Lake Tahoe Elopement Guide

eloping in lake tahoe
lake tahoe elopement

Considering a Lake Tahoe elopement and need some help? We’re sharing location ideas, when to elope, and more!

Lake Tahoe Elopement: What You Need to Know

Typically when you’re choosing to elope, you want a location that adds to your overall experience, has incredible views, and allows you to have an intimate spot to say your vows. And that’s exactly why Lake Tahoe is such a perfect place to elope!

The best thing about Tahoe is the wide variety of locations it has around the lake for truly incredible views, all giving it’s own slightly different perspective. It gives you the flexibility to find a spot that fits you and what you’re looking for, and you can be sure that it will be a stunning backdrop no matter what! There are some things that you should know before eloping in Lake Tahoe, so let’s dive into that!

lake tahoe elopement

lake tahoe elopement

lake tahoe elopement

Lake Tahoe Elopement Locations

If you don’t already know, Lake Tahoe is a very large lake, and each side of it is very different, but equally stunning! So this is important to keep in mind when choosing your location for your elopement.

North Lake Tahoe is very laid-back, quiet, and more serene with a mountain feel. It has plenty of areas to explore, but with less crowds to work around. If you really want more of an intimate and adventurous elopement, this is definitely the side of the lake that you should be choosing. And if you’re wanting a snowy, winter elopement this is the perfect spot as well! There are many different locations on the North side that you can choose from for a breathtaking elopement.

South Lake Tahoe, on the other hand, has a very city feel and is much more busy. It’s known for it’s nightlife and high-end resorts and casinos. It still has some really beautiful locations for elopements on the lake, but if you love the idea of the trendy restaurants and fun nightlight, this may be a great option for you. This area does tend to be very busy, so keep this in mind for your elopement, as you may need to find a weekday or early morning to avoid the audience!

Here are some of the best Lake Tahoe elopement locations that you can choose from!

Emerald Bay

When it comes to eloping in Lake Tahoe, Emerald Bay is definitely the most popular spot! It is in South Lake Tahoe on the California side and has everything that you’d want for a backdrop. Turquoise waters, gorgeous pine trees, and the mountains all come together and create a breathtaking view. This is why it makes the most perfect spot to elope, because your photos will turn out incredible!

The state park itself has plenty of spots to choose from for photos, giving you the chance for variety. Something to keep in mind is that this is a very popular tourist attraction, so you have to work around this if you want a more intimate elopement! You can try a weekday, a sunrise elopement, or even try an off-season like late fall or early spring.

Sand Harbor

On the North Lake Tahoe side, Sand Harbor Beach is a perfect location if you want more of a beach wedding. This is another popular location, and for good reason! You get to be right next to the crystal clear water, where there are rocks peeking out and it’s a perfect place to explore. The backdrop with the mountains, trees, and the lake all makes for truly stunning photos!

The Ramada is an area that is an option for elopements where you can have some covered area with tables, as well as a perfect open area for your ceremony. It’s on a first come, first serve basis unfortunately, but if you snag it, it makes a perfect option if you have guests joining you!

Sand Harbor does get overly busy in the summer months, so plan for a spring or fall elopement here instead!

Monkey Rock

Monkey Rock is a gorgeous spot in North Lake Tahoe, not far from Sand Harbor and is less well-known. You do have to hike to this location, but this keeps it more private and serene, which I love! It is a 2.6 mile hike with a 500ft elevation gain, so if you can handle a short hike with views that make it worth it, this is a perfect option!

You can see panoramic views on the lake, and all the surrounding mountains. It’s a wonderful spot if you want to add some adventure to your experience and have a truly intimate and romantic spot away from the crowds.

Here are some other great Lake Tahoe Elopement locations!

  • Hidden Beach
  • Eagle Lake Trail
  • Donner Lake
  • D.L. Bliss State Park
  • Tallac Point

Lake Tahoe Elopement

eloping in lake tahoe

eloping in lake tahoe

Lake Tahoe Elopement Venues

If you are leaning towards more of a micro wedding or just want a more traditional feel to your elopement, there are some really incredible wedding venues in Lake Tahoe that could fit what you have in mind! Here are a few favorites.

Olympic Stables

The elopement pictured here was captured at Olympic Valley Stables, a spot with the most stunning up-close mountain views. All of the green from the marsh area, paired with the mountains made a really breathtaking backdrop and we couldn’t get enough! It definitely can still give you the feel of an intimate and adventurous elopement, but paired with some of the amenities you’d want from a venue.

Round Hill Pines Beach Resort

If you want more of a beach feel for your elopement or micro wedding, Round Hill Pines may be your best bet. You can say your vows right on the sand with the water and mountains as your backdrop, and it is truly stunning! You have views of boats in the background, and if you want to add to the experience, you can even rent one out! This is a great location that will give you the views you want from a Tahoe elopement with a bit less seclusion.

Edgewood Tahoe

The Edgewood Tahoe gives you the classic and beautiful lake views, with the convenience of being able to stay right on the property as well. This is a perfect option if you are planning to have guests joining, as you can take advantage of the rest of the property for a reception and all stay in one place. It adds a level of sophistication, so if you want less of the adventure and more of the comforts, this venue would work best!

Heavenly Mountain

Heavenly Mountain has its own unique view of the lake with more of a bird’s eye view, where you can see for miles. You can experience being more secluded in the mountains but still see the beautiful blue lake in the background. You can enjoy the panoramic views for your ceremony, and celebrate with your guests outdoors under the stars, or in their beautiful dining room.

These are just a few of the many venue options you can choose from in Lake Tahoe!

eloping in lake tahoe

eloping in lake tahoe

eloping in lake tahoe

When to Elope in Lake Tahoe

When you’re choosing to elope in Lake Tahoe, the time of year all depends on the vibe you’re going for and whether you are willing to deal with crowds. My recommendation is to avoid the winter, unless you really want a snowy and cold elopement. You will just be more limited in what you can do location-wise! I also recommend avoiding the summertime, simply because it can get insanely busy and you will have the hardest time having a private elopement without an audience.

These are the times of year that I would most recommend!

In the spring

One of the biggest reasons I would recommend the spring for eloping is it is the off season! This means you don’t have to stress over the crowds, and worrying about too many people in your location. You just have the freedom to explore without all the extra people around.

Another reason is the weather! There may still be some snow around, and it can still chilly, but the water will be incredibly crystal clear! It’s still warm enough though to go out and explore and capture a really breathtaking elopement!

Just consider the location and how much potential snow there could be, and plan for chilly mornings and evenings!

In the fall

Fall is another great time to elope in Lake Tahoe because it also an off-season, which means you’ll end up having a lot of the locations to yourself! Especially if you choose to do an elopement on a weekday. This will keep it very intimate and ensure you have no interruptions!

This time of year will definitely have cooler weather, and there is also a chance of rain, so just keep an eye on the weather! But the fall leaves are truly beautiful, and if you want that foliage in your photos, this is the perfect time of year to choose!

eloping in lake tahoe

lake tahoe elopement photographer

How to Elope in Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe lies in both Nevada and California, which makes it a bit more tricky getting the right marriage license. So just make sure you have your location nailed down and choose the right state!

Getting a marriage license in Nevada

If you want to get married on the Nevada side, you’ll need to make sure that you find an officiant certified in Nevada! You can search and find out if they are legal to facilitate marriages in Nevada here. If you are traveling from out of town, you can get your marriage license in Washoe, Douglas or Carson City counties on your way!

You will need both the officiant and one witness! Just be prepared ahead of time to get your marriage license and you’ll be ready for your Lake Tahoe elopement!

Getting a marriage license in California

For getting married on the California side, you will need to obtain a marriage license that you can get at any County Clerk’s office. You will need a valid ID and it’s typically between $90-$100. These licenses are valid for 90 days and can work in any part of the state; it doesn’t need to be done in the same county.

You can even have the option of getting married the same day you pick up your marriage license if you want! But if you’re traveling from outside of California, you can look into the Sierra, Placer, Nevada or El Dorado counties to get a license.

Again, you will need both an officiant and a witness (the photographer counts!).

lake tahoe elopement photographer

lake tahoe elopement photographer

lake tahoe elopement photographer

Lake Tahoe Elopement Photographer

Hi, I’m Lo, a Lake Tahoe elopement photographer! I am always ready to create a custom experience for my couples and leave you with photos as timeless as your love. So if you’re looking for someone to help you plan your Lake Tahoe elopement + tell your love story, I’d love to chat!

Lake Tahoe Vendors

Venue: Olympic Stables

Florals: A Floral Affair

HAMU: Desert Peach Hair

Stationary: Blush Ink Calligraphy

Tux: Raw Golden Rentals