How To Have An Epic Moab, Utah Elopement


How To Have An Epic Moab, Utah Elopement

Ever think about eloping at the stunning and breathtaking Moab Desert in Utah? Well, I am here to spill the tea on how to plan the Utah elopement of your dreams in this magical place! So, let’s dive on in!

Travel & Distances From Airports To Moab, Utah

Creating an epic Moab, Utah elopement can be fun, seamless and easy if planned the right way! First things first, is understanding all the travel details. Moab, Utah is located along Utah’s Eastern border approximately 50 miles from Colorado. The nearest airport, Canyonlands Field Airport (CNY), is located just 18 miles north of Moab. The Salt Lake City (SLC) airport is the nearest major airport and is around a 3 hour and 53 minute drive to and from Moab.

The Moab, Utah Weather

The hottest months in Moab are June through September with July being the warmest month sometimes hitting temperatures of 110 degrees. With knowing that it is this hot, make sure to plan accordingly and drink a lot of water! In the winter it is a good idea to check the current road conditions. During winter months, the Utah Department of Transportation maintains a hotline with recorded information for a majority of the state roads. Thank goodness!! Then we can plan in advance and know what to expect. The number to call for information is (866) 511-8824. You can also check their website: for more details!

Getting Married & Planning Your Moab, Utah Elopement

**it is important to check the website for the National Park Service because fees and processes are subject to change. This information is accurate at the time of writing this blog in August of 2022**

There are different locations within Moab which include National Parks and Public BLM Land. Let’s chat about both!

National Parks Planning:

In order to get married and plan your Utah elopement in a National Park in Moab, you are required to obtain a marriage permit for the specific location you are planning on getting married at. While the permitting process isn’t hard, it is important to allow yourself plenty of time to acquire a permit. Arches and Canyonlands National Parks require a minimum of four weeks to fully process a basic permit request. Complex special events may require more than four weeks to process. You are allowed to apply for a permit up to one year in advance. Permits must be requested by the couple and not a third party (planner, photographer, etc.)


  • There is an initial processing fee of $55.00 and an administering & management fee of $130.00. The grand total for permitting fees is $185.00 (this does not include the park entrance fee).
  • Changes to the permit are subject to re-processing fees. So to avoid spending an additional $185.00, make sure your timeline is already solid.
  • Entrance Fees still apply so if you have an Annual Pass be sure to have it handy. Be sure to let guests to know that they will need to pay the entrance fee. I always suggest carpooling because it lowers the cost in the entrance fee department and also allows for you to need less places to park.

What if We Just Want Photos For Our Utah Elopement in the Park?

If you are only having your portraits taken in the park, a marriage permit is not needed. To be on the safe side, make sure to have your photographer check with the park service to ensure that a special use permit is not needed.

Rules When Getting Married In The National Parks:

  • Leave no trace and clean up after yourselves
  • Be courteous of other visitors who are enjoying the view (you can’t occupy a location for more than 10 minutes)
  • Chairs are allowed on a case by case basis
  • You cannot take up more than a half of the parking spots or pull off areas so that there is room for other visitors and traffic can flow.
  • You must restrict wedding activities to slick rock, dry washes, or maintained areas of the park, and you must be in compliance with all park rules and regulations.

Weddings & Elopements on BLM Land of Moab Desert of Utah:

You will want to directly reach out to the BLM Office so they can instruct you on how to apply. They will send you a letter of acknowledgement in order to confirm that your wedding is permitted at that location and at that specific time. All of your venders (including your photographer) will need to apply for a special use permit. Be make sure your vendors are aware!

For additional information or further questions, contact: Moab Field Office 435-259-2100 Email:

Ready To Plan Your Epic Moab, Utah Elopement & Bring Me Along To Capture The Magic?

If you answered heck yes, then let’s do it! If you can dream it up, I want to plan it and photograph it. One of the best things about elopements is that they are whatever you want them to be. Fill out my contact form and start planning your Moab Desert, Utah elopement next!

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