Grand Canyon Special Use Permits During COVID 19 – Press Release

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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: 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:

COVID-19 Operations Update – Grand Canyon National Park

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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

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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.

Linda & Mark’s Spring Elopement at Lipan Point

Linda and Mark recently eloped at the Grand Canyon with two of their closest friends by their sides. Congratulations Linda and Mark! They came all the way from England to elope on the rim of the Grand Canyon at Lipan Point. I don’t think they could have picked a prettier place to elope! It was a gorgeous day and they all looked stunning! Linda made all of their flowers and aren’t they wonderful? We wish them safe travels and a happy marriage! Check out some of their photos below!

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Sarah & Nick’s Spring Grand Canyon Elopement at Moran Point

Congratulations Sarah and Nick for eloping at the Grand Canyon! They decided to have their wedding ceremony at Moran Point. It was gorgeous! Sarah looked wonderful in her wedding dress and we loved the pop of color and her flower crown! Sarah and Nick came all the way from Canada to experience the Grand Canyon together. Sarah had been to the Grand Canyon before but Nick never had. Don’t they make an adorable couple? They deserve another congratulations because they are expecting a little baby! Here are some of our favorite photos from the day!Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Moran Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Moran Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Moran Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Moran Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Moran Point Grand Canyon Wedding Packages Moran Point

Michelle & Gary’s Spring Grand Canyon Elopement at Lipan Point

A big congratulations to Michelle and Gary on their Grand Canyon elopement at Lipan Point! I think we can all agree that Michelle looked gorgeous in her wedding dress! Michelle and Gary were lucky enough to have their family by their side on this special day. Everyone was so excited about the elopement! It was great to see so many smiling faces. Michelle and Gary are both huge gym nuts!  They have nicknames at the gym they work at of “Wonder Woman” and “The Hulk” so they made sure to incorporate this into their wedding! Check out Michelle’s shoes and Gary’s socks! They also had cake toppers of Wonder Woman and The Hulk. What a cute idea! They decided to book an extra hour of photography so they could get photos at both Lipan Point and Moran Point. Here are some of our favorite photos from their big day!

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Christal & Brady Eloped to the Grand Canyon, Lipan Point

Congratulations to Christal and Brady for their recent elopement at Lipan Point in the Grand Canyon! They brought their family along to experience the Grand Canyon and witness this special day with them. The ceremony was lovely and they got to enjoy a sparkling cider toast and cupcakes afterwards! Christal and Brady were great sports about climbing around in the cold weather for photos. They didn’t suffer the cold for nothing though, I mean look at these photos! Even though there wasn’t much of a sunset because of all the clouds the sky was still magnificent! Here are some of our favorite photos.

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A Spring Grand Canyon Elopement at Moran Point for Whitney and James

Whitney and James recently eloped at the Grand Canyon. Let us wish them a congratulations! Whitney looked stunning in her white wedding dress and pearls. Whitney wasn’t sure if she should wear her veil but she definitely made the right decision. Just before the ceremony started, another bride who had just been married at the Grand Canyon as well, waved and wished them luck. Such an amazing memory! Whitney and James have been together for 2 years and are gearing up to move from Kentucky to Colorado. They have lived in Kentucky for most of their lives, what an adventure that will be! We wish them the best of luck. Here are some of our favorite photos!

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