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!

9 Scenic and Romantic Las Vegas Desert Elopement Ideas

In this era of social media, you might think that you have already seen almost all kind of grandiose traditional weddings out there. For some couples who want to take a refresher from all the usual, experiencing a Las Vegas desert elopement is definitely a must-try!

1. Nelson Ghost Town Desert Wedding

Nelson Las Vegas Desert Wedding photo

Nelson Ghost Town – Photo at Crashed Airplane

The quaint, vintage Nelson Ghost Town sits near a previously known gold mine. With its abandoned buildings, antiques, old vehicles, and a desert landscape, this looks like a place straight out of a film set. This iconic location is near Las Vegas and is still utilized as a backdrop for films and commercials. The variety of props, trucks and old memorabilia makes it a fantastic option for a rustic vintage desert wedding setting near Las Vegas that is perfect for wedding ceremonies.

Read this article to visit the wedding story of one of our clients Nelson Ghost Town wedding experience story.

View our Nelson Ghost Town desert wedding photo gallery. Click this fun, trendy Las Vegas desert wedding option.

2. Lake Las Vegas Desert Elopement Wedding

Lake Las Vegas desert elopement photo

Lake Las Vegas Montelago Village Lakeside Photo

This is one of the upscale resorts in the elegant Aston Montelago Village, which is located at the romantic Lake Las Vegas. Its cobblestone streets, historic-looking buildings, fountains, and a gorgeous view of the lake. Choosing this venue and pairing it with an in suite wedding or booking one of their gazebos or private areas are options to consider. We would pair the ceremony with breathtaking photo book memories of the experience in this Mediterranean style resort setting. It will bring an Italian vibe to your Las Vegas desert wedding experience.

To view wedding photos we have taken for our previous clients and view the beauty of the hidden jewel, Lake Las Vegas. To view spectacular photos of a desert weddings near Vegas click here.

3. Red Rock Canyon Desert Wedding

Red Rock Canyon Desert elopement

Photo at Red Rock Canyon Overlook

Red Rock Canyon is named as a National Conservation Area by the Federal Government. The Bureau of Land Management governs the park and administers permits for wedding ceremonies. It’s a perfect and very popular location if you want to experience a Las Vegas desert elopement. Its mountain ranges are part of the Mojave Desert and its geological features were formed by the Keystone Thrust Fault.

On top of that, its 13-mile scenic drive with breathtaking panoramic views is one of the reasons why many couples choose this unique wedding venue in Las Vegas. Many wedding couples will combine a wedding ceremony at Red Rock Canyon with a scenic drive photo tour or other areas near to capture the romance of your day and experience an elopement in the Las Vegas desert.

4. Ash Springs Desert Wedding

Ash Springs at Red Rock Canyon Las Vegas

Ash Springs at Red Rock Canyon

Ash Springs is part of the Red Rock Canyon. It’s a bit more secluded in this area of Red Rock Canyon but it is one of the three areas approved by the Bureau of Land Management to have a wedding at Red Rock Canyon. This area will require you and your guest to take a hike for at least 15 minutes one way to reach the romantic tree where most ceremonies are done. There are many other nice spots to have a ceremony there as well.

The romantic view at the top is worth the hike after all. However, the weather can be unpredictable. My clients often ask me if there a is a plan B in the event of inclement weather. Any time you have an outdoor desert wedding you take a gamble, but this is Vegas, so to hedge your bets you want to pick a great season to have the wedding for starters.

Read this article to learn more about preparing for the weather for a Red Rock wedding. This article will give you essential tips you need to know which will help guide you to make a decision on the right month to prepare for a Red Rock Canyon desert wedding.

For those who think of getting married here during spring, Ash Springs would be the perfect choice. Red Rock Canyon may still get windy, though, in springtime. During this season, an air conversion happens and increases the wind to the Las Vegas valley and its surrounding areas. Ash Springs is a place where everyone can be protected from the wind, making it an ideal venue for your wedding.

View our photo wedding gallery of Ash Springs desert weddings.

5. Spring Mountain Ranch Desert Wedding

Spring Mountain Ranch desert wedding

Spring Mountain Ranch

If you are looking for cheap outdoor wedding venues in Las Vegas, the typical, old Western style of Spring Mountain Ranch is the answer for you. The natural beauty of this scenic historical park has made it an outdoor desert wedding venue choice for many couples. This Ranch had several illustrious owners owners ranging from Chester Lauck of the comedy team “Lum & Abner,” German actress Vera Krupp and millionaire Howard Hughes. It was awarded the designation of state park in 1973 and became a part of the Vegas historic district in 1976.

This is a great location to set up decorative props for a very customized wedding experience. View our wedding design gallery and view some prop ideas for your Spring Mountain desert wedding.

6. Lake Mead Scenic Desert Wedding Tour

Lake Mead Desert Wedding

Lake Mead Scenic Desert Overlook

A desert wedding at Lake Mead in Nevada would be better if it’s paired with a scenic photo tour at Lake Las Vegas. Lake Mead and Lake Las Vegas are two different lakes however both have spectacular scenic views. If you are the more adventurous type of couple, a helicopter ride overlooking the panoramic views of Hoover Dam is also highly suggested. The breathtaking colors of pastel blues, browns, yellows and greens of this favored destination will surely make your wedding even more dramatic and dreamy. We know of a magical place to go where we have a spectacular scenic view of the Lake Mead recreation area.

Let us customize a package for you at this little known desert wedding location in Las Vegas.

7. Valley of Fire Helicopter Desert Wedding

Valley of Fire desert elopement photo

Valley of Fire Desert Elopement Photo

The Valley of Fire state park is one of the most spectacular places to consider having a Las Vegas desert elopement wedding. Flying over a desert of reds and pastel blues, nature, and sunset feels like the two of you are in heaven. The Valley of Fire Helicopter Wedding includes:

· Overlooking breathtaking scenic views
· Flying over Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, and extinct volcanoes
· Sunset view of the Land at Valley of Fire State Park for Champagne
· Flying over the illuminated lights of the Las Vegas strip during sunset

8. Grand Canyon Helicopter Desert Wedding

Grand Canyon Desert Wedding Photo

Grand Canyon Desert Elopement Photo

The Grand Canyon is located in Arizona, cutting across the Grand Canyon National Park. It is carved out by the Colorado River and is nearly 1,500 meters deep. Its geological history of over 2 billion years ago can be retraced on its strata. Pairing this kind of experience with the Valley of Fire is a one of a kind desert wedding idea. It is about a half hour helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon which and is actually located in Arizona. Even though the wedding ceremony takes place in Arizona you are legally pronounced married in Nevada. You will also get to enjoy spectacular views of the Las Vegas city skyline.

Here is a breakdown of some of the elements you will enjoy with this type of scenic desert wedding experience.

Grand Canyon Desert photo

· Sightseeing the scenic views of the entire Grand Canyon
· Flying over Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, and extinct volcanoes
· Enjoying a romantic picnic lunch, cake, and champagne toast
· A stunning return flight over the Mojave Desert
· Flying over the illuminated lights of the Las Vegas strip during sunset

9. Mount Charleston Log Cabin Wedding

Mount Charleston Desert Wedding Photo

Mount Charleston is a haven of invigorating mountain air, ice-cold springs, and acres of noble evergreen forests. Its rugged mountain scenery extends across the crest of the Spring Mountains. It also boasts of towering crags, deep and wide canyons, narrow slot canyons, and steep hillsides.

The cabin is a great option if it’s cold outside. It is private and rustic, with great balcony views of mountain scenery. A well-planned customized outdoor desert wedding at Mount Charleston amidst the cool pine trees in this natural romantic setting would be also a great experience. Whether it’s a low cost wedding for two or even for a small group of people, we have a huge selection of great reception venues that can cater to your needs.

What Type of Wedding You Must Have

Weddings do not have to be luxurious. Most importantly, no one should dictate you on what type of wedding you must have. Whether it’s a traditional or a unique desert wedding, the thing that happens after it is what really matters–the start of a new beginning with the love of your life.

Are you still struggling to choose a venue? Let us help you make up your mind! Contact us at Custom Las Vegas Weddings and we will make your dream wedding turn into reality.

More Desert Wedding ideas
red rock canyon desert wedding

The Pros and Cons to Elope in Las Vegas – Infographic 101

Do you want to elope in Las Vegas?

You might be thinking you want to elope in Las Vegas, just so you don’t have to deal with the stress of wedding planning. However, you don’t just want to elope to Las Vegas without thinking through the pros and cons of everything first.

Elope in Las Vegas

Many couples are faced with the decision to either have a big wedding or decide on a smaller wedding and eloping in Vegas provides many great possibilities. The info-graphic next to this article, created by the Wedding Band Shop, outlines the pros and cons you need to consider when deciding if you want to elope or not. Eloping is not a decision I advise you to rush into. Think about all the pros and cons when making the decision. This article will take you through the pros and cons to help you decide.

What is your motivation to decide on a Las Vegas elopement?

vegas elopement

What do you envision for your wedding? Do you dream of walking down the wedding aisle with all eyes on you? If so, you will want to either reconsider your decision or put aside those emotions.

planning a vegas elopement
How well does your family work together and with you on decisions? If your family doesn’t work well together or if they often clash with your ideas and decisions, eloping offers a great choice to avoid conflict in your wedding experience.

Do you really want to elope or are the frustrations of planning pushing you into the decision? If you have given up on the idea of a larger wedding just because of the frustrations you are experiencing, you may want to step back and re-think it. Frustrated feelings are most often natural emotional reactions to stress whether you elope or not. You will be out of your comfort zone when planning. You just need to decide how far out of your comfort zone you want to go.

What does your partner want? The final choice should belong to both you and your partner. What do they want? Ask them and then consider some of the pros and cons and in the end, doing so will help you arrive at a mutual decision.

Have you considered all the options? Eloping is not the only choice of course. It suits a lot of couples but you will need to decide what aspects of your wedding are most important to you in the end and act accordingly.

Is there a chance you will regret your decision? If you think there is a chance you will look back and regret your decision, you will want to really take the time and think it through with your partner.

eloping in Vegas

Pros –

  1. It’s less expensive – You avoid many of the costs associated with larger weddings when you decide to elope in Las Vegas. The cost of eloping in Vegas pales in comparison when you factor in the guest count, restaurant fees, and decoration costs, not to mention the formal cost of planning a formal affair. For example, many venues including ours offer all-inclusive elopement packages in Vegas.
  2. You call the shots – Elopement puts you and your partner back in control. You can rest assured you are making decisions you want to make without any unwanted family coercion and intrusions on your wishes.
  3. The world is yours – the sky is the limit when it comes to choices here in Las Vegas. There are places to get married in Vegas outside that provide great opportunities for an impromptu event. For those wanting something more private, there are great elopements venues in Las Vegas to consider that don’t break the bank but still offer the classy elopement option.
  4. Only VIP’s are present – Whether you decide it will just be the two of you or if you want to bring along a select number of family or friends, you are only having those you really want there at your wedding.
  5. Privacy – When you have a large formal wedding event you spend a majority of your time around other people, pleasing them and entertaining them. With an audience of 200 guests, it’s difficult to enjoy the private moments with your new partner.

Cons-

  1. Hurt Feelings – No matter where you decide to elope, one problem some people might face when thinking about eloping is the potential hurt feelings. Not all the family will agree with your decision to get married Las Vegas and the reality is you may have to deal with some fallout. Hopefully, most of your friends and family will be supportive and in the majority of cases, people love the weather and entertainment, not to mention the gambling opportunism most people love about Las Vegas.
  2. Fewer Gifts – If you are in need of receiving necessary gifts for the household in your newlywed life or if you want to receive personal remembrance gifts that mean a lot of you, the variety and amount will not be as plentiful if you elope.
  3. Less Extravagance – Smaller weddings are often less glamorous affairs than the larger formal events. That is not always the case but they certainly will not carry the formal flair and glamour a larger wedding affords.
  4. Dependence of vendors – You may choose a number of vendors or no vendors at your smaller Vegas elopement. This can be a pro or con depending on your opinion. Often times if you want a simple elopement in Vegas you will want a photographer to capture your affair for posterity. But you may choose to only have a ceremony and use your friends and family to take photos or video. If you choose a Vegas elopement for two, it will be essential to choose a photographer to be your witness. Choose a vendor that will allow you to use your own photos and not make you dependent on them entirely.
  5. Fewer guests to witness – With fewer guests attending, there will be fewer people to reminisce with you about your wedding day later. Of course, if you get a video or photo and have a get together later with a slideshow of the event that will help. That is what many couples who elope decide to do but it still is not the same as being there to share it with you.

vegas eloping decision

  • Do take care of all the legal details: Whether you decide to elope or not, you will need to do the research needed to make sure you meet all the legal specifications to enable you to elope. We have included this link to a video and overview on our website to guide help you know what you need to know to get married in Las Vegas.
  • Do hire a local wedding planner: Choose your Las Vegas wedding planner carefully. Base it on not only your budget but also what the planner will bring to the table. It would be wise to ensure the vendor has experience with respect to Las Vegas wedding planning. It is important to choose a vendor who will be proficient to guide you in either scenario, whether you decide to have a small wedding elopement in Vegas or a large formal affair.
  • Do send marriage announcements: It is courteous and proper protocol to send out wedding announcements to those in your life. Doing so keeps you connected and enables everyone to know your final decision. You can also showcase the elopement photos in your announcement or use this opportunity to invite them to your event at home.
  • Do plan an event afterward at home: Most couples who elope in Vegas do plan to have a follow-up celebration inviting friends and family. This will afford the opportunity to showcase your photo or video slideshow and all people to still be a part of the event in a small way.
  • Don’t underplay it: If you do decide to elope in Las Vegas, treat it just like you would a bigger wedding. It is still your wedding so make sure to celebrate just as much and don’t underplay it just because you’re eloping.
  • Don’t forget to budget: Get ready to elope in Las Vegas by looking over our budget overview which outlines important questions you need to answer about your budget essentials. For ideas on how to get married in Las Vegas and how to budget for your Vegas wedding, read this article.
  • Don’t feel guilty: In the end, there is no need to justify your decision to anyone. What is most important is to do what is best for you both. It is your wedding day. If you want to include family, invite the VIP’s along and then have a get together at your hometown later. This will be sufficient to satisfy most everyone and make you happy in the end. Happy planning and contact us if you need assistance and guidance to make your day a special one to remember for all the right reasons.
Elope in Las Vegas