Stunning landscapes, sprawling canyons and towering orange rocks make the most epic environment for a Moab elopement. The desert is its own kind of beautiful, a vast seemingly desolate landscape, that holds so much opportunity for adventure. If you’re thinking about running away to the desert with your lover, we love to hear it, and we are most definitely here for it. With five different national and state parks, there are so many unique experiences and adventures waiting to be explored for the most perfect elopement day!
A stunning sunrise to sunset moab elopement
One thing we absolutely love about the desert is the amazing color that comes with each part of the day. It’s so cool to see the different shadows dance across the terrain, changing with each coming hour. The sunrise in the desert, is no exception, and is definitely worth waking up early for!
sunrise in desert country
Byron + Nayeli started their Moab elopement day off by meeting in the desert at sunrise, just the two of them. As the sun came up in full force above the canyon walls, the couple did a little bit of off-roading in the car and then hiked up some rocks until they made it to a little mesa that overlooked a gorge. Byron + Nayeli had packed an adorable little breakfast picnic to enjoy between the two of them for their sunrise adventure. The couple said that they really loved having this time together in the morning to cherish between the two of them before their big day. They were also stoked that they got to do some adventuring and really soak in the beauty of their elopement location, because it’s hard to come to Moab and not do any sort of adventuring in this gorgeous place!
For more desert wedding inspiration, check out this Utah elopement in Moab!
the moab elopement
We get excited for Moab elopements, because they really are gorgeous in their own way. The desert is a vast, arid landscape composed of ancient sandstone and deep chiseled valleys carved gradually by time, water and wind. Because of all the stunning landscapes and unique climate, there’s so much versatility to work with when it comes to planning an elopement in the desert. It’s notorious for being desolate (in the most breathtaking way!) so it’s easy to either dress it up or down depending on the vibe you’re going for. So many artistic professionals look to the desert for design inspiration because of its minimalistic environment. You literally don’t have to lift a finger to achieve that bohemian, desert-chic, modern, urban-boho (seriously there are whole trends named after the desert 😅) ambiance, basically making you look like a wedding planning/interior design pro.
choosing a moab elopement
As desert lovers, Byron + Nayeli chose Moab as the destination for their elopement because it holds a special place in their hearts. They travel out West on a road trip every year, and Moab has always been an important stop on the itinerary because of its beauty and adventures.
Moab is home to two national parks and one state park, which is pretty notable for such a small area. There are also so many other locations and cool features to see that are outside of the parks, with varying accessibility for everyone. The couple knew that they wanted to have their ceremony overlooking one of Moab’s most notorious canyons, which just so happened to be in Nayeli’s favorite park in Moab. We met up a few hours later after their sunrise adventure and when the couple was finished getting ready at their AirBnB, we headed off to the ceremony spot.
elopement ceremony overlooking a canyon
This was the first time that Byron + Nayeli’s families were coming together, so they chose Moab because it was such a special and beautiful place that they wanted to share with them. Nayeli’s family travelled all the way from Mexico to Moab to be present for their elopement, and it was very important for the couple to incorporate them into their day. The couple included some Mexican traditions into their ceremony, which was so cool to see, and one of Nayeli’s close friends even translated the ceremony from English to Spanish. They both really included their families in their day and thoroughly embraced each other’s cultures. Byron even read his vows to Nayeli in Spanish (we’re not crying, you’re crying 😭) which made it such a genuine and special moment. It was clear to see that the couples’ families had some major influences in their lives and it was amazing to see how they honored them.
It was so awesome to see the love between everyone, especially since the families were just meeting for the very first time. The couple exchanged rings as the canyon behind them turned a deep shade of orange in the afternoon sun, and their family watched on with tears and smiles.
first dance at golden hour
After the ceremony, we settled on a gorgeous overlook as the perfect place for the couple to have their reception. Byron + Nayeli cut their wedding cake and shared cupcakes with one another as we all toasted to the desert’s newest newlyweds!
Framed by towering orange rocks on one side, and a canyon on the other, the couple shared their first dance as their families watched on. The sun was shining more intensely as it sank lower in the sky, bathing the couple in golden sunlight. Elongated shadows bounced across the canyon as they danced and twirled around in the sand. Nayeli then shared a first dance with her father. Again, you could see how important family was to the couple and the touching ways that they incorporated them into their day. Her family watched on, tearing up at the genuine father-daughter moment.
sunset on an epic moab elopement day
Earlier we mentioned how epic the sunrises in the desert are…. now let us tell you about the sunsets 😍! The desert gets some of the most epic sunsets due to the dry and clean air which means more color wavelengths are able to shine through, leading to more colorful sunsets (yeah science!).
When golden hour came around, Byron + Nayeli said goodbye to their family for a little bit while we went out to do some sunset exploring. We made our way to an epic sunset spot where we could see out over the canyon and distant pinnacles of rocks. We spent the last hour or so of the day venturing around, climbing on rocks and taking in as much of the epic views as we could. The sun was turning an intense hue now, shining a vivid orange on the couple as they soaked in the magic of the moment. Its wavelengths reached as far as they could before the sun took one final bow and dipped below the horizon, its last gesture to their epic elopement day.
more Moab adventure elopements
Rumor has it that Moab gets its name from biblical references, referring to a place that is just short of the promised land. With towering rock monuments reminiscent of ancient kings and queens, as well as spellbinding sunrises and sunsets, we can definitely see why it gets its name. Moab is FILLED with adventures waiting to be had. People come from all over the world to the small town of Moab to get their adventure on, from rafting the Colorado River, legendary rock climbing, epic mountain biking, hiking beneath incredible arches and sooo much more. But it gets even better; Moab is also one of the most amazing places to see the stars at night because of how little light pollution it gets in the desert. With five national and state parks, there are so many adventurous routes to take, and we haven’t even scratched the surface. Guess that means we’ll just have to go back to do some more exploring! 😎
Check out our favorite places to elope in Utah!
Sound like we're the one's for you?
Let's do this.