A bride stems up a trad rock climbing route.

Your Guide to Planning a Rock Climbing Wedding

We get it. You’ve decided you want to get married in a way that is true to you and incorporates what makes your relationship feel alive. That looks different for every couple and that’s the beauty of deciding on an elopement style wedding. Whether you and your partner have escaped the rat race and chase good weather year round to the best crags across the country or if you two take every possible weekend to visit your favorite crag, we’re here to tell you that heck yes you can and should have a rock climbing wedding day!

What is a Rock Climbing Wedding?

To state it plainly, a rock climbing wedding is simply an adventurous wedding where a couple chooses to climb a route to their ceremony location or a day that includes rock climbing as a part of their day. With the rise of elopements and adventurous weddings, more couples who are climbers are choosing to include this in their day! Why? Well, if you are a couple that climbs together you know it takes trust, communication, pushing each other and celebrating together. For the adventurous couple, a strong belay-tionship can be such a powerful element to a romantic relationship. Rock climbing is truly a bonding experience.

Choosing to have a rock climbing wedding does not mean your entire wedding experience has to be based on or around rock climbing. Most of our couples that choose to include rock climbing as apart of their union spend half the day climbing and half the day adventuring somewhere else for their ceremony. Or we have had couples spend one day out at the crag together and another day at an intimate venue with their guests. 

There is no right or wrong way to get married. You get to do what speaks to your hearts. You get to celebrate in a way that makes sense to your story. 

Can I have guests at a Rock Climbing Wedding?

Yes of course you can have guests at a rock climbing elopement! How you may ask?! Welp, if your guests are also climbers than they can also get to the location the same way you do! If you they are not climbers here are a few options:

  • Pick a location you can climb up to that also has a way to hike up to! This way your guests can meet you up there for your ceremony. 
  • Climb before or after the ceremony! A lot of our couples do full day elopements sunrise to sunset so they spend half of the day just them two and the other half with their family. Other couples choose to spend one day adventuring together and one day more formally with their family – if you like this idea check out the intimate venues we recommend near “adventure hubs.”
  • Rappel down into your ceremony! There are canyons you can rap into but also hike into. This could be a good middle ground and a freaking epic way to enter your ceremony space. Several great examples of this exist in Moab.
A groom gears up for a climb in Moab.

What to Wear for a Rock Climbing Wedding?

For a bride there are two great options for attire for a rock climbing elopement: a bridal jumpsuit or a flowy lightweight dress with a large slit and a pair of white biker shorts underneath. The reason we recommend this is you need to keep the type of climbing you’ll be doing in mind. If it’s relatively straight forward sport climbing, then a flowy dress may not get in the way while leading your way up the route. If you’re getting up some slick and technical slab, then a jumpsuit can bring the bridal vibes without you getting gripped trying to find your feet among the layers of dress.

For a groom things are a lot simpler. You can wear a suite, a tux, or “fancy” outdoors/climbing attire. This is basically up to you! It is just important to make sure that your pants allow you to be mobile. Being mindful of the weather during the time of year you’ll be climbing is a must. You probably won’t want to be wearing a suit jacket while making your way up a full sun multi-pitch on a late spring day in the desert.

No matter your attire you want to make sure you have mobility in your arms and legs. To state it again, it is important to keep in mind temperatures because you want to be comfortable.

Pro Tip: When shopping for wedding attire do not be shy to bring your harness and try it on with the dress!

Learn more about good attire for adventure weddings!

What makes a good location for a Rock Climbing Wedding?

When it comes to just going out for a climb, the general list you likely go through when choosing a route will have a little more behind it when you’re looking to have some great photos captured of you and your partner. The best locations for a climbing wedding will have the route you want to climb with a climb near it/beside for the photographer to climb that has beautiful views around it. That is the most ideal. So because of this we love places that are more crag like, but multi-pitches can certainly work. We’ve captured a handful of climbing weddings on multi-pitch climbs and we can say it does greatly increase the logistics behind capturing it well. But hey! We love the adventure and we’re down for whatever is calling your hearts.

The best way to pick an elopement or wedding location for a rock climbing would be based on these three things:

  • It’s a climbing area that means a lot to you. This could be your favorite place to climb together, where you have climbed the most together, where you first started climbing together, anything like that.
  • You pick your wedding location based on the climbing location. In this case I would do one of the locations listed above.
  • The last option would be to pick where you want to get married and find climbing near by that you can add as an activity to your day. A great example for this would be Olympic National Park and the nearby National Forest area.

Top 10 Rock Climbing Wedding Locations

There are countless elopement locations you could choose for a rock climbing wedding! Below are what we consider to be the best 10 in the regions we capture elopements! Part of choosing these locations is also based around the idea of what the rest of your wedding day or days may look like if you climb in this area. All of these places are beautiful beyond climbing, but also have epic routes! 

Moab in general is an epic place to elope! Moab also is a huge adventure and climbing mecca. You can hop on Wall Street to stay in town, go to Indian Creek for some splitters, climb spires, jump on some big multi-pitches or even take a day off and jump into some canyoneering here. No matter what you are thinking, it is here! We love Moab in general as an elopement location for it’s fun town, dining, stay options and never ending beautiful vistas. A climbing elopement here would be good March-May and September-November.

Another world class climbing area that folks have been climbing in with so much history! There are SO many climbs in Joshua Tree that it seems endless. We love that there are many different areas in the park for climbing so you do not have to be in the busy spaces. The lighting + color of the rocks here is also perfect for taking photographs of people up against them. If you haven’t climbed this granite before, you won’t regret taking a special trip to hop on these routes. A climbing wedding here would be good March-April and October-November.

#3 Alabama Hills, CA // Bishop, CA

Within the Sierra Nevadas of Southern California you will find a place with history in the climbing world. From epic bouldering, amazing climbing and hiking it is here. We love the small town feel within the area, camping areas and views. The river gorge is a stunning, peaceful place to climb with hundreds of routes to explore. After a day of climbing or bouldering you can find yourself in the natural hot springs near by or enjoying the stars at camp. The best time to come here would be May-June and September-November.

#4 Smith Rock State Park, OR

Smith Rock is a known climbing area from all over the world! There is the famous Monkey Face route you could summit and say I do on or you can climb in the many other areas of the park. This location is SO beautiful and offers a desert vibe, but don’t worry those snow capped mountains are not far away. The State Park does allow wedding ceremonies to at their amphitheater so you can get married and go straight to climbing. Stay here and watch the eagles nest or stay in the quaint wonderful town. 

Yosemite has been a long admired place by the climbing community and after ‘Free Solo’ everyone knew this was a climbing mecca. Climbing El Cap would be a fleet, but possible for your wedding day! However, there are many other routes you can consider. The National Park has a pretty flushed out system when it comes to getting married. You are allowed to hold a ceremony in specific locations, but then you can take photos and do other actives anywhere in the park. 

Believe it or not there are actually tons of climbs in the Sedona area! We like to call these adventure climbs because there is usually quite the approach to hike to them and almost always some bushwacking. The bonus? Not many people are out climbing in Sedona so you get more privacy than you would on the trails! Not far outside of Sedona you’ll find Flagstaff which also has some awesome crag in the pines. Don’t sleep on the waterfall climbing area with long routes and rows of moderate routes!

#7 Tucson, AZ

Mt Lemmon is a great place to climb in the Santa Catalina Mountains. There are over 3000 routes here with great views. Be careful to avoid getting caught in a monsoon and be sure you plan around that. Also near this area is cochise stronghold which is very similar to the granite you find in Joshua Tree, but the area is way less busy due to it being pretty remote. Spring and Fall would be best here as in the Winter it snows and the Summers are hot.

Leavenworth is home to a lot of big awesome hikes that are perfect for getting married on. From the Enchantments to the Larches full of yellow in the fall, this slice of the state is so stunning. However, it is also a great climbing area in Washington state. There are routes in the mountains and routes near by town from bouldering to trad! This is a great place for a multi-day wedding between the stunning hikes and alpine lakes, fun German inspired town and climbs. 

#9 Index, WA

Index is known for it’s more harder climbing, but there are still some routes below 5.9. The high walls here give you a great view of the mountains and many climbing blogs have named it the best crag in the US. Think Squamish, Canada vibes but here in the states! The best time to get married while climbing here would be Summer into early Fall. 

We love this spot for a sunset rock climbing wedding because it overlooks the bay near Anacortes. There are many routes which are good for photography. This area is busy on the weekends due to it’s route range, views and closeness to Seattle so be sure to plan a weekday! Beautiful place, fun climbing! The best time to get married while climbing here would be Summer into early Fall. 

A couple plays around on ropes as they rappel together.

When is the best time to have a Rock Climbing Wedding?

When is very dependent on WHERE. Each location will have a best season based on temperatures, rainfall and closures due to wildlife. These are all things you want to consider when picking a location and/or date. 

I also recommend considering a shoulder season/date to avoid over crowding on the selected route or crag. So let’s say prime season in Moab is April through early October, then maybe consider eloping in late March or early November. 

Do I need a Climbing Guide for my Wedding?

his answer depends on your experience and comfort with your chosen route. If you are not comfortable leading the route or do not have climbing and rappelling experience than 100% yes. For some quick knowledge when it comes to being a working professional on public lands, It is important to note that we are not climbing guides. The permit officers on public lands require different commercial use permits for different things, like guiding a climbing route. This would be quite the logistical nightmare as your professional photography team to balance all of the permits in all of the areas we capture love stories in. We love climbing and have all of our own gear and can climb right along side of you without a guide. However, we can not be your guide. So be sure to keep this info in mind when selecting your route!

What type of Climbing Wedding can we do?

So as you may know within rock climbing you have Trad and Sport. You can do either of those for sure for a rock climbing wedding! Outside of the traditional rock climbing options for your wedding day you can: Canyoneer (highly recommend Moab, Page or Zion for this) Ice climb or canyoneer (highly recommend Alaska or Iceland for this) or you can do a via feratta (highly recommend Amangiri for this in Page, Arizona).

Can you have guests at a Rock Climbing Wedding?

Yes of course you can have guests at a rock climbing elopement! How you may ask?! Welp, if your guests are also climbers than they can also get to the location the same way you do! If you they are not climbers here are a few options:

  • Pick a location you can climb up to that also has a way to hike up to!
  • Climb before or after the ceremony! A lot of our couples do split days so they spend half of the day just them two and the other half with their family.
  • Rappel down into your ceremony! There are canyons you can rap into but also hike into. This could be a good middle ground and a freaking epic way to enter your ceremony space. Several great examples of this exist in Moab.
a bride and groom rappel down rocks for their elopement. she wears a white dress, while he wears a striped shirt and hiking pants.

How long should I book a photographer for?

We recommend booking us for a split day (which is a full 14 hours) or a two day package for a rock climbing wedding! You want time to enjoy, not feel rushed when climbing, but you also want to think about the overall experience as your wedding day and not rush that either.

Sample timelines from *real* rock climbing elopements:

Split day example from a rock climbing elopement in Joshua Tree

  • Getting ready at Airbnb starting mid morning
  • First look at Airbnb
  • Couple goes for picnic brunch in the park and writes vows
  • Leave the park to go to get tattoos together in Yucca Valley
  • Break for late lunch
  • Re-meet at Real Hidden Valley for climb
  • Vow exchange/ceremony after rap down and sunset portraits
  • Dinner at picnic table in Hidden valley (couple to cook)
  • Star photos on the way out of the park

Two Day example for a rock climbing wedding in Sedona, AZ

  • Meet early morning to hike out to climb
  • Climb 7 pitches/600ft – alternating leads – photo team shooting from different areas and on diff pitches
  • Portraits at the top at sunset as couple has a picnic dinner
  • Rap down during blue hour for more portraits on rope
  • Hike out + star photo


  • Meet before dark to hike into location
  • First look + private vow exchange
  • Hike back out + Break (lunch)
  • Meet back up with couple at separate locations for getting ready photos with family
  • Leave and hike into ceremony
  • Ceremony + group photos
  • Couples sunset portraits
  • Hike out + drive to reception space
  • Reception
A couple poses for a headshot with their camera and climbing gear.

Your Rock Climbing Wedding Photographers!

Hi! We are Traci + Bill!! We totally relate to your love for climbing within your relationship. Our first real date was a multi-pitch spire – Traci’s first climb ever. Since then we love date nights in the boudlering gym, days at the crag and bill will always be in love with desert spires. 

We are here to help you plan + capture your dream climbing wedding day! We know the communication + connection it takes to be belay partners and it is a beautiful way to tie the know 🙂 


I don’t know that Tucker and I can adequately put into words how wonderful, fun, and excellent Traci and Bill are at what they do or recommend them more!! Their overall professionalism and genuine personalities, their attention to detail and meticulous planning, the sheer amount of effort they put in behind the scenes to make everything flow perfectly on the day of, the extent they are willing to go to make your dreams come true on every level, their communication skills and timely responses to any and all questions, not to mention their actual talent level and ability to naturally take perfect photos throughout your entire session while making it feel so effortless and like you’re just outside having fun with a couple close friends, they nailed it all so perfectly They were the definition of under promise and over deliver on all levels, and what they promised already set the bar pretty high. We wanted to have the best of both worlds with an adventure climbing day while also having private vows and a small ceremony with 30 of our closet family and friends and they made that happen! We never felt like we were doing a photo shoot, or had a camera in front of us - we felt completely comfortable as if we were around friends the whole time! They went out of their way to scout and really LEARN a new climb they had never done before when we said that’s what we wanted to do! And then when bad weather rolled in on our scheduled day, they moved it earlier for us! During the whole process they made everything seamless and truly enjoyable! We never worried about a thing! Not only were they amazing to work with, but were so friendly! After spending 2 days with them, we cried having to say goodbye! Bottom line - if you want to adventure and you want the best of the best in all respects DO NOT HESITATE TO BOOK ADVENTURE AND VOW! They are better than words can do justice in every regard.
Chelsee + Tucker
Sedona Rock Climbing Elopement

We Can’t Wait To Hear About Your Plans!

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