Zion National Park Wedding Photographers
Southern Utah is home to some incredible diverse landscapes, you can find a different and amazing view driving almost any direction out of St. George. Of those amazing landscapes, few are as dramatic and breathtaking as Zion National Park. The sandstone canyon walls rise up to 2000 feet from the valley floor, placing them among the tallest sandstone cliffs in the world! We feel so fortunate to have this incredible park at our doorstep and we would love nothing more than to share it with you!
Getting Married in Zion National Park
If you want to say your vows within the boundaries of this majestic park, you’ll need to follow the guidelines of the Park Service. You’ll need to attain a special use permit and submit it, along with the $100 application fee, at least three weeks in advance. The Park has given specific guidelines that you’ll want to keep in mind as you plan:
Wedding permits do not give exclusive access to the area. The area will remain open to the general public who will be allowed to view the wedding activities.
Any and all decorations will need prior approval.
Throwing anything like rice or confetti and releasing wildlife like birds or butterflies is strictly prohibited.
No broadcasting systems will be allowed, noise shouldn’t exceed normal speaking levels.
Basically, observe a strict Leave No Trace policy and plan for a low key, small affair. You can find all of the guidelines for having a wedding in the Park on the application info PDF.
Wedding Locations in Zion National Park
As you fill out your application, you’ll also want to consider which one of the six location options you’d like for your ceremony. At this time, Zion does not allow for ceremonies, no matter the group size, outside of these six locations, even if you’re eloping. Keep in mind, the accommodation limit applies to all in attendance, including yourself, the officiant, wedding party and any other vendors (like ourselves).
Temple of Sinewava
The Temple of Sinewava is located at the end of the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, at the trailhead for the Narrows. This road is closed to all traffic except the Park shuttle service between April and October. If you decide you want chairs, they’ll need to be folding chairs so you can take them on the shuttle with you. This location sits along the bank of the Virgin River and can accommodate up to 35 people total.
Menu Falls a little alcove and waterfall seep located about a half mile north of Big Bend, the 8th stop on the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive shuttle. A small wooden deck that can accommodate up to 10 people sits in front of the falls. The falls are rather small creating a peaceful and serene place to exchange your vows to the quite sound of running water.
The Zion Lodge Lawn is the second largest location available, allowing up to 75 people in the shade of the giant cottonwood tree. As the name implies, the lawn is located in front of the Zion Lodge, the 5th stop of the shuttle system.
Nature Center North Lawn
The Nature Center North Lawn is only available from September to early May, during the off-season. It can accommodate up to 50 people and faces north, offering views down the main Zion Canyon (though this view is partially obscured by trees).
South Campground Amphitheater
The South Campground Amphitheater is the largest of the venues inside Zion National Park, allowing for a total of 100 people. The Civilian Conservation Corps built this amphitheater in 1934-35 in typical stonework made from the red sandstone, to match the rustic aesthetic of the surrounding park. The amphitheater has a stage and bench seating facing west with views of the Mt. Kinesava, the West Temple and the Altar of Sacrifice.
Timber Creek Overlook
The Timber Creek Overlook is probably the most secluded of all the sanctioned Zion National Park wedding locations. Located in the lesser-visited Kolob Canyon's section of the park, which is accessed via Exit 40 on I-15, this overlook offers a stunning view from the top of the ridge line. The short stroll and 20 person (4 car) capacity make this an ideal place for an intimate wedding ceremony. The Kolob Canyons Road will be closed for construction from 5/1/2018 throughout the fall of 2018. All of the hikes in this region will be totally inaccessible, including this overlook.
Wedding Portraits in Zion National Park
While the Park is restrictive on where you can host a ceremony, thankfully, they allow us to shoot portraits anywhere the general public is allowed to access. So even though we can’t hold your ceremony at your favorite viewpoint, we can certainly get there and snag some epic portraits of you there!
Engagements in Zion National Park
Like wedding portraits, Zion National Parks lets us shoot anywhere the general public is allowed to access and they don't require that we secure a permit ahead of time. That means we can go to any of the numerous epic locations located inside the park. We love going to the east end of the park, past the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel. This side of the park is full of slot canyons, sandstone cliffs, and views of the parks major peaks and we aren't limited by the shuttle system.
When should you go to Zion National Park?
Zion National Park is one of the busiest National Parks in the nation, and it's getting busier every year. In 2015, more 3.5 million people visited it's majestic cliffs followed by more than 4 million the very next year. The peak season runs between April and October, during these months, the Park runs a shuttle service and restricts access to the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive to all other traffic. The Scenic Drive provides access to some of Zion's most popular hikes including the Narrows, Angel's Landing, and the Emerald Pools. In the middle of that peak season, you'll also need to prepare for the Southern Utah summers. Running from May to September, the heat of the day will have temperatures exceeding 100°F (37°C) and will rarely cool below 80°F (26°C), even at night. If you the summer months are the only time you can come to Zion, come prepared to be patient and to drink lots of water.
We, personally, prefer the off-season months that range from October to April. The cooler temperatures allow for more comfortable hiking and it's much easier to avoid crowds. Winter in Zion tends to be pretty mild in comparison to many other places. The highs are usually between 50-60°F (10-15°C). Snow fall is not uncommon, though it rarely hangs around for more than a couple of hours at the lower elevations. The snow will stick to the cracks in the sandstone cliff walls creating a gorgeous contrast you can't find in any other season.