It was February, and yes, it was very cold. But, this sunrise elopement was worth it! The couple were the only people present at a normally crowded spot. We had a perfectly clear morning to enjoy the sun rising over a spectacular view. It’s days like this that make me feel so lucky to live in Utah. It’s a privilege to help so many couples explore this beauty. See the joy that we captured at this Zion National Park wedding!
We found ourselves at Canyon Overlook before dawn after hiking with headlamps to catch the sunrise for their Zion elopement. It was only a short hike that got us about a mile into the park while we carried the dress and suit. I always love suggesting sunrise vow readings because it’s such an intentional way to start your day together. You just have to keep in mind that obtaining a Zion wedding permit has lots of limitations for group size and is restricted to specific ceremony spaces.
Nicknamed the “Yosemite of the desert”, photos of Zion National Park show the largest red rock cliffs in the world alongside a canyon with rivers, narrows, and cliffside views. I’ll never get over the red rocks of Utah since it’s one of the only places in the world that you can see them.
Zion National Park in winter gets snowfall which adds a beautiful contrast between the white snow and the red rock. You just have to prepare for the cold! Even though it was freezing, Skye and Isaac kept their spirits up as I captured their love. Isaac did his best to keep his bride warm during their entire session (scroll to see one of our many jacket breaks)!
Even though this couple’s actual wedding day was held in Yosemite, they decided to do a Zion National Park elopement prior to the wedding. Canyon Overlook is actually one of the easiest views to access for a Zion National Park wedding. The hike is only about a mile to this overlook that features the entire canyon. At both sunrise and sunset the view is spectacular following the sun behind the cliffs in the distance.
Many couples opt to read private wedding vows to each other before the ceremony. This can be done during a first look, or as these two did on an entirely separate adventure! There is nothing wrong with doing traditional wedding vows during your ceremony, but sometimes keeping it just between the two of you is such a special time to cherish forever!
Even with elopements, sometimes sharing your deepest love with one another works best as a private moment. Read private vows at a day-before session or during your first look without an officiant or friends and family present. Bonus points for doing this as the sun comes up!
The park is worth it anytime of year with its amazing hikes and incredible views! For a Zion National Park wedding you just have to keep a few factors in mind:
Best during the spring and fall, temperatures can get extremely hot during the summer. I recommend doing any sessions during sunrise or sunset. It’s also only during the busy season in specific summer weeks that you can explore The Narrows due to flash floods. If you want to see some epic snow, definitely come in the winter knowing it will be a bit colder!
Accessibility to certain parts of the park may be closed during the winter months because you have to take a bus/shuttle around to different locations. It can get crowded so there’s almost no parking during busy seasons, and you have to factor in the time it takes to shuttle around the park.