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.
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.
The ceremony begins.
Gerry and Brenda seal their vows with a kiss.
Here the bride and groom enjoy the intimate moment when they make it official.
Here the wedding couple poses with the beauty of the desert with the Red Rocks behind them.
Happy newlyweds planned spelling out LOVE with their hands. Creative!
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.
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.
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
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.
If you are having a desert wedding in Vegas, here are preparation tips to avoid problems
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
You finally decided on the perfect destination wedding experience and chose a Red Rock wedding. But there are details you need to know to plan for having a wedding at Red Rock Canyon and this article gives important facts, tips and ways to make it a more comfortable and successful experience.
Compared to the Las Vegas Valley, there is typically a seven degree difference to prepare for in elevation and sometimes the difference can be greater. Each season brings its surprises. Here are a few seasonal tips for planning around the weather for a Red Rock Canyon wedding or photo shoot.
A Spring Red Rock Wedding
The spring welcomes wildflowers in the lower elevations that pop out of the ground like butterflies from their cocoons. The remnants of winter chill the early morning. The wind picks up and the day is cool with clear skies.
If you don’t mind crisp air, a spring Red Rock wedding is beautiful among the wildflowers. Enjoy milder weather and sunshine between noon and mid-afternoon. Though cool, the sun’s rays can still burn your skin, so be sure to bring sunscreen.
The temperature steadily rises in spring. Click here for an hourly temperature guide from the official Red Rock Canyon site. This is an accurate and very helpful resource to keep updated on the weather.
In March, the high reaches 65° F. In April, the high is 73° F, and in May, the temperature reaches up to 82° F.
Springtime is a great time to get married at Red Rock Canyon however it may still be windy. As the colder winter conditions subside, there is an air conversion effect which causes increased wind to come in to the Las Vegas valley and surrounding areas. You may want to have your wedding in the valley at Red Rock Canyon. A great place to have your wedding ceremony that is more protected from the wind is at Ash Springs. It does require a small 10 minute hike to get there however. Being closer to the rocks does seem to provide more refuge from the wind than the Red Rock overlook or the Amphitheater area does.
A desert summer requires sunscreen and grit. Only the strong survive. Temperatures can feel scorching in the 100’s. In June, the high starts at an average 93° F.
Definitely bring umbrellas and stay updated on the weather. There is no avoiding the heat and summer also brings a good dose of humidity when the monsoon season hits. Monsoon season in Las Vegas officially starts early to mid-July from early to mid-September. July and August are the most humid months in the Las Vegas Valley and Red Rock Canyon also experiences the same conditions if not worse. The mountain ranges there seem to attract in the storms.
To cope with the intense heat be sure to bring plenty of water to stay hydrated. Consider bringing an umbrella or parasol a part of your wedding day. Some brides now prefer to carry parasols and other personalized alternatives in the place of a bridal bouquet. Many of the allowed locations for weddings in Red Rock State Park don’t offer shade.
Whenever Custom Las Vegas Weddings plans your wedding, they will make sure your limousine provides bottled water and a glorious invention that pushes out cold air, commonly known as air conditioning. We definitely recommend getting an early start. Late weddings can be beautiful and when the sun isn’t directly shining on you it can seem less scorching, but the rocks still hold the heat of the day to be careful when sitting or lying on the rocks.
As summer temperatures fade, a fall Red Rock wedding will feature mild and lovely weather conditions. Mid-September, the entire month of October up until mid-November seems to be Red Rock Canyon weathers sweet spot. The weather is absolutely gorgeous. It’s a very comfortable temperature as a standard with low wind.
Monsoon weather is usually over by the 1st week of September and raises only the occasional concern. Don’t get caught in the rain near a body of water or you may end up in a flash flood.
It will be the responsibility of your Las Vegas wedding planner to guide you in getting the timing right for your wedding in the desert. In September the sun sets around 7 pm. By October the sun sets around 6:30 and the later in the month it’s around 6 pm. November brings a time clock change and clocks roll back an hour with sunset at 4:45 pm.
A Winter Red Rock Wedding
Photo taken near Calico Basin – Ash Springs
The winter weather at Red Rock Canyon tends toward chilly and sometimes wind accompanies the rain attracted to the mountain areas. Layering is strongly advised and bring a warm coat. You can find fashionable wedding cover-up garments that will keep you nice and warm. It is also advisable to bring a hat or wrap around for your head. The wind can be sharp and cold on some winter days.
From mid-January to the beginning of March Red Rock can experience periodic bouts of rain in the forecast. The mountain range tends to attract the storms. If you have a wedding scheduled when there is rain in the forecast it is advisable to keep a close eye on what is happening as flooding often occurs in the wash areas of Red Rock Canyon. The Bureau of Land Management controls the permits for weddings in Las Vegas. If there is any danger they will contact your Las Vegas wedding planner who is helping you and issue a warning. They will also work with the planner to reschedule the wedding if needed due to safety reasons.
In winter temperatures usually reach the mid-fifties by day, but warmer weather can occur. It’s best to have a winter Red Rock wedding in the early to mid-afternoon to take advantage of warmer temperatures.
From mild to cold weather, you don’t need to worry about sunscreen too much. Of course in winter the sun goes down earlier and ducks behind some of the tall mountain range by 3:30 to 4 PM. You will want to consider having your Las Vegas desert wedding earlier in the afternoon if you want to capture some warm from the sunlight to offset the cool weather. Even in the desert, blankets of snow cover the Red Rock Canyon mountains after a snowstorm and snowstorms do happen then.
Let Nature Inspire Your Wedding
Red Rock State Park is made up of 286 sprawling acres with stunning scenery. Trails meander through juniper and manzanita to the edge of Oak Creek. The creek travels around the park, enriching the riparian habitat with abundant wildlife and native plants.
Do be careful with the natural habitat at Red Rock Canyon. There are hefty fines in place established by the BLM for breaking the rules so don’t feed the burros. You also need to know that the desert tortoise at Red Rock is considered endangered and you must not stand within 5 feet of them or else there is a hefty fine.
This ancient and scenic environment provides several beautiful backdrops for a dream outdoor wedding in nature. Take advantage of warmer weather and walk the trails several months or a year before your wedding to get ideas about theme, color scheme and possible weather conditions.
Keep in mind that only certain areas of the park permit weddings and no weddings are permitted on the scenic drive. Custom Las Vegas Weddings is one company that is approved to perform weddings at Red Rock Canyon. They hold a permit for 3 of the designated areas to have a wedding in Red Rock. They will be able to guide you in very creative and romantic experiences at Red Rock Canyon.
Red Rock State Park visitor’s center website is a great resource and place to learn about the history of Red Rock. It is located at the entry of the scenic drive which is a must see if you have the time. You are instructed on the various life zones of the park, which include plant life, wildlife, history and archaeology. Make note of the plant life and colors you see. If you’re a fan of birds, bird walks and hiking trails abound. Remember to always leave the park as you found it.
Planning Wedding Attire around Red Rock Weather
It’s a popular idea to showcase the backdrop of the scenic mountain range with a cactus bouquet or artificial flowers as natures alter. Have your Vegas wedding planner style your wedding at Red Rock and help you create your own unique vision to match the environment.
Be creative and incorporate blush or pastel colors into your theme, bouquet and wedding attire or have Custom Las Vegas Weddings help you plan a Las Vegas desert wedding that will be very private and unique for you.
Imagine the use of blue and yellow primary colors against the red rocks of the park. Blue, violet or silver hues would also look lovely in a winter wedding. Let the natural dusky hues bring out the wild romantic in you.
You must keep your attire choices in mind as you plan around the weather. Don’t sacrifice your dream wedding wear, but do remain conscious of your fabric choices. Be prepared to carry wedding gown trains.
Imagine custom-made vegan or leather boots or pastel color dress and tux styling for your wedding that match the desert landscape.
If it’s a little rainy and muddy, you don’t want to sacrifice delicate and expensive shoes. Bring along an extra pair of shoes to walk the trails and put your expensive shoes in a carry bag or tote. Then when you are ready to start the planning for the wedding ceremony and photos get those beautiful shoes out and let your style shine. Don’t forget umbrellas or a stylish parasol.
Layer up for chilly weather, and wear SPF makeup and sunscreen for hotter months. Umbrellas or parasols also come in handy to provide instant shade from the scorching sun.
Red Rock provides an inspiring landscape for a stunning destination wedding. Let nature inspire your Red Rock wedding, but keep the changing seasons in mind as you plan.
Contact Custom Las Vegas Weddings for more tips on navigating the changing weather at Red Rock during your Las Vegas wedding planning process. They will make sure you get there in style and comfort, so you can focus on making one of the most important memories of your lifetime.
We planned Chris and Alyssa’s Red Rock wedding which included transportation for 20 guests. In the end they decided on having the ceremony at the Red Rock amphitheater. The amphitheater is one of the more private location choices at Red Rock. It is located outside of the visitors center which is very close to the scenic drive. After the ceremony we planned a photo tour for them and their guests to enjoy. They had a fantastic time and experience.
Alyssa’s father walked her down the aisle and presented her hand in marriage.
Hugs were in order after the presentation.
The rings are always central to the importance of a marriage.
A serious moment of commitment and reflection.
Red Rock wedding highlights to cherish.
Alyssa pledged her love to Chris with a ring.
The ceremony is complete. Congratutions!
We now present Mr. and Mrs. Koehler.
Bridal party photos at the amphitheater.
Chris & Alyssa are listening intently during the ceremony.
Family gives a shout out of congratulations at the amphitheater.
This photo was taken on the scenic drive.
A romantic kiss at the scenic drive after Red Rock wedding.
This photo was taken on the scenic drive with the Red Rocks close by.
Photo taken during the scenic drive tour.
Their family and friends had a fantastic time during the wedding and scenic tour.
About Red Rock
Red Rock Canyon has been designated as a National Conservation Area by the Federal Government. It is governed by the Bureau of Land Management and they oversee administering park permits for weddings. The mountain ranges that make up Red Rock Canyon are a part of the Mojave Desert. It’s beautiful mountain peaks and geological features were created by the Keystone Thrust Fault. One of the highlights of Red Rock is the scenic drive which is a 13 mile one way journey. Visitors may stop at many beautiful viewing spots designated along the drive. The site known as Ice Box Canyon showcases seasonal waterfalls and there are many beautiful red rocks to climb on and an assortment of hiking trails to venture on to.
Helpful information about Red Rock Canyon
There are 3 designated ceremony sites
There are three areas the BLM has authorized for wedding ceremonies to take place. At this time the three areas are Red Rock overlook which is a picnic area close to route 169. All three choices require permits by law. As wedding planners we are authorized to obtain permits on our clients behalf.
The overlook is approximately one mile past the scenic drive entrance. If you choose to have your ceremony here.
The second place the BLM allows wedding ceremonies is the Amphitheater. The Amphitheater is located inside the scenic drive guard gate entrance. Ceremonies may be performed at the Amphitheater without venturing in to the scenic drive. The scenic drive is 13 miles long and one way driving is required.There are three areas the BLM has authorized for wedding ceremonies to take place.
The third option requires a half mile hike to get to and is a part of Calico Basin. This option requires hiking on a dirt trail and is not optimal for the elderly or formal occasions with a large guest count.
As wedding planners we are authorized to obtain permits on our clients behalf.