HOW TO ELOPE IN LAKE TAHOE
I get emails allllllll the time asking “how do I elope in Tahoe?! HELP!”
Lucky for you, I’ve done this a time or two and I’m really freakin’ stoked on helping couples achieve their dream Lake Tahoe elopement! Here are 5 steps to help get you started on planning your Lake Tahoe elopement!
1. Book a flight to Reno, Nevada.
Pick your season, and book a flight! Most airlines have a non-stop flight from major airports to the Reno-Tahoe international airport. From here, it’s 45 minutes to 1.5 hours drive to Tahoe, depending on where you’re staying. Alternatively, you can fly into Sacramento (which is my least favorite airport in the history of ever, I think) OR you could fly into San Francisco - but that is 4 hours west of the Tahoe basin. In non-winter months, this is a doable drive without worrying about what the weather might be like, but if you’re planning on eloping between the months of November and May, I recommend flying into Reno. Click HERE to see a list of non-stop flights, created by VisitRenoTahoe.com! Our warmest months are June - August. Spring here is kind of yucky, but every other season is magical.
2. Decide which part of the lake you want to stay on
North shore (Tahoe city to Incline Village) is really quaint and has plenty of accommodations. The west shore is a lot older, and is home to a lot of long time locals. There’s a bike path that goes along part of the lake and in summer time, is a fantastic way to get around. They’re expanding it currently, so I recommend doing some research as to which portions are open. Emerald Bay is a favorite stop on this side, as well! South Lake Tahoe is more like “Vegas-meets-Tahoe” and has a lot of casinos and traffic. To be honest, it’s not my favorite part of the lake – but does lend itself to ever-beautiful views. You genuinely can not go wrong, no matter where you go around here. There are plenty of hotels, and homes for rent through private rental companies and sites like airbnb or vrbo. Click HERE to join my list of “Tahoe Elopement Accommodations” on airbnb and see my favs! Also, be sure to check out Truckee, CA! That’s where I’m from specifically and it’s a gem of a spot!
3. Find a photographer
Tahoe is home to a lot of creative souls who express themselves through imagery – and I just so happen to be one of them. As soon as you know a general time frame you’ll be in town, find your photographer and lock them in. A great way to do that is by using Instagram to search hashtags, such as #laketahoeelopementphotographer or #elopelaketahoe. In finding your photographer, it’s really important to know what you want out of your elopements, and what’s important to you within that. I personally am a born and raised local - therefore, I can pretty confidently say that I know this place like the back of my hand. If you’re looking for a good place to elope, suggestions on places to eat, stay, shop, hike - I’m your girl. I give an elevated experience for couples looking for adventure. It’s pretty damn fun, if you ask me.
4. Find an officiant, florist (if needed) and place to dine after your big day!
There are lots of officiants in the area, but my personal fav is Meredith, of Ceremonies by Meredith. She’s incredible, personal, and the sweetest human. For florists, I highly recommend Meghon over at Love and Lupines (she did my florals for my wedding!) and lastly, pick a place to eat after your elopement! I love Evan’s (South Lake), Truckee Tavern & Grill (Truckee, obviously!), Trokay (also Truckee!) and Wolfdale’s (Tahoe City).
5. Pick a location for your ceremony and photos
This part is fun, and special. I highly recommend working with a photographer who knows the area well and will help guide you to a spot that is not just for tourists (psssst, me!). I personally have a giant arsenal of videos of locations I’ve scouted to keep on hand as options for my couples when they book with me. I believe your location is a HUGE part of your day. My slogan, if you will, is “People in their spaces, sharing their stories.” And if you’ve ever been in love, you know that wherever the person you love is, that is the space you want to be. So, lets find you an amazing location that gives you a 100% unique Tahoe elopement experience!
And last, but not least: GET HITCHED!
If this article left you EXCITED to plan a Lake Tahoe Elopement but you’re still curious about my process as a photographer, head on over to my info page, HERE! And, if this left you excited and ready to book your photography with me, click HERE to head over to my contact page to get the ball rolling!