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Why You Should Have Your Wedding in the Southwest (with Top Tips)

Why You Should Have Your Wedding in the Southwest (with Top Tips)
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Featured Photo by Escape & Adventure

For the most epic wedding photographs, there's nowhere like here! The Southwest is known for its unique scenery, and if there’s one thing that takes wedding photographs to the next level, it’s love in the wild...

For anyone who has visited the amazing Southwest region of the United States, it’s easy to see why so many couples are choosing to elope here! From the stunning scenery of Big Sur to the jaw-dropping Grand Canyon, there are countless vistas where couples can tie the knot! The real question is: How can you narrow it down to just one location?!

More and more couples every year are opting to ditch formal weddings in favor of a more laid-back atmosphere, and this area is the perfect place for just that. Bringing the wedding to the wild tends to put everything into perspective in the most important ways. Couples who follow ZB typically spend time with their loved ones in the outdoors leading up to the big day, creating memories for everyone involved.

Photo by Kindred + Co.


Planning a destination wedding can be challenging. When you plan to hold your big day right in your hometown, you can visit vendors in person, load things up in several vehicles, and head to the venue (of course, it can be a little tougher than that). Destination weddings, on the other hand, are a much bigger affair. They usually involve getting everyone on a plane with a bag of luggage, dresses and suits stowed away, with the couple never having even met their planner in person. So here are the top tips for planning a wedding from afar:

1. Hire an Awesome Planner!

Even under the easiest of circumstances, a wedding is a taxing venture. Getting married is literally in the top ten list of most stressful life events. The way to make it through it all is to have an incredible ally by your side. Odds are your wedding planner knows the venues and vendors at your destination better than anyone, so you know you will be getting the best people to serve you on the big day.

Most planners will also let you ship things to them directly, so the items you need for the wedding will be there waiting for you when you arrive. Instead of running around and rapidly trying to get things situated, you will be able to enjoy your time with the people you love the most.

2. Find a Photographer Who Specializes in Your Location

When you come to the Southwest, you're surrounded by incredible scenery-- and nothing will feel as good as knowing your photographer will capture it the way you imagined it. This area is home to some of the best vistas in the world, but it also poses its own sense of challenges.

Those towering cliffs of Zion are breathtaking, but they also block the sun. Planning a timeline in Zion requires an experienced photographer who can work hand in hand with your planner to make sure the lighting is perfect for the moment when you say “I do.”

"After the big question is popped and a "yes" is exclaimed, the wedding planner is the first vendor to hire - especially when planning a destination wedding. A wedding planner will know your location well and who will be the best vendors to work with. And most important, make sure you and your planner's personalities are a good fit. We'll spend lots of time together, and we will all want to enjoy every second of our collaborative journey."

-Kristin & Ally • Poppy Lane Events

3. Plan to Have Fun!

The reason most couples skip the traditional wedding is because they want the experience to be more fun and free. So plan hikes, jeep trips, bike rides, and other adventures! Instead of traditional party favors, treat your guests to an event they won’t forget. Ask your planner to help you coordinate these things so you can get the most out of your adventure wedding. Don’t forget to apply that sunscreen and drink plenty of water. It’s dry here in the Southwest, and the sun is almost always shining!

"Here are a few things you may want to do on your elopement day-- pick something you're comfortable with, OR something you've always wanted to try: 

Go off-roading! I am equipped with just about all the gear to do as mild or extreme off-roading as you want!

There are about a million hiking trails with breathtaking views both inside, and outside the parks!

Go for a drive!
I know of some very private lookouts that we can take a drive to, taking in all of the scenery and stopping for photos along the way!

Helicopter rides!
There are many options with the company in my elopement guide, from short to long tours with views you will only be able to see from the sky!"


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ZB Wedding Magazine | Spring 2023

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The Top Resource for Adventure Couples & Destination Brides
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ZB Team Since 2018

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Welcome to ZION BRIDES

Our online inspo publication, started in 2018, has helped countless couples 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 destination weddings in the Southwest and want you to see why!  Our staff has years of experience in the industry and shares top tips, inspo, vendors, and more!  Let Zion Brides be your guide...

Zion Brides is honored to serve couples looking to have their destination wedding or elopement in and around places like Zion National Park, Moab, Grand Canyon, Sedona, Big Sur, and more. 


Need some ideas?  Looking for planners or venues?  Start here...