How to Plan Your Las Vegas Elopement:
Eloping has become a popular alternative to traditional weddings and there are so many great reasons why! Less expenses, less planning, and less stress! This is your wedding day and you should be able to WED YOUR WAY. If you’re thinking about eloping or if you’re ready to start planning your elopement, keep on reading! I’m going to break down everything you need to know about eloping in Las Vegas.
How to Elope in Las Vegas:
You have endless possibilities to choose from when eloping, so why should you elope in Las Vegas?
I might be a little biased because I live here, but Las Vegas is one of the best places to elope because:
What Time of Year Should You Elope in Las Vegas?
Las Vegas is super fortunate in that the weather is nice nearly year round. The only time of year you should avoid is the summer (specifically June through September) where the temperature will almost certainly be in the upper nineties or hundreds. The last thing you want on your special day is heat exhaustion or having your makeup melt off. The spring, fall, and winter, however, are great times of the year to get married in Vegas. I think the spring or fall are the best times of year to elope in Las Vegas overall. If you’re wanting a winter elopement, though, Mount Charleston is a great option for a snowy elopement and it’s less than an hour’s drive away from the Strip.
After you’ve decided on the time of year you want to elope, you should pick a date. Weekday elopements work best for peak wedding season. Odds are that the photographer you hire is also a wedding photographer and is booked many months in advance on weekends for weddings. By having your elopement on a weekday, you’re more likely to secure the photographer of your dreams plus other vendors and venues will also have more availability and there will be less crowds photobombing your elopement photos! Once you’ve chosen your date, you should be aware of what time your elopement will likely take place. Most photographers will tell you that lighting is the most important component of photography and I 100% agree! You’ll want the best light to help your photographer create the most gorgeous photos, so having your ceremony during golden hour is a must. You’ll want to plan to have your ceremony either at sunrise or about 1.5 hours before sunset. The rest of the day (portraits, if you have a reception after, etc.) will be based around that time.
Hire Your Elopement Photographer:
When you’re reading this, you might think I skipped a step or two by saying that you should hire your elopement photographer next, but don’t worry, that was intentional! I believe you should hire your photographer before you even choose where you want to elope in Vegas because your photographer should have a ton of great location suggestions and they can hopefully answer any questions you have before being locked into a specific location or venue. Many elopement photographers also serve as planners for their clients, or it’s an additional service that can be added on. That being said, your elopement photographer should be able to give you all the other vendor recommendations you’ll need for your big day.
When hiring your photographer, you should be mindful of your budget. According to the 2020 Newlywed Report, the average wedding now costs around $30,000 per year with the average wedding photographer investment being $2,400. There is no set cost of an elopement, but on average, they seem to range from $5,000 to $15,000. With traditional weddings being quite expensive, eloping is a great alternative!
Below you can see my elopement pricing compared to my wedding day pricing.
Kayla Bowen Photography Elopements:
Starting at 2 hours of coverage
Location and vendor recommendations
Personalized elopement day timeline
Online gallery of high-resolution edited images
Personal printing rights
Starting at $700
Kayla Bowen Photography Weddings:
Starting at 6 hours of coverage
Venue and vendor recommendations
Personalized wedding day timeline
Online gallery of high-resolution images
Personal printing rights
Starting at $2,000
Where to Elope in Las Vegas:
When people think of eloping in Las Vegas, they often think of a drive-thru wedding or an Elvis chapel. While those might be great options for some, I believe that you can still elope and have a beautiful day in a breathtaking, unforgettable location.
Here are the 5 best places to elope in Las Vegas in nature:
Here are the 5 best places to elope in Las Vegas if you’re wanting a venue:
Best Elopement Vendors in Las Vegas:
When eloping, you’ll need to decide on what vendors you’ll need. You’ll obviously need a photographer to capture your special day, which we already covered earlier, but who else should you hire? I highly recommend incorporating an arch in your ceremony space that your florist can make look amazing. You’ll also probably want a bouquet and a boutonniere and if you’re doing a reception, you’ll want some centerpieces. You will definitely need an officiant so that’s a must. A hair and makeup artist can be a great investment because they’ll help you look your best on your most important day and it’s one less thing you have to worry about. Lastly, you may or may not want a planner; that depends more on how elaborate your elopement is and how many moving parts there are.
Hair & Makeup Artists:
Where to Stay in Las Vegas:
When you come to elope in Las Vegas, there are many places you can stay. If you’re wanting to be in the middle of the action with easy access to activities, the Strip or the Arts District (Downtown Vegas) would be the best place to stay. If you’re looking to avoid the hustle and bustle, staying in Henderson or Summerlin, which are suburbs of Vegas, are great options. Lastly, if you’re looking for a more private, luxurious stay, Lake Las Vegas would be a great fit.
How to Get a Marriage License in Las Vegas:
You have your beautiful backdrop, your amazing dress, your awesome photographer, and you’re ready to get married but you can’t forget about your marriage license! Thankfully, getting a marriage license in Las Vegas is super quick and easy. Here’s how you do it:
One cool thing to note about Nevada is that you only need one witness for your ceremony and to sign the marriage license, which can be your photographer (AKA — me!).
When planning your elopement, you’ll want to think of transportation ahead of time so that you’re not scrambling the day of. I don’t recommend using a service like Uber or a taxi to get to your elopement location because 1) They might not be comfortable driving you there or know exactly where to go, 2) It can get expensive, 3) If you don’t have cell phone service at the location, you won’t be able to get a ride back. Instead, most couples rent a car that they’ll drive while they’re here if it’s just the two of them. If you have guests coming to the elopement, I highly suggest renting transportation for them (a shuttle, bus, limo, etc.). If you have everyone drive themselves, there’s a good chance that someone will be late by getting lost or forgetting something and that will delay your elopement and mess up the timeline.
The cool thing about eloping is you can do whatever you want! This day is yours. If you want to have a First Look, you can do that or you can go straight into the ceremony. Generally speaking, the florist and event rentals (if you have any) will show up to the location site first and decorate the space for your ceremony. Then the photographer, officiant, you, and your guests will arrive and the ceremony will start! Most elopement ceremonies usually last between 10-15 minutes, but you can make it as short or as long as you wish. You’ll say your vows (if you wrote any), say “I do,” have the big kiss, walk down the aisle, and then you’re done! After your ceremony is usually when you’ll have some portrait time with your photographer.
Time to Partaaay!
You did it! You eloped and you are officially married! Now it’s time to celebrate. Here are some fun ideas of things you can do after your elopement:
Las Vegas Elopement Pricing:
My elopement pricing is super simple! Photography coverage starts at $700 for 2 hours of photography and each additional hour after that is $350. Elopements are less than 15 people.
Planning a small wedding of less than 40 people? This package is for you! Photography coverage includes 4 hours for $1,500.