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Zion Brides Planning guide for southwest destination elopements

Including Utah, Arizona, Nevada, California wedding vendors

Planning your wedding in Zion, Sedona, Grand Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands?

Your Zion National Park Wedding Planning Timeline

Planning a wedding can be stressful.  Planning a destination wedding is even more crazy!  Here is a timeline to help you make your Zion wedding absolutely magical! Photos courtesy of Ashley & Justin Photography.


12 Months +  Narrow Down Your Guest List


One of the most important aspects of a destination wedding is how many people you are planning to invite to the wedding.  If you want to get married in Zion National Park, be mindful that each area can accommodate a maximum number of people.  To see these locations and the numbers click here.  

You will also want to decide if you want to provide lodging for your guests, or will they be responsible to find their own accommodations?  Some brides love to book a venue like The Red Rock Villa so all her guests can stay with her and enjoy a fun adventure together.  Or you may want to reach out to a hotel in the area to reserve a block of rooms and allow your guests to pay for them but remain close to the group.  

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12 Months +  Set a Budget


This one should really be in conjunction with your guest list.  The easiest way to make you Zion wedding more affordable is simply to invite fewer people.  This post will help you get down to the nitty gritty on the budget.


12 Months +  Hire a Wedding Planner/Coordinator

You can learn the difference between a wedding planner and coordinator here.  It is highly advised you hire someone to help you plan your Zion National Park wedding.  From transportation in the park, to lighting, to the right venue for you, Zion can be a tricky place to get married for those unfamiliar with the area.  A wedding professional will be a lifesaver to help you navigate!

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12 Months +  Secure Your Venue


Zion National Park weddings are becoming more popular every year.  With the growth of new weddings, wedding venues can be difficult to come by, especially on high demand weekends.  Once you know how many people you need to accommodate, start securing those venues.


12 Months +  Hire Your Photographer

Most lists put hiring a photographer somewhere around the 9 month mark, but don't delay in finding your Zion Photographer.  Professionals who are familiar with the area book quickly, so don't delay!  Here are some tips on helping you find the right photographer for you!






9 Months- Send Save the Dates


With a destination wedding, it is important your guests have ample time to make arrangements.  Sending save the dates gives them plenty of heads up.



9 Months- Put Together Your Wedding Party


Picking the people to support you on your big day is so important!  Not only will you be asking them to stand by you, you will also be asking them to travel for you!


9 Months- Pick Your Other Vendors

The DJ, caterer, videographer, florist, officiant, and cake artist.  This is the time to book them all!

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6 Months- Plan the Honeymoon

Is Zion also your honeymoon?  Or are you planning to travel elsewhere?  Now is the time to book the tickets to your next adventure!


6 Months- Book Your Rentals

Tables, chairs, linens, and even your decor; make sure you reserve them all.  You can easily book Zion rentals by using Legacy Event Rental's wish list.



6 Months-  Apply for your Zion Wedding Permit


If you want to get married in the park, you will need a permit.  You need to apply at least 3 weeks in advance, but spots can fill up quickly, so make sure you apply now here.  8 weeks in advance is more than ample time; but a destination wedding requires more time.  


4 Months- Finalize Your Timeline

Keep in mind, the light can be tricky in Zion.  Make sure you work with your planner and photographer to ensure you have the perfect light for your perfect moments.


4 Months- Mail Your Invitations

Even though you already let your guests know about the big day, your invitations will give them all the addresses and info they need for the big day!  For a typical wedding,


3 Months-  Finalize Ceremony and Wedding Details

Do you want someone to read a poem at your ceremony?  What do you want to dance to?  Decide if you will do dances with parents, or better yet, take dance lessons and really take it up a notch.  

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6 Weeks- Wrap Up Final Details


Did you decide to do a garter toss?  Make sure you purchased it.  Make sure you have all the little details.  One important, last minute item, is to get party favors for your guests.  


2 Weeks- Break in the Shoes

You don't want blisters when walking down the isle.  


2 Weeks-  Check in With Vendors

Check in with all your vendors to make sure everything is ready to go!  Your photographer should have a shot list ready to go.  Getting everything finalized will allow you to relax on the big day!


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Our online inspo publication, started in 2018, has helped countless brides find everything from how to build their dream wedding to the vendors that can make it all possible.  We've achieved our mission of becoming the top site for adventure couples and destination brides and want you to see why!  Our staff has years of experience in the industry and loves showcasing the work of the talented members of the Southern Utah wedding collective.  Need Inspo?  Need Tips?  Need Vendors?  Let Zion Brides be your guide...

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