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Sedona Elopement Inspiration

Updated: Jul 14, 2022

A couple on their elopement day in front of a plane in Sedona

Aviation Elopement Inspiration at Sedona Airport Scenic Overlook

As an Arizona Elopement Photographer, Sedona is one of my go to spots when suggesting locations to couples looking to elope in Arizona. Sedona is truly such a magical place. The majestic red rocks contrasted with the green vegetation is awe inspiring. It is most magical during sunrise or sunset, when for just a few moments, the sun illuminates the red rocks and makes it look like they're on fire. This adventure session in Sedona was the stuff of dreams. Aubrey and John were such a fun couple and it's a night I'll never forget!

Aubrey and John are one of the sweetest couple's I've ever met. They were so clearly in love with one another, making each other laugh and smile throughout our entire session together. Sedona holds a special place in their relationship and journey with one another. John proposed to Aubrey at the Sedona Airport Scenic Overlook, and they eloped at Cathedral Rock earlier this year. (Romantic right?!). So it only made sense that for our adventure session, they decided to rent a plane, fly to Sedona for the day, and adventure in their wedding clothes one more time!

I could talk forever about how much I love elopements and adventure sessions, but one of the biggest reasons is that you can do anything you want. You can plan an experience completely focused on the two of you that celebrates your love and relationship. Seriously, there are (almost) no rules! One of the assumptions people make about adventure elopements or adventure sessions is that they involve a lot of hiking, which not everyone is up for. While some adventures involve hiking, (if you want to plan a hiking elopement check out my guide to help you plan it), it certainly is not a requirement. There are tons of other ways to adventure on your elopement day!

One option for your elopement or adventure session is to charter an airplane or helicopter just like Aubrey & John did! If you're a pilot like John is, you can fly around yourself- if not you can have someone else doing all the flying for you.

A bride putting on her lipstick in the reflection of a plane window
Sedona Elopement Inspiration at the Sedona Airport

Why Sedona is the Perfect Spot for You to Elope

Every time I talk to one of my new couples, before I send over location suggestions, I like to get to know them better so I can find the perfect spot! First, I ask how they envision their day from beginning to end. One aspect of that includes the type of scenery they want and how long they want to hike for to get there. One of my all-time favorite places to recommend couples who want to elope in the Arizona desert is Sedona. Here are some of my main reasons why I love suggesting Sedona for couples eloping:

1. Sedona is only 2 hours away from Phoenix, making it a quick escape from the Valley! There are many different, beautiful landscapes that you can find here without having to drive too far from the city.

2. Sedona is truly an adventure lover's paradise and a perfect place to elope. If you're looking for adventure, there's hundreds of hiking trails (check out some on AllTrails!), climbing opportunities, Jeep/ATV roads and tours, helicopter & airplane tours, hot air balloon rides, and so much more.

3. There's so many areas and trails to explore, it's easy to find one to fit your abilities and that is the perfect adventure you're looking for. Whether you want to drive up to a spot, go on a short to moderate hike, or have a backpacking adventure- there is the perfect spot for you to elope in Sedona!

4. There's also an incredible art scene, tons of delicious places to eat, and places within the town to explore. Sedona also contains many vortexes that are conducive to healing, meditation, and self-exploration. Vortexes are places where the earth seems especially alive with energy- people come from all over the world to experience this phenomenon and Sedona is widely known for the healing and regenerative powers of it's vortex sites!

You can learn more about Sedona, find places to stay and things to do, on their official website.


Best Places to Elope in Sedona

I love helping to guide couples in choosing their elopement location and finding the perfect spot to say their vows at! Whether you're looking for a hidden cave, a stunning overlook, greenery, or gorgeous red rocks, there is a perfect trail in Sedona for you. Do you want to elope in Sedona and need help finding the perfect place to do it? I have got you covered! Here's a list of the best locations for your adventurous Sedona elopement:

  • Cathedral Rock

One of the most well-known hikes in Sedona, boasting incredible views and even more magical sunsets, no list would be complete without Cathedral Rock on it!

  • Sedona Airport Scenic Overlook

Perfect for those looking for views without having to hike for them, this location is a magnificent place to watch the sunset. Additionally, if you decide to include an aviation tour on your elopement day, this is where you'll be at some point!

  • Devil's Bridge

Another iconic Sedona hike, Devil's Bridge is the largest natural sandstone arch located in the area. I definitely recommend arriving early in the day here to beat the crowds!

  • My Secret Sedona Elopement Places

Growing up in Arizona, I visited Sedona often- allowing me to hike there often and find hidden, off the beaten path locations to visit (which is hard to do here!). I only share these locations with my elopement couples, and if you want to become one of them go ahead and contact me! I'd love to hear from you.

A couple kissing in front of the sunset in Sedona during their wedding

Alpenglow in the Sedona Desert

This photo was taken at that perfect moment during the sunset when the sun illuminates the red rock and makes them appear to glow a brilliant orange and red color! When the cliffs lit up like this, I was stoked out of my mind and was a very happy photographer. Take this as your official reminder when you're watching the sunrise or sunset in Sedona to look behind you. You never know what you may see and how the light is casting on the red rocks around you. Sometimes the best views are actually behind you!

Fun fact: John's ring was made from the metal of an F-16 Fighter Jet Engine- how cool is that?! And Aubrey's ring is an 1890's Edwardian era antique ring!

A wedding couple cuddling on the wing of an airplane during a Sedona sunset

When the Sunshine Disappears and Stars Take Its Place

We stayed out until the last drop of sunlight disappeared from the sky and the stars started to appear. I firmly believe that the desert has the BEST sunsets in the world and there's no better place to see a beautiful sunset. Then, we stayed a little bit later and watched more and more stars appear. I love stargazing and am starting to delve into the realm of astrophotography, so we decided to get some shots of them with the stars!

While golden hour gets all the hype in the photography industry (and for good reason, the light during that time is gorgeous!), I personally love shooting in blue hour! For anyone wondering what the heck golden hour and blue hour are: Golden hour is the hour around sunset, when the light is this beautiful golden color, is softer, and creates a really romantic atmosphere that's perfect for portraits. Blue hour is dusk- when the sun is set but some ambient light remains and generally things look bluer/purplish. Another perk of blue hour? Most people leave a spot after sunset, so during blue hour there is much less people- if any at all!

A groom warming his brides hands during their Sedona elopement

So...when you elope, if you want to stay out late, get some epic shots with the stars, and break out the headlamps for the hike back- you know I'm 100% down (and you can contact me to talk more about your plans!).

Huge thank you to Aubrey and John for letting me to capture your beautiful relationship and for adventuring with me! I had an absolute blast, and it was wonderful getting to know you both. Till next time!

And I want to give a HUGE thank you to the Sedona Airport staff for being so incredibly accommodating with us- from staying late, to letting us go on an incredibly beautiful area of the tarmac/runway. You are very appreciated!

Kind words from Aubrey & John:

"I cannot gush enough about Kathleen or our incredible photos. Even from the beginning she exceeded every expectation. I figured planning & coordination would be at least a little bit stressful, but she was professional, easy to get ahold of, prompt and made everything simple. We decided to fly up in a tiny plane to Sedona (my husband John is a pilot so this was extra special to incorporate flying somehow).

John and I aren't natural models, but Kathleen made things so fun and we felt relaxed & comfortable in front of the camera. It was incredible to have her as a part of our little adventure. She allowed us to focus on each other and just enjoy the moment, capturing us at our absolute happiest. I felt like a princess and my husband, who usually hates pictures, was having the time of his life. Kathleen directed us just enough so it didn't feel awkward, but kept things natural and candid. She knew all the best spots and took the time to make sure every shot was flattering on us & featured the lovely red rock landscape. When the sun started going down, she had the thought to capture a few pictures of just us & the stars. *Swoon*

I've never experienced anything so personal and I've never been so happy with photos before. Our gallery came quick and the pictures were beyond what I could've hoped for. There wasn't a single one I wasn't in total awe of. We are so grateful Kathleen was with us for this moment of ours and hope to book her for any future adventures life may bring!"

Pin It For Future Planning!


Want More Resources?

Learn more about what you can do on your all-day elopement and get timeline suggestions.

Get real elopement inspiration from a hiking elopement in the Mount Baker Wilderness.

P.S. A photo from this incredible session was featured in Wandering Wedding's Sedona Elopement Guide!

Arizona Elopement Photographer hiking in a slot canyon

Hire a Photographer for Your Sedona Elopement

Hi! My name is Kathleen and I'm an adventure wedding and elopement photographer (and your new friend!). I'm here to help guide you to having the ultimate wedding day experience, and to document every single moment of it. I would love to help you plan your elopement and answer any questions you may have! You can also check out my Arizona Elopement Packages.

Get in touch with me and let's start planning your dream adventure.

154 views8 comments

8 comentários

Lucy V. Bouman
Lucy V. Bouman
16 de fev. de 2021

Such a beautiful shoot and informative post!! I'm new to Arizona and this makes me excited to explore Sedona more. :)


16 de fev. de 2021

Stop. STOP. I love every single thing about this blog. Your edits are so clean and beautiful! And what a dream to take photos at the airport with that stunning plane. Love love love!!


David Tam
David Tam
16 de fev. de 2021

I was lucky enough to visit Arizona for a cycling training camp and fell in love with the sunsets and the mountains! That Alpenglow you speak of is UNREAL.


Raelin Goodwin
Raelin Goodwin
16 de fev. de 2021

Okay, wow! Doing a charter plane for an elopement is absolutely genius! This is giving me the travel bug to head to the desert - Your photos (and aaaaall the info here) are absolutely incredible.


Katelyn Tucker
Katelyn Tucker
15 de fev. de 2021

So awesome! The photos are stellar and I never would have thought to have an aviation elopement/adventure session, that's rad. If my partner and I are ever in Sedona we will definitely reach out as I would love have someone help me look this awesome and help plan a unique memorable adventure! Great info and a lot to consider beyond what the norm is.

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