How to Elope in Petra in 2024 [Full Elopement Guide]

petra landscape

Post Summary: Below is a full guide to how to elope in Petra, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, where I go through everything you need to know to plan an epic Petra elopement. I’m covering all the best Petra elopement locations, the best time of year to elope, important travel tips & things to know about visiting, and so much more!

donkey in petra

Jordan is SUCH an underrated country to visit in general, let alone to elope in – most couples think of places like Bali, Italy, or Greece when they think of eloping outside of the U.S. And don’t get me wrong, each of those destinations are absolutely phenomenal and definitely deserve their reputation! But there’s something so special about eloping somewhere a little more unique – I’m personally partial to Egypt and Jordan. The cultures are amazing, the architecture is gorgeous, and the scenery is breathtaking. After reading this Petra elopement guide, I know you’re going to fall in freaking love with this incredible place, and you’ll be ready to plan your dream Petra elopement!

woman sitting in petra

What and Where is Petra?

Before we dive into all things elopement-related, let’s make sure you’re familiar with what & where Petra even is!

If you’re not familiar with Petra, it’s actually one of the Seven Wonders of the World, joined by iconic destinations such as Machu Picchu and the Colosseum. Located in southwest Jordan, Petra is one of the oldest cities in the world, as well as one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world thanks to its unique half-built architecture – that’s right, Petra is literally a half-built and half-carved-into-rock city that makes you feel like you’re on a whole other planet! The city of ancient ruins was founded over 2000 years ago along ancient trade routes, so there’s no surprise it’s fallen apart juuust a little over the years. Walking through the pink sandstone cliffs in the middle of the mountains and getting to see the fascinating Hellenistic architecture up close is such a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It’s even more of an incredible experience if you take a little time to learn about the history of Petra before visiting!

How to Get to Petra

Petra is about 2 hours from Aqaba and 3 hours from the capital city of Amman, where Jordan’s main airport is located, Queen Alia International Airport (QAIA). You can take public transport from QAIA to Petra if you want, but I’d recommend either hiring a private car and driver, or renting a car and driving yourself to make things easier. This way, you have complete control of where you go and when, and you don’t have to rely on a public transport system that you're not familiar with!

red rocks of petra

Why Elope in Petra?

Besides the fact that you’d get to check off an item on SO many people’s bucket lists (and you’d be one step closer to visiting all of the Seven Wonders of the World!), Petra is truly one of the most fascinating and stunning places that humans can visit. The natural beauty of the mountainous area will take your breath away, as will the rose-colored architecture that truly belongs on a postcard. Petra is actually referred to as the “Rose City” because of the color of the stones used in the architecture!

Not only is Petra absolutely stunning, it also has a rich history & culture that are super fascinating to learn about. You’ll get a unique glimpse into ancient history as soon as you step foot in Petra, as it was once an important stop on trade routes between Egypt and Arabia, and it’s believed that the Nabatean people settled there as early as 9,000 BC!

Petra is also a very safe area to visit, being that it’s a preserved UNESCO World Heritage Site. This means it’s really well-protected, and it’s highly prioritized by the Jordanian government thanks to the amount of tourism it brings in each year. The Bedouins (people currently inhabiting the Petra & Wadi Rum areas) are also incredibly warm, welcoming, and hospitable, making it a fantastic place for visitors to connect with the local culture & have a truly authentic experience!

petra architecture

Important Things to Know About Visiting Petra

Now that you have a better understanding of what Petra is, where it is, and why it’s such a magical elopement destination, I wanted to give you a quick list of important things to know about visiting Petra!

  1. Petra has set visiting hours: It’s open from 6am to 6pm in the summer, and 6am to 4pm in the winter.
  2. The currency in Jordan is the Jordanian Dinar: Currently, the exchange rate is 1 USD to 0.71 JOD.
  3. Getting a Jordan Pass will make your life a whole lot easier: This pass grants you entry to Petra along with 40 other sites and museums around Jordan, including Jesash, Amman Citadel, and Wadi Rum. You can choose between the Jordan Wanderer, which grants you one-day entry to Petra for 70 JDs (~99 USD), the Jordan Explorer, which grants you 2 consecutive visit days to Petra for 75 JDs (~106 USD), or the Jordan Expert, which grants you 3 consecutive visit days to Petra for 80 JDs (~113 USD). Buy your Jordan Pass online ahead of time and you’ll be good to go once you arrive!
  4. There are lots of toilets & food stalls in Petra: It’s best to still bring in your own water and snacks so you don’t run out of options, and if you want to save a little money.
  5. You can visit Petra at night: Petra offers a special nighttime visiting experience called Petra By Night, where the Treasury is lit up by 15,000 candles for a breathtaking light show on Monday’s, Wednesday’s, and Thursday’s. It’s one of the most magical ways to experience Petra, so I highly recommend getting a ticket if you can (17 JDs per person [~23 USD])! 
  6. Petra is packed with working animals: You’ll see plenty of donkeys, camels, and other animals used for tourist transportation around Petra; however, I would discourage using these animals as there’s a lot of debate and speculation on the quality of care & potential abuse of the animals (here’s an article by PETA UK if you want to find out more).
wild animals in petra

7 Best Locations to Elope in Petra

You honestly can’t go wrong anywhere you go in Petra, but to help you narrow it down just a little bit, I’ve put together a list of the 7 best elopement locations in Petra.

1. The Siq

The Siq is one of the most iconic spots in Petra (you’ve probably seen it on Instagram at some point), a narrow gorge featuring gorgeous colors, patterns, and unique rock formations! It only takes about 15 minutes to walk through this stunning stone canyon, so it’s really quick and easy to experience these beautiful red-rock walls – and it leads you to the Treasury, which is next up on this list!

marbled colors in petra

2. Nabatean Khazneh, a.k.a. the Treasury

The Treasury is an incredibly beautiful, elaborate template in Petra, decorated with what are called Corinthian capitals, friezes, and other figures. It’s actually a mausoleum for a Nabataean king or queen (a royal tomb!), and is one of the most breathtaking pieces of architecture in all of Petra! Keep in mind that because it’s one of the most famous sites in the Middle East, it can be incredibly difficult to have a proper ceremony here during the day. I’d recommend either visiting at sunrise before it gets flooded with tourists, or booking it for nighttime. It can be incredibly dark, even with candlelight, so make sure you have a proper lighting setup and that you’re down for the approximately 30 minute walk to get there!

petra the treasury

3. Street of Façades

The Street of Façades is a street in Petra lined with massive tombs, each of which has some sort of large façade or “false face” on the front. The architectural details along this path are remarkable, as well as the miscellaneous housecaves and doorways that you can explore!

4. Royal Tombs

Petra’s Royal Tombs are located in the heart of Petra, carved along the western base of el-Khubtha mountain. These huge tombs were built for the rich and were carved from the iconic rose-red sandstone that Petra is famous for (more than 2300 years ago) and are freaking breathtaking to witness up close!

5. Al-Deir, a.k.a. The Monastery

The Monastery is – you guessed it – another stunning, historically-significant building in Petra carved out of rock! It takes about 2 hours to walk here, so it’s definitely not the spot for couples who want an easily-accessible location, but it’s so worth it. Along the way, you’ll even be able to see the many tomb façades, places of worship, and other Nabataean and Byzantine relics!

6. High Place of Sacrifice

The High Place of Sacrifice has a fascinating history: perched atop the Jebel Madbah, it was built with drains to channel the blood of sacrificial animals long ago during religious ceremonies by the Nabateans. One of the tallest locations in Petra, it now offers spectacular views of the ancient city as well as the tomb of Aaron, and you can access the Outer Siq tombs directly underneath the viewing platform. The walk up takes around 40 minutes, so be prepared for an uphill trek with winding stone staircases and a bit of scrambling!

7. Mövenpick Resort Petra

Finally, the 5-star Mövenpick Resort is located directly at the entrance of Petra, making it a really great place to stay AND a beautiful place to have your ceremony, if you’d rather not have it directly inside of Petra. You’ll be able to enjoy gorgeous Middle Eastern flairs, fabrics, and textures, delicious restaurants, a pool, and even a stunning spa & wellness center!

orange pillars in petra

9 Unique Ideas for Your Petra Elopement

Here are 9 unique ideas for your Petra elopement to make sure you have the most incredible experience possible, whether you’re most looking forward to exploring the desert, enjoying local food, or going stargazing under the night sky!

1. Get ready at the Petra Bubble Luxotel

The Petra Bubble Luxotel is one of the freaking coolest places I have EVER been, located in the heart of Little Petra Triclinium with absolutely unbelievable views of Petra Mountains. Just a 10 minute drive from Petra, these unique, luxury “bubble suites” (literally – they’re shaped like bubbles!) are the perfect place to stay during your time in the area, and to get ready the morning of your elopement before heading to Petra!

petra bubble luxotel

2. Attend the Petra By Night event for nighttime elopement portraits

Like I mentioned earlier in this guide, Petra By Night is one of the most freaking magical ways to experience Petra! The event runs every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, starting at 8:30pm at the Petra Visitor Center. A ticket costs about 23USD per person and includes a cup of Jordanian tea, and you’ll follow a licensed guide around Petra for about two hours. If you want breathtaking nighttime elopement portraits under the stars, attending Petra By Night is the way to get them!

3. Ride camels through the Wadi Rum desert

How could you visit Petra without riding camels?? There are tons of camel tours that take you through the stunning Wadi Rum desert, most of them ranging from 1-3 hours. It’s such a cool experience that you can’t miss during your time in petra!

camels in wadi rum desert

4. Stay overnight at a Bedouin camp in Wadi Rum

Bedouin culture plays a major role in the lifestyles of the Jordanian people, and one of the coolest ways to experience this unique Bedouin culture is by staying the night at a Bedouin camp in Wadi Rum! You’ll stay in a large, Bedouin-style tent, listen to traditional music, eat delicious local cuisine, and enjoy a night out in the Middle Eastern desert just like the Bedouin peoples do.

bedouin camp in wadi rum

5. Take a 4x4 Jeep tour through the sand dunes

I freaking love taking 4x4 tours in the desert, whether I’m in the U.S. or in the vast deserts of Jordan or Egypt – so of COURSE I’d recommend taking a 4x4 Jeep tour through the sand dunes near Petra! 

wadi rum desert landscape

6. Sandboard down the Al Hasany dunes

Along with Jeep tours, sandboarding is one of the most popular ways to explore the Wadi Rum desert – and it’s SO freaking fun! There are plenty of tours that offer both Jeep rides and time to sandboard (like this one), which is really a must-do during your time in Petra.

7. Enjoy a local Jordanian dinner and tea

Jordan has some of the most delicious cuisine in the Middle East, boasting traditional dishes such as Mansaf, Makloubeh, and Musakhan. You CANNOT visit Jordan without trying it all, as well as trying Jordanian tea, which goes back to Bedouin traditions and requires quite a bit of preparation. Mint tea is super popular, especially when accompanied by a sweet snack or enjoyed after a meal!

8. Ride in a hot air balloon

Now if you want to experience Petra & the surrounding desert from above, you should absolutely book a hot air balloon ride!! You’ll fly over the beautiful wonders of Petra and get a phenomenal birds-eye view of the desert – imagine taking photos in your elopement attire while you’re riding in a balloon through the skies. A freaking dreammmm.

9. Have dinner under the stars

The Wadi Rum desert is a spectacular place to go stargazing thanks to the minimal light pollution, so you should definitely go stargazing at some point in Petra – having dinner under the stars on your elopement day is a perfect way to experience the magical desert sky at night!

hands reaching out under stars

Best Places to Stay Near Petra

If you’re traveling alllll the way to Petra from your elopement, then you deserve a magical place to stay, don’t you think?! Luckily, the Wadi Rum desert has a TON of totally unique, relaxing, and luxurious accommodation options, from upscale Bedouin camps to 5-star hotels to bubble-shaped tents in the middle of the desert. Below are some of the BEST hotels, resorts, and luxury camps near Petra for your elopement where you can get plenty of R&R, and enjoy an out-of-this-world desert experience!

Hotels & Resorts:

Luxury Desert Suites & Camps:

memories aicha luxury camp

How to Get Your Petra Marriage License

While you definitely can get your marriage license and legally get married in Jordan, I’d recommend getting married in your home country before traveling to Petra. This will make your trip a WHOLE lot easier & simpler, since it can be pretty time-consuming and complicated to get a legal marriage license in Jordan as a foreigner. You can check out the U.S. Embassy website to get more information on the licensing process for American citizens, if you do want to go that route! Either way, you WILL need a valid Jordan visa to enter the country, which you can collect upon arriving in Jordan. And if you get that Jordan Pass that I mentioned earlier, it’ll actually exempt you from having to pay the visa fee!

donkey in petra

What to Wear for Your Petra Elopement

When it comes to choosing outfits for your Petra elopement as well as outfits to wear the rest of your trip, it’s important to keep in mind that Jordan is a Muslim country – meaning it’s advisable to keep your shoulders and knees covered. You should opt for long, loose, and comfortable clothing to keep you cool & covered in the hot weather, and bonus points if you wear cotton, since it’s best for breathability! Wearing a scarf isn’t necessary, but can be super helpful to keep you protected from the dust, dirt, and sun, especially since there’s not much shade out in the desert. Be sure to also wear proper desert footwear, especially if you’ll be hiking at all – the ground is roughly paved through most of Petra, and there’s lots of loose rock and dirt to be mindful of.

Best Wedding Dress Designers for Your Petra Elopement

If you’re wearing a dress for your Petra elopement, here are some amazing wedding dress designers that I’d recommend checking out, all of which have plenty of beautiful options for a desert elopement!

woman and camel in petra

Best Time of Year to Elope in Petra

Picking the right time of year to elope in Petra is just as important as picking the right location, so let’s talk weather real quick.

What is the weather like in Petra?

Spring and fall tend to be the most comfortable seasons, as Petra is located in the middle of a desert that gets suuuper hot and dry. The air will still be fairly dry throughout spring and fall, but temperatures don’t get too hot, typically ranging from 66-82°F! The skies are also mostly clear during this time, so you’ll get gorgeous blue skies over the rust & rose-colored desert.

Summer weather in Petra can get pretty harsh, with temperatures usually staying well over 100°F and hot, dry air between June-August. Petra rarely gets rain in the summer, so you’ll get super clear skies most of the time, whereas winter is the rainiest season – January being the wettest month of the year. Winter in Petra is long, cold, windy, and partially cloudy the majority of the time, with temperatures falling to 36-55°F.

What is the best time to elope in Petra?

The overall best time to elope in Petra is between March-May or September-November, when temperatures are comfortable (especially if you want to do a lot of hiking or outdoor exploring), rain isn’t common, and it’s not crazy dry like the summers are!

petra tombs

Petra Elopement Photographer

Now that you’re probably just as in love with Petra as I am, I definitely recommend heading over to my ultimate Jordan Elopement Guide! This guide is filled with even more great tips for eloping in Jordan, including more of the best places to visit, incredible activity ideas, and additional luxury accommodation options. I can’t express my love for this country enough, and I would LOVE to help you plan your own incredible Jordan elopement experience – you can take a look at my Petra elopement packages below, and reach out to me here so we can start dreaming up your perfect day in this magical, rose-colored, ancient city.

Elopement Packages and Pricing for Petra

  • Full day of elopement photography coverage anywhere in Petra
  • Your own personal elopement guide & consultant
    • Unique and personalized location scouting
    • Vendor recommendations
    • Permit and marriage license assistance
    • Hand-crafted elopement timeline
    • Created just-for-you activity list
    • Unlimited guides and resources
    • 100+ page How to Elope Guidebook
  • Optional complimentary officiant service
  • Digital online gallery with full resolution image and printing rights
  • Sneak peek images within 1 week
  • Photographer travel fees covered anywhere in Petra

Starting at $10,000


If you know you want to elope outside of the U.S. but you’re not sure where yet, look no further – I’ve got elopement guides to even more of my favorite international elopement destinations below!

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In order to make your dream elopement day happen, it's super important that we connect and that you feel comfortable with me! The best way to do this is to reach out and schedule a call so you can learn more about me and I can learn about you two so i can document what's real + the most important to you.

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