Utah Elopement Packages and Guide 2022 - adventureamore.com
A couple at their sunset Dead Horse Point Utah elopement

Utah Elopement Packages and Guide 2022

Updated April 7, 2022 by Adventure Amore

A couple at their sunrise Arches elopement

Once you’ve decided to take the leap and elope, one of the first questions you’ll have is how to find the right elopement package. And if you’re thinking of eloping in a popular spot like Utah, you’ll find that there are a TON of options out there. So how do you find the one that’s right for you? 

That’s why I put together this guide, my Amores. Your elopement day should be one of the best days of your lives, and choosing the right Utah elopement package is the first step toward making sure that your day lives up to your dreams. This guide takes you step by step through a series of questions designed to help you narrow down what’s most important to you and what to look for to help you make the right choice. 

Why Elope in Utah?

Let’s start with a little bit about why Utah is an amazing place for elopements. Whether you’re a Utah local or you’re looking for an epic destination elopement, there are so many places to explore that you’re sure to find the right spot for your unique day. If you are a couple who loves adventure, or if you just want a jaw-dropping backdrop for your special day, you really can’t go wrong in Utah. 

With 5 National Parks and numerous other state and local lands to explore, there is certainly no shortage of gorgeous natural scenery. From majestic red rock formations in Moab, to the salt flats, lakes and rivers, there’s something here for everyone. Utah is also a year-round destination, with world-famous skiing and other snowy activities a big draw in the winter months. 

 

Couple at their Arches Utah elopement

What Activities Do You Want to Do? 

One of the best things about elopements is that you can pretty much do whatever you want on your special day! There are no expectations about what your celebration “should” look like. My Amores have incorporated some super fun and creative activities into their day, from climbing trees and swinging from the branches to skating down a desert road in Moab.

The sky truly is the limit, so think BIG! What sounds like your perfect day? Is it hiking 10 miles through a stunning national park? Racing with your partner on an ATV or snowmobile? Or is it something more low-key, like a sunset picnic near a lake? Are you celebrating with friends and family, or is this a more “just the two of us” private elopement? 

Whatever your dream, you’ll want to make sure that your elopement package is a good fit for the type of day you envision. The right elopement photographer will have experience with the type of activities you want to do, and will be able to help you plan out all of the details. They will also be able to guide you through the logistics, from where to go, to how much time will be needed, to what permits and other vendors you may need to help pull it all off. Trust me, this will not only save you a ton of planning time, but will ensure that you have the most stress-free day possible!

Couple at their salt flats Utah elopement

How Do Utah Elopement Packages Work?

Once you have an idea of what you’d like to do for your day, you’ll want to understand how vendors generally structure their elopement packages. While the exact details may vary from vendor to vendor, all elopement packages will take into account the following factors. Understanding each of these will go a long way toward making sure you choose the right vendor and avoid any misunderstandings or surprises.  

Time 

Vendors will usually offer different packages based on how long your elopement will be. You might find that a vendor will offer packages for 4 hours, 6 hours, 8 hours, or full-day. 

When determining which package to choose, it’s important to be realistic. While it may technically be possible to cram everything you want to do into, say, 4 hours, would having more time allow for a more relaxed day? 

While there are certainly times when the shortest package is the best choice (a small private ceremony at one location, for example), it’s definitely worth it to err on the side of planning for more time than you think you’ll need. A good elopement photographer will be honest with you about how much time is needed based on their experience. Remember, they want this day to be perfect just as much as you do!

Also consider that your elopement is a full-day experience, and the ceremony is only part of it. Photos of you two getting ready and celebrating afterward are a great way to remember every moment.

Couple at their Utah elopement

Extras (Planning, Guidance, and Wedding Albums)

Another thing to take into account when evaluating wedding packages is what extras are included. You want to make sure you know exactly what you’re getting so there are no surprise extra costs during the process. Here are some of the common elopement package extras: 

Planning and Logistics Help

The most important thing I tell my Amores is to choose a photographer who is well experienced in elopements. There is a big difference between shooting a traditional indoor wedding, where there is a fairly predictable set of events and expectations, and an adventure elopement where anything goes and conditions can change in an instant.

Along with this, I encourage all of my Amores to look for a photographer/other vendors who allow some flexibility. Does the photographer let you book a smaller package, help you plan, and allow you to upgrade if necessary? Will they have a backup plan if issues with weather or location arise? 

I pride myself on being a planning and logistics guide extraordinaire. This comes from a lot of experience within the elopement industry, and also taking time to get to know my couples. All of my elopement packages include unlimited consultations and questionnaires to help me understand your elopement dreams so I can make them a reality! And whatever comes our way on your elopement day, rest assured that I’ve always got a plan B (and C and D…) to ensure that you have an incredible experience. 

Couple at their Utah elopement

Prints and Wedding Albums

Many couples don’t consider prints and albums upfront, but believe me, this is something you’ll want to include in your plans! This is the most special day of your lives, and you’ll always want to remember how you looked and felt during your elopement. I encourage all of my Amores to choose a Utah elopement package that includes an album.

Another tip? Ask for a wedding album price list up front. Talk to the photographer about where you intend to display these photos. For some couples, these photos only live on Instagram. However, I believe your wedding photos deserve to be good enough to cover your walls and live in an album you’ll treasure for years to come.

Many of my best packages include credits on wedding albums custom designed by me especially for you. Trust me, the investment will be worth it every time you look at your photos and remember your amazing day.

Cost

Of course, cost is a major consideration when choosing an elopement package. While elopements are on average much cheaper than a traditional wedding, having a good idea of what your budget is at the start of the planning process will help you find the package that’s the right fit for you. 

Before researching Utah elopement packages, write out your desired budget. Then, list your priorities for your experience. When you start looking at elopement packages, your goal is to try to find a balance between your budget and the package cost. Like with anything else, there may be some tough decisions to make your dreams match your budget. You might find that while there are some areas you’re willing to sacrifice to save money, others are essential and worth the splurge.

Couple at their Utah elopement

How to Evaluate Utah Elopement Packages

Now that we’ve covered what factors go into an elopement package, let’s look at the questions you’ll want to ask to really narrow in on the right package for you. 

Can The Photographer Make Your Dreams Come True? 

Especially if you are having an adventurous elopement, you’ll want to work with a photographer who has experience with the activities you have planned. That photographer who shoots stunning photos of traditional weddings in a banquet hall may not be the best choice for a 10-mile-hike to your mountaintop ceremony.

Checking out a photographer’s social media will give you a good idea of whether they have experience with your type of elopement. 

How Comfortable Do You Feel With The Photographer? 

You know how there are some people you just jive with, and others not so much? Pay attention to this feeling when talking to potential photographers. Your photographer is there to do more than just take pictures on your day. You’ll be working with them throughout the planning process, and they will be there for all of the most emotional parts of your day. 

There is a photographer out there for every type of person, so really think about what kind of experience you want for your day. Do you want to work with someone with an outgoing personality, who will be your biggest cheerleader and bff throughout your day? Or would you prefer to work with someone more introverted who stays in the background? 

You can learn a lot about a photographer’s personality from their website, reviews, and social media, but a phone consultation is the very best way to determine if a photographer is the right fit for you. 

Couple dances at their Arches Utah elopement

Does the Photographer Match Your Values?

This is an important one: understand your photographer’s values. Are they inclusive? How do they live by their principles during their day-to-day life? Do they care about the environment and practice Leave No Trace principles?

Remember, the photographer will be present for one of the biggest moments of your entire life. You want to make sure that the energy they bring is positive, and aligns with your values as a couple.

How Much Time Will You Need for the Activities You Have Planned? 

One of the biggest differences between elopement packages is the amount of time included. Many couples may not know how much time they need, but working with the right elopement photographer will help you figure out your timeline and how much coverage you’ll need for your day. 

While each elopement is different,  here are some general guidelines of what to expect:

  1. Getting ready photos: 30 min – 3 hours. This is where you start to tell the full story of your day. 
  2. Hiking: Plan on 30 – 60 minutes per mile depending upon the difficulty and what you are doing. You’d rather plan for hiking to take longer than expected and have extra time, then under plan the time it takes and rush to do whatever you want to do. An experienced photographer will be able to give you more specific guidance as to how long a hike should take.
  3. Star photos: Want some truly epic photos? Wait until the sun goes down! You want to start these 30 minutes after sunset, or finish no later than 30 before sunrise. Star photos can take a long time, up to thirty minutes or an hour, because you need to stand very still, sometimes for 5 – 10 seconds at a time, for a single photo. 
  4. Ceremony: These are 10 – 20 minutes on average depending on vows, unity activities. If it’s a religious ceremony with a lot of scripture, you will likely need more time. 
  5. First Look: This can take 5 – 10 minutes. Add more time if it will take a while to get to your dream location.
  6. Post-Ceremony Photos: These can be anywhere from 20 minutes to several hours. They can involve activities such as picnics, songs, dance, or anything else that is meaningful to you as a couple. You won’t be posing for pictures the whole time as you’ll be enjoying your activity, but you’ll want those spontaneous moments captured! 
  7. Post Ceremony Party: Again, this will be different for each elopement. It could be anything from a 1 hour backyard get together with cake cutting, to a several hour party with dancing, toasts, meals, and shenanigans!
  8. Intimate session: This is a session where you and your partner are more intimate. This could be on a bed, shower, jacuzzi, in your underwear or even naked. It’s a chance for you two to really get close to each other, and let your emotions be vulnerable. I recommend at least an hour for these sessions.

Couple at their Utah elopement

Does the Utah Elopement Package Include the “Extras” You May Need?

Here’s where you decide what is most important to you and make sure your package includes all those extras. Is planning help super important to you? Do you want to work with a photographer who has experience in a certain type of photography? Do you know that you’ll want a certain amount of prints or an album to keep your memories safe forever? 

These all things you’ll want to discuss with your photographer when deciding which elopement package is right for you. And if you have any questions, just ask

Other Potential Extras 

There are a few final things you’ll want to consider when choosing extras for your Utah Elopement Package.

  • Does the photographer include an engagement or post-engagement shoot in any of their packages?
  • Are travel fees included?
    • Some photographers charge extra for travel fees outside of their home base. Travel fees are always included in all my elopement packages.
  • Can I download high-res edited photos for free?
    • This is a big thing to be aware of. While high-resolution files are always provided with all of my elopement packages, that isn’t the case for all photographers. Chances are, if the initial session fee seems very inexpensive compared to other photographers, you may need to purchase each print or file individually. This can really add up, so make sure to clarify upfront!
  • Don’t forget to take a look at their testimonials or ask for references!

Couple at their Utah elopement

What’s Next?

Now that you know all about evaluating Utah elopement packages, it’s time to reach out to some vendors! As a starting point, I recommend starting with some lists:

1. List all of the vendors and photographers you’re considering. Create a running spreadsheet to keep track of which photographers you like and why.

2. Go ahead and schedule that first call!

3. Write down all of the activities you are interested in, and ask about these activities on your call. Ask if they are familiar shooting in the style you have chosen. And of course, doing a search on their site of previous elopements will give you a good taste of that photographer’s style.

4. Note what they have to say. Ask them questions. See if their values align with yours and if they can help craft the experience you want.

A Little About Me (I Thought You’d Never Ask……..)

Elopement Photographer stands next to a JeepOh hi there! I’m Adam, and I live for creating adventurous, one-of-a-kind elopement experiences for couples in Utah and around the world.

I have experience in all types of activities and plans. From 11 mile hikes, to 10 degree weather sunrise winter elopements, to summer adventures in the mountains, I have truly done it all. Finally, I will give you plenty of guidance and assistance to create the day of your dreams. Your day means the most to me, and I want to make sure we make your dreams a reality. This means giving my Amores the freedom to express your passionate love for one another. Whatever type of day you’re dreaming of, I’m here for it and will help you every step of the way.

If you’re ready to start planning or just have some questions to decide which Utah elopement package is right for you, let’s chat!

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