Welcome to Part II of the Slot Canyon Elopement blog! Meet Becca and Jeff a super rad couple from Utah who drove to Page for these epic elopement pictures in the slot canyons. In the first blog post I talked a lot about the history of these canyons and the Navajo land. If you want to check that out be sure to click here!
So how does one go about eloping in a slot canyon?? Almost all of the Arizona slot canyons require a permit and a guide to access and to photograph in. Antelope canyon, a famous guided slot canyon, is split up by the upper and lower canyon and the lower being the better option for any photos. There are least six different slot canyons you can visit in Northern Arizona. My best advice for deciding which one to go is doing a lot of Google research and calling the corresponding trail guides for information on access, how busy the trails are and how to permit in order to elope in the canons. While Google will give you plenty of information and options I recommend using The Outbound’s website to look further at the trail. The beauty of being in Page is that you’re right next door to Utah. Do not be fooled though, while Lake Powell starts in Page to get to the other side of it in Utah can take a longgg time! I find often times in the desert things that appear close are often pretty far from each other, especially if you have to off road. A lot of the slot canyons require off road driving so it is important to know this information ahead of time and be comfortable driving the specific conditions to the trail head or hire a guide! Now back to Utah… seriously so many beautiful places not to terribly far from Page like Kanab, Zion, Bryce and many more slot canyons. Now that you have chosen a slot canyon to elope in or found a couple of options and called the corresponding trail guides to get all the information that can give you about their tours and what type of experience to expect, what do you do??
So you have found the one! If you can, book the private tour!! After you have a plan with your location you want to get in touch with the Navajo Parks to pull any permits you may need from them for the special event, photography or parking. Once you have all the details determined you need to get to Page!! If you are coming by flight it is best to fly into Phoenix and drive or layover to Flagstaff and drive, Las Vegas is also about the same distance to Page as Phoenix or you can drive in from Salt Lake City. If you’re flying I would pick the airport based off of what drive offers you the most out of what you want scenically. Yayy!! You got here, now let’s get your marriage license. You must get your marriage license at the local Justice Court in advance to your wedding, you both must be present and show forms of ID and pay the current fee of $83. In the state of Arizona you need two witnesses and an officiant to legally get married. Once in Page, where do you stay?? You can always camp or do the van life thing, or stay in one of the many hotels/resorts, an Airbnb, or if you’re okay with not staying right in Page I highly recommend staying at Amangiri.
Wow!!! Well, now you are all set to elope in a slot canyon here in Arizona!! Oh wait, you’re missing something right??? A photographer!!! Hiring a photographer for the slot canyons is a little different than most elopement locations. The photographer needs to know how to shoot in low light and ever changing light, have the right gear and be okay with being closed in tight places. I absolutely LOVE working in Northern Arizona and would love to help you in the planning process of your elopement and be there to capture the day. I know it may seem like a lot picking a canyon, dealing with the permits and all of that, but that is what I do! Let me help you have the most stress free day and let’s adventure! If you want to speak with me about eloping in the slot canyons or else where just reach out, always happy to chat!
Ahhhh Horseshoe Bend!!! So you may be wondering why earlier in the blog I did not just give you the names of all the epic beautiful canyons. Welp, this place is why!!! Social media has opened a whole new world to finding amazing places to go travel! A lot of places are being ruined by the amount of human traffic or lack of care by visitors. Horseshoe bend is currently under construction for a parking lot and entrance monitoring by the parks and a couple of years ago they got a hand rail across the rim. Not too long ago you only knew about this place if you were a local. I think exploring world is the most amazing thing you can do, but stay up to date on leave no trace principals and you can learn about one of their new ones dedicated to geo-tagging here.
On the other hand Horseshoe Bend offers an epic backdrop for an elopement. Sometimes the slot canyons can be too crowded or just not the ideal situation for your elopement ceremony. This location offers a great alternative, as well as, some other spots along Lake Powell. This day at Horseshoe Bend was by far the most jaw dropping thing I had ever seen. When we first arrived you could not see the rim or much less a couple feet in front of you from the clouds and snow. Then all of a sudden the clouds parted and we were graced with the most beautiful desert view I have ever seen. I have always said, snow makes the desert a whole other world….. <3
I have to give a very special shout out to the two ladies pictured above, Maddie Mae of Adventure Instead and Abbi Hearnes of The Hearnes! Some of you may know that prior to photographing elopements I was working in the commercial and golf photography world. I was searching for something different that meant something to me something with couples, but not weddings. That’s when I found Maddie’s work in I think a Cosmo magazine and was blown away. I did not even know this kind of wedding existed. I jumped in right away photographing my very first adventure elopement in Iceland and then came back packed my bags and the cats into my little Kia Soul and moved to the desert all the way from Florida, lol. I wanted more! Since then I have looked up to many photogrpahers in this industry, but most of all these two ladies. They held The Adventures Workshop here in page this year and I am so lucky that I got a seat. I just want to thank them for their kindness, sharing of knowledge, friendship, dedication to LNT and so much more!!
Other special shout outs go to the Navajo Nation, The Flower Method and Reclamation Design Company. If you’re thinking of eloping I highly recommend checking out The flower method for flowers and if you want a one of a kind boho dress then look no further than Reclamation Design Co.
Thanks for the photo Christina 🙂