Dead Horse Point Wedding

A couple sits on an edge of a cliff at sunset in Moab.

If you’re considering a unique, intimate, and breathtaking destination for your special day, look no further than a Dead Horse Point wedding. Located in southeastern Utah, Dead Horse Point State Park offers stunning vistas, dramatic cliffs, and an unforgettable experience for your big day. In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about planning a Dead Horse Point elopement or wedding, from obtaining permits to planning the perfect experience. Get ready to embark on a magical journey to one of Utah’s most underrated gems! 

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Why Choose Dead Horse Point for Your Wedding? 

Breathtaking Scenery 

Dead Horse Point State Park boasts some of the most incredible landscapes in Utah, which is quite the feat given how many incredible elopement locations there are in Utah. Dead Horse Point features dramatic overlooks, high deserts, and endless canyons. Imagine saying your vows surrounded by the awe-inspiring views of the Colorado River and majestic cliffs. Dead Horse Point provides a truly unique backdrop for your special day, making it a perfect choice for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts alike. 

Privacy and Seclusion 

Many of our couples decide on an intimate wedding or elopement because they want space to escape from the busy world and to be fully present with their partner. This is one of the many reasons that this park is an amazing option for a wedding. While the nearby Arches National Park receives over 1.5 million visitors each year and Canyonlands National Park receives close to 1 million, Dead Horse Point State Park sees only around 500,000, making it a more private and secluded option for your wedding. Eloping at Dead Horse Point during the week (Monday-Thursday) or in the off-season can offer even more privacy, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of the park, away from the crowds. 

Adventure Opportunities 

Dead Horse Point State Park is not only an ideal location for your wedding ceremony (Looking for fun ideas for your ceremony?) but also offers a plethora of adventure opportunities for you and your guests. With miles of hiking trails, mountain biking, and horseback riding, there’s no shortage of activities to enjoy before or after your big day. As a huge perk, you’ll likely be staying close to the town of Moab, which offers even MORE adventure activities from rock climbing, river rafting, backpacking and canyoneering. 

Dark Sky Area 

As a designated Dark Sky Area, Dead Horse Point State Park offers some of the darkest skies in Utah, perfect for stargazing and capturing unforgettable starry night photos. We LOVE capturing couples with the milky way lighting up the dark sky. No matter how many times we do it, it’s always so rewarding to see the couple’s faces light up when they catch a sneak peek of their star photo from the back of our camera. It’s not uncommon for it to be the first time the couple has seen the stars so bright and bold so it always brings a meaningful smile to our face. 

A bride and groom sit together at Dead Horse Point at Sunset

How to Plan Your Dead Horse Point Wedding

Obtain the Necessary Permits 

All weddings at Dead Horse Point State Park require a special use permit, which you can find here. We promise the permit process at this park is so fast and friendly, and if you have any questions we are more than happy to help with completing the application. While larger parks can take weeks between hearing back from permit officers, the lighter pressures on the park rangers allow much faster correspondence. 

You must submit your permit application at least 30 days before your wedding date to be considered. Since a permit secures your wedding in a specific ceremony location, we always encourage our couples that once we have the specific ceremony location selected, to submit the permit as early as possible. This way it ensures that you can share your vows at the location you most desire. The permit fee starts at $60 ($10 application fee and $50 permit fee). From there, there is a site fee that varies from $200 – $300 depending on guest count and then incurs an additional $100 charge for every hour after the first two. Send your completed permit application to 

Apply for a Marriage License 

You’ll also need to apply for a marriage license in the State of Utah. Any marriage license issued in Utah can be used in any county within the state. If you’re flying into Salt Lake City, you can obtain your marriage license there and use it in Grand County, where Dead Horse Point State Park is located. If your trip provides the convenience to do so, you could also acquire your marriage license in Moab. Marriage licenses are valid from the moment it’s in your hand, so no waiting period, up to 32 days from the date of purchase. So be sure it doesn’t expire before your ceremony or you’ll need to pay for a new one. 

Choose Your Ceremony Location 

Dead Horse Point State Park offers five designated ceremony sites, each with its unique features and capacities. Some sites are more private and secluded, while others are more popular with tourists. When it comes to selecting your ceremony spot, the best choice comes down to several factors. From a guest standpoint, certain locations can only hold up to a certain number of people. From a photography perspective, the best lighting will vary depending on the time of day and the time of the year. For this reason, we highly recommend you utilize your knowledgeable photographer team (Meet us!) to choose the best location for your ceremony. Below is the list of approved ceremony sites by name, how many guests they can hold, and if you get curious, their GPS coordinates! 

Shade Shelter Site: 38°28’10″N 109°44’21″W (38.469444, -109.739167) – 100 Person Limit

Cliffside Site: 38°28’14″N 109°44’32″W (38.470556, -109.742222) – 20 Person Limit

Point Bench Site: 38°28’10″N 109°44’25″W (38.469444, -109.740278) – 5 Person Limit

West Bench Site: 38°28’12″N 109°44’28″W (38.470000, -109.741111) – 50 Person Limit

La Sal Site: 38°28’23″N 109°44’25″W (38.473056, -109.740278) – 25 person limit

traci, adventure vow elopement photographer.

Find the Perfect Dead Horse Point Photographer

Hey there! I’m Traci, half of the Adventure and Vow team. Wait until you watch the sunset at this absolutely epic place. We’ve been fortunate enough to watch it so many times and the sky puts off the same beautiful show every evening.

Connection, experience, an unforgettable time, and of course stunning images that you’ll cherish for a lifetime. We’re here to capture the magic of your Dead Horse Point wedding. As a skilled and experienced photographer team, we specializes in elopements and intimate weddings in this unique location. We’ve captured many weddings here and in the greater Moab area and we understands the park’s rules and regulations, the best times for lighting, and the most picturesque spots for your wedding photos.

Dead Horse Point Wedding Rules and Regulations 

When planning your Dead Horse Point wedding, it’s essential to be aware of the park’s rules and regulations. Here are some key points to keep in mind: 

  • Live or cut flowers are allowed to be brought into the Park. However, the use of Pampas Grass and similar plants are highly discouraged due to their high potential of establishing and becoming invasive.
  • Seeds, confetti, rice, or any other objects are not allowed to be thrown within the park.
  • Only domestic dogs are allowed at the wedding locations, and all park regulations for dogs apply at all times.
  • Drone use is prohibited between March and October. From November through February, drones may be used by a special use permit holder with proper licensing.
  • Trails must be used to access the wedding location, and cars must be parked in the agreed-upon parking area(s).
  • Amplified music is not allowed in the park. 

Can I have drone coverage of my wedding at Dead Horse Point?

As mentioned above, technically depending on the time of year, you may be able to have drone coverage of your wedding within the park. However it is very important to note that even with a commercial drone license (Yes! We have ours!) and the permit to fly in the park, the park actually doesn’t allow drone coverage within the main viewing area. This means that none of the ceremony locations allow for drone coverage so if drone coverage is important, then we’d need to add some hiking to the wedding day to a vista point outside of the main area. But hey! That just means more privacy.

Dead Horse Point Wedding Costs 

In addition to the special use permit fee, there are other costs to consider for your Dead Horse Point wedding outside of travel, food and lodging: 

  • Park entrance fees: $20 per vehicle (up to 8 people) or $5 per person if arriving by bus
  • Ranger monitoring: If the park manager determines it necessary, ranger monitoring is $50 per hour. We’ve photographed here many times and this is very uncommon.
  • Marriage license fee: $50
  • Photographer fees: Vary depending on the photographer’s packages and services
A groom helps his bride onto a ledge at Dead Horse Point at Sunset

When to Elope at Dead Horse Point 

Comfort and experience are so important to sharing an unforgettable wedding with your partner. For these reasons, the best time to elope at Dead Horse Point State Park is during the spring (March-May) and fall (September- November) months, when the weather is more mild and comfortable. Summer months (June-August) can be scorching, while winter months (December-February) can be very cold and snowy. However, the desires of every couple is different which truly is so exciting. if you don’t mind some bite in the air and want to avoid crowds completely, consider an off-season elopement on a weekday. 

How to Get to Dead Horse Point State Park 

Dead Horse Point State Park is conveniently located roughly a 45-minute drive from Moab city center (about 32 miles) if you plan on taking the main route. You would take Highway 191 north outside of town, take a left on the scenic state route 313 and eventually one more left to stay on the 313 which ends at dead horse point! It’s really that simple. 

If you have a vehicle with some clearance, roads are dry, and not closed due to winter weather, we highly recommend taking the alternate route through long canyon. While the main route is already stunning, this somehow upgrades the scenic vibes and adds a touch of adventure. This route takes about an hour and is a bit shorter at 25 miles. You head out of town just the same, going north on Highway 191, but instead, take an earlier left down Potash Road. You follow along the beautiful Colorado River before turning right down Long Canyon Road. You should see signs for the Jug handle arch at the turn. You follow this stunning road all the way up until it eventually meets up with the 313! If you aren’t familiar with off-roading and a slight bit of route finding, we recommend that you download the maps for the area just in case you get a bit off course. 

A bride and groom stand together at Dead Horse Point at Sunset

Activities and Accommodations near Dead Horse Point

We touched on this a bit earlier, but it can not be overstated how freaking epic the greater Moab area is. From family- friendly to pure adventure, there seriously is something for everyone. Let’s take a step back from the outdoor aspect and share our favorite things to do while in town: 

  • Stop in WabiSabi – An eclectic thrift store where you’ll be sure to make some interesting finds and where many locals go shopping.
  • Visit the Moab Food Truck Park – Keep in mind this park is seasonal, so you won’t have much luck trying to get something to eat during the winter but from the 14 food vendors, everyone is sure to find something they’ll love.
  • Moab Coffee Roasters – This coffee shop has amazing espresso and gelato all under one roof! Not to mention their homemade chocolates are equally delicious. This is hands down our favorite spot to grab a quick treat.
  • Moonflower Community Cooperative – Don’t get us wrong, City Market is a great place to shop for most groceries, but Moonflower has all of the specialty foods and treats in a co-op space that just feels great to be in. Their prepared foods section is the perfect spot to grab a quick and healthy meal. 
  • Grand County Public Library – Yes, a library makes this list! Not only is the sense of community here perfect, but the WiFi is the fastest in town. And most importantly, the library has a cat named Cosmo! So if books and adorable felines catch your interest, it’s worth stopping in while in town. 

Where to Stay 

  • Dead Horse Point State Park Yurts: Stay in a unique and comfortable yurt, available at both Wingate and Moenkopi sites.
  • Dead Horse Point Campgrounds: Choose between the Kayenta Campground and Wingate Campground for camping and RV hookups. 
  • Moab Hotels, Airbnbs and camping: Dead Horse Point State Park is so close to Moab it’s most common for people to stay here to be among all of the amenities. Moab offers a variety of hotels, unique Airbnb and awesome camping accommodations to suit your preferences and budget. 

We’d Love to Hear More About Your Wedding!

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A bride and groom celebrate together at Dead Horse Point at Sunset

Dead Horse Point Wedding: A Unique and Memorable Experience 

A Dead Horse Point wedding offers a truly magical and unforgettable experience for couples seeking a unique and intimate setting for their big day. With its breathtaking scenery, privacy, and adventure opportunities, Dead Horse Point State Park stands out as an exceptional choice for your wedding or elopement. Follow this ultimate guide, and you’ll be well on your way to creating memories that will last a lifetime.