Grand Canyon Special Use Permits During COVID 19 – Press Release

special use permits update covid `9

We recently received an email communication from the Grand Canyon National Park regarding their handling of Special Use Permits during this COVID-19 pandemic. As of today, this information this has not been added to the Grand Canyon National Park website, so I wanted to make this available through our own website for anyone that needs to know. See below:




The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended participation in a program called “15 Days to Slow the Spread.” This is a nationwide effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 through implementation of social distancing. This program advises against social gatherings and avoiding discretionary travel. In this context, social gathering is defined as a group of 10 or more people.

In order to adhere to the CDC’s recommendations, GRCA is revoking all SUPs issued through March 31, 2020 with approved group sizes of 10 or more people. SUPs issued for events taking place through March 31, 2020, with approved group sizes of nine or less people are unaffected. The current guidance authorizes group sizes up to 50 between April 1 and mid-May, though that is subject to change as the COVID-19 response develops.

The park is recommending the development of contingency plans as local, state, and federal recommendations are subject to change.

We apologize for any inconvenience. Our office will be happy to work with you to reschedule events as staff time allows. The best method to communicate with the Commercial Permits Office is via email at: GRCA_Permits_Mail@nps.gov. Although the Commercial Permits Office will continue to process SUP applications, no new permits will be issued at this time for events greater than 10 people.

Please note that a previous update for permit processing times may be extended due to COVID-19: https://www.nps.gov/grca/learn/news/grand-canyon-permit-processing-updates.htm.

COVID-19 Operations Update – Grand Canyon National Park

grand canyon weddings covid19

We are doing our best to monitor the effects of COVID-19 on business operations in and around the Grand Canyon National Park and to communicate quickly how that might affect our clients. Currently, the Grand Canyon National Park is to remain open and accessible with free entry. Most amenities within the National Park are closing through May 22. The closures includes all National Park lodges, restaurants, visitor services, shuttle service, some tours and more. Campgrounds appear to be staying open, with limited amenities. For the most current information put out directly by the National Park check their website HERE.

We do know that Under Canvas Grand Canyon is committed to opening April 9. They have recently modified their policies, allowing reservations to be modified or cancelled at no charge up to 7 days before your scheduled arrival date. This is a great option for accommodations near the Grand Canyon National Park.

Grand Canyon Wedding Packages is continuing to serve our clients, as well as other Couples whose large wedding plans may have been cancelled elsewhere. Our team will follow all CDC guidelines regarding the maximum group size and practice proper personal health & safety precautions; including the suggested 6ft of separation among all members of the group. For existing clients that cannot travel to the Grand Canyon due to this pandemic, we are allowing event dates to be rescheduled for a future date without penalty. If you are currently a booked client and we have reason to believe that your wedding date will be impacted by all of this, we will be reaching out to you directly.

Coronavirus & Your Arizona Wedding Plans

As I sit here today hearing about the mass cancellations and rescheduling of large weddings in Arizona (and pretty much everywhere); my heart truly breaks for both the Couples (and businesses) blindsided by this pandemic.  So many Couples have been planning one of the most special days in their lives, and spent hard earned money to have every detail just perfect, only to have their plans destroyed in the blink of an eye by the Coronavirus.  And, many businesses are all of the sudden faced with panic and uncertainty.  No doubt, many tears are being shed right now and emotions are running high, for so many reasons. 

BUT, if there is one thing I have learned, it’s that LOVE ALWAYS WINS!  In times of high stress, we naturally gravitate to our loved ones and realize that they are what is truly important.  Granted… we have not seen anything like this in our lifetime, but one thing is for sure; Couples still want to get married.  Given the recommendations against group gatherings and unnecessary travel, many Couples find themselves asking “what do we do now?”.

FIRST AND FOREMOST… if you are a Grand Canyon Wedding Packages client, we are not currently requiring the cancellation or rescheduling of any weddings. As we all know, this situation is changing almost daily, so we will notify you via email and post updates via social media if anything changes. But, if your particular circumstances prevent you from continuing with your original plans, we will allow you to reschedule. If you have any questions about your specific situation, please feel free to call or email us and we will be happy to talk with you directly.

Weddings in general will surely continue, but they may look very different for a while.  This doesn’t mean that they will be any less amazing; just maybe different than Couples originally imagined.  So, we hope to be able to offer some guidance to ALL Couples facing this new reality.  If your wedding has been cancelled or rescheduled by another venue, please consider the following:

What to Do Now

  1. Did you purchase wedding insurance prior to March 11, 2020?  If yes, check to see if it includes postponement and/or cancellation coverage.  Understanding your policy, if you have one, is the first thing I recommend.  This is key to making decisions going forward. (Most insurance companies I am aware of have excluded cancellation or postponement due to Coronavirus from new policies as of March 11 when it was declared a pandemic.)
  2. Contact your venue to inquire about options.  Are they allowing small weddings (probably 10 or under right now). If so, maybe you could proceed with a small group.   OR, are they cancelling or rescheduling all weddings of any size?  If you have a wedding planner, contact them first and allow them to assist you with options in order to alleviate some stress.
  3. Be patient with your wedding professionals. They are all doing the best they can given the current circumstances. Many businesses and professionals are scrambling to assist Couples whose weddings are planned in the immediate future (like right now). So, please be kind and patient as everyone navigates this new situation.
  4. If you do not wish to postpone your wedding, but your venue is not able to accommodate you, consider some alternatives. Maybe you can proceed with the original date if you modify your plans.  Consider having a very small wedding on the same date at a different location with your other vendors.  Backyard weddings, park weddings and other scenic outdoor weddings are still possible with small groups (probably under 10 for now). Most, if not all, non-venue wedding professionals are continuing to work with proper health & safety precautions.
  5. Consider taking this opportunity to plan something amazing for just you and your partner.  Elope instead!  There are some amazing outdoor locations in Arizona that would require very little travel.  These can even be “day-trips” that do not require an overnight stay.  Think Grand Canyon, Sedona, Horseshoe Bend, Lake Powell, the forest in Flagstaff, the beautiful desert in Phoenix… so many beautiful locations in Arizona to consider!

We Can Help

Grand Canyon Wedding Packages is entirely focused on Elopements and small weddings in Arizona. This puts us in a unique position to help Couples wanting to be married now (or within the next few months).  Not only do we offer elopement packages at the Grand Canyon, but all over the state, through other niche websites.  If you are interested in discussing Arizona Elopement options, please reach out to us and we would be happy to talk with you.  We are happy to speak with you and offer advice, regardless of whether you book a package with us.  However, we will be offering special discounts on Elopement packages for Couples that have had their other wedding plans impacted by the Coronavirus. Contact us for more information.

Weddings at Grand Canyon West vs. Grand Canyon South Rim

elopement at the Grand Canyon

Are you wondering what the difference is between weddings at Grand Canyon West and the Grand Canyon National Park?

Well, we have found that there is much confusion, particularly among Las Vegas visitors and international Couples, as to the differences between these two areas. So, we would like to share our thoughts with you, in hopes of helping Couples choose the perfect wedding location.

picture of the Grand Canyon West skywalkGrand Canyon West is an area in the far West corner of Arizona, on the Hualapai Indian Reservation and is not part of the National Park.  This area is approximately 2 hours from Las Vegas; about 122 miles.  For visitors that are short on time, or that have never seen the Grand Canyon South Rim, this area may be a great choice.  Amenities are a bit more limited in this area, so it is best considered for a day trip.  This location operates as more of a paid attraction and requires a moderate budget to partake in all of the activities. The most popular attraction to this area is the glass Skywalk that jets out over the Canyon.  There are 3 other viewpoints in this area, and the scenery is different than what you would expect at the South Rim; in our opinion it’s a little less “Grand”.  There are options for weddings on land at their 3 viewpoints as well as the Skywalk, and there are other options that include helicopters taking you to the bottom of the Canyon to be married.  This is the only part of the Grand Canyon where helicopters are permitted to actually land within the Canyon.  You will find various companies online offering helicopter wedding packages.  The price point at Grand Canyon West is typically quite a bit more than the wedding options available at the South Rim.  Another important consideration is that many of the companies offering wedding packages in this area are from Las Vegas and their officiants are legally ordained in Las Vegas.  This fact means that your Marriage License will be signed in Nevada and will state that you were married in Las Vegas vs. the Grand Canyon.  This may not matter to some, but we find that most of our clients are coming from very far away to be married at the “Grand Canyon” and would like their Marriage License to reflect that. Nevertheless, if you are looking for a quick trip from Las Vegas and don’t care about seeing the Grand Canyon National Park; then Grand Canyon West might be something to consider.

photo of wedding couple at the Grand Canyon at sunsetThe Grand Canyon National Park, South Rim area is “synonymous” with the GRAND CANYON and displays amazing views that people come from all over the world to see.  The South Rim area is run by the National Park Service and this is where we offer our wedding packages.  There are over 2 dozen stunning viewpoints to explore, as well as the Grand Canyon Village area with art studios.  It is approximately 5 hours from Las Vegas, 1 hour and 20 minutes from Flagstaff, and 3 hours and 45 minutes from Phoenix.  This area is more established and offers more to see, more to do and many more amenities than either the West Rim or the North Rim.  Once you enter the park, there are many free activities that can keep you busy for at least a few days.  Most tours and paid activities; including our wedding packages, are more budget friendly than what you will find offered at the West Rim. All of our weddings take place at one of 6 beautiful overlooks within the National Park that are approved as wedding sites. These overlooks are all locations that can be reached by car, so there is no hiking involved (except a short trail at Shoshone Point).  Some locations require a short walk from the parking area, but overall they are easily accessible.  Helicopters are not permitted to land anywhere within the National Park, so a helicopter wedding package is not something that is available at this location.  We offer vow renewals, proposals, elopement weddings, wedding picnics, plus larger weddings and receptions throughout the South Rim area.  Please feel free to review all the options on our website.

The 6 Grand Canyon Wedding Locations

The Grand Canyon National Park is a uniquely beautiful venue for elopements, intimate weddings and marriage proposals.  In the South Rim area, there are 6 approved wedding locations.  Each location requires a Special Use Permit from the National Park Service and fees currently range from $240 – $500; permit fees are separate from our package rates.  Grand Canyon Wedding Packages offers a variety of options at each of the approved wedding locations.  Below, we have shared some basic information and photos of all the sites.  For more information about any of these locations, or to book a wedding package, please call or email us anytime.

List of the Grand Canyon Wedding Sites

Shoshone Point

grand canyon wedding locations shoshone point

Shoshone Point is beautiful wedding site that can be reserved for private use.  This site is seasonal and only available between May 1 and October 15.  If offers a covered pavilion with picnic tables, grills, trash cans, and a restroom. It is the only outdoor location within the National Park where you can have a wedding reception.  There are 2 options in this area for where to hold your ceremony.  Option 1 is the “point”, which is stunning but only suitable for smaller groups of about 20 or less; it is also uncomfortable for some people who are afraid of heights.  Option 2 is a flat area next to the pavilion that has a nice view of the Canyon.  The flat area is used for larger ceremonies of 20+ guests. Parking is limited and some guests may need to be shuttled from other parking areas along Desert View Rd.  Group shuttle service is available to this site through Xanterra.

Moran Point

grand canyon wedding locations moran point

Moran Point is one of our favorite wedding sites because there are a couple of different viewpoints, away from the main tourist lookout, where we can offer some privacy for our wedding ceremonies or proposals.  It is a beautiful location that can accommodate groups up to 35.  Parking is available onsite.

Lipan Point

grand canyon wedding locations lipan point

Lipan Point is an all-time favorite location that boasts gorgeous views of the Colorado River, and panoramic views of the Grand Canyon.  There are also a couple of viewpoints at this location, away from the main viewpoint that we like to use for more privacy.  This location can accommodate groups up to 35.  Parking is available onsite, but can be limited during peak times. Scheduled for temporary closure starting July 31, 2020 to October 1, 2020.

Rim Worship Site

grand canyon wedding locations rim worship site

This location is just west of Bright Angel Lodge, along the Rim Trail.  It is very convenient and well within walking distance for any group that plans to stay at the Village Lodges (El Tovar, Thunderbird, Kachina, Bright Angel, and Maswik).  This site can accommodate groups up to 50.

Grandeur Point

grand canyon wedding locations grandeur point

Grandeur Point is the second closest site to the Grand Canyon Village area.  It is accessed from the same parking area as Yavapai Point and Yavapai Geological Museum.  The parking area is quite large, but it can fill up during busy times of the day.  There are restroom facilities near the parking lot.  The walk to Grandeur Point from the parking area is about a 5 to 7 minute walk down the paved Rim Trail.   This site is very popular with tourists, especially near sunset.

Pima Point

grand canyon wedding locations pima point

This is a beautiful location that is suitable for small groups of 10-15.  It is only available in December, January and February while Hermit Road is open to vehicle traffic; the remainder of the year it is for buses only.  We don’t typically see a lot of tourists at this particular site.  Parking is available right behind the site.

Christa & Steve’s Summer Elopement at Lipan Point

We Congratulate Christa and Steve on their Summer Grand Canyon Elopement! Christa and Steve have known each other since they were teenagers but it wasn’t until years later that they started dating. They eventually decided to elope at the Grand Canyon and traveled halfway across the country to do so! We love hearing the backstories of the people we work with and how they came to be engaged. Here are some of our favorite photos from their special day and as you can see even stormy days make for some amazing photographs!

Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Lipan Point .

Yokabed & Jared’s Surprise Proposal at Lipan Point

Congratulations to Jared and Yokabed on their Summer Grand Canyon Engagement at Lipan Point! Jared wanted to surprise Yokabed during their cross country drive by proposing at the Grand Canyon. Boy, was she surprised! They arrived at Lipan Point where they had a romantic picnic overlooking the amazing Grand Canyon. He pretended to take a picture of her gazing out into the canyon and when she turned around he was down on one knee with a ring in hand. Guess what, she said yes! Here are some amazing pictures that captured their special moment.

Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Summer Engagement Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Summer Engagement Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Summer Engagement Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Summer Engagement Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Summer Engagement Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Summer Engagement Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Summer Engagement Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Summer Engagement Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Summer Engagement Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Summer Engagement Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Summer Engagement Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Summer Engagement Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Summer Engagement Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Summer Engagement Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Summer Engagement Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Summer Engagement Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Summer Engagement Lipan Point

 

 

Janice & Tory’s Summer Elopement at Lipan Point

Congratulations to Janice and Tory for their Summer Grand Canyon Elopement at Lipan Point! They chose to have their favorite people by their side for their not so secret elopement. Both Janice and Tory’s sons were there to witness the special occasion and join in on some newly wed and family photos. They were a blast to work with and even more fun to photograph! Tory was willing to put his fear of heights aside in order to get some amazing photographs. Here are some of our favorite photos!

Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages at Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Lipan Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Lipan Point

 

Martina & Johannes Summer Elopement Wedding at Grandeur Point

grand canyon wedding packages grandeur point sunset wedding

Congratulations to Martina and Johannes, married recently at Grandeur Point 💕. They were such a lovely couple and we really enjoyed working with them. We think their photos came out beautiful and captured the sweetness of their day just perfectly! Here are some of our favorites.

grand canyon wedding packages grandeur point

 
grand canyon wedding packages grandeur point

 

grand canyon wedding packages grandeur point

 

grand canyon wedding packages grandeur point

 

grand canyon wedding packages grandeur point sunset wedding

 

grand canyon wedding packages grandeur point sunset wedding

 

grand canyon wedding packages grandeur point sunset

 

grand canyon wedding packages grandeur point sunset

 

grand canyon wedding packages grandeur point sunset wedding

 

grand canyon wedding packages grandeur point sunset wedding

 

 

Captivating Video Showcasing the Natural Beauty of the “GRAND” Canyon

Harun Mehmedinovic grand canyon wedding packages destination weddings USA

I came across this video today and just could not help but share it.  This video showcases some of the rare and amazing things that occur at the Grand Canyon.  As you watch, you may think you are seeing an ocean, but this is what they call a “cloud inversion” and if you are ever lucky enough to see it in person, it is so very interesting!

 

SKYGLOWPROJECT.COM: KAIBAB ELEGY from Harun Mehmedinovic on Vimeo.

Credit: SKYGLOW photographer Harun Mehmedinovic