HOW TO GET MARRIED IN ARIZONA
If you are looking to for tips on how to get married in Arizona, you’ve come to the right place!
Arizona is such a beautiful state with lots of hidden gem locations to choose from. We have everything from scenic mountains you can exchange vows in front of, to taking a helicopter tour across the Grand Canyon, hike the neverending red rock mountains of Sedona Arizona, miles of slot canyons, sand dunes, and mountains in every direction you look! Did I mention we have mountains?
Arizona may not have all four seasons but there is nothing in Arizona you can’t do year round!
ARIZONA MARRIAGE LAWS AND REQUIREMENTS
Just like any other state, getting married in Arizona has different laws than its surrounding domains.
– you MUST BE THE AGE OF 18 YEARS OR OLDER (UNLESS YOU ARE 16 AND HAVE PARENTAL CONSENT).
– YOU AND YOUR PARTNER MUST BOTH BE PRESENT TO APPLY FOR AND SIGN A MARRIAGE LICENSE.
– THERE IS A $83 (USD) FEE TO OBTAIN YOUR LICENSE
– YOU NEED YOUR GOVERNMENT ISSUED PHOTO ID AND YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER TO APPLY AS WELL.
– YOU ARE REQUIRED TO HAVE 2 (TWO) WITNESSES OVER THE AGE OF 18 PRESENT TO SIGN YOUR MARRIAGE LICENSE.
– SAME SEX MARRIAGE IS ALLOWED.
–YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE AN ARIZONA RESIDENT TO APPLY FOR AN ARIZONA MARRIAGE LICENSE.
–AFTER YOU RECEIVE YOUR MARRIAGE LICENSE FROM THE COURT, IT IS VALID FOR UP TO 12 (TWELVE) MONTHS BUT NEEDS TO BE RETURNED TO THE COURT BY EITHER YOU OR YOUR OFFICIANT WITHIN 30 (THIRTY) BUSINESS DAYS AFTER YOUR CEREMONY IS LEGALLY RECORDED.
side note – I am an ordained officiant and can legally marry you if you do not want to hire someone to perform your ceremony / sign your marriage license!
If you want to see more requirements/ details obtaining a license, click HERE.
ARIZONA WEATHER YEAR ROUND
Let me warn you. Arizona during the summers can be absolutely DREADFUL. It can get as hot as 115 degrees (Fahrenheit) in the Phoenix valley. As an Arizona born and raised resident I HIGHLY recommend escaping to Northern Arizona during the summer heat wave. Summer typically lasts from the months of June-August averaging a high of 105 degrees (Fahrenheit), according to VisitArizona.com.
Yes Arizona is not the most fun state during the hot temperatures but besides the triple digit weather it is a beautiful state to adventure. A 2 hour drive North from Phoenix, Arizona will take you to the gorgeous snowfall valley of Flagstaff, Arizona – the most popular location and season to get married!
If you plan on getting married in the near future, contact me for more information on what the weather looks like and what the best adventure activities are!
MY FAVORITE ELOPEMENT AND ADVENTURE LOCATIONS
– Grand Canyon National Park
READ MORE ABOUT HOW TO ELOPE AT THE GRAND CANYON HERE
– Horseshoe Bend
– Antelope Canyon
– Lake Mead
– Payson, Arizona
PHOTO OF WATSON LAKE
READ MORE ABOUT ELOPING AT CATHEDRAL ROCK HERE
– Lost Dutchman State Park / SUPERSTITION MOUNTAIN
READ MORE ABOUT AN ELOPEMENT AT THE SUPERSTITION MOUNTAINS
CLICK HERE FOR A WEDDING AT SUPERSTITION MANOR
– Picacho Peak State Park
– Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
– Stafford, Arizona
– Imperial Sand Dunes
Hey, I’m kelcee!
YOUR BIGGEST SUPPORTER BEHIND THE CAMERA
I believe in real moments and capturing timeless memories you can look back on your special day and think ‘I can’t believe we did that’.
My priority as your wedding photographer is to make you feel how much I love and care for you! Being able to stand by your side as your friend and photographer is the main reason why I love my job!
Your happiness is my happiness and being by your side as your biggest supporter on your special day is truly a blessing in itself!
READY TO START YOUR ADVENTURE?
I am so excited to PHOTOGRAPH your stress free, true to your relationship, wedding day (or portrait session).
Reach out so we can turn your adventure dreams into a reality and I can document every moment of it!
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE ON HOW TO ELOPE IN ARIZONA
(updated for 2023)
Arizona is such a beautiful state with lots of hidden gems when looking for a location to elope in. We have everything from scenic mountains you can exchange private vows in front of, have your intimate wedding ceremony in the forest, taking a helicopter tour across the Grand Canyon, hike the red rock mountains of Sedona Arizona, explore miles of slot canyons, sand dunes, and even kayaking! Did I mention we have mountains? There’s plenty of activities for less outdoorsy people as well, like hot air balloon or helicopter rides, wine tasting, pubs, horseback riding, and exploring historic towns around Arizona.
Arizona may not have all four seasons but there is nothing in Arizona you can’t do year round!
WHY ARIZONA IS THE PERFECT LOCATION FOR YOUR ADVENTURE ELOPEMENT
Arizona is the perfect place to elope because there is a large list you can choose between desert landscapes filled with Cacti, red-orange sandstone formations, green forests, hidden waterfalls or even the famous Grand Canyon National Park or Horseshoe Bend!
Arizona also offers different weather climates like snow up to your knees or scorching hot triple digit summers (which we will talk about more in this blog!).
UNDERSTANDING ARIZONA MARRIAGE LAWS AND REQUIREMENTS
One awesome thing about eloping in Arizona is there is no wait period for obtaining a marriage license! You can apply for your marriage license and get married on the same day! If you are traveling from out of state, I recommend arriving 2 days early to obtain your marriage license and relax so you don’t have to start your elopement day waiting in the clerk’s office.
How To Elope in Arizona
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Marriage Laws and Requirements
Just like any other state, eloping in Arizona has different laws than where you might live or be traveling from.
– You must be 18 years of age to get married.
– You do NOT need to be an Arizona resident to apply for a marriage license in Arizona.
– Both parties (you and your partner) must be present to apply for your marriage license.
– The fee to obtain a marriage license in Arizona is $83.00. Payable by cash, debit or credit card, or money order.
– A copy of your birth certificate and either your current drivers license, state or military ID card, current passport, or other government issued picture ID. Some Clerk’s Offices may also require your Social Security Card so I recommend packing that with your essentials as well.
Each clerk office / county in Arizona may have different requirements so I recommend reaching out to them or visiting the government website before your visit Arizona to learn about what you may or may not need to obtain a marriage license.
Is Eloping in Arizona legal?
Eloping is 100% legal in Arizona! You do not need to be in a church or courthouse in order for your ceremony to be recognized by the law. There are a few requirements in order to have your marriage recognized by the state (listed below).
Do I Need a Witness to Elope in Arizona?
You will need two witnesses, ages 18 or older, to attend your ceremony and sign at the bottom of your marriage license. Your officiant overseeing your ceremony does not count as a witness.
If you want to have a private, just the two of you, ceremony we absolutely can do that! I am an ordained so I legally can sign your marriage license as your Officiant and is recognized by the law in Arizona. After you two have your private ceremony we can find witnesses nearby and perform a simple 30 second ceremony that follows the legal requirements for your witnesses to sign your marriage license.
Can I Have a Family Member or Friend Officiate My Elopement?
If you prefer to have your close friend or family member officiate your elopement you absolutely can! It is so much fun and can make your elopement day memories more special to have them officiate your ceremony.
There are many options to choose from when searching to legally get ordained, I recommend (and personally use) the Universal Life Church (ULC), they are completely free. Some states require the officiant to show proof of their ordination (via paperwork) but Arizona does not. I personally carry my paperwork with my always but you do not have to! Just a good practice.
How Do I Legally Get Married I Arizona?
After your ceremony and all the legal requirements and signatures have been signed on your marriage license, you must return your license to the Clerk’s Office within 10 – 30 days (depending on the Office/ county you are in). Once your marriage has been recorded you can contact the office for a certified copy to be mailed to you for $37.90 (this will be required if you want to legally change your last name).
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO ELOPE IN ARIZONA?
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Is Eloping in Arizona Cheaper Than a Traditional Wedding?
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What to Budget for When Eloping in Arizona
It all depends on what you want your elopement day to look like.
THE BEST TIME OF YEAR TO ELOPE IN ARIZONA
Arizona has a range of seasons, temperatures, and weather conditions from the low 20s to 115 degrees (Fahrenheit). Depending on what time of year you’re planning to elope you can expect harsh summer heat to foggy mountains covered in snow.
My opinion? February – April or October – November are the best times of the year to elope in Arizona. These months in Arizona are neither too hot, too cold, or too busy. Besides the triple digit summers and monsoon season, most Arizona days consist of sunny and clear skies. Great weather for hiking, swimming, and adventuring.
Now I’m sure you’re thinking, what is a good time to elope in Arizona? Well it all depends on what you want your experience to be during your wedding day. How do you want the temperature to feel? What do you plan on wearing during your elopement? What type of activities do you want to include?
Spring (March – May)
Spring is a beautiful time to elope because the trees are slowly growing their leaves back and the wildflowers are in bloom! Temperatures can vary from the 60’s to the upper 80’s (Fahrenheit) during March and April. Because May is towards the beginning of Summer you can start to expect mid 90’s to the triple digits (low 100’s) during the daytime in the Phoenix Valley.
This time of year does tend to get a bit busy depending on where you want to elope. Locations like Sedona, The Grand Canyon, or Page start to get more traffic because of the tourist and families traveling during Spring Break. But if you still want to elope during the Springtime I can recommend some not-so popular and off-the-beaten-path locations for you to elope at.
Summer (June – August)
I do not recommend eloping in Phoenix during this time. The temperatures range from 110 – 120 degrees (Fahrenheit) and do not cool down after the sun sets. Northern Arizona is a good option if you want to avoid the scorching sun and dry heat. The temperatures in Northern Arizona are between the 80’s – mid 90’s but depending on where you elope it may feel unpleasant to adventure or get married in the Arizona summer sun. If you still want to elope in Arizona during the summer I recommend indoor, air conditioned venues, or water activities like swimming at a lake.
Additionally, Summer season is Monsoon season where the seasonal rain is unpredictable and brings flooded roads, potentially dangerous storms, and dust storms (or what we call, haboobs).
Fall (September – October)
Fall in Phoenix isn’t what a lot of people think when they think of Fall – Fall foliage, leaf piles to throw around, and cooler weather. It’s still usually 80 – 100 degrees (Fahrenheit) and because Phoenix is full of cacti and Palo Verde trees there are no changing leaves or Fall colors to enjoy. If you do plan to elope in Northern Arizona during the Fall season (October – November) you’ll get the chance to see some of the most stunning autumn colors and wildflowers before the cold wind blows them away. Temperatures are a lot more cool than the valley and perfect for wedding and family portraits before the holidays begin.
Winter (November – February)
In the Phoenix valley you can expect temperatures between 50 degrees (Fahrenheit) to 75 degrees during the winter. Winter is one of the perfect times to elope in Phoenix, especially if you are traveling from out of state, because the weather is not too cold to explore. The temperatures do get a bit chilly and drop down to an average of 40 degrees (Fahrenheit) at night. But besides the cold do not expect a lot of rain during this time period.
Although Phoenix does not get snow, if you travel up North to Flagstaff or even The Grand Canyon, Page, or sometimes Sedona, temperatures can range between 20 degrees to 60 degrees and can expect snow. Arizona winters vary on how much snowfall Northern Arizona expects. In 2021 Flagstaff had a total of 191″ of snowfall. This year (as of April 2023) Northern Arizona received up to 400″ of snow! And that is just the beginning of the year.
THE BEST PLACES TO ELOPE IN ARIZONA
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Lake Powell + Page Arizona Elopement Locations
Grand Canyon National Park Elopement Locations
anywhere (like to how to elope in grand canyon)
Flagstaff Arizona Elopement Locations
snowbowl (link to brye & greg)
aspen forest (link to halloween elopement)
lava tube (link to lava tube engagement)
Sedona Arizona Elopement Locations
merry go round rock
Secret Slick Rock
West Fork Trail
Payson Arizona Elopement Locations
Phoenix Arizona Elopement Locations
superstition mountain / lost dutchman state park
the salt river
Usery mountain regional park
Yuma Arizona Elopement Locations
imprerial sand dunes
PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR ELOPING IN ARIZONA
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TIPS FOR HAVING THE BEST ARIZONA ELOPEMENT EXPERIENCE
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HEY, I’M KELCEE!
your arizona elopement photographer
As an Arizona born and raised local I know everything from the secret hidden elopement locations that aren’t overpopulated with tourists to the best time to elope!
I’m here to help you with all things adventure & elopements. From scouting out your ceremony location to planning your adventurous elopement timeline, I’ll help you plan your best day ever, take away any stress you are experiencing, and support you as your new best friend.
Your elopement is the experience of a lifetime and you deserve not only the support for doing what you love but also the best quality photos that tell your love story that will last a lifetime.