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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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!

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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.

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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!

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Martina & Johannes Summer Elopement Wedding at Grandeur Point

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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.

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

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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

May the Fourth Be With You – A Star Wars Themed Elopement

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Hope + Patrick’s Grand Canyon Elopement at Lipan Point

Congratulations to Hope and Patrick who traveled all the way from St. Louis, Missouri to be married at the Grand Canyon National Park.  We are so happy to share this sneak peak from their Star Wars themed wedding!  Destination weddings and elopements are on the rise, and we absolutely love how so many of our couples personalize their weddings to reflect their own personal style.

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