Get ready for a very photo-heavy blog post, because this one is worth sharing every moment! After finding out that Lyndsey was being deployed again, she and Josh decided that before she left they wanted to seal the deal and finally get married. Zion National Park was somewhere that Lyndsey had been so excited to see, so after reviewing a bunch of different options, they finally decided that Zion was the place where they wanted to get married.
We started the day at 3 am in the hotel lobby in Springdale, just outside of the park - not completely awake but still super committed to catching the sunrise on their wedding day over the gorge. We drove up to the trailhead and bundled up for our hike. At around 30° that morning, it definitely called for layers! But we quickly shed them as we got our blood pumping. We hiked for about an hour and a half in the dark, not seeing much besides the stars, the glittering ice crystals, and whatever the headlamps showed on the trail. When we finally arrived, it was still pretty dark and the moon was still out, so they took in the moment, Josh took a little siesta on the rocks, and we waited for a bit more daylight to begin.
About halfway through the blue hour, Lyndsey traded her leggings in for a skirt, we put her hairpiece in, and Josh wrapped a shawl around her to keep her warm. They held each other as they took in the sights and watched the lights from the headlamps of people hiking Angels Landing down below. As avid hikers, these two have seen some pretty amazing sights! But something about experiencing this moment on your wedding day makes it so much more special.
Just before the sun peaked up over the landscape to the east, Lyndsey & Joshua each had a shot of tequila! It's their celebratory drink of choice for all special occasions, so champagne definitely wasn't going to cut it. Afterward, they walked over towards the east-facing overlook and watched the sunrise over the horizon together. It was a bit cold and windy still, so the warmth from the sun was very much welcomed!
They spent their final moments at the overlook reading private words to one another from their vow books that they would later read from during their wedding ceremony. When they were finished, we took a photo of their notes with the elevation marker, though I was verrry nervous about them blowing off of the cliff! And another risk - a local chipmunk was running around and seemed pretty interested in them as well, but luckily they were perfectly ok, though the chipmunk was not convinced that we didn't have any snacks to share.
We hiked back out, and as we were leaving, many more people were on their way towards the overlook. I always get a kick out of seeing people's faces when they see couples hiking in their wedding attire! So funny when people pretend they don't notice anything too. The drive back from the trailhead through the park was absolutely stunning! If you ever find yourself in the area, I highly recommend a ride on the Mt. Carmel Highway - definitely a beautiful experience! And you don't have to ride the shuttle to do so.
We took a break for a few hours, grabbed lunch, got some rest, and then met back up at the Zion National Park visitor center to catch the shuttle to the Temple of Sinawava...
Once we arrived at the Temple of Sinawava area, we were on the lookout for a great spot to hold their ceremony that might have a bit of privacy, though it was hard because it's in the same area as The Narrows, so lots of hikers around. We settled on a spot right on the river, but with enough rocks that would allow them to lay their ceremony rug down and stay dry. It was so beautiful being down inside the canyon for this part of the day!
After the ceremony, we rode the shuttle back to the visitor center and parted ways. They spent their evening having dinner and wine on the patio of their hotel with their guests, looking out into the gorge - the perfect way to end a very long but exciting day.
Everything about this wedding day was pure magic! Late October in Southern Utah has some pretty great weather, and the timing we planned to ensure that we had the right lighting in the right moments worked out perfectly. I'm so grateful to have been there to document the experience with them and help them tell their story! Congratulations again, Lyndsey & Joshua!
Notes about Eloping in Zion National Park
1.) Zion National Park allows you to have pictures taken pretty much anywhere, but they do have limited locations where they allow wedding ceremonies to happen, no matter how big your guest list is. It's essential that you obtain a permit (only $100 right now) and register the event with their office
2.) Because of how popular the park has become, you do have to take a shuttle to access many locations within the park and parking at the Visitor Center is very limited. If you're planning a wedding, be sure to plan for extra time for the shuttle through town to the Visitor Center and then for the shuttle from the Visitor Center through the park!
3.) I'm a Leave No Trace certified photographer, so I teach all of my couples to respect the environment. Stay on the trails, pack in what you pack out, be respectful of the wildlife and other visitors, and don't damage the environment. Check out lnt.org for more details.
Considering Zion National Park for your wedding day? Check out the all-inclusive wedding photography & guide package available for Utah elopements online at www.wildnorthweddings.com/utah and find out why becoming a Wild North Weddings couple is the best way to start your adventure wedding experience!
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Hey there! I'm Carly D'Angelo-Hall - a photographer specializing in documenting weddings and elopements across the U.S. If you love adventure, experiencing new things, and if you like to live "outside of the box", let's talk about how I can help you create and capture the wedding day of your dreams! Visit wildnorthweddings.com to view all-inclusive wedding day and adventure session packages.
Zion National Park Wedding and Adventure Elopement Photographer - Photographing weddings in St. George, Moab, Salt Lake City, Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and more!