for Sedona Elopements 

  1. Elope on a weekday or at sunrise to avoid crowds. 
  2. Give yourself a few days to explore instead of flying in for the wedding day and leaving. Sedona has a lot to offer, from hikes, to swimming holes, art galleries, vortexes, and more!
  3. Stay hydrated—always good advice in the desert!
  4. Read up on Leave No Trace so you’re best prepared to recreate responsibly. 

Book Your Sedona Elopement Photographer

If you want a photographer who’s in love with the red and orange textures of the desert and even more in love with weddings, book Love and Latitudes Outdoor Wedding and Elopement Photography today! Sedona elopement and wedding packages include full or half day photography coverage, planning services, vendor referrals, location assistance, an online gallery, and more.

Where Would We Be Without Good Sedona Vendors?

Florist: Wild Flora Design

Dresses: Daughters of Simone |  Willow by Watters |. Brilliant Bridal

MUAH: Seventh Ave Beauty