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A Guide to Phoenix Weddings & Getting Married in Arizona


While some may accuse it of being an outdated tradition, getting married has never been more important than today. In the age of hook-ups and casual dating, what better way to show your commitment than to take the traditional route? This way, you’ll prove that you’re a romantic and a believer in true love. Now, the place where you’re getting married matters greatly. While some rush to get married in Vegas, others are a bit choosier when it comes to their wedding location. Here’s what those willing to get married in Arizona should know.

The first thing you need to keep in mind is that, In Arizona, you need to be at least 18 to obtain your license. Still, with a guardian’s permission, you can marry as young as 16 or 17. So, if you’re anywhere above the age of 18, all you need are some basic documentation and a couple of payments.

Now, in terms of documentation, you need any kind of government-issued identification (ID, passport, driver’s license) and two witnesses. Other than this, you also have to pay between $72 and $78 (depending on the county). The guidelines for getting a marriage license are also slightly different for each county.

Once you obtain the license, there’s no waiting period and you can get married on the same day. Still, when planning a proper wedding, you might want to set an appointment with a city clerk and ask them to book you for a specific date. Moreover, once you get your license to marry, in Arizona, you have a year to get married. After this time, your license expires and you’ll have to apply for a new one.

One more thing worth mentioning, since 2014, same-sex marriage has been legally recognized in Arizona.

The weather

The climate in Arizona can be quite severe. This is important when you’re planning a wedding date. You see, there’s a reason why spring weddings are the most popular for people who are going to get married in Arizona. In other words, you might want to plan for March, April, or May.

Also, keep in mind that the weather may determine your wedding venue. Having an open wedding in July in Arizona can be a proper nightmare, regardless if you’re in a wedding gown or a three-piece suit. So, finding a nice, air-conditioned venue is a top priority.

Keep in mind that a fall is also an option, for all those who don’t believe that they can plan and execute everything by the following spring.

Wedding customs

In the 21st century, a lot of people identify as cosmopolitan and don’t put too much thought into wedding customs. Sure, some traditions are seen as sacred but you would be surprised to learn that these traditions are not as old as you expect them to be. While you should be looking for diamond rings in Scottsdale, this tradition didn’t become popular until the mid-1900s.

Older wedding traditions originate from an era long before the internet and the hyper-connected world. This is why they’re so localized and region-dependent. For instance, while other parts of the country have different traditions, in Arizona, Hispanic, Native American, and Western weddings are considered to be the traditional ones.

While this can somewhat strongly emphasize the identity of your Arizonan wedding, you can avoid this in its entirety and go with a more universal wedding decoration and customs.

Plan for the Heat

Regardless of when you’re hosting the wedding, you need to plan for the heat in order not to be caught by a surprise. So:

  • The daily schedule of the wedding needs to be made with consideration of the weather.
  • If a part of the ceremony is organized outdoors in daylight, you need to think about the shade.
  • Keeping makeup impeccable is going to be a challenge but it’s by no means impossible.
  • Picking a heat-resistant decoration is another great idea.
  • Most importantly, you want your guests to be heat-resistant, which is why you need to provide the right refreshment.

Now, keep in mind that these are mostly tips for those who are getting married during the hotter part of the year. Those getting married in the winter will be surprised at just how chilly Arizona can get.

The transportation

One of the biggest challenges of organizing a wedding in Arizona is the transportation to and from the venue. Someone has to drive and public transportation is not very reliable. Ideally, you would figure something out in terms of accommodation but this can be a huge hit for your wedding budget.

Now, you could rely on the guests figuring this out on their own but even here, you could ask your wedding planner to do a bit of research and compile a list of suitable accommodation venues. Overall, it’s something that can easily slip from one’s mind, especially with everything else on your plate.

A nearby honeymoon

The best thing about getting married in Arizona lies in the fact that the state has so much more to offer than just Phoenix. So, it’s an ideal location for a honeymoon, as well. For all the Old West enthusiasts, you’ll be thrilled to learn that Tombstone is nearby. Tucson and Oracle are also definitely worth visiting. If you’re planning an RV trip and a lot of sightseeing, you shouldn’t forget that Grand Canyon is in Arizona as well. Sure, some couples prefer to go to Vegas for their honeymoon but, guess what, from Phoenix, it’s just a 5 hours drive. In other words, whatever your aims and intentions, you have many options.

Final thoughts

The last thing you need to take into consideration is the fact that it’s your wedding that we’re talking about and you need to focus on having the best day of your life. Sure, getting married in Arizona can be challenging but if thousands of people are doing it every year, so can you. Just do your research and start your planning process on time. While it might not have been the first place that popped into your mind when you started planning to get married, you would be surprised at just how many people get married here. This means that you need to schedule it all in time.