Some natural features on this planet are truly other-worldly. The Utah Salt Flats are absolutely one of them! This incredible stretch of white, crunchy salt is a remnant of Lake Bonneville. It dried out hundreds of years ago and left behind a salty crust. Surrounded by epic mountains and an open stretch of blue sky, visiting the salt flats almost makes you feel like you’re walking on the moon. So why not picture your special day as a Salt Flats Elopement?
If you and your partner are looking for a unique, adventurous place to elope, I highly recommend the Salt Flats! With no hiking required, they’re a super accessible location that offers plenty of opportunities for ethereal, almost sci-fi-inspired wedding photos. Getting curious? Consider this the Ultimate Guide to Eloping at the Salt Flats!
The salt flats have a “wet” and a “dry” season, as well as a “hot” season and a “cold” season. It’s pretty up to you to determine what conditions you’d like to have at your elopement! When the salt flats are flooded, the ground is covered in a thin layer of water. This creates a surreal mirror-like reflection of the sky and mountainscapes. It’s a pretty spectacular sight and typically happens in winter and spring. Just keep in mind that you shouldn’t drive on the salt flats when they’re wet. The temperatures can also get pretty chilly in the winter. So if you’d like to incorporate the wet flats for your elopement, consider a date sometime in March through May. Rather than the dead of winter!
The dry season is usually summer and fall and showcases some spectacular glittery white salt lines. In my opinion, the weather is pretty perfect for an elopement in June through August. The weather will be a bit warmer. But keep in mind that there is absolutely zero shade. So you, your partner, and your celebration will all be out in the open sun. Another thing to keep in mind is that the Salt Flats are used for racing events in late summer. Typically over a week in August or September. So you’ll want to check ahead to make sure you avoid double-booking!
When it comes to picking a specific date for your Salt Flats elopement, I highly recommend choosing to elope on a weekday, especially if you’re eloping in the summer. The salt flats are always popular with tourists, but summer is definitely the busiest season for visitors. A weekday wedding date will allow us to avoid big crowds, giving you a much more private experience. I always recommend a sunrise ceremony, too, in order to capture incredible views of the sun rising over the mountains and a breathtaking glow that reflects off of the salt crystals. It’s well worth an early start time!!
Obtaining a Utah marriage license isn’t too tricky, and you can even do most of the work before making the trek out to the salt flats! You can get your license from any county clerk’s office in Utah, so if it’s easier to do the busy work closer to home, you absolutely can. There’s no waiting period once you have your license, but you only have 30 days to use it before it expires. Check the county clerk’s office website to be sure you have everything you need to apply for your license and to book an appointment!
When it comes to actually getting married at the Salt Flats, you’ll need to have a proper officiant and 2 witnesses over the age of 18. If you have your hearts set on a totally private elopement, no worries – your vendors can serve as your witnesses, myself included! Or you can always grab a few strangers at the salt flats to be your witnesses, too. Of course, you can always bring a few close friends or family members along to be a part of your elopement, too.
Something else to consider is that if you’re getting married at the Bonneville Salt Flats, a great open space just 5 minutes from Wendover, Nevada, you’ll need to get a special use permit in order to get married there. Visit their website here to see what you’ll need to do to obtain the right permit for your elopement!
When you elope at the salt flats, you can wear whatever you want! Whether you want a majestic gown that will float in the wind or a fun jumpsuit and a denim jacket, the salt flats can be whatever ambiance you make them to be! Just keep the weather in mind; in cooler months, you may want to think about layering just in case it’s chillier than you expected it to be. As far as shoes go, you can wear whatever you want because the salt is rock-hard. If you’re eloping during the wet season, however, I highly suggest some cute (and functional) rain boots.
Also, you should definitely plan to get salt all over your clothes, shoes, and likely even your skin. It is easily washable, but I just wanted to give you the heads up that your beautiful wedding attire may be a little salt-crusted by the time we’re done!
Elopements may be a more intimate approach to getting married, but it’s still your wedding day! Like any beautiful wedding, this incredible new chapter in your love story deserves to be documented so you can relive every moment over and over again. When it comes to an adventurous elopement in a destination like the Utah Salt Flats, I would assume part of what is drawing you there is the stunning scenery. That’s why it’s so important to hire a photographer who knows how to treat every shot like a piece of art, finding the perfect way to capture the grandeur of nature while still ensuring you and your partner are the focus of every photo.
This is where I come in! As an elopement photographer, I specialize in capturing intimate ceremonies, preferably with a large dose of adventure. From the mountains of Colorado to, yes, the salt flats of Utah, I love helping couples curate a wedding album full of breathtaking photos that celebrate you, your love story, and your sense of adventure. Take a look through some of my work to see how I’ve helped other couples immortalize their elopements with stunning photos!
A Salt Flats elopement is a fabulous way to begin the next part of your forever together, and I’ll enthusiastically be a part of your day to ensure you capture every glorious, ethereal moment. Let’s connect so we can get your elopement on my calendar! Have more questions about eloping at the Salt Flats? I’m happy to help!!