Lake Tahoe Elopement Guide of 2023

Let’s kick things off and dive right in… 

You picked Lake Tahoe as your dream wedding destination. WOO!

​….. But now what?

Why Lake Tahoe??

USA today voted Lake Tahoe “America’s Best Lake” in 2022 and let us be the first to tell you.. we agree!! 

There are so many things to do and stunning spots to see. But how does this all help with you planning your dream wedding? 

Lake Tahoe offers many different locations from elopement sites to wedding venues that are all unique and beautiful in their own way. So lets take a look at each of these to find the perfect fit for you and your loved one.

North Lake vs. South Lake

It may not seem like much a of difference from figuring out which side of a lake you want to get married on. However, there is a large difference from getting married on the North or south side of Lake Tahoe. 

South Lake Tahoe 

If you are daring, bold, fast pace and enjoy night life and crowds than South Lake Tahoe is for you. South Lake is filled with restaurants, bars, casinos, and people to fill them all giving it a more “Las Vegas” feel when staying here. 

But don’t worry, it also comes with high peaks to climbs, beaches to lay on, mountains to ski down, and stunning crystal blue water to stare at. There is no shortage of activities to do in any season with live music, hikes, brewery hopping, to wake-surfing, skiing, and must see locations such as Emerald Bay & Sand Harbor.

North Lake Tahoe

If you are someone who enjoys the beauty without the busy feel of a city, then North Lake is your pick! This side of the lake is for those wanting a more intimate, quite and serene setting. With still many activities to do North Lake is know for its more laid back feel with high end experiences.


This can be an important one to think about. Lake Tahoe is known for their gorgeous seasons as we get to experience them all! 

So lets chat about each of them


As the seasons gently transition in the picturesque landscapes of Lake Tahoe, a unique window of opportunity emerges for those seeking a touch of winter magic without the uncertainties of a sudden snowstorm. Spring in Tahoe unfolds with a distinct charm, offering couples an enchanting blend of winter wonderland vibes and the gradual emergence of nature’s vibrant beauty.

Embracing the allure of spring in Tahoe, we find ourselves in a sweet spot where the chill of winter slowly recedes, making way for nature’s spectacular transformation. This season unveils an extraordinary canvas adorned with the delicate brushstrokes of wildflowers bursting forth in an array of colors. It’s a breathtaking sight, a celebration of life and renewal that adds an extra layer of enchantment to your special day.

Moreover, spring in Tahoe carries a unique significance, bridging the gap between the seasons. It’s a time when the slopes gently shed their snowy blankets, transitioning from the exhilaration of skiing to the anticipation of warmer days ahead. As the lake’s surface begins to thaw and the mountains awaken from their snowy slumber, a sense of serene anticipation fills the air.

Choosing to capture your moments in this transitional season is akin to embracing the best of both worlds. You get to revel in the remnants of winter’s charm—crisp air, snow-kissed landscapes, and a touch of cozy magic—while also witnessing the gradual reawakening of the natural world. It’s a chapter that blends contrasts seamlessly, painting a vivid portrait of nature’s evolving beauty.

So, as you plan your wedding or engagement session, consider the unique allure of spring in Tahoe. It’s a time when the tapestry of the region transforms, weaving together the last whispers of winter and the first promises of spring. It’s a season that beckons you to embrace the beauty of transition and the joy of capturing your love story against a backdrop that seamlessly marries the elements of two enchanting worlds.


Embracing the sun-kissed enchantment of Lake Tahoe’s summer is akin to stepping into a world where nature herself paints the canvas with hues of warmth and vitality. As the days stretch languidly and the landscapes transform into a tapestry of breathtaking beauty, the allure of a Tahoe summer beckons couples to create their own unforgettable love stories.

Summer in Tahoe epitomizes the convergence of two enchanting worlds—the allure of warm sunbeams and the symphony of wildflowers gracing the fields in early bloom. The air carries a subtle promise of adventure, inviting you to explore the myriad of trails that crisscross this picturesque region. It’s a season where every corner reveals a new pocket of breathtaking beauty, where each step is an opportunity to discover hidden gems.

However, the vibrant vitality of summer comes hand in hand with popularity. The region awakens with the laughter and footsteps of travelers eager to embrace the natural splendor, so it’s wise to consider that while planning your intimate celebration. If seclusion is your heart’s desire, a mindful selection of date and location becomes paramount.

Yet, amidst the golden days and cerulean skies, Tahoe’s summer skies sometimes gift us with rain showers—brief and ephemeral, they bring with them an unexpected and delightful moody ambiance. Imagine the poetic beauty of gentle raindrops dancing on the leaves, lending an ethereal quality to your photographs and infusing your day with a touch of magic.

And if serendipity is truly on your side, Mother Nature herself might grace your joyous occasion with a dazzling gift—a radiant rainbow arcing high above the cerulean sky. An emblem of promise and hope, the rainbow can be nature’s congratulatory nod, an ephemeral bridge that connects the heavens and your love-filled celebration.

So, as you contemplate your wedding or engagement in Lake Tahoe’s summertime embrace, consider the harmonious juxtapositions it offers—the play of sunlight and shadows, the hum of nature’s vitality against the hush of intimate moments, and the delicate balance of popularity and seclusion. Let the tales of summer’s splendor guide you towards creating memories that shimmer with the essence of this vibrant and captivating season.


The season of fall unfurls its enchanting tapestry across Lake Tahoe, ushering in a time that holds a special place in the hearts of adventurers and romantics alike. As summer’s warmth mellows into a golden embrace, the landscape undergoes a mesmerizing transformation, painting the surroundings with a palette of warm and vibrant hues. It’s a season that whispers of quiet moments and vibrant exploration, offering a respite from the bustling crowds that graced the area during the summer months.

Fall in Lake Tahoe is a captivating symphony of solitude and beauty. Beyond the Labor Day rush, the region takes on a serene and tranquil ambiance, inviting couples to embrace the intimacy of the quieter season. This is Tahoe’s off-season, a time when the world seems to slow down, and the natural wonders of this breathtaking area are more readily available to those who seek them.

One of fall’s most bewitching features in Tahoe is the presence of the majestic Aspen trees, standing sentinel in hidden corners, their leaves ablaze with shades of gold, crimson, and amber. These magnificent trees create a whimsical and romantic atmosphere, inviting you to weave your own love story amidst their vibrant branches. The trailheads that lead to these pockets of fall magic offer cooler hiking days, making it the perfect opportunity for an adventurous escapade.

As you traverse the meadows and trails of Lake Tahoe in fall, you’ll find yourself immersed in a sensory journey. The crisp crunch of fallen leaves beneath your feet, the invigorating touch of the cool breeze, and the warmth of the sun on your skin create a symphony of sensations that heighten the experience. The meadows seem to stretch endlessly, waiting for explorers to leave footprints and memories that will last a lifetime.

Embrace the romance of fall in Lake Tahoe, where the backdrop is a canvas painted with the richest and most vibrant colors. The season’s transition from summer’s vivacity to winter’s hush is a time of transformation, where the landscape wears its heart on its sleeve, inviting you to share in its beauty. Amidst the tranquility and hidden treasures, you’ll find the essence of fall—a season that holds an irresistible allure for those seeking to capture their love story amidst nature’s masterpiece.


Embracing the winter wonderland of Lake Tahoe is an invitation to dance with the elements and immerse yourself in the pure magic that this season brings. While winters here can occasionally present challenges with their occasional harshness and high winds, they also offer a breathtaking tableau of snowy landscapes that evoke the most enchanting fairytale scenes.

Lake Tahoe, when embraced by winter’s embrace, undergoes a mesmerizing metamorphosis that captures the hearts of all who venture into its realm. The mountains, normally grand and awe-inspiring, don a regal attire of glistening snow, casting an almost otherworldly charm that seems straight out of a storybook. The sight of these snow-capped peaks against the azure sky is nothing short of awe-inspiring, a visual symphony that stirs the soul.

Amidst this winter canvas, Lake Tahoe becomes a true wonderland, where every corner is touched by the ethereal beauty of snow. The forests wear a soft blanket of white, the meadows glisten like diamonds, and the shores of the lake take on an almost magical quality. These serene vistas present endless opportunities for couples to create enchanting memories against a backdrop that embodies the spirit of the season.

Despite the occasional fierce winds that grace the area during winter, the allure of Lake Tahoe in its snowy splendor is undeniable. The pristine landscapes, the crisp mountain air, and the promise of cozy moments by the fire are all part of the experience. While the winter months see an increase in visitors drawn to the promise of long, powder-filled snow days, they also offer an intimacy that’s unique to the season—a chance to celebrate love amidst the quiet grandeur of nature’s winter masterpiece.

So, if you’re seeking a winter adventure that’s both daring and breathtaking, Lake Tahoe’s winter wonderland awaits. It’s a season of contrasts, where the elements may challenge you, but the rewards are beyond measure. The snow-covered mountains, the sense of seclusion, and the chance to step into a real-life snow globe make it an unforgettable backdrop for capturing your love story in its purest, most enchanting form.

Know Which Season is for you?
Great! Let’s Chat location

I know what you’re thinking… chat location? Didn’t I just pick Lake Tahoe? 

Well you did but there are so many amazing spots to pick from inside Lake Tahoe and thats what we will be going over!! 

Lake Tahoe isn’t just for those wanting to elope, it also has jaw dropping venues that the younger you will even be screaming with excitement. 

Emerald Bay State Park

Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe’s crown jewel, stands proudly as one of the region’s most sought-after elopement destinations. Nestled along the picturesque south shore of the lake, Emerald Bay boasts an allure that’s impossible to resist. As you step into this enchanting realm, you’re greeted by a symphony of natural beauty that captures the heart and imagination.

Emerald Bay’s undeniable charm lies in its breathtaking vistas, a harmonious interplay of elements that create an unparalleled backdrop for your special day. Towering mountains frame the scene, their majesty contrasting with the serene expanse of turquoise waters that seem almost surreal. The embrace of thick forests adds an air of intimacy, making you feel like you’re in a world of your own.

It’s no surprise that Emerald Bay is often a top choice for couples seeking an elopement that encapsulates the essence of Lake Tahoe’s allure. Every angle offers a picture-perfect view, and the vantage points over the bay are simply awe-inspiring. As the shimmering lake stretches out beneath you, it’s impossible not to be swept away by the magnitude of the moment.

Whether you’re exchanging vows against the backdrop of the bay’s pristine beauty or capturing candid moments amidst the towering trees, Emerald Bay ensures that your love story is etched against a canvas of natural wonder. This iconic location is not just Lake Tahoe’s most visited; it’s a testament to the region’s unparalleled charm and a dreamy setting for couples seeking an elopement that’s nothing short of extraordinary.

Sierra at Tahoe

With my roots deeply embedded in South Lake Tahoe, Sierra holds a cherished spot in my heart. This versatile location serves as a canvas for both grand weddings and intimate elopements, offering a remarkable setting that resonates with the essence of Tahoe’s natural beauty.

Nestled in the embrace of Desolation Wilderness, Sierra presents a panorama of awe-inspiring vistas. As your gaze sweeps across the horizon, you’re greeted by the majestic peaks and mountain summits that stand in silent testimony to the grandeur of nature. The surrounding forest lends a sense of tranquility, while the option to be surrounded by your loved ones adds a touch of warmth and intimacy to the scene.

Please Note: It’s important to acknowledge that the recent Caldor Fire has left its impact on this area. While Sierra’s beauty endures, it’s advisable to stay informed about any updates and considerations related to the ongoing restoration efforts.

In both joyous celebrations and intimate moments of commitment, Sierra encapsulates the spirit of Lake Tahoe, and I’m honored to share this cherished location with you.

Sand Harbor
Nestled along the serene expanse of Lake Tahoe’s eastern shore, Sand Harbor beckons with its entrancing allure. This idyllic locale is renowned for its crystalline blue and turquoise waters, gently lapping against the shores adorned with impressive boulders. It’s a place where nature’s artistry takes center stage, and visitors flock to experience its breathtaking beauty.

For those seeking a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle, Sand Harbor offers a refuge of serene moments. Embracing the early morning light or venturing here during the tranquil seasons of spring and fall can reward you with a quieter ambiance and uninterrupted communion with the surroundings.

Let the enchanting vista of Sand Harbor serve as the backdrop for your special moments, where the lake’s captivating charm paints a vivid tapestry of memories.

Northstar California Resort

Nestled on the serene North Shore, Northstar presents an inviting haven for those seeking a remarkable backdrop for their special day. This enchanting locale boasts a myriad of charms, including the allure of fewer crowds, majestic mountains encircling your celebration, and a rich tapestry of lush forests awaiting your exploration.

Immerse yourselves in the embrace of Northstar’s natural beauty, where the grandeur of the surrounding mountains and the tranquility of the verdant woodlands converge to create an idyllic setting. Whether your hearts are set on an intimate elopement or a heartfelt celebration, Northstar stands as a compelling choice, offering an unforgettable canvas upon which to paint your love story.

Logan Shoals Vista Point

Nestled just beyond the enchanting Emerald Bay, you’ll discover an absolutely breathtaking spot for your elopement that’s sure to leave you in awe. Prepare to be captivated by the panoramic vista of the pristine lake and the intimate charm of this hidden gem. This remarkable location is tailor-made for those looking to exchange their vows with a more intimate guest list of 20 or fewer cherished souls by their side. Whether you’re envisioning a serene lakeside ceremony or a cozy forest gathering, this spot offers the canvas for your dream day to unfold in all its natural splendor.

Craving more details about these incredible locations?

Longing for a wider selection to explore?

Don’t fret! The adventure doesn’t end here. There’s a treasure trove of options waiting for you. Just drop a line, and we’ll set you on the path to discovering your perfect spot!

How to get a Marriage License in Lake Tahoe

Once you have picked were your ceremony will take place then its time to get a marriage license. Don’t worry, I’ll be here every step of the way and its not as hard as it may seem. If you pick a location that is on the Nevada side of the lake you will need three things, a marriage license, one witness, and a officiant. If you need more information here is an article that can help!

If you have picked a location that will be located on the California side of Lake Tahoe you will also need three things including, one witness, an officiant and a confidential California marriage license. To find out more, this article will be for you. There are different locations near Lake Tahoe that you are able to get a license. 

If you are traveling up Highway 50 toward South Lake Tahoe, you can make a stop along the way at the El Dorado County Clerk’s office at 360 Fair Lane in Placerville. There is also a location right in South Lake Tahoe at the El Dorado Center at 3368 Lake Tahoe Blvd, Room 108, if you are planning to go to either of these locations please call 530.621.5490 to make an appointment. 

If you are coming up from the North side of the lake there is the Placer County’s statelite office, located at 5225 N. Lake Blvd. in Carnelian Bay.

The Final Touches

Now that your date, location, and marriage license are all set, let’s dive into the remaining details.

Booking your flight, finding the perfect lodging, and of course, curating your dream team of vendors – these are the exciting next steps on your adventure!

Lake Tahoe Flight Information

You have two options when it comes flying and getting to Lake Tahoe. The closest option is to fly into the Reno-Tahoe International Airport which is about 45 minutes from North Lake and about an hour and 20 minutes from South Lake. 

If you don’t mind a longer drive and enjoy driving through a winding road with stunning river views then Sacramento International Airport might be the way to go. This airport unlike Reno is about a 2 hour drive from South Lake Tahoe.

Lake Tahoe Airbnb & Lodging

Lake Tahoe boasts a plethora of delightful accommodation options to suit every taste. From cozy Airbnb getaways to lavish luxury hotels, the choices are abundant. Here are a couple of my top recommendations that perfectly align with various styles and elopement preferences.


Mid Century Modern Cabin – The Tahoe A-Frame

Tahoe Lakefront Condo

Tahoe Donner

Little Dipper


Coachman Hotel

Edgewood Resort 

Beach Retreat

Cedar Crest Cottages

Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort


Guess what? I can step in as your officiant too!

Prefer me to concentrate on capturing your special day?

Absolutely, I’ve got you covered! Here are some exceptional officiants I’m thrilled to recommend!

Let’s Chat Vendors!

Hair & Makeup

  1. Jessica Olsen
  2. RAH Hair Studio
  3. Amanda Surwillo


  1. Create With T
  2. Twine Floral 
  3. Wild Rose Floral

Cake & Desert

  1. Flour Girl Wedding Cake
  2. Lake Tahoe Cakes
  3. Sugar Pine Bakery
  4. Cakes By Grace
  5. Happy Tiers Cakes

Food & Catering

  1. The Mindful Chef
  2. Killer Eats
  3. Fed & Full

Photographer & Planner

Your search ends here, because I am your go-to for your Lake Tahoe elopement! I’m not only your photographer, but also your expert in vendor recommendations, timeline creation, and location scouting – you name it, I’ve got it covered. And if you’re looking for the ultimate stress-free experience, explore my all-inclusive packages that handle everything from vendor bookings to crafting your dream day!

Lake Tahoe Elopement Timeline Example

Curious about what your big day would look like throughout the day? Check out this Elopement timeline example. This is only an example and will be different to fit your day and activities.

  • 8:00 am: Photographer arrives at your Airbnb cabin for some getting ready shots.
  • 8:45 am: Intimate first look & couples portraits.
  • 9:30 am: Start a small hike up to a mountain near Lake Tahoe for some portraits and a picnic.
  • 11:30 pm: Hike down after the picnic and head towards the lake for an epic boating adventure.
  • 1:00 pm: Head back to the Airbnb to meet up with family, eat snacks, and touch up before the ceremony.
  • 5:00 pm: Start the intimate ceremony in your favorite Lake Tahoe elopement location.
  • 6:00 pm: Family and/or couples portraits.
  • 7:00 pm: Head back to the Airbnb for a romantic, intimate dinner with friends and family.
  • 8:00 pm: Catch the sunset and start your lives as a married couple.

Lake Tahoe Elopement Activities

〉Have a skiing day at Sierra at Tahoe

〉Grab some lunch at Gastromaniac

〉Experience Lake Tahoe from high above with a helicopter tour

〉Take a wine tasting boat tour around the lake

〉Try parasailing over Lake Tahoe

〉Take a hike at Eagle Lake Trail 

〉Go shopping and take a gondola ride at Heavenly Village

〉Check out the popular Taylor Creek Trail

〉Enjoy a 2 hour sailing experience

〉Drive around the lake and see all 72 miles of Lake Tahoe’s shore line

Lake Tahoe Elopement Must Knows

〉If you are planning a fall/winter/ or spring elopement plan for snow. Lake Tahoe is known for their record snow falls, some years even getting just over 18 feet of snow just in the month of December in 2022. If you’re eloping during the snowy season, be sure to bring a 4WD car and carry snow chains for those bigger storms. 

〉Plan ahead for traffic. This could be for any season but mainly winter and summer. With the heavy snow falls comes avalanche control, spin outs, accidents, and slides that will close highways. In the summer, traffic can get bad with the amount of visitors wanting to experience all that Lake Tahoe has to offer. Parking can be limited in certain areas so its best to leave early and leave a buffer just in case! 

〉Set a budget. Being a mountain town things can really add up fast. Rentals, food, and activities can come at a higher price than other towns. If you have a budget that you want to stick to there may be a need to pay closer attention to pricing to be sure to not go over it. 

Let’s Create The Best Adventure Yet

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