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.

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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A Rainy Day Proposal at the Grand Canyon with Jessica & Aaron

Congratulations to Jessica and Aaron on their engagement at the Grand Canyon! Jessica had never been to the Grand Canyon before so Aaron thought it would be a spectacular place to propose. We set up a picnic on the edge of the canyon for them to enjoy. When Aaron was gearing up to propose he got dangerously close to the canyon edge, we almost ran to his rescue! He decided that he wasn’t in the greatest spot to kneel so he moved a safer distance from the edge. Whew! When he did pop the question, she said yes! They were so excited that even the rain didn’t stop them from enjoying the rest of their picnic. Here are some of our favorite photos from the day!Grand Canyon Wedding Packages El Tovar Grand Canyon Wedding Packages El Tovar Grand Canyon Wedding Packages El Tovar Grand Canyon Wedding Packages El Tovar Grand Canyon Wedding Packages El Tovar Grand Canyon Wedding Packages El Tovar

 

A Quaint Winter Elopement at Grandeur Point, Grand Canyon with Natasha & Sebastien

Congratulations Natasha and Sebastien for eloping at the Grand Canyon! They were an absolute blast to work with! Natasha and Sebastien met each other in high school and have been together for 8 years. Natasha’s sister and sisters boyfriend came along as witnesses. They also met in high school and have been together for 5 years. Crazy! It makes sense though, they come from a small town of only 5,000 people located in Canada. The ceremony was lovely and they got to enjoy a picnic afterwards! The group had a great time taking photos as you can see below (I saved the best for last). Here are some of our favorite photos.

 

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Samantha & Cody’s Winter Elopement at Lipan Point

Congratulations to Samantha & Cody. They recently eloped in the Grand Canyon from Texas! Samantha couldn’t decide on the perfect dress, so she bought TWO plus a beautiful veil! Unfortunately they had to leave their sick dog at home and were very worried about her but they made sure she was a part of the wedding ceremony by Skyping her so she could see them get married! We wish her a speedy recovery. Samantha is a dog trainer and they have quite the arrangement of pets back home, too bad they couldn’t be in the photos! Here are some of our favorite photos from their big day.

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