Capitol Reef Wedding, With A Detour To Mars…

When Meredith and Domenic reached out to us just three weeks before a big trip and asked if we could help them plan and photograph their Capitol Reef wedding, we JUMPED at the chance to show them the beauty of this remote corner of the Utah desert.

By Vanessa and Chad, ‘The Outlovers’, your Capitol Reef wedding experts.

16 January 2024

“Eloping and doing so with The Outlovers may be one of the very best decisions we have ever made. Last minute we decided to elope in Utah. Vanessa and Chad’s guidance including zoom meetings, helpful emails, and advice along the way, we were able to plan the wedding we didn’t know we dreamed of in just three weeks time, a true testament to the organization, guidance, professionalism, and creative nature of The Outlovers.  We had an absolute blast on our wedding with them! It was just us and them, no family, on a remote off road trail. They made our experience the top priority. And Vanessa even put together the most beautiful and special ceremony for us. Beyond that, we truly enjoyed our time just talking and enjoying the beautiful views with them.Though not even the most important part of all of this, the photos are breathtaking. We are forever grateful for Vanessa and Chad and would do our elopement over again exactly the same in a heartbeat.” Meredith and Domenic

Read on for all the deets on Meredith and Domenic’s epic elopement, as well as a ton of helpful advice to help you plan your own Capitol Reef wedding…

Elopements aren’t like traditional weddings: they don’t take months upon months (years, even!) to plan. So, when Meredith and Domenic told us they were already planning a trip to Utah in just three weeks time and would like to get married while they were there, we JUMPED at the chance! We love the spontaneity and romance of a last minute elopement.

These two are wild souls, adventurers at heart and we knew soon after chatting to them that a remote Capitol Reef wedding would be right up their alley! It’s vast, heartachingly beautiful and with a FRACTION of the tourists of other parks in Utah. If you know where to go, you can escape the crowds completely: we saw maybe 5 other people all day long!

We also had another stunning location, just outside of the park and reminiscent of Mars, up our sleeves: a place that we’d been wanting to share with the right couple for a long time, and we knew Meredith and Domenic were going to love it.

We met them at 4am in the pitch black, on the edge of a dirt road in the middle of nowhere and proceeded to off-road for several miles until we came to the edge of what felt like Mars. After getting ready on opposite sides of their trusty ol’ Land Rover, they enjoyed a lovely first look and then we got to exploring! It honestly felt like we’d traveled through space and landed on another planet. What a weird and wonderful place!

The cool thing about a Capitol Reel wedding? You’re not limited to just a handful of super well known spots for your ceremony. Because it’s a quieter park, and therefore with less human impact, with the correct permit and permission (more info below) you can hold your ceremony almost anywhere it’s environmentally responsible to do so. So, we found the most peaceful, out of the way spot imaginable for Meredith and Domenic. It’s entirely possible that NO ONE has ever been married in this spot before!

*** Please, please, please consider Leave No Trace principles as you plan your Capitol Reef Wedding and have as minimal an impact as possible. We can advise on this! ***

Meredith and Domenic have been together many years already and have shared much of this life together: getting married was the natural culmination of a path they embarked upon long ago. Their ceremony was calm, emotional, and so very full of love. What a joy to see two souls already so thoroughly entwined making it official-official!

After tying the knot, their adventure continued as we drove the rest of an incredible loop, bringing us back into the ‘real world’ a few hours later. They made several pit stops to soak in the views, and to cut into a cake that somehow miraculously survived the journey! Peep the cute cake topper that Meredith made herself.

What a day! One we will never forget, for sure.

Read on below for more info on planning a Capitol Reef wedding….

Why Choose A Capitol Reef Wedding

Capitol Reef is still a bit of a hidden gem and long may it stay that way!

If you dream of eloping somewhere stunningly beautiful but without all the crowds of Utah’s Instagram-famous hot spots then a Capitol Reef wedding may well be for you. You can ABSOLUTELY find peace, privacy and solitude.

If you are someone who thrives on wild natural beauty, Capitol Reef checks that box ten fold. The rugged red rocks, gravity defying arches and canyons just begging to be explored, could keep you amused for a lifetime!

If you like the idea of eloping in Utah, but would like to see some other options, you can check out our Ultimate Utah Elopement Guide here.

Important Info For Your Capitol Reef Wedding

There are a few things to know as you put together your Capitol Reef wedding:

  • You will need a permit, currently costing $100.
  • The max number of people allowed will vary with location, but there are some spots that even hold up to 100 people, so no stress if you’re planning a small elopement!
  • You may have simple decorations as long as they do no damage (but really, the natural backdrop is decoration enough!)
  • Summer in the desert is HOT. Like ugly hot. Dangerous hot. We would say the best time of year for a Capitol Reef wedding is in the Spring and the Fall. Winter is also amazing if you’re open to a sprinkling of snow!
  • It REALLY helps to have a photographer/planning assistant who is familiar with the area. We include location scouting, permit assistance, timeline construction AND full ceremony officiation in all our packages.

For more details on holding your wedding at Capitol Reef, head to the National Park Service website.Let’s do this thing!

We would love to create an epic elopement experience for you!

We provide planning assistance, photography, ceremony officiation and optional videography for adventure-seeking couples across the US and worldwide.

Get in touch to start brainstorming with us!

Chad & Vanessa, ‘The Outlovers’

Let’s do this thing!

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