Considering planning a Las Vegas Elopement but don't know where to start? As your US destination elopement photographer - I've got ya covered friend!! In this guide, I'll be going over all the fun details of planning a Nevada elopement! PS: eloping around Vegas doesn't necessarily need to be the lil chapel with Elvis as your officiant (unless that's your vision!) There are actually so many amazing locations around Vegas for an outdoor adventure elopement! Whether you want that classic city Las Vegas Elopement on the Strip, or are interested in getting outside of the bright lights and into the desert landscape - as your Vegas elopement photographer/friend - I'm here to help!
What is an Elopement
First off, let's clear the air on what even is an elopement?! Gone are the days when eloping was taboo - and getting married in Vegas was just a low-budget, only-option kinda thing. Elopements can be romantic, intentional, and well-planned intimate wedding celebrations. In the past it may have primarily meant keeping it a secret and running away from home, but that's not quite true anymore. While some couples may still choose to keep it a secret, often times it's been communicated to friends and family well in advance. Eloping now really means ditching the stale traditionally large weddings and opting for a more unique and personalized experience. Whether that's just the two of you or you bring along guests.
As an experienced destination elopement photographer, I'm here to encourage my couples to elope with ease anywhere in the world. With oodles of resources, guidance, location scouting, and vendor recommendations. It's my goal to provide my clients with all the tools they need to have an epic, meaningful and breathtaking elopement.
How To Elope in Vegas
Getting married in Nevada is pretty simple! The exact logistics of getting married in Nevada comes down to each county's regulations. In general, you will need to apply for a marriage license, have a ceremony performed by a certified officiant and have one witness.
For Clark County in Vegas there is no waiting period. You can get your license($102) and have a ceremony the same day. There are a couple of options in terms of getting your marriage all set legally for your elopement. You can opt for a civil ceremony done at the courthouse or clerk's office in Vegas/your hometown. Thus getting all the paperwork out of the way and having an intimate elopement ceremony with just you two. Or, you can hire an officiant and do the elopement ceremony at the location of your choice. That way you can elope wherever you want and not in an office, courthouse, or chapel. Your photographer can act as your witness in this case if you choose to not have any guests!
Permits for elopement locations vary from place to place. You may need to apply and pay for a permit to have your elopement at a certain location (like a National or State Park) However, most places don't mind if it's just you two and not a whole wedding party. This is something you may need to reach out to the parks service or the Bureau of Land Management to inquire about your specific plans. A permit for taking photos may also be required, but this is something your photographer should be aware of and will help you obtain the necessary paperwork.
Best Places to Elope Near Vegas
Deciding where to elope in the US can be the hardest part - since there are soo many incredible options to choose from! Having an elopement in Nevada doesn't mean you're tied down to choosing the strip - no way jose! You can find incredible adventure elopement locations near Vegas that are OUT OF THIS WORLD.
Here are the top elopement destinations in Nevada:
- Red Rock Canyon
- Valley of Fire
- Death Valley
- Mt Charleston
Red Rock Canyon
Just 20 minutes away from the hustle and bustle of the city is this gem of a conservation area! With HUGE rock canyons and a stunning 13-mile scenic drive - this is a great place to elope near Vegas! Red Rock Canyon offers hiking trails and plenty of space to explore the rugged Nevada desert. It costs $20 per car to get into the area, and you will need to apply for a Special Recreation Permit through the BLM at least 30 days in advance. With this permit you are allowed to elope at: the Overlook, Red Springs Boardwalk, Ash Springs, and the visitors center.
Valley of Fire
Located just a 1 hour away from Vegas, Valley Fire State Park is a geological wonderland! You'll find incredible red rock formations and plenty of elopement photo locations. There is a $10 entrance fee to get in and you will need to apply for a permit at least 6 weeks in advance. They also require an appointment to meet up with the state park officials and tour the area where the ceremony will occur. Photographers are also required to obtain their permits at least 30 days in advance. If you’re wanting to have your ceremony held in the park you are going to have to use an all-inclusive company that contracts with Valley of Fire. These companies usually provide the officiant, decor, and photographer/videographer, however, some may allow outside vendors. For more information on this, you will need to contact the State Parks Dept for more info!
Located about - 2 hours away from Las Vegas, Death Valley National Park is an epic desert elopement location in Nevada AND California! While primarily known for being the hottest place in the world - it's also the lowest point in North America and the largest National Park in the lower 48 states! You definitely want to avoid it in the summer as the scorching temps and raging sun are NOT something to mess around with. The Winter-Spring seasons out there are a great time to elope though! You can even find wildflowers blooming April-June!
Since this is a National Park - to elope or hold a wedding ceremony you will need to obtain a Special Use Permit from the NPS for $300. The good news is they don't currently require an additional photographer's permit as some parks do! It's recommended to apply for the permit as far in advance as possible, and include all the details of your elopement.
Just 45 minutes away from Vegas, Mt. Charleston is in the gorgeous Spring Mountains National Recreation Area! This is a super popular winter destination as they got lots of snow - yep even so close to Vegas! From November to March you can find plenty of skiing - snow sport activities to enjoy! And in the warmer months, there are plenty of hiking opportunities, and the temperatures stay much cooler than the valley so it's a nice escape!
When to Elope in Vegas
You really can elope in Vegas any time of the year! The valley of Las Vegas tends to be the HOTTEST, especially in the summer. But you can find cooler areas in the state (or nearby in Mt. Charleston!) From June-September you can expect to feel the heat of the desert climate. And then from November-Febraury, the temperatures drop down pretty low. The in-between months of October, March-May can be really pleasant, and a good time to elope! If you're not sure when the best month to elope in is based on the location you want, that's something I can help you decide! Going over your elopement vision together can help determine when the best time to choose will be!
What to Do at your Vegas Elopement
There are tons of rad things to do in and around Las Vegas - the shows, the food, the pools, so many activities. When it comes to adventure elopements there are even more fun way to make your experience unique! Here are a few ideas on what to do for your elopement:
- Rent a Campervan for your Vegas Elopement Adventure!
- Hot Air Baloon ride
- Book a Jeep tour
- Take a helicopter ride
- Go ride an ATV in the desert
- Stargazing in the desert
- Horseback riding
- Bike riding
The opportunities are endless! I recommend making your elopement an extended adventure! Don't try and rush it into a short ceremony but rather make it an all-day or even an all-week experience! Take the time to plan an adventure that will truly encapsulate you as a couple! You will have the best memories (and photos) to reflect on for years to come.
Las Vegas Nevada Elopement Photographer
I cannot wait to hear your vision for your Nevada elopement!
Are you planning a destination elopement and in search of an experienced photographer and officiant? Then look no further! Based in New England, I will lead you on the most adventurous experience of your lives, taking stunning photos that capture the moments and memories of your special day.
I'll help you find your perfect spot anywhere in the U.S. and beyond. Discover breathtaking scenery and picturesque locations for an unforgettable experience that is yours alone. Get ready for the best elopement experience ever!
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