Red Rock Weddings – stylish desert wedding elopement experience

Gerry and Brenda’s Desert Elopement

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Gerry and Brenda’s romantic wedding story

Scenic desert wedding photography

About Gerry and Brenda

Gerry and Brenda met in June of 2014 and began dating and it blossomed into something special. They never gave up hope that they would find that special someone who would the their perfect fit. They came in to the marriage with grown children but their families blended beautifully and even add a 9 month year old miniature golden doodle (Zoey) that has been a joy for all family members.

When I asked them what they liked the most about their relationship they had a lot to say. They started off saying they look forward to sharing each day and experience together. They expressed they now have a best friend to share life experiences with. They also look forward to retiring together and growing as a couple while experiencing the many opportunities for world together (travel to Europe, beach vacations, etc). Best of all sharing laughter and the ability to make the other one smile is something they both value and appreciate in one another. They have no problem laughing at or with each other.

scenic desert wedding photo in Nevada

Photo at the Red Rock desert amphitheater location

Gerry and Brenda decided to have their Red Rock wedding at the amphitheater location at Red Rock Canyon visitors center. This is a beautiful setting for any planned elopement or large wedding party looking for a desert wedding in Las Vegas.

Julie at Custom Las Vegas Weddings planned Gerry and Brenda’s Red Rock weddings elopement package. They decided to customize the basic package and include extra services. Their desert elopement wedding included planned transportation, ceremony, photos, flower planning, and a video to capture the moment for a lifetime of memories.

On the day of their wedding the weather was a beautiful 80 degrees at Red Rock Canyon. After the ceremony they walked in to the desert and took romantic wedding photos on the desert pathways. They had a fabulous time exploring the desert around the visitors center overlooking the scenic drive exchanging, romantic kisses and interchanges.

Gallery

wedding at red rock canyon

The ceremony begins.

Red Rock weddings
 Red Rock canyon elopement

Gerry and Brenda seal their vows with a kiss.

Wedding kiss at Red Rock Canyon

Here the bride and groom enjoy the intimate moment when they make it official.

outdoor desert wedding in Las Vegas
Las Vegas desert wedding for two
Red Rock canyon scenic photo

Here the wedding couple poses with the beauty of the desert with the Red Rocks behind them.

red rock wedding

Happy newlyweds planned spelling out LOVE with their hands. Creative!

Unique desert wedding

We had to showcase Gerry and Brenda’s fun and comfortable choices of shoes.

Red Rock weddings are very popular and trendy now. The reasons for this lie in the stunning natural beauty of Red Rock Canyon mountain ranges and terrain. A lot of wedding couples don’t know this but this is reserved as a federal park and is overseen by the Bureau of Land Management. The BLM only allows a small amount of permit holders to hold weddings at Red Rock. In fact, there are only 3 locations the BLM will allow wedding ceremonies to take place. They are the overlook, the amphitheater and Ash Springs.

plan a red rock desert wedding

Photo of the tiered seating at the amphitheater by the visitors center at Red Rock Canyon

About this ceremony location: This wedding experience showcases a wedding at the amphitheater of the Visitors Center which is located directly behind the Visitors center. The visitor center features interpretation of cultural history of the area and information about the habitat. The center has exhibits and a gift and book shop.

How about seating? This is the only location the BLM allows as many as 200 guests. This is also the only location that has or allows seating at Red Rock canyon wedding sites. The amphitheater has tiered concrete seating for wedding guests to sit.

Need to know information about the amphitheater location

Are decorations allowed? The BLM stipulates permit holders and their customers are not allowed to engage in throwing bird seed or confetti at wedding ceremonies. They also do not allow natural decorations to be placed in the desert as it may affect the natural habitat of the species that inhabit the area. They do allow carefully placed artificial minimal decorations if they are all removed after the ceremony. The BLM are guardians for the natural habitat at the park and consider it a serious violation to break the rules or engage in picking up or interacting with the desert tortoise, which is protected now under the endangered species laws. There is a $500 fine if this rule is not abided by.

Entrance to Red Rock canyon scenic drive

Photo by Matthew Seeman

About the scenic drive: The amphitheater ceremony location is located inside the guard gate entrance for the scenic drive. Red Rock Canyon scenic drive is a one-way 13 -mile drive with a 35 MPH enforced speed limit by park rangers. The BLM does allow wedding customers to enter the scenic drive with the photographer after the ceremony is done but it has to stipulated on the wedding permit by the wedding planner. The wedding permit covers the entrance fee for all guests to go on the scenic drive. The scenic drive is the place where you will get the most unique and beautiful wedding photos. To choose this option you may drive yourselves to Red Rock canyon and have the ceremony there and then move on to the scenic drive with the photographer. This will allow more flexibility for you and will be a cheaper option if you are on a tight budget. Otherwise, if you plan to use a limousine service and want to include the scenic drive for photos you need to reserve the limousine for at least 4 hours of time. Limousines will require a minimum vehicle booking of 4 hours to travel and take in the ceremony and the scenic drive. This is due to the fact that it will take 45 minutes just to drive around the scenic drive as it is a one way drive. This does not include stopping and walking to get photos, which lengthens the time spent on the scenic drive.

Guest limits for the amphitheater location: 200 guests are allowed. The maximum number of vehicles for wedding couple and guests is 20 and limo buses count as 2 vehicles.

Times change for availability based on the season. Here are the seasonal hours for amphitheater weddings. The amphitheater closes at 4 pm therefore weddings need to be done by 4 pm and scheduled at the latest for with a 2 hour permit from 2-4 pm. This means sunset weddings will not be possible for this location during spring and summer up until fall when the sun sets earlier in the sky.

 

Nov – Feb – 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
March – 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Apr – Sep – 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Oct – 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM

 

red rock canyon weddings

Red Rock Scenic Drive Photo

This package showcases an example of a Red Rock wedding package that incorporates the scenic drive into the experience. However, Custom Las Vegas Weddings also provides other options starting with basic elopement services.

Red Rock Canyon Weddings
Scenic Wedding $1450.00

  • All photos provided on DVD
  • All photos rights released
  • Photos gallery for viewing & sharing
  • Professional photography (2 Hrs.)
  • Photos at 2 scenic locations
  • Planning and day of coordination
  • Licensing preparation guidance
  • State licensed officiant
  • Customized wedding ceremony
  • Bureau of Land Management Permit
  • 12 passenger escalade limo (4 hrs.)
  • Complimentary champagne glasses
  • 2 Bottles of Champagne
  • Complimentary water for 12
  • Entrance fee paid for (12) scenic drive
  • View more package options here!

10 Essentials to Prepare for Your Desert Wedding in Vegas

If you are having a desert wedding in Vegas, here are preparation tips to avoid problems

Desert wedding in vegas

For couples who want to manage a limited number of guests but still keep their weddings in style, Las Vegas desert elopements provide the perfect and popular option to tie the knot for destination couples traveling to Vegas. This article outlines some essential things to bring and get reminded of to have your perfect desert wedding elopement in Vegas.

1. Prepare for a jet lag

desert wedding advice

If you are flying from other countries, a desert wedding in Vegas can be exhausting. Being jet lagged can negatively impact your wedding. It may ruin the moment you have been waiting for so long. You may not be able to avoid jet lag though. People traveling from England or Australia for instance are awake more than 24 hours to travel here. But one way to minimize the effects of jet-lag and recover more quickly is to bring melatonin supplements along and use them every day up until the wedding. Take them at least an hour before falling to sleep and make sure you allow plenty of time to sleep them off to avoid that feeling of grogginess on your wedding day. Melatonin resets your body clock but it does take a couple days to do that.

2. Keep hydrated

stay hydrated for a desert wedding

When my clients visit Las Vegas they often travel from a distance or live in climates that are less extreme. The climate in Vegas is very dry and if you are traveling here take this fact in to account and be sure to prepare to drink more water while you are here. Take extra care on your wedding day to drink more water. As a Las Vegas desert wedding planner I will make sure your limousine company supplies basic water but it’s a good idea to bring more to keep you from being dehydrated. If you don’t have a limousine you need to take even more care to bring extra water along and a small cooler or bottle wrap to keep it cold and avoid having it turn out to be like tea water.

3. Bring sunscreen

get protecting for your wedding in the desert
Wear sunscreen to protect your skin from getting sunburned on your special day. Sunscreen comes in so many great options now and can even be tinted or laced with glitter to give you the extra color and glow to your skin. You wouldn’t’ want to experience a sunburn on your honeymoon night. Being in the desert sun for more than 10 minutes can leave a mark that stings and may cause you hot flashes and discomfort for days. Use a sunscreen factor of at least 30 to protect you and bring it along in your bag of essentials to apply it again if needed. You may also opt to bring a moisturizer to keep that glow on your skin.

To prepare for your occasion visit this Las Vegas resource for climate tips and advice.

4. Consider using umbrellas

red rock canyon desert wedding

Umbrellas are surprisingly a great protection from the hot desert sun. It’s like having instant shade, which is a commodity in the desert, believe me! I think my clients have underestimated how hot the sun is and how much like a blow dryer the wind can be in Las Vegas. It’s scorching hot. When you live in a colder climate and have never experienced the Vegas desert heat, you may not realize how hot it really does get, so take my advice and be prepared. I have taken the care and effort to acquire 2 white umbrellas for the bride groom when I am their planner but you may caution your guests they might want to get an umbrella if they are attending your desert marriage ceremony and sitting or standing in the hot desert sun for any long period of time.

Visit another article for more advice to prepare for the weather at Red Rock Canyon year round.

5. Bring extra comfortable shoes

desert wedding advice

Calculating distances between resorts is difficult in Vegas and is deceiving. Wearing comfortable shoes is highly suggested while you are visiting but when it comes to your special day it’s even more important to be prepared. The desert is full of dusty sand that is very fine and works it’s way in to your shoes. So when you are walking from the limousine to the place you are getting married in the desert, you will most likely get sand in your shoes. It’s a given. As a standard, most of the desert locations we have ceremonies are at least 20 feet or more and in some cases as much as a quarter of a mile away from the vehicle. You may also opt to walk up on the rocks like when you are getting married at Red Rock Canyon, the Valley of Fire or the Grand Canyon or Nelson Ghost Town. This also applies to getting married at Lake Mead or any location that is in a desert setting. One way to avoid having tired feet but also keeping safe and not tripping over rocks or getting sand and pebbles in your high heel shoes is to bring along flat shoes that are easy to walk in. Once you are at your destination and have walked from point A to point B then you can take your beautiful high heel shoes out of your carry bag and voila, you are all set and looking classy and clean. Also, consider this tactic when you plan to have an celebration after the ceremony so you may dance during the reception and not suffer with uncomfortable shoes. So, to recap, comfortable shoes are certainly a must!

6. Bring hand wipes

desert wedding for two

This is an underestimated item to have in your bag of essentials for your occasion. Your hands will most likely also get sticky and dirty from the too much sweat your body. Also, while you are standing in the desert sun or hiking to the destination of your ceremony in the desert dirt and sand sticks to you. Make sure to clean them so you have nice dry and clean hands to hold the hand of your partner in style. It’s also handy to have the wipes to clean off the items you may bring that also will get dirty as you walk through the desert. Consider using it to wipe away and sweat or tears on your face as well or adjust any runny makeup, heaven forbid that will happen. I think this item is an essential one to ensure you don’t get as dirty during your desert wedding in Vegas.

7. Bring lip balm

las vegas desert wedding

Too much heat or cold can get brutal in the desert. Don’t let your lips get dry during your wedding kiss! Consider getting lip balm that has tint in it to give you that shine on your lips that is more upscale than regular lip balm. There is even lip stick that has an SPF factor formulated in to it that will work just as well as lip balm. This is one item you may need to bring for your partner. More than likely your partner may forget to do this for themselves so do this as a gift to them to show you care. For brides, you may also want to bring more beauty kits, such as a concealer stick, water-resistant mascara for your tear-jerking wedding vows, and a makeup remover.

8. Multi-layer clothing

las vegas outdoor wedding venue

Vegas is a place where the desert heat can get as high as 120 degrees. It’s not typically quite that hot unless you go to Death Valley but it certainly is common to get to 110-115 degrees. One element most people may not realize if they don’t live in the desert is you will be moving from the hot desert to the air-conditioning units of your hotel or limousine frequently. This also applies to the cold weather situations. The wind in Las Vegas sees the extremes of both hot and cold. With the temperature variance, you can be hot one moment and freezing the next. One way to deal with this situation well is to be prepared and bring extra clothes and multi-layer. That way when you step from one climate condition to another you can adapt easily and be more comfortable. You may see the natives of Las Vegas actually wearing long sleeves and wonder why. It’s because wearing long sleeves makes them sweat and the water makes their skin cooler. I’m not saying it’s good to sweat on the day of your event but it will help to add an extra layer of protection from the sun as well.

9. Bring sunglasses

las vegas desert elopement

The sun is always shining bright in a desert. This is true whether it is summer or winter, although the sun is less severely bright in the winter and spring. Nonetheless, it’s a great idea to protect your eyes with a pair of sunglasses that have a good rating for sun protection. Sunglasses also make a remarkable wedding souvenir. Of course Las Vegas is full of souvenir shops everywhere you look. So, you can get a classy pair or a cheesy pair of souvenir glasses to remember your experience. Consider giving sunglasses as a wedding favor to your guests with your names on them so that your guests will get protected from the sun as well.

10. Bring snacks

red rock canyon desert wedding

Weddings in the desert may take a lot of your time. Because of this fact you may want to consider bringing along a simple and easy snack to ward off the hunger pains and give you more energy for your event. It also helps to keep your guests happy and more comfortable. When thinking about what you will bring realize limousines may charge you if you make a mess. Many limousine companies actually may charge as much as $250 or more in a security cleaning fee if you plan to bring snacks and eat them in the vehicle. One way to avoid this is to bring along the snacks in a carry bag and distribute them to your guests outside the vehicle. That way you won’t have to pay the security cleaning fee and everyone will be comfortable and not hungry. By bring prepared and bringing simple snacks like plastic wrapped crackers or health bars, trail mix or something similar, your desert wedding in Vegas will be a more lively and enthusiastic event everyone will always remember they enjoyed.

Las Vegas is becoming today’s most chosen desert destination wedding experience. Why wouldn’t it be? Couples have been getting married in almost the same venues and styles that have more expensive price tags. No wonder, a desert wedding as unique yet affordable as the outdoor desert wedding is capturing the attention of many couples right now.