I try to keep most of my locations low-key and under the radar. Especially locations that have yet to be discovered by the masses, but Snow Canyon State Park is well known amongst locals, tourists, photographers, and Instagrammers alike. Located just five minutes outside of Saint George, Utah, a major destination city with all of the amenities you could ever want, including a growing airport, it’s no wonder that Snow Canyon is no longer the hidden secret it once was. Even with its popularity, it’s still easy on all but the busiest weekends to find a secluded spot for an elopement.
Are you interested in a Snow Canyon State Park Elopement? Great! You should be, it’s seriously amazing, and easy. Here are the necessary steps to make sure you follow the rules and have an amazing elopement!
I can’t emphasize this enough, permits are required for weddings and elopements alike, as well as commercial photography. If you are paying someone to take your photos there, then they need a permit. If your photography says don’t worry about it, we won’t get caught…PLEASE, do yourself and the park a favor and find someone else. Given that the average wedding venue can cost between 1,000 and 3,000+ dollars a permit is a cheap way to secure an amazing location. Plus the more we post your amazing photos, the more people that are going to want to elope there increasing the need for more workers, etc. Your permit fee goes right back into taking care of and preserving this amazing location for your kids, or if you don’t plan on having kids then for your friends’ kids. Seriously, permits are GREAT! and they are easy to get.
- The basic permit fee to get married is $100.00. Add on $25 for every vendor from photographer to videographer, to caterers. If someone is getting paid to be there, they need to pay a vendor fee. There is a $10 entrance fee for each vehicle entering the park. From there, fees can increase depending on the location you are getting married at.
- You must submit your permit AT LEAST 3 WEEKS before your event, ideally sooner.
- And my favorite part, THEY ONLY ISSUE 1 WEDDING PERMIT A DAY. That way you are guaranteed to not have to share your big day with another party.
- There are several blackout days where weddings are not allowed. These generally include most holiday weekends. It’s crazy crowded so you probably would want to avoid the area anyway.
- You must submit your application for a permit through e-mail to Snow Canyon State Park.
There are specific locations where you are allowed to elope at Snow Canyon and trust me there are the most beautiful. They aren’t trying to hold back on us, they give us the best options. Below is a list of the locations:
- Snow Canyon Overlook – talk about views! This easily accessible location is located right off the highway and gives you stunning views of the entire park. It faces west, so if you plan to get married here I’d definitely recommend a sunset ceremony
- Petrified Dunes – Have you ever heard of the wave? It’s an amazing sandstorm formation located near Arizona that is notoriously hard to get a permit for. Well, this formation is very similar to the wave. It’s got expansive areas of gorgeous wavy Slickrock. It’s also pretty popular so on busy days you may only be able to park 5 cars in the parking lot.
- Sand Dunes – I love sand dune weddings. Barefoot couples eloping in the windswept sand is just so dreamy. If you choose to get married here in the summer do it very early, that sand heats up and can be incredibly hot, it’s the opposite in the winter where the sand can be freezing on bare feet in the morning.
- Lower Galoot – the only option for large parties between 25 – 50 people. The bonus is that it has picnic tables and amenities. It does require an additional reservation fee, please see below.
There are some very reasonable and important regulations to follow. The most important being:
- Group sizes cannot exceed 50 people and ten vehicles. However, most of the sites where weddings are allowed only up to 25 people so please keep that in mind. If you have more than 25 people you will need to reserve the Lower Galoot spot which requires a reservation fee in addition to the permit. It still is reasonable at $60 for 3 hours, with $20 for each additional hour.
- Keep your wedding minimal. If it wasn’t naturally there or already there, don’t bring it. No drones, PA systems, or other sound systems, including mini Bluetooth speakers. No signs, balloons, etc. There is also no throwing of rice, birdseed, or any confetti-like substance. Birdseed can introduce non-native species into the area, confetti is litter unless you manage to pick it all up, which trust me you won’t, and rice can be eaten by the wildlife which is not what we want.
- Don’t have any fires, pretty self-explanatory.
- Stay on the trail! The desert is a very, very, very fragile ecosystem. Vegetation can be damaged by just one or two people walking on it. So please make sure you stay on the trail and that all of your wedding guests do the same.
Want ALL of the specific information? Check out Snow Canyon State Park’s wedding information page by clicking here (https://stateparks.utah.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/13/2021/12/Planning-a-Wedding-in-Snow-Canyon-2022.pdf)