Death Valley Elopement Guide + Styled Inspiration

Death Valley Elopement Guide + Styled Inspiration

Nothing really beats the stunning views you can see at Death Valley National Park. Most couples may be wary about eloping at a location that has the word “death” in it, but this location destination is probably one of the most diverse and picturesque you can pick from. This park is mostly in California but does extend near Nevada. Emily Hary, the photographer, gives us all the tips and tricks when planning a Death Valley elopement adventure from this unique and colorful styled elopement.

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How to Elope in Death Valley National Park

Death Valley elopement portraits

Photography by Emily Hary Photography

This styled session is everything, but we also want to break down some important information you need to know when planning a Death Valley elopement. Use the links below to jump to the section you’re most interested in.

Do You Need a Permit to Elope in Death Valley National Park?

If you want to plan an epic elopement in Death Valley National Park, then you need to acquire a special use permit before getting married there. The permit cost is currently $300, but you should always double-check the permit website for any updates. Emily also tells us teaming up with an experienced photographer in the area can also assure you have the latest information on permits and regulations.

Epic places to elope like Death Valley are always amazing to see couples explore, but it’s even more important everyone is aware of the importance of LNT (leave no trace) when eloping.

“Being on the same page as my couples BEFORE we leave for their adventure helps tremendously with adhering to leave no trace principles to the best of our ability.

Photographers/creatives: provide your couples with general information about LNT and set expectations early on about things like having the appropriate permits in place beforehand, packing out trash, packing the right gear (and back-ups) for your adventure, and avoiding certain activities while out in nature (like throwing confetti or using smoke bombs in a dry area for example).

Education along the way in small bits in a kind way also goes a long way. We all have room to improve/learn concerning LNT.” [Emily, the photographer]

When Should You Elope in Death Valley and What Should You Pack?

If you both are into desert vibes, then planning a Death Valley elopement is definitely something on your list. Keep in mind, however, this national park is one of the hottest places in the world! Emily tells us couples should avoid the warm months of May to September to have the best experience. If you are interested in one of those hotter months, then planning a sunrise elopement will help with the heat. Check out more information on when to plan your elopement here.

What should you pack for your Death Valley elopement all revolves around the weather, and Emily tells us Death Valley is very dry, sandy, and windy. We can see this with some of the epic shots from this fun-styled shoot.

“Packing layers on any trip is essential. If you want to wear open-toed shoes for your wedding day, expect them to get dirty and your feet to get sandy. Hiking boots are a great choice to avoid that. Sunglasses are a must with so much sun, wind, and sand. Don’t forget to use sunscreen! Nothing worse than a burnt face on your wedding day.” [Emily, the photographer]

Check out our resource for packing for your elopement for more ideas.

Fun Ideas For Your Death Valley Elopement Adventure

We love national parks, especially those that aren’t at the top of all elopement couples’ radars, making it a more intimate and remote experience. We asked Emily for some fun ideas to include during your Death Valley wedding day, and she gave some awesome recommendations!

  • Camping/RV’ing is always an option at this desolate national park. That would bring personality to the getting ready portion of the day.
  • You could do a sunrise ceremony then come back to your campsite for a home-cooked camp meal and chill time when the light/sun is most harsh/hot. Then you could go back out into the park for evening photos and a fun adventure!
  • There is a handful of unique Airbnbs around, but they can get far away from the park quickly.
  • Fun, unexpected details/accessories and experiences that reflect your personalities and interests are always a win too!
  • Discuss ideas/options and coordinate with your photographer.

Details We’re Loving About This Styled Elopement

This styled wedding day in Death Valley is the perfect inspiration to get an idea of the type of views, portraits, and attire you can incorporate into your own elopement.

We love how the bride’s elopement dress was super flowy, allowing the wind to pick up the skirt and throw it in the wind, and the groom’s attire played perfectly along with the desert tones around them.

“Luke’s vintage corduroy mustard suit is to die for and absolutely my favorite detail about this shoot. The suit paired with his glasses, killer hair/stache, and bolo tie were amazing together. A close second is the gorgeous dried textural bouquet Iris & Barry Blooms crafted for us. She coordinated with the suit and threw in pops of pink. She is so very talented and great to work with! I also adore the hand-lettered leather jacket that was created by @c.louise_creative. The black Doc Martens Kait wore coordinate and are striking against the lighter colored desert sand.” [Emily, the photographer]

Are you looking for the perfect elopement dress for your wedding day? Shop some of our favorite dresses!


Photographer | Emily Hary Photography

Floral design | Iris & Barry Blooms
Dress | Raw & Golden Rentals
Headband | Ali Nicole Bridal
Jacket | @c.louise_creative

More Photo Inspiration From This Styled Elopement

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