Valley of Fire Elopement Photographer
I’m Lucy – A Valley of Fire elopement photographer with a soft spot for couples who love the desert! A land of majestic red rock awaits you in the Valley of Fire. Words truly can’t describe the boundless beauty in this epic landscape. The colors of this canyon are insane. Vaulted white domes and orange, pink, red, and brown rocks paired with plenty of ground vegetation in the spring give it a rainbow of color. You will feel like you are walking on Mars. Both in terms of the bright orange rocks that make up the dramatic scenery, and the scorching heat. There are great ways of avoiding the 100+ summer temperatures and making this your incredible desert elopement location. Keep reading to get inspiration on how and where to have your elopement at Valley of Fire!
About Valley of Fire State Park
Valley of Fire is a Nevada State Park, about 50 miles northwest of Las Vegas at the tip of Lake Mead. The entrance fee is $10 per vehicle from Nevada or $15 for out of state cars. An early morning or sunrise elopement here would be out of this world in any part of this park. Petroglyphs from ancestral Puebloans or Anasazi peoples are visible throughout if you know where to look. You can also spot herds of bighorn sheep climbing the rocks in front of the crisp mountains in the background. And the Mars scenes from Total Recall were filmed here, as well as an iconic scene in Star Trek. Rad, right?
There are 4 designated ceremony sites in Valley of Fire
You can elope at any of the 4 designated ceremony sites within the State Park. I’ll outline each one and show you what they look like. To have your ceremony in Valley of Fire you must get a ceremony permit. Before or after your ceremony, you may romp around to many of the park’s other landmarks for more photos. However, you must note which areas you’ll visit on your ceremony permit, so it’s best to apply after you’ve consulted with a Valley of fire photographer so you know which spots are best for you.
The 4 Ceremony sites are:
– The Cabins
– Seven Sisters
– The Visitors Center
– Rainbow Vista
Additionally, the park doesn’t enforce ceremony and photography permits at the Beehives area around the campgrounds and there are 3 group use sites you can reserve in advance for just $25. Yup.
The Cabins Ceremony Location at Valley of Fire
You can elope or have a small wedding at a small group of stone houses set directly into the red rock background at a secluded picnic area. The shade of the dwellings and privacy of this hidden spot makes this a great spot to elope in Valley of Fire. It’s my favorite of the 4! The surrounding canyons are fun to explore and there’s a sandy wash just a stone’s throw away that would make for an amazing intimate ceremony.
Seven Sisters Ceremony site at Valley of Fire
The Seven Sisters area has several picnic shelters that provide some much needed shade. The “Sisters” are a group of seven large, freestanding orange rocks. I love that this area has the steep and desolate mountains in the background, and plenty of places to explore. While this is a popular picnicking spot, there is ample opportunity to get away from the crowded areas by walking around and between the rock formations. I love the rich color of this spot for a daytime elopement in Valley of Fire.
Visitors Center & Rainbow Vista Ceremony Locations
You can also elope behind the Visitor’s center, and most folks who stop there only venture inside, so it’s actually less crowded than you’d expect. Fun rocky towers and mountain views are just behind the building. I’ve also heard it’s the best place to start a Gila monster search. Rainbow Vista is the most colorful spot for offroad couples who want to have an adventure elopement in Valley of Fire. This location has miles of colorful rock as far as the eye can see. I cannot think of a more incredible location to plan your desert elopement, and YOU are the special sauce; the missing ingredient!
Elopement Locations outside Valley of Fire
Lastly, I know of a hot spring oasis, an off roading area, a mesa, slot canyon and another red sandstone area just outside the park. These would also make an incredible location for your elopement ceremony. These areas are outside the rules and regulations of the State Park, so there’s good reason to consider them. The red rock area has multiple arches, rock caves, and formations to scramble over. There are just so many options!
Valley of Fire Elopement Photos
Chais & Spencer trusted me when I said “You have to go to Valley of Fire!” I’m so glad they did, because their Valley of fire elopement photos are absolutely bomb! This being so close to their Las Vegas home, it’s just about as scenic as it gets. The desert rocks surrounded them as they romanced and danced in the sand, the slot canyon, rainbow vista and the white domes. See more of their romantic elopement at valley of fire!
More Valley of Fire Photo Locations
The are tons of amazing spots for elopement photos in Valley of Fire. My favorites are Fire wave, the slot canyon, white domes, pink canyon, fire canyon, silica domes, rainbow canyon, the road vista, and the Beehives. The colors of this park are insane. Vaulted white, orange, pink, red, and brown rocks paired with plenty of ground vegetation in the spring give it a rainbow of color. It is truly a park you have to see for yourself – hopefully hand in hand with your person. Is there anything more romantic than sharing a new adventure together?
Fire Wave at Valley Of Fire
Valley of Fire is probably best known for Fire Wave, a red and white layered rock formation with a spiral twist. Fire Wave would make an amazing photo location after an intimate wedding at Valley of Fire. An easy 1.5 mile hike across the desert rock makes it a great location to get out and explore. Different times of day look vastly different here, as the changing light casts shadows and brings out the red and pink hues of the rock and sand you’re walking on. Look at this MAGIC!
White Domes in Valley of Fire
The White Domes hike is perhaps my favorite hike on this continent, right up there with Dream Lake in Rocky Mountain NP and the Queens’ Garden trail in Bryce Canyon NP. Located at the northernmost point of the park, the loop trail is actually one of the least visited parts of the park WHICH MAKES NO SENSE. IT IS INCREDIBLE. I did this hike twice during my last visit… on the same day… at sunrise and sunset – and would have gone back the next day if I’d had more time! Both early and late hours of the day provide some shade here and there. If you’re craving adventurous elopement photos, this is the best location ever!
Here is my Virtual Tour and map of all the Valley of Fire locations:
This map is like a virtual tour of Valley of Fire and the surrounding highlights with color photos I’ve taken of each place. So you can see all the great spots – and where they are – without leaving your living room. If you’re planning from afar, this is a visual key to picking out the elopement spot that works for you. To access the full map, book me as your Valley of Fire elopement photographer. Details like what seasons and time of day are best for each location are included. It will help you plan your activities, accommodations, and your day’s itinerary. Lastly, it’s easy to have a great backup location picked out with this map in front of you. Having that Plan B in your back pocket will keep your planning stress-free!
How to elope at Valley of Fire
- Select a season and date for your elopement
- Confirm your flights and rental car if needed and choose a place to stay
- Hire a valley of fire elopement photographer who knows the locations and rules
- Collab with your photographer on a ceremony location & time and apply for the park’s ceremony permit
- Hire any additional vendors and acquire your outfits
- Bring your NV Marriage License and approved ceremony permit on the day of your elopement!
That’s it! When you breakdown the planning into six easy steps, it feels more doable, right?
Valley of Fire wedding permits
Yes, even once you choose one of the 4 designated ceremony sites, you will need to apply for a Special Use Permit or SUP from the park. Be sure to have your approved permit in hand at your ceremony or else you may be cited. You can read more about their SUPs and start the process here on their website. I can help you decide on the perfect time of day for your chosen ceremony location and date, so get in touch with me before submitting your application. Make sure to apply AT LEAST 60 days in advance. And treat the park like the wonder it is – no litter, live music, smoke bombs, open fires, confetti, or any other disturbance-causing item will be allowed.
Do I need an officiant to marry in Valley of Fire?
Most of the time, yes! Nevada actually recognizes your right to self-solemnize, or declare yourselves married, IF you are Friends or Quakers. Otherwise, any officiant ordained in Clark County, Nevada, can perform your ceremony. PLEASE NOTE that this is NOT the same as getting ordained through ULC or AMM. To register as an officiant in Clark County you must pass a test and apply well in advance. You will additionally need 1 witness, which I happily will be.
Valley of Fire Photography Permits
Valley of fire does make it challenging to acquire the necessary photography permits. I’ve spoken with rangers in person and I got the impression that photographers are generally not the ranger’s favorite people. Please, tread lightly here and play by their rules. You can find the Valley of Fire photography permit application and information here. I pay for the cost of this permit when I shoot in Valley of Fire so my clients don’t pay these fees. To summarize, there are 6 locations that photographers are pre-approved to photograph at. For any additional locations, the photographer must arrange an in person meeting with a ranger prior to the permit being approved. After that you may shoot at the locations you’ve asked for.
– You must submit a Copy of Insurance (COI) AND an additional insured endorsement.
– The cost is $25 application fee, $100 per day fee, entrance fees, and a fee of $50 to $350 depending on the number of vehicles and people in your shoot.
– Shoots with more than 3 vehicles or 15 people are not permitted on weekends or holidays.
– Before sunrise or after sunset visitation requires separate approval.
– You must submit the application at least 30 days in advance.
What season should we elope at Valley of Fire?
Because of the crazy heat of summer, you should completely avoid planning an elopement at Valley of Fire from June to September. It is simply dangerously hot to be active in this part of the desert. Pick a October to March date, and for the best experience I highly recommend a weekday.
Valley of Fire Temperatures:
December, January & February: Highs in the 60s
November and March: Highs in the 70s
October and April: Highs in the 80s
How much time should we spend at Valley of Fire?
Valley of fire is not a huge state park, but there is a lot to see, so plan for your elopement to take a minimum of 4 hours up to a full day. Anything less than 4 hours will not allow breathing room for delays, road backups, parking snafu’s. With a 4 hour timeline, you could get married, have some photos with your besties, pop champagne or cider, and visit a second location for romantic portraits. If you desire getting ready photos or want to include any activities, a full day elopement at Valley of Fire is what you need! NOTE: Valley of fire closes at sunset and you must not linger in the park after sundown or before sunrise.
A Sample Timeline for a Valley of Fire Elopement
6:30 Get ready at your tent at the campgrounds
7:00 Sunrise first look at the beehives
7:30 Make camp French Toast at your site
8:30 Begin the short hike to Fire Wave. You’ll have the trail mostly to yourselves.
9:30 Read letters from loved ones to each other at Fire Wave
10:30 Meet up with 10 friends at the Cabins for a sweet ceremony
12:00 Your friends brought lunch and beverages! It’s group picnic time.
1:30 The group hikes to Captain Kirk’s grave site, or plays telephone in the slot canyon
4:00 It might be time to get Slurpees in Overton
5:00 Sunset dip at the hot spring Oasis
7:00 Dinner in Vegas
Where to stay at Valley of Fire?
Valley of Fire state park has two campgrounds with showers that are first come, first serve. These campsites are clutch for those who wish to stay in the park which I highly recommend! It’s so peaceful to wake up to the birdsong in the canyons. Camping out also allows you to appreciate the cool temperatures in the early morning and the stars in the evening. If you’re not into camping, that’s ok! Plan to stay at the North Shore Inn in Overton, NV or an Airbnb at Lake Las Vegas which is almost an hour’s drive away.
How much does it cost to Elope at Valley of Fire?
The answer of course is that it depends! Your park permit cost will be less than $500 and your Nevada marriage license is $102. After those costs, the budget will be dependent on other factors: Are you flying to Las Vegas, or local? Do you need to rent a car, or are you driving your own? Are you a thrifty with your garments, or looking to go all out? Let’s break down a hypothetical budget for a simple elopement in Valley of Fire.
$102 Nevada marriage license
$25 – $400 (estimate) Valley of Fire Ceremony Permit
$5000 to $10000 Elopement photographer
$1500 to $3500 Elopement planner & coordinator (sometimes required in VoF depending on your plan.)
$500 to $1500 Professional Clark County officiant
$400 to $2000 Flowers, limo, hair, etc (optional)
$500 to $1500 food for you and your group
$8,000 to $19,000 for a balls to the wall awesome day.
Valley of Fire Elopement Photography Packages
I offer both Valley of fire elopement photography packages, or All inclusive elopements for a one stop shop option. There are no travel fees, download fees, watermarks or other hidden fees.
2 Day elopements in Valley of Fire – $7900
1.5 Days of Valley of fire elopement photography – $5900
1 Full day Valley of Fire adventure elopement photography – $4900
Up to 4 hours Valley of Fire elopement photography – $4200
What Wildlife Is There?
Aside from being a super colorful park, it’s also got a good amount of desert wildlife! Bighorn sheep are common in the campgrounds, by balanced rock, and at Silica Domes. I also found what I thought was a Gila monster wedged between some rocks. I thought my life was made and I could never top that moment.. until several hours later when I learned it was a Chuckwalla, a type of lizard that inflates itself as a defense. Later, I saw (See also: screeched and pulled over almost recklessly to observe) a pod of Gambell’s Quail. And I pulled some fishing wire out of a lizard’s mouth after a 30-minute game of cat-and-mouse with the elusive lizard. No photos of that, but I hear from my husband that it was pretty funny to watch! What can I say, I am basically Steve Irwin with a camera.
Why you should hire a great Valley of Fire elopement photographer
The value of candid, fun, and storytelling images could not be overstated. Elopement Photography is the take-home. Besides your memories, it will be the only thing you have to keep, and it will be how you share the story of your intimate wedding with your loved ones who couldn’t be there. My bold and colorful style shows how amazing and vibrant the scene really looked. So check out my custom map of Valley of Fire elopement & photo locations, and get in touch right away to secure your elopement date. I will help with all the details of planning and coordinating to obtain the right permits from the park, and guide you to the parts of the park that would suit your dream destination elopement ideas!
I offer full day, 1.5 day and 2 day elopement photography in Valley of Fire, Lake Mead, and the rest of Nevada. See my pricing and package details here. I would love to chat with you and help see if an elopement with me is what you’ve been dreaming of. Get in touch below!
About Lucy – Valley of Fire Elopement Photographer
I’m a nomadic and colorful Valley of Fire elopement photographer with an obsession for deserts, goofing off, and waking up and doing what you love My photography style emphasizes the epic landscape of your dreams and the authentic moments that make you two.. well, you two! I love my job and my nature-loving clients. Valley of Fire is the most beautiful desert state park in the country. Maybe I’ll see you there!
Contact me to check if your date is available:
Check out my other Desert Elopement Guides:
– Zion Elopement Guide
– Grand Canyon Elopement Guide
– Bryce Canyon Elopement Guide
– Snow Canyon State Park Elopement Park
– Moab Elopement Guide
– Horseshoe Bend Elopement Guide
– Saguaro National Park Elopement Guide
– White Sands Elopement Guide
– Death Valley National Park Elopement Guide
– Joshua Tree National Park Elopement Guide