Jake and Anna’s Unforgettable Zion Elopement  

There’s truly something magical about national park elopements. They paint a beautiful backdrop for your sacred commitment, and they’re also filled with fun adventures! This full-day Zion National Park elopement was one of the most fun and joyful wedding days I’ve ever had the opportunity to be a part of!

Anna and Jake incorporated their love of adventure into all aspects of the day. The end result? A truly magical Zion elopement that I’ll treasure forever! 

photo of groom kissing bride's cheek while sitting down in a slot canyon in Zion National Park

Celebrating a Beautiful Couple’s Love and Thirst For Adventure!

A lot of people understand that eloping is “cheap.” While it can cost less on average to elope than a traditional wedding, it’s often just a different way to spend on the celebration. A national park elopement is perfect for anyone with a thirst for adventure — and this couple fits the bill

Anna and Jake are van-lifers (who built their own van)! They actually got engaged while road-tripping from Tennessee and drove out to Utah for their Zion elopement! 

photo of bride and groom running down street with tunnel behind them for their Zion elopement

This couple went all out to make their wedding day a special one, but in a way that was meaningful and authentic to them. As a Zion elopement photographer who’s very familiar with the area, I was able to help them plan out all of the details and adventures of the day to ensure it was the adventure elopement of their dreams!

Anna and Jake’s guests were completely on board with their small national park wedding. Everyone was so excited to be celebrating their love and their new lives together on their special day!

It was incredible to see how at peace, relaxed, and joyful these two lovebirds were the entire day. This was due to how well-planned their Zion elopement was and how they built in time for both relaxation and adventures! It was an amazing day that was all about them! 

photo of groom wiping away tears after seeing his bride in her wedding gown

A Precious First Look For This Adventurous Couple

The couple chose to do a first look at their gorgeous Airbnb to kick off their  Zion elopement day. Anna took first-look photos with both Jake and her dad! Both gentlemen were left teary-eyed.

Their precious pups also got to celebrate with them on their special day! Pre-wedding photos with their dogs were a must! We did that at their Airbnb outside the national park, however, since dogs aren’t allowed on most trails in Zion National Park. 

photo of bride and groom exchanging private vows for their Zion elopement in a slot canyon
photo of groom looking at his bride adoringly as she reads her vows

A Private Vow Exchange For This Zion Elopement 

Anna and Jake decided that they wanted to exchange their vows privately before their Zion wedding ceremony, which would take place in front of their guests. They wanted a secluded location in the park to exchange their vows, and they looked to me for expertise in the area. I suggested some of Zion’s lesser-known slot canyons, and they were all in! This backcountry area of Zion isn’t maintained by the park and it takes someone with experience to know where the best locations like this can be found!

photo of bride and groom kissing in Utah slot canyon on wedding day

One of the best things about the slot canyons is that they tend to be significantly less crowded than other areas of the park, even during busy times of the year. There was no one else in the canyon, which made it perfect for a private exchanging of vows! Even more importantly, the slot canyon looked absolutely stunning in the couple’s Zion elopement photos!

An Epic Backdrop For a Wedding Ceremony 

Jake and Anna decided to get married at the Temple of Sinawava, one of Zion’s pre-approved ceremony locations. They did have to get a wedding permit ($100) to hold their ceremony here.

We all rode the park shuttle all the way down to the area where they held their ceremony on the banks of the Virgin River. Although the Temple of Sinawa is a popular area of Zion, the river’s sounds droned out everything but these two — which made for a very intimate Zion elopement!

photo of bride and groom exchanging vows at the Temple of Sinawava at Zion

From a Zion elopement photographer standpoint, I can’t recommend the Temple of Sinawava enough to anyone who wants a more secluded ceremony that truly captures the essence of the park’s beauty.

This area of the park gives visitors a feeling of awe! The gorgeous red rock walls provide a breathtaking landscape against the river. One can’t help but feel the majesticness and grandness of this location. For something as sacred and meaningful as tying the knot, it’s a perfect location to match the impact of the day.

photo of groom putting wedding band on bride on their wedding day
photo of bride and groom kissing with river behind them at their Zion National Park elopement

This Zion National Park location is gorgeous in all seasons. It’s especially beautiful in late spring to fall when the desert gardens along the Virgin River are swathed in green, or in autumn when the foliage turns gold!

The Temple of Swinawava made a breathtaking backdrop for Anna and Jake’s Zion elopement! The red rock formations just popped against Anna’s incredible flowy, white wedding gown and Jake’s blue suit.

photo of bride and groom raising hands and celebrating at their Zion elopement in front of family and friends

A Sentimental Zion Wedding Ceremony

There were so many small details that made this national park elopement a sentimental one! The wedding was officiated by someone very close to them: Jake’s dad.

Anna had a surprise for Jake during their Zion elopement ceremony that left everyone in tears: she surprised Jake by letting him know the diamonds in his ring were from his late grandfather’s ring, who he was very close with. Jake’s grandfather had left him and his brother the diamonds from the ring he had worn while married to their grandmother for over 60 years. Now these legacy diamonds get to be a part of Anna and Jake’s marriage for years to come!

photo of bride and groom holding hands and showing off custom made rings

After their short Zion wedding ceremony, Anna and Jake had the chance to explore the area with their families. 

A Charming Sunset Adventure

An adventure is a great way to celebrate your marriage — and as a Zion elopement photographer, I always recommend documenting this part of your special day! Anna and Jake were up for a sunset adventure after they tied the knot. Since they were both wearing boots, albeit fancy boots, it was easy for them to hike — even while in their wedding attire.

photo of bride and groom hiking in Zion for their wedding day
photo of bride and groom looking out at Zion Valley

We headed to the Zion Canyon Overlook, where we enjoyed the sunset and scenery. We stayed long past sunset enjoying the view as these two basked in their newfound marital bliss! It was so amazing to see how happy they were. We had plenty of time to get creative and play around with some fun photo techniques, too — like double/triple exposure photos, which Anna and Jake loved! 

photo of bride and groom holding hands and looking up at the night sky in Zion

Closing Out the Day With a Stunning Night Sky Photoshoot

By the end of the day, it felt like we were old friends — or even family! Jake and Anna ended up inviting me and Christy, my second photographer, back to their Airbnb to celebrate with dinner and cake.

When we got back to the couple’s Airbnb, it was basically dark out. We were able to take some nighttime elopement photos featuring the stars in the night sky with the beautiful red rock formations surrounding them. It felt so surreal — and like a beautiful ending to their national park wedding day!

photo of bride and groom wearing headlamps looking up at the stars in Zion National Park

Dinner was the best meal I’ve had in a long time, prepared by private chef, Grusome Gourmet of Kelso’s Culinary Creations. And of course, we enjoyed mango jalapeño margaritas to celebrate Anna and Jake’s Zion elopement!

To end the night, Jake and Anna signed their marriage license at the dinner table, with their siblings signing as witnesses.

photo of bride and groom kissing in front of Zion National Park sign

Ready to Book a Zion Elopement Photoshoot? 

I’m honored that you’re considering using me as your Zion elopement photographer! I would love to take part in your special day and help you document your love story so you’ll have it to cherish for years to come! Whether you’re interested in booking your Zion elopement or you have more questions about booking with me, be sure to reach out! 

photo of bridal accessories: jewelry, boots, vow book, sunglasses, bouquet, and veil
photo of bride and groom standing on a rock, holding hands, with a waterfall behind them in Zion
photo of grooms accessories: boots, tie, and a vow book


  1. Julia Maass says:

    This is absolutely gorgeous! You’ve captured the scenery and their emotions so beautifully!

  2. Heather says:

    Omg her dress is stunning! This looks like it was an absolutely incredible day. Just love their photos!

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