How to Elope in Lake Tahoe in the Fall

How to Elope in Lake Tahoe in the Fall

wedding couple dancing in a golden meadow

How to Elope in Lake Tahoe in the Fall || The Ultimate 2022 Guide

Interested eloping in Lake Tahoe in the Fall? You’re in the right spot! I’m so excited to be sharing this guide to help you plan out your epic elopement day in Lake Tahoe in the fall. Keep reading to learn about the best places to elope in Lake Tahoe, Lake Tahoe elopement packages and pricing, permits and logistics, where to stay in Lake Tahoe, vendors to book, activities to do and so much more!

Is Fall the best time to elope in Lake Tahoe?

If I had to choose, the fall season in Lake Tahoe is the absolute best time of year to elope. The season has cool weather, with the most vibrant colors of fall everywhere you look. Bright oranges and yellows from the meadows and aspen trees around every bend. Fall in Lake Tahoe isn’t nearly as hot as the summer months, they drop to mid 30’s to high 60’s. The perfect weather in my opinion!

Most months are clear, but late October/November tends to get rain/snow storms starting to come in. Fire season is also still a potential in September and part of October since these months are a bit warmer/drier than late October/November.

If you’re looking for cool weather and gorgeous fall colors in Lake Tahoe, fall is the perfect season to elope in!

Lake Tahoe is the best place to Elope

Lake Tahoe is one of the most beautiful places to elope, and at one point held a top wonder of the world – Emerald Bay. The diversity in Lake Tahoe’s seasons and locations, to its amazing activities year round, Lake Tahoe has it all. There’s big difference’s whether you want to elope in North or South Lake or even more on the outskirts. It’s important to whey the differences to make sure you’re choosing the best location for your elopement, and everything that location comes with.

North Lake vs South Lake

North Lake Tahoe is much less touristy than South Lake. It’s quieter and where a lot of the locals tend to live. It’s also a tad less expensive, since South Lake is where most of the attractions are at.

South Lake Tahoe is where a lot of the tourists like to visit. There’s larger hotel chains, Heavenly Village which has lots of shops and activities to do, and home of Emerald Bay. One of the most popular locations in Lake Tahoe to visit.

Both North and South lake have so much to offer, and regardless where you chose to elope, the other side of the lake is less than an hour drive away!

wedding couple looking at the lake and mountains in the distance

Best Locations to Elope in Lake Tahoe in the Fall

Lake Tahoe is filled with so many diverse and gorgeous locations! You truly have so many options to choose from for your elopement locations- from mountain and lake views, beaches, wooded/forest areas and meadows. Here’s the best locations to Elope in Lake Tahoe in the Fall:

Emerald Bay State Park

Emerald Bay is one of the top visited state parks in Lake Tahoe, so naturally it’s a great place! I would recommend eloping at sunrise, since the sun will peak over the mountains on the north side of the lake, which gives that gorgeous golden back-lit effect. Plus, sunrise means less tourists at this epic location.

Sand Harbor State Park

Sand Harbor is a great location all year round as well. Although the summer months bring lots of tourists to this location, the later fall months (October – November) tend to start going back home, leaving the beach practically to yourselves. There’s so much variety from open beach to roam, large boulders to climb on, and forested areas to explore. So much diversity in one place!

Hope Valley

Hope Valley is absolutely stunning in the fall. Filled with aspens and pines, bright oranges and yellows and golden meadows for miles, Hope Valley is a great place to elope!

High Camp at Squaw Valley

High Camp is amazing!! Views of Lake Tahoe for days. This area is also filled with gorgeous fall colors and Wildlife viewing! A favorite for sure.

Logan Shoals

This location is great for an elopement at sunset in Lake Tahoe. You’re overlooking the gorgeous blue waters of Lake Tahoe and can see the mountains in the background!

Traveling to Lake Tahoe: Flight Info, Car Rentals, Hotels/Airbnb’s

There’s a lot to know when traveling to Lake Tahoe for your elopement, so let’s break it down! Here’s my top tips for flights, car rentals and places to stay during the fall season:

Flight Info

If you’re eloping in Lake Tahoe and want to fly in, you have a few options. The closest airport is RNO – Reno/Tahoe International Airport (50 minutes from North Lake Tahoe and about 1 hour 15 minutes from South Lake Tahoe). The second closest is airport is SMF – Sacramento International Airport (1 hour 54 minutes from South Lake Tahoe and 2 hours 5 minutes from North Lake Tahoe).

Car Rentals

Since Lake Tahoe is a mountain/lake town, renting a 4 wheel drive vehicle is never a bad decision. Although most sedans/ smaller cars do just fine in Lake Tahoe since the main roads are paved. If you’re wanting to do some off-roading, I’d recommend renting a car with those capabilities like a truck or jeep!

You can easily rent any of these cars at the Reno/Tahoe International Airport!

Where to Stay in Lake Tahoe

There’s so many warm and welcoming airbnb’s and hotels in Tahoe from cute little a-frame cabins, to bigger homes with lake front views, or larger hotel chains if that’s what you’re looking for! The options are endless when it comes to where to stay in Lake Tahoe. Keep scrolling to see some of my favorites!

North Lake Tahoe Airbnb’s

Tahoe Hideaway – Freestanding Luxury A-Frame Home

Completely Remodeled Cabin w/ Hot Tub, Near Beach

Little Black Cabin By The Lake

North Lake Tahoe Hotels

South Lake Tahoe Airbnb’s

Hygge Barn Modern Cabin – 5 Min walk to the Lake

Click here to view the elopement I shot at this Cabin! They came back here after they eloped, made some coffee, put on a fire and listened to records — it was amazing.

Unforgettable Lake Tahoe Cabin

Updated Lake Tahoe House w/ Hot Tub

South Lake Tahoe Hotels

Planning your Fall Elopement in Lake Tahoe

Now it’s time to plan your epic fall elopement in Lake Tahoe! Here’s some key things to keep in mind when planning:

  • Marriage License
  • Permits and Logistics
  • Lake Tahoe Vendors
  • Sample Timeline
  • Lake Tahoe Elopement Photography Packages and Prices

How to get a Marriage License in Lake Tahoe – Nevada side

If you’re getting married on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe, go to the Washoe County Clerk’s main office, located at 1001 E. 9th Street, Building A, in Reno to obtain your marriage license. It’s $85 to get legally married in Nevada. Click here for more info.

You can also go to the Washoe County Clerk in Incline Village. It is located at the Incline Village General Improvement District, 893 Southwood Blvd., and is open Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, except holidays.  Phone:  775-784-7260.  Click here for more info.

If your wedding is on the Nevada side of Tahoe’s South Shore, you can pick up your marriage license at these locations:

All this information was found on tahoeengaged.com

How to get a Marriage License in Lake Tahoe – California side

If you’re flying into Sacramento, San Francisco or Oakland Airport, and driving to North Lake Tahoe on Interstate 80, you may find it convenient to stop at the Placer County Clerk’s office, located in the city of Auburn at 2954 Richardson Drive. This office processes marriage license applications between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Click here for more info.

If you are traveling up Highway 50 to South Lake Tahoe, you can stop at the El Dorado County Clerk’s office at 360 Fair Lane in Placerville. You can also get your marriage license in South Lake Tahoe at the El Dorado Center, 3368 Lake Tahoe Blvd., Room 108.  For either location, call 530-621-5490 for an appointment.

You can also obtain a Marriage License right in North Lake Tahoe – at Placer County’s satellite office, located at 5225 N. Lake Blvd. in Carnelian Bay.  However, you must have an appointment, and the office hours only run from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.  To schedule an appointment, call 530-886-5610.  Click here for more info.

All this information was found on tahoeengaged.com

Permits and Logistics

Some locations in Lake Tahoe require a permit to get married and/or have professional photos taken there. I know the rangers and have yearly permits for all state parks in Lake Tahoe, and will help you secure your permit for your elopement! Other locations that aren’t as well known or aren’t a state park don’t require permits to get married. I’m here to help you navigate all the permits and logistics for your elopement.

Here are links/contact info for the top Lake Tahoe locations and their permit information:

To secure a permit at Emerald Bay State Park – Contact the Special Events Coordinator at (530) 525-5060. (info found on tahoesouth.com/parks/emerald-bay/, updated as of 4/2022)

To secure a permit at Sand Harbor State Park, here is the application!

Lake Tahoe Vendors

Elopement Photography & Planning

Hey y’all!! I can’t even wait to help you plan out your epic elopement day and capture all the moments. Click here to see my photography and what it’s like to work with me. If you’re interested in packages, scroll to the bottom of the page!

Videographers

Florists

Officiants

Hair and Makeup

Activities to do during the Fall in Lake Tahoe

Go for a boat tour and see Lake Tahoe from the water!

Or see the lake from the sky on a helicopter tour

Take a hike through the fall colors

Shop, dine and enjoy live music at Heavenly Village

Sample Lake Tahoe Elopement Timeline

Not sure what your elopement day could look like? Let me paint you a picture.

Example timeline:

9:00 am || Be by yourselves and write your vows

9:30 am || Enjoy some breakfast and alone time with your partner outside your a-frame cabin. There’s coffee, a cool breeze and you’re overlooking the lake in the distance together

10:00 am || Lay out your details to be photographed and get ready for the day

11:00 am || First look with your partner in the forest by your cabin. You see each other for the first time and feel ALL THE FEELS

11:30 pm || Helicopter tour around Lake Tahoe — seeing the vast beauty of Tahoe together

1:30 pm || Have your private ceremony lake side with your closest friends and family

2:00 pm || Couples portraits by the lake

2:30 pm || Hike to a gorgeous lookout, share a picnic and dreaming about your future together looking at all the fall colors surrounding you

5:30 pm || Head back to your a-frame cabin and enjoy the evening with your loved ones

6:00 pm || Dinner, dancing and telling stories!

7:00 pm || Run out to the beach to take couples portraits at sunset

7:30 pm || Sunset

8:00 pm || Grab some blankets and some beers and sit next the fire

2022 & 2023 Lake Tahoe Elopement Photography Packages and Prices

I have packages starting at 4 hours to 2 full day experiences starting at $3500. Since I live local to Lake Tahoe, there are no travel fees involved! Yay!

All packages include:

  • Unlimited zoom/phone calls to plan out your elopement experience
  • All my resources for location planning, vendor recommendations, activities to do, and more
  • Full resolution, high quality images delivered in an online gallery, with unlimited downloads
  • 72 hour sneak peak gallery, to relive your elopement day and share photos with your loved ones
  • 8 week full gallery return time
  • 85 page elopement guide full of tips & ideas to make planning stress-free

Does this sound like what you’re looking for?

Here’s a few Lake Tahoe Elopement days you might enjoy:

Adventurous Lake Tahoe Elopement

Beautiful Coastal Elopement in Big Sur

Summer Elopement in Lake Tahoe

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