If you’re thinking about getting married in a National Park I think you’re making a brilliant decision. And a Zion National Park wedding is probably one of the best ideas you’ll ever have. That is of course after saying yes to your fiance 🙂
Zion is jaw-droppingly gorgeous and I can’t imagine a prettier or more romantic location for a wedding. And spoiler alert: it was one of the best weddings ever.
Planning any wedding is hard enough, but planning a destination wedding? That’s enough to make anyone lose their sh** and want to set themselves on fire.
Instead of turning into a raaaging bridezilla and making yourself and those around you miserable, read through this guide where I talk *real life* about everyone I used and why I think they’re literally the. best. ever.
I could not have had a more perfect group of people for my wedding and I want the same for you!
How to plan a Zion National Park wedding
Originally published on July 13th, 2018/ Most recently updated on April 12th, 2019
This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure policy for more info.
Written by: Stephanie
Zion National Park accommodations
Cable Mountain Lodge
147 Zion Park Blvd, Springdale / 435-772-3366
Once you know that you’re going to have your wedding at Zion National Park, I suggest booking the accommodations right away as Zion gets SO busy, especially in the spring and summer.
How stressful would it be if you planned the whole wedding and waited on booking accommodations? *WHOOPS* change of plans. We didn’t see that many nice places in Springdale so you’ll wanna get on that ASAP.
Alternatively, if you don’t mind a little driving you can choose to stay in La Verkin which is about 15-20 minutes from Springdale. My in-laws stayed out there and had the choice of loads of really nice
St. George is about an hour away so not ideal if you plan to get married in and spend every day in Zion. Alternatively, if you’re just having the wedding and maybe spending an extra day in Zion, you could use St. George as a home base to explore other areas of Utah, Nevada, or Arizona.
But if you plan on being in Zion for several days, I would suggest staying in Springdale, it just makes everything much easier. We stayed at and totally loved the Cable Mountain Lodge. We had room D421 which is an ultra badass suite that overlooks the pool and the watchman –
Cable Mountain Lodge is really nice because of its primo location. There
Zion Canyon Brewing Company is also right next door if you wanna hang out for some food and brews. The alcohol laws in Utah are pretty weird- the beers are weak and cocktails only have one shot of liquor. Nonetheless, it’s
Cafe Soleil which is basically right across the parking lot ended up being one of our favorite spots to grab breakfast when we weren’t racing the daylight to go hiking. The veggie scramble is delicious and definitely my favorite. Cafe Soleil also has lunch and dinner options. It can get quite busy depending on the time of day, though.
The actual town of Springdale is super cute too, it’s way more than just a parking lot for Zion! The main drag through town, Zion Park Blvd, has several restaurants and little shops that you can spend hours wandering through. We stayed in Springdale for a week and between hiking, sightseeing, shopping, and hoarding the hot tub, we kept plenty busy.
Bridal Shops, Minneapolis
A & Be
1607 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis / 612-238-1300
After getting engaged and choosing a location/date the wedding dress is the next big ticket item! Depending on how much time you have before your wedding this may be less important to you. We chose to get married just 4 months after we were engaged, haha.
I was given the option of 4 or 5 gowns that the shop had in stock and I could have for my rapidly approaching wedding. Out of those gowns, there was only one I liked, but I knew it wasn’t the one.
I was feeling defeated but then I heard another lady talking about how they could rush ship this particular gown. YESSSS boo! As soon as I laid my eyes on it I knew it was perfect. It was exactly what I was looking for – classy, but simple.
*cue dance party music*
Thirty minutes after arriving at the shop I found my gown and was swiping my card. I did have to pay a rush shipping fee of SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS, (MMMMF I still cry a little), but knew I had to have the dress in time. Their cheaper but longer rush option was cutting it too close since I was going to need alterations.
If you are located in Minneapolis, Denver, Dallas, Portland, Seattle, or Miami I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend A & Be Bridal!
And if you’re one of my Minneapolis girls, say hi to Kristin, she’s the best!
Related: Our wedding at Zion National Park
Because the dress is pretty simple I wanted a belt to add some interest. A & Be has tons of accessories and most of them are handmade!
Zion wedding photographer
Our photographer is the reigning queen of wedding photography-
She is super fun to work with, organized, laid back, incredibly sweet, and was always in close contact when we had questions. She basically acted as our wedding coordinator and I don’t know how I would have done it without her. I not so secretly referred to her as my BFF and secretly referred to her as mac-attack.
She actually works with her husband, Joey, and the two of them are the dream team of wedding photography. And I’m all about that BOGO.
If you’re doing the traditional thing where the guys are separate from the girls, McKenzi will hang out with the girls while they’re getting ready and Joey will go to the guys and photograph them getting ready or at the brewery or whatever it is guys do while we get ready.
Oh, and a minor detail – their photos are seriously to die for 😉 She also works really hard to get your photos edited and sent to you in a timely manner so you can show them off or hang them up in your house.
Utah wedding videographer
I was pretty adamant about having videographers at the wedding. It took a little bit of time to convince Pete that this was a good idea. However, he didn’t know what he was marrying – I’m nothing if not persistent.
He kept envisioning your uncle Tom with a huge 90s camcorder getting in everyone’s way. He didn’t think it was worth spending the money to have a shaky video with poor audio. So I said, “oh no nooooo, let me show you wedding videography”. He still wasn’t totally convinced, but at the end of the day, he said if I wanted it we should do it and I definitely wanted it.
We hired the amazing videographers from The Bison and The Bird. And just like McKenzi and Joey, Dustin and Holly were absolutely wonderful to work with. The four of them had us and our family laughing SO much during the day that my cheeks hurt. Neither one of us had ever been on camera before so we were super awkward initially, but they made it so easy to ignore them…which is actually a compliment :).
Holly and Dustin did the same thing McKenzi and Joey did where we split up with guys and girls. And with the videos, the only thing you’ll have to do is to wear a microphone.
For the guys, the battery pack just goes in their back pocket and the tip hooks near their tie. For the ladies, the tip will get taped to your chest and the wire goes down the front of the dress and gets clipped into a leg strap on your thigh – so, you feel like an ultra badass spy.
If you wanna check out our video you can do so here 🙂
Zion wedding make-up artist/hair stylist
Springdale has one salon that does bridal hair. I had emailed them with the wedding date and the only stylist that does bridal hair was going to be out on maternity leave. Noooooo. I didn’t really want to drive 2 hours round trip to St. George so I turned to my BFF McKenzi and she gave me Tracy’s name.
Tracy was an absolute dream to work with! I was totally blown away with the job she did. Like when my hair and makeup were finished and I put my dress on – straight up fairytale vibes.
Leading up to this, I was super anxious about letting someone I didn’t even know do my hair and makeup for the biggest day of my life. I’m only a little bit of a control freak. But Tracy was incredible and a completely calming presence on my pre-wedding nerves. SO many nerves. I was so nervous I couldn’t even drink mimosas or eat donuts and
Once you contact her she will ask for any hair or make pictures if you have any for inspiration. About two weeks before the wedding she’ll call and go over all the last minute details.
Again, like everyone else I chose, super easy to work with and I would absolutely recommend her to anyone in the world. I wish I could just keep her and have her do my hair and makeup everyday.
Zion National Park florist
Bloomers flower & decor
1386 E 100th S #d, St George / 435-652-0870
Y’all…how next level were my flowers? I’ll wait while you pick your jaw off of the ground.
Angie at Bloomers is hands down the greatest florist that has ever lived. When I started planning for the wedding she constantly came up as the only florist worth using and I couldn’t agree more. Her bouquets are wild and free and totally fitting for a Zion wedding.
My first message to her said: “I have no colors or flowers in mind, so do whatever you want”. She returned that email saying that I was a dream bride and she couldn’t wait to put something together for me.
Besides the stupidly gorgeous bouquet, she made a table centerpiece, Pete’s boutonniere, and a bag of flower petals we scattered at the ceremony site.
Zion National Park bakery
Sweet Tooth Fairy
2376 Red Cliffs Dr, St George / 435-627-1980
We decided that we wanted a wedding cake about 2 weeks before the wedding, haha. Nothing like procrastinating.
There isn’t much in Springdale by way of bakeries, but there is a great one in St. George called The Sweet Tooth Fairy. They put together a simple 8″ toasted coconut cake.
And let me tell y’all – it was one of the best cakes, if not the best, that I’ve ever had. I’m almost foaming at the mouth thinking of it again.
They also make cake bites, which is basically a cake pop without the stick. So once you’re back home and celebrating your anniversary you can have your wedding cake again! And it’ll actually taste good, not like having to eat a leftover piece that’s been shoved in the back of the freezer for a year.
We (Pete’s dad and brother) had to pick up the cake because they wanted a ridiculous delivery fee (to the tune of $75). Otherwise, a two-layer 8″ cake set us back about $60 which was totally worth it.
I had ordered a really cute initial cake topper, but sadly and not shockingly, it got hung up with the USPS and wasn’t delivered on time. The day before we left for Utah I went to one of our craft stores and bought a handful of fake succulents and made a little makeshift topper that I think turned out great.
Zion wedding venues
A popular site for weddings in Zion is the Temple of Sinawava. This is located on a trailhead, along the river, and close to the shuttle stop. That’s all fine in terms of accessibility, but I definitely didn’t want any randos watching my wedding. And if you’re getting married in the park you’ll have to obtain a permit and follow
We went out to the Temple just for fun on our first night in town and there was only a small group of photographers out there. So that time wouldn’t have been bad, but doing a midday wedding would be a
The Temple of Sinawava is located off the easiest and probably busiest trail in the park, the Riverside walk. And, getting married out here requires that you ride the shuttle through the entire park (about 45 minutes) in full wedding garb…with other people. And that’s just so incredibly awkward to me.
We’d read reviews about this location leading up to our wedding and I think what did it for us was one lady said that all you could hear were these kids screaming and playing in the river. Obviously, doesn’t make for the most romantic wedding. If you go against my advice and do choose to get married here, it’ll be beautiful scenery, but stupid busy. That’s a no for me, dawg.
However, if you’re set on getting married in the park this page from the NPS is helpful on getting started, the application process and fees, as well as locations and rules.
I’m not sure if you can do weddings at any time during the day. If you can, Zion during the month of May is the most beautiful around 7:45 pm to about 8:15 or 8:30. The way the light comes down and hits the cliffs are just stunning. Pete called 8:08 pm PFM, which stands for pure fu**ing magic.And PFM it was.
We actually didn’t know about the handful of approved wedding locations, it was my BFF McKenzi who told us about this. And she totally recommends against getting married in the park and suggests doing it somewhere nearby. No permits = no headaches.
The nice thing about doing it her way is the land in Utah is part of the Bureau of Land Management which means anyone can use it and it’s free
She gave us the option of a few different sites and the one we chose was about halfway between La Verkin and Springdale, right off the main drag, Highway 9. This ended up being perfect since we had people scattered everywhere. Funny enough the ceremony location was just off of the Guacamole Trailhead. Which would be hilarious if y’all knew how much I love avocados and guac.
McKenzi had advised us to rent 4 wheel drive cars just in case it had rained in recent days. Cause there is no getting up that “road” in a car if it’s muddy.
So, once you make a random and unmarked turn off of Highway 9 you’ll leave most of the cars parked and only take a few up to the actual site. We brought up 3 cars – a girls car, a guys car, and a
We spent about 15 minutes driving up a narrow, winding, horrifically terrifying trail until we made it to the top. It’s probably not that bad, but I get car sick and don’t love heights or riding in the back, so that made it more difficult on me.
And once you get to the site you’ll see it is really just an open field with Zion as the backdrop. We found a shady area to take photos and stay out of the sun and randomly chose a tree stump as the official ceremony site.
If you’re doing a first look, the photographers and videographers will get set up and everyone will get out of the cars except for the bride. We wanted our first look to be private so the family was a bit far from us. Once Pete was in position I hopped out of the car and snuck up behind him. We had probably close to five minutes to just talk and oogle each other which was super nice and helped calm my nerves.
After the first look, it was wedding time! Like I said someone just found a tree stump and said: “that’ll do”. Someone scattered rose petals and laid out a blanket to define the space a little bit. Pete and his dad, Frank, (who was our officiant), stood near the tree stump and the family gathered around and I had my little brother walk me down the aisle. Both of our moms did a little reading and then we did our vows, which we wrote ourselves and not to brag, but were awesome. The entire ceremony lasted maybe 20 minutes and then we popped some champagne with Dixie cups and did family photos.
445 Zion Park Blvd / 435-772-0283
We obviously had a very low key wedding and were initially going to grill and have a couple of side dishes. Sort of last minute we changed our minds and decided that we wanted a taco bar! This didn’t come about easily though – this decision was really made by my mom after I was sitting on her couch literally crying over the dinner options. HAHA, I can be SO dramatic and wedding planning made me as crazy as ever.
Literally 3 days before the wedding we went to one of the best and most unique Mexican restaurants in town, the Whiptail Grill, and basically pleaded with them to cater a taco bar for about 20 people…which they agreed to! My mom had previously called and they said they don’t usually, but they would cater for us. We went on Monday for lunch just to try it out and asked to confirm the catering and they had no idea what we were talking about…crickets. I literally put my face in my hands and wanted to cry. But they figured it out, went above and beyond with everything, and it was all perfect. Oh, and the tacos were amazing.
There you have it! Your ultimate resource guide to planning a wedding in Zion National Park.
If you choose to get married out here please oh please send me photos!
Be sure to pin this for later!
Founder of Packing for Plenty in July 2017. Along with her husband, Pete, she is on a mission to visit most countries. And wants to take y’all along as well! On PFP Steff provides travel itineraries ranging from a weekend trip nearby to 2 weeks living abroad like a local…detailed destination specific travel tips that aren’t readily available elsewhere…and unique and interesting bucket list worthy experiences.