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We're Amber & Josh.
We believe love is an adventure in itself, one worth celebrating authentically. That's why we specialize in elopements and intimate weddings for couples who dare to be different. As a couple who had a unique wedding day ourselves, it holds a special place in our hearts and we love helping couples create their own personal and authentic celebrations.

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How to Elope in Arizona: Making Your Marriage Legal

You may be wondering if it is even legal to elope in Arizona.  And the answer is: absolutely, yes!  There are a few things you will need to do in order to make your marriage legal.  But, Arizona makes it a really easy state to get married in whether you live here or are traveling from out of state!

Bride and groom kiss at the edge of the rim during their elopement at the Mogollon Rim outside of Payson, Arizona by elopement photographer PMA Photography.

How to Obtain a Marriage License in Arizona

The first thing you will need to make your elopement legal, is a marriage license.  In Arizona, you will need to go to a County Clerk’s office to obtain a marriage license.  It does not matter which office, as each marriage license is valid for the entire state.  It is a pretty easy process, but may differ slightly from county to county.  You will both need to appear at the County Clerk office with a valid form of identification (typically a driver’s license or passport).  Arizona does not require a blood test or copy of a dissolution of marriage decree.  

It is recommended that you make an appointment online to obtain your marriage license.  Especially if you are traveling from out of state.  The Clerk’s offices are typically open from 8am – 5pm Monday – Friday.  The process is really straightforward.  You will fill out the application and present your ID (to prove your name and age).  Then you swear an oath that the information provided is true.  That’s it!

You will leave the office with your marriage license, and it will be valid that day!  And, you have up to one year to perform the marriage ceremony.  At the Clerk’s office you can request a certified copy of your marriage license (you will need this to do things like change your name).  Some counties will allow you to pay the $30 fee when you get your marriage license, and some may require a money order.  So, you may want to call ahead of time to verify.  

Once the ceremony is completed and the license signed, you will have 10 – 30 days to return it to the Clerk’s office depending on the county.  This is a task your officiant typically takes care of for you.

Grooms exchanging wedding rings during their desert elopement in Arizona by PMA Photography.

Here are the most common counties to get a marriage license for your elopement: 

Maricopa County (Phoenix)

  • Fee: $83 (cash, money order, credit card)
  • Documentation: Driver’s License, State Issued ID, or Passport
  • Online application available for Arizona residents

Yavapai County (Sedona)

  • Fee: $83 (cash, money order, credit card)

Coconino County (Flagstaff/Page)

  • Fee: $83 (cash, check, money order)
  • Documentation: Driver’s License, State Issued ID, or Passport

Pima County (Tucson)

  • Fee: $83 (cash, money order, credit card)
  • Documentation: Driver’s License, State Issued ID, Birth Certificate, Baptismal Certificate, Passport, or Military ID.

 

Finding an Officiant for your Arizona Elopement

To elope in Arizona you will need an officiant.  There are tons of wonderful elopement officiants that travel anywhere in Arizona.  It is also extremely easy to have a friend or family member be your officiant.  They just need to get ordained online.  That’s it!  Some popular options are: Universal Life Church; American Marriage Ministries; Dudeism; and the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.  Your elopement photography may also be ordained and able to sign your marriage license.  I am ordained and can officiate my couple’s elopements!

Two brides stand with their officiant during their marriage ceremony at the edge of the Grand Canyon by elopement photographer PMA Photography.

Two Witnesses

You will need two witnesses, 18 and older, to sign your marriage license.  This can be any two people other than you and your officiant.  If you were planning an intimate ceremony without any family members or friends, you still have options!  Your wedding vendors can sign as witnesses; photographer and videographer are the most common choices.  (I have personally signed many marriage licenses as a witness!)  If you are getting married off a popular hiking trail, you can flag down two fellow hikers to sign for you.  Or, you can ask your officiant if they have a package that includes two witnesses to sign your license.  

Bride signs her marriage license with her officiant and witnesses on the front of a truck during her fall elopement at the Mogollon Rim by PMA Photography.

Alternative Options

What if you want to elope with just the two of you (and your photographer)?  No worries, you have options!  You can get married at the courthouse or by a Justice of the Peace.  This can take place at any point in time ahead of your wedding day from a few days to a few months in advance.  You can also do it on the morning of your elopement day if you want to have the same wedding day on your marriage license.  Your photographer can also be there to take some portraits of you two together at the courthouse.  

 

That’s it!  Short and sweet.  If you are looking for an elopement photography who is ordained and will help you with planning all your elopement details, hit me up!

Arizona Elopement Planning Tips

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