couple kissing at the flagstaff wedding in golden aspen trees

Elopement Planning Resources

Flagstaff Wedding Planning Guide |Tips, Venues, Packages & more

October 5, 2023





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Husband & Wife Elopement Photography & Videography Team
Based in Sedona, Arizona, ready for any adventure!

Meet Caitlyn & Chad


Why you should get married in Flagstaff

Flagstaff, Arizona is one of those towns that wins the hearts of everyone who visits. Locals and people from out of state choose to get married in this little mountain town because of the weather, the trees and mountains, and the charm! If you aren’t familiar with this town you may accidentally plan your wedding during a time of year where there are still chances for snow or you may miss the peak autumn leaves. After recreating in Flagstaff for over seven years and photographing many weddings and elopements in this town that I thought it was about time to compile all of my knowledge into one place to help make your dream wedding happen. 

Here at Wilder West we do specialize in elopements but we also photograph intimate weddings with less than 75 people in the Flagstaff area! If you are interested in working with us, contact us here! We can’t wait to hear more about your magical mountain wedding!

Let’s chat about your Flagstaff wedding or elopement!

couple kissing at their flagstaff wedding in aspen trees

How to Get to Flagstaff, Arizona

Flying in & airports

If you or your loved ones are coming from out of town for your Flagstaff wedding there are a couple of options for flying in. There is a small airport located right in Flagstaff but there are only a handful of flights that come in from out of town. You can expect less flight options as well as higher ticket prices. The more popular option is to fly into Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport just 2.5 hours south of Flagstaff. If you are planning a bigger road trip to see more sights around the southwest another good option would be the Las Vegas Airport which is a 3.5 hour drive.

Major Highways

The main highway that you’ll be taking to get to Flagstaff from Phoenix is the I-17. If you are coming from Las Vegas then the main highway you will take is the I-40. 

General Transportation

I’d highly recommend renting a car from the airport since Arizona doesn’t have a lot of great public transportation options. Once you arrive in Flagstaff there is a public bus service but it has limited stops. A car will be the best way to get around town to see sites and go to trails. 

couple kissing at their wedding in the aspens in flagstaff arizona

Destinations Close By to Arizona

If you want to add some day trips to your time in Arizona, here are some of my favorite destinations that are close by.

  • Jerome, Arizona: An old-mining town with lots of ghost stories and ton s of character that is only a 40 minute drive away.
  • Sedona, Arizona: Only a 30 minute to 1 hour drive depending on the part of town you are in! This is a magical red desert mountain town that is filled with all things spiritual and adventure! There are tons of hikes and incredible places to eat!
  • Grand Canyon National Park (south entrance): While you’re in town you should definitely check out one of the world’s seven wonders since it’s only a 2 hour drive! Stop along in Flagstaff, and then watch the sunset at the Grand Canyon. I promise it’ll be stunning!
  • Page, Arizona: If you’ve ever dreamed of seeing Horseshoe Bend or Lake Powell in person, then you need to add a day trip to Page! It’s a 3 hour drive through the Painted Desert aka beautiful red mountains and canyons. Book a tour through a slot canyon while you’re there to get the full Arizona experience.

Best Wedding Venues in Flagstaff

couple laughing at their engagement session in flagstaff

Best Elopement Locations in Flagstaff

We absolutely LOVE being a part of elopements in Flagstaff! We spend so much of our free time recreating in the mountains so we know of TONS of hidden gem locations. As your Flagstaff elopement photographer I can help you find stunning locations that fit your vision, accessibility needs, and the level of adventure that you are looking for!

  • Hart Prairie
  • Chapel of the Holy Dove
  • Lockett Meadow
  • Your favorite campsite
  • Local Secret Spots
  • Small towns near Flagstaff
couple kissing in autumn aspen trees in Flagstaff arizona

How to Legally Get Married in Flagstaff, Arizona

Marriage license and laws

You’re in luck because Arizona is one of the easiest states to get married in! I like to joke and say it’s almost TOO easy! All you’ll need to do before your Flagstaff wedding is to get an Arizona marriage license from any of the state’s courthouses. Flagstaff does have a courthouse right in downtown and I highly recommend stopping in to get your license here. One of the perks of the Flagstaff Courthouse is that you do not need to schedule an appointment and you rarely have to wait more than 5 minutes. You will need a government issued ID and $83 in cash, cashier’s check, or money order. Arizona’s marriage license does not have a waiting period so you can use it on the same day. I recommend getting it the day before at the earliest.

Wedding Permits

If you are considering having a wedding in the forest and not at a designated venue or VRBO then that means you will most likely be in Coconino National Forest lands. As of 2023, Coconino National Forest only requires a permit if there will be more than 75 people at the event. Please contact the Coconino National Forest ranger station for more details about your event to confirm whether or not it will need a permit.

Meet Caitlyn and Chad, your dream Flagstaff Wedding & Elopement Photographer and Videographer Duo

Hello!! We are the Wilder West Team! We are a husband and wife photo video team based in sunny Sedona and Flagstaff, Arizona. Caitlyn is the lead photographer and your personal elopement guide aka elopement wizard, question-answerer, location scouter, and designated hype woman. Chad is the lead videographer who you can expect to supply all the dad jokes, carrier of the Mary Poppins backpack, and mountain goat to get all the rad shots! We’ve been lucky enough to call this place our home for the past 7 years, going on 100+ adventures with couples from all over the world. 

We’d love to show you around our home & help you plan your dream Flagstaff elopement experience.

We believe that all couples deserve to have an adventurous and meaningful wedding experience that reflects them and their love. Let’s work together to design your “best day” from start to finish. We can’t wait to hear all about what you are dreaming for your elopement experience so we can work together to make it happen seamlessly and care free.

Learn more about us!

wedding couple hiking in aspen trees in flagstaff

Best Time of Year & Seasons for a Flagstaff Wedding

Summer Flagstaff Wedding (June-September):

Craving luscious green mountains, vivid sunsets, and comfortable temperatures? Summer is the most popular season for Flagstaff weddings and elopements. The opportunity for adventure is truly endless since the temperatures hardly get above 85 degrees, especially in the dense forest or high elevation mountains. If you’re interested in hiking, camping, foraging, or kayaking then this could be the time for you!

One thing to consider is the possibility for afternoon rain and thunderstorms. July-September is monsoon season here in AZ and it’s when we get the bulk of our rainfall for the year. In Flagstaff it typically looks like rain sometime between 11am-3pm. This isn’t the kind of rain that ruins wedding days, especially if it’s an elopement style day. It’s hard to plan for the rain exactly so we make the most out of it. I always have 10 clear umbrellas in the back of my car for this exact reason. One of the perks of these storms is the sunset afterwards. I promise you’ve never seen another sunset like one after an AZ monsoon 🙂 If you love wildflowers then I suggest having an August or September wedding date.

Fall Flagstaff Wedding (October & November):

Believe it or not, autumn in Flagstaff is pure, golden magic. In October and November you can expect to see colorful trees all around town. You won’t have to travel far to find yellow groves of aspen. Some spots in Flagstaff can be super busy so I always recommend sticking to a weekday to avoid crowds. Typically the second and third week of October are peak fall colors so if you’re determined to have that make sure you pick your date accordingly. Some of my favorite activities to do during an fall flagstaff elopement include hiking, going on a gondola ride, star-gazing, and going downtown to get some coffee to warm up! 

Winter Flagstaff Wedding (December-May):

Flagstaff is one of the most underrated winter elopement locations in the country. While most go to Colorado for the snowy mountains you can also just drive two hours north of Phoenix and get some incredible snow and views! Winter in Flagstaff is very different than most of the country because while the town gets on average 100+ inches of snow each season, it’s also sunny the majority of days! This makes recreating in the snow even more fun and a lot more comfortable.

We are avid downhill and cross-country skiers so we know of some incredible spots if you want to do this on your winter elopement. It’s been our dream to help plan and document a winter elopement where you either ski or snowshoe to a backcountry hut (seriously, how FUN would that be!?). Some other activities you can do at your winter Flagstaff wedding clue going to a cafe or brewery, planning some time by a campfire, or keep cozy in your cabin! It is important to keep in mind that Flagstaff gets winter weather through May and there is always the chance that there is snow on the ground. If you want snow on your wedding day then I’d suggest having a January or early February wedding.

Spring Flagstaff Wedding (April & May):

Spring is probably the least popular season to get married in Flagstaff because it is very unpredictable. As mentioned above, there can be winter weather through May and it doesn’t quit fully warm up until the end of May. Many trails and forest roads stay closed until May so there are more limited options. You can also expect it to be very windy most days! Overall spring weddings in Flagstaff can be a little tricky so I’d suggest sticking to the other months.

flagstaff elopement in the forest

Activity Ideas for your Flagstaff Elopement

  • hiking
  • stargazing
  • brewery hopping
  • camping
  • foraging
  • hammocking
  • kayaking
  • skiing- alpine or nordic
  • gondola ride 
flagstaff wedding

Where to Stay in Flagstaff

Flagstaff Wedding & Elopement Packages

  • Offering 4 hour, 6 hour, 8 hour, 10 hour, and 2 day Packages
  • Unlimited planning assistance including help with locations, timeline building, permits, wedding licenses, & more.
  • Exclusive list of location ideas for your elopement
  • Custom day of timeline & itinerary 
  • Online gallery with your epic photos with personal printing rights
  • The option to have me sign off as your ordained officiant if you want to a completely private, just the two of you elopement.
  • The option to add on my awesome, adventurous ordained officiant to your package.
  • No travel fees since I’m a local!!

Photo Only Packages Beginning at $4500

Photo & Video Packages Beginning at $7000

Contact Us Now to Start Chatting About Your Flagstaff Wedding!

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