Melissa Fritzsche Photography


Tucson, arizona wedding Photographer

Planning A Destination Wedding In Tucson, Arizona



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Why Choose Tucson For Your Destination Wedding

Located in the South-East part of Arizona, Tucson is the second-largest populated city behind Phoenix. The landscape includes untouched deserts, rugged canyons, and pine-topped mountains. As a photographer, Tucson offers some of the most stunning and picturesque scenery as a backdrop for your destination Tucson wedding.

For many people, the idea of the Southwest holds a certain allure. Tucson is a city deeply rooted in Hispanic, Native American, and Western cultures. This diversity adds a unique element to your wedding. Incorporating local traditions, cuisine, or art into your wedding will make it memorable for you and your wedding guests. The nostalgia of old western towns and visiting untouched deserts much like the cowboys of the past is exciting and is why many couples choose to come to Tucson for their wedding. 

Tucson strikes a balance between urban amenities and natural beauty. You can enjoy the conveniences of a city while also being surrounded by the tranquility of the desert landscape. Despite being a larger city, Tucson still has a small-town feel. It is no surprise that it is quickly becoming a favorite destination for weddings.

How To Plan Your Destination Tucson Wedding

If you are from out of town, it may seem overwhelming knowing where to begin when it comes to planning your destination wedding. As a local Tucson wedding photographer, I am hoping that this guide can give you a starting point as you begin planning your destination wedding.

Best Time Of Year To Get Married In Tucson

Tucson enjoys a warm and sunny climate for most of the year, which is perfect if you are hoping for an outdoor wedding. An outdoor wedding in the early Spring or late Fall is perfect in Tucson. The Summer months of June-August are a less ideal time to plan your wedding due to the monsoon season and the extremely high temperatures. We are talking temperatures of 100+. Trust me, you do not want to be in a heavy wedding dress or suit in that weather if you can help it. I have a blog post here that suggests some of my favorite outdoor wedding venues in Tucson and tips for having an incredible outdoor wedding. 

Traveling Around Tucson

Tucson is an easy city to get around in. There is the Tucson International Airport that you and your guests may fly into. However, some couples find it is less expensive to fly into Phoenix and drive the 1.5 hours to Tucson. 

The best way to get around Tucson is by car. There are several public transportation options, but renting a car gives you the flexibility to go where you need to when you need to. I will say if you are holding your wedding at a venue downtown, finding parking can be difficult. In these cases, I suggest your guest take an Uber or Lyft to the venue if it is downtown. 

Average Cost of A Wedding in Tucson, Arizona

I have had several couples book me as their wedding photographer for their destination wedding in Tucson. Many times when I asked them how they chose Tucson as the location for their destination wedding, they expressed how much more affordable it was to get married in Tucson, than other places. 

This is not to say weddings are cheap in Tucson, I’m sorry to report that weddings are expensive in general. But you can get your budget to spread a little further here. Last year revealed teh average wedding cost data per state. The national average cost for a wedding is $30,000 with the cost of a wedding in Arizona being $23,000.  

However, the great news with planning a destination wedding, is that your guest list tends to be a bit smaller. Not only does this create a more intimate, and personal wedding experience, but it keeps your wedding costs down.

Best Wedding Venues In Tucson

Tucson offers a wide range of wedding venues, from luxurious resorts to rustic ranches and elegant gardens. Whether you’re envisioning a formal affair or a more relaxed celebration, you’re likely to find a venue that suits your style and preferences. I have compiled a list of my favorite wedding venues in Tucson. Click HERE to check out some of my favorite wedding venues.

How To Get Your Marriage License

To apply for a marriage license in Tucson, you need to go to the Pima County Clerk of the Superior Court’s office and submit a marriage license application. The address for the Pima County Superior Court Building can be found at 110 W. Congress Street in downtown Tucson. The cost for the marriage license is around $72. More information can be found by going to this website HERE.

Hiring a Tucson Wedding Planner

When you are planning a wedding in Tucson and you are from out of town, I highly suggest hiring a local wedding planner. They have connections with other local vendors and can ease a lot of the headache of planning by streamlining the entire process for you. Once my couples book with me, I provide them with all my favorite local vendors that I have worked with, including planners. This gives them peace of mind knowing that I personally have worked with these vendors and can vouch for their professionalism and work. 

Wowing Your Out-Of-Town Guests

You both love Tucson and want your guests to love it as well! There are so many great ways you can help them experience all that Tucson has to offer. I want to share with you some ways you can wow your wedding guests and get them excited for your Tucson wedding. 

Welcome Bags for your wedding guests

Welcome gifts/bags are such a great way to express gratitude to your out-of-town guests for coming to celebrate with you all and it sets the tone for your wedding. Each item you choose will be a piece of your love story and a reflection of the city of Tucson. In the next section, I have included some local businesses here in Tucson that would be perfect for encapsulating the vibrant spirit of Tucson and wowing your guests.

Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing when it comes to creating a welcome gift for your wedding guests. You could create a welcome bag with local treats such as chocolates from Monsoon Chocolates, Tohono Chul prickly pear lemonade, Whoops macaroons, or include some unique flavors from Popped Artisan Popcorn. You could create a gift basket of desert-inspired beauty products. A desert survival kit would be a fun idea too. Include items such as a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, water bottle, liquid IV, aloe vera, and tweezers ( if they had a run-in with a cactus ). If you want a one-stop shop for a lot of local treasures, the creative kind is a great shop to start with. The possibilities are endless. Get creative and have fun!

Where To Stay In Tucson

There are many hotels, resorts, and Airbnbs around Tucson for you and your guests to stay at. However, I would highly suggest that you stay close to, if not at your wedding venue. Many venues around town offer accommodations for you and your guests. Tanque Verde Ranch, Hacienda del Sol, Rancho Robles, and the Ritz-Carlton are just a few of the many wedding venues that offer not only stunning wedding ceremony options but incredible guest suites as well. There are many reasons why I suggest doing this. First, it keeps you all close so that you can enjoy your time together celebrating. Secondly, many venues offer discounts to couples if their guests book at the venue too. As a bonus, it will help your wedding day timeline run exponentially smoother by having everything at one location. 

Best Restaurants In Tucson

Tucson has a vibrant food scene that showcases a mix of cuisines, including Mexican, Southwestern, and innovative fusion dishes. Treating your guests to the local culinary specialties can be a memorable aspect of your wedding experience. Here is a short list of some favorite restaurants in Tucson.

  1. Boca Tacos y Tequila
  2. Prep and Pastry
  3. Noodleholics
  4. El Charro
  5. The Hub
  6. Seis Kitchen
  7. Zio Peppe
  8. Maynards
  9. Agustin Kitchen
  10.  The Parish
  11.  Charro Steak & Del Rey
  12.  Anello
  13. Vivace

Things To Do In Tucson

For couples and their guests, Tucson offers many outdoor activities. From hiking and horseback riding to hot air ballooning and stargazing, you can turn your wedding celebration into an incredible multi-day adventure. 

But don’t worry. If you are looking for a quieter, relaxed experience, we have you covered. Tucson is known for its incredible spas and resorts. Celebrities like Oprah have given their seal of endorsement to spas such as Miraval Spa in Tucson. Schedule a relaxing spa day or just enjoy the sun by the pool with your favorite book.  

Best Tucson Destination Wedding Photographer

I love working with couples who are planning their destination wedding in Tucson. I am an open book; and as a Tucson Native, I love sharing my love of this city with others. I’m here to help guide you and help you create the wedding of your dreams. If you need a wedding photographer for your big day, please reach out HERE. I’d love to hear from you! 

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I'm Melissa and I'm so happy you're here. This blog is a fun space to get lost exploring recent weddings and sessions, to get inspired, and to get to know me better. Stay a while and say hello!

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