Arizona is an elopement gold mine for locations! Check out this blog post for some of those epic spots to share your vows.
So it turns out I LOVE the snow!! How about you??
Coming from Texas and Florida for my last four and half years of living I haven’t got to be around the snow much! Who would have thought my first big ‘blizzard’ since college would be in Arizona?!?! No one that’s for sure!
Enough about me though, I want to talk about you two!! So you’re engaged and you’re thinking of eloping! YAY!!! If you’re wanting that winter elopement do not rule out Arizona. Besides being in a state packed with hiking trails, rock climbing locations and endless adventure road trip destinations you probably won’t freeze to death here if you elope in the winter! You can get those snowy views and winter wonderlands at warmer temperatures! You are most likely to find snow in Payson, Flagstaff, Bisbee and the Grand Canyon. It is possible to get snow in Sedona, WIlliams, Prescott, Page and Jerome. My best advice for a couples looking to elope in Arizona during the winter wishing for snow would be to be prepared!! Go ahead and get your marriage license in advance and watch the weather to set a date. Once you have set a date stay flexible and be prepared to change the date for more snowfall, a different location or due to any road blocks.
Payson is a perfect place for a winter elopement or a snowy adventure session!! The drive to Payson from Phoenix takes on a whole new wow factor with the mountains covered in snow!! A lot of the areas to photograph you will pretty much have to yourself minus the few and far between snow mobile drivers. There is just something about all the pines, the sunshine and the snow that scream romance to me. Not to mention the possible sighting of elk! Rim country gets about 20 inches of snow each year so it really is probably the best option next to Flagstaff for that winter wonderland look.
If you get to see Sedona graced in snow you are so LUCKY!!! It really is one of the most beautiful sights I have seen in Arizona. Sedona snow fall is more unpredictable, but it does happen more than you would think! These shots were from the recent “blizzard” Sedona had, said to have been the most snow in many years! Low clouds moving through the red rocks with snow covering the trees and cacti is sure to make for a stunning photo background and romantic day together. Eloping in the snow typically sends my mind straight to Iceland, Colorado, Washington or the Grand Tetons. If you’re willing to put in the work with selecting date and being flexible I think Sedona would surpass your wildest imagination!
If you’re considering eloping in Arizona please reach out to me! I would love to be apart of your day and document your love story! If you’re thinking of eloping in Arizona during the winter I would love to share more tips with you about planning and accessing great locations for your elopement!
How to Choose a Photographer - Arizona Based Elopement Photographer - Engaged, Now What?! Part II
Things you should considered when booking your photographer:
Booking your elopement or wedding photographer is one of the most important things for your big day! The photographer is with you the entire day and we are preserving every part of the day for you to look back on later or hang prints on the walls of your home. When selecting your photographer it is important to be mindful of your budget, but there are a lot of other things you should be looking at when making this selection! In this blog post we will explore all of the things that you should be looking for and thinking about when looking for the right photographer! These days your options are endless for photography so it is important to be able to narrow it down from an educated stand point! No matter what, the most important thing is that you communicate and mesh well with your photographer! You want to vibe well with the person that is taking your photos and spending the most intimate day of you and partner’s lives with you.
Hiring a Photographer Checklist:
Is the Photographer insured? You are trusting someone to document one of the most important days of your life. It is important they are insured in case anything was to go wrong with the cards they shot on or for any medical purposes. If you are eloping this is especially important in case there is a rare, terrible accident of a camera tumbling down the mountain!
Does this Photographer have experience? Read the photographers bio on their website. Other ways to check the experience level is read reviews, look through their work and you can also get a feel for their experience level through communicating together. Are they able to help you with your wedding day timeline, do they have advice for locations (trails), time of day, colors to wear for your engagement session or connections with any other vendors you may need? When eloping you need to look for a photographer that has experience in photography, but also time spent on the trail and knowledge of leave no trace behind.
Will this Photographer bring two camera bodies or a second shooter? This may seem silly, but we are working with technology and you never know when something may go wrong or break. It is always best to be prepared! A professional should have two camera bodies, and if they do not then hiring a second shooter is always a good alternative.
Will the Photographer give me a contract to sign? Yes, you want a contract! A contract protects you and the photographer. It also should fully disclose what is provided in your package, time that will be spent with you, payment information and when you can expect to receive your images.
You want to ask yourself if you like this Photographer’s style. Each photographer has a different style in which they shoot and edit. Looking through the photographer’s portfolio can help give you an idea of the colors and over all mood that photographer leans towards. When looking through the photographer’s portfolio it is also key to look for consistency. You want to LOVE your photographer’s style because you want to LOVE your images at the end of the day. Not sure what you’re looking for or have questions??? Always feel free to ask the photographer questions!
Now, let’s talk about your budget! So you have found someone you like and can trust, but are they within your budget? It is important to have a budget and to stick with it, but it is also important to hire a photographer that can provide you in focus high quality images that you will love and be able to cherish forever. The average wedding photographer in the Phoenix area is $3,000 where as the average for a wedding photographer in Seattle is $3,500-$7,000. According to Wedding Wire, the average cost of a wedding photographer in the US is between $1,200-$3,000 and photography should be 12% of your overall wedding budget. I do not like to get all into the numbers, but I think that setting a budget is important to do with the basic understanding of how photographers price their packages. A few things that go into a photographers cost are taxes, insurance, gear, editing software, marketing, time spent in prep with the couple, time spent at the wedding or elopement and time spent editing.
I hope that all of this information was helpful to you! If you have any questions please feel free to drop them in the comments or send me an email! If you are feeling overwhelmed looking for a photographer do not fret! Make a list of the photographers you like and organize them by budget, style, what is included and their experience/reviews. Never feel like you can’t reach out and talk to the photographer, we are all here for you to help make your elopement or wedding day everything you wished it was!
Vendors involved in this shoot:
Coordinators: @morgankbeauty @ashlyarts
Dress & Veil: @gracestyleandbridal
Jewelry: Bear Ridge Trading Post Heber, AZ
Moss chairs: @kyliekirklandphoto