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How to Elope at the Bonneville Salt Flats

bride and groom at salt flats elopement

Have you ever been to such a stunning location and wondered if you were still in the same country, continent, or planet? Utah feels exactly like that! The Bonneville Salt flats are like nothing I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing before and I am grateful to have seen it. Now that I’ve seen it, I want others to as well. Here’s how to elope at the Bonneville Salt Flats.

How to elope at the Bonneville Salt Flats

  • Choose a date
  • Book your most important vendors. Photo, video, hair/makeup, florals, officiant
  • Book your flight and stays
  • Get epic photos!
  • Live happily ever after!
lgbtq salt flats elopement

A Bonneville Salt Flats Elopement

The Bonneville Salt Flats is a remnant of the ice age era and is a densely packed salt pan that spans for miles and miles. It’s located west of Salt Lake City about 2 hours and is like nothing I’ve ever seen. It’s beautiful and perfect in every way. But where do you begin?

bride and groom salt flats elopement

Best time of year to elope at the Bonneville Salt Flats

The Salt Flats aren’t always the beautiful arid salt plains that we see below. No, in fact, for part of the year, the Salt Flats are underwater. Thankfully, not much. About .5″ of perfectly serene and reflective water. From November until May, the Salt Flats are flooded and in the winter it gets very cold and will freeze. So you’ll want to wait until March-early May to go if you want that ethereal reflective surface.

If you’d prefer them to be dry, late June-October is an ideal time. Just be sure to check when speed trials happen (usually in August).

Book your flight

There are a lot of direct flights to Salt Lake City, which is the closest major airport. Southwest flies directly to Salt Lake City from many major airports and allows two free checked bags. I recommend this as your transportation so you can put your wedding decor in a checked bag, wedding garments, and anything else you’ll need.

Utah is on Mountain Time, which is 2 hours behind Eastern and 1 ahead Pacific Time so be sure to arrive at least two days in advance to get used to the time difference.

Book your stay

Here’s a list of the best AirBnB stays in Salt Lake City for your elopement.

The best wedding vendors for a Bonneville Salt Flats Elopement

There are many wonderful vendors in the Salt Lake City area. Here’s who I recommend for your Bonneville Salt Flats elopement.

Hair & Makeup Artists for the Bonneville Salt Flats

Janelle Ingram

With a solid 5 star review across Wedding Wire and The Knot, Janelle has had the opportunity to work with some of the most beautiful couples and was so kind when reaching out. I’ve also personally worked with Janelle who is so kind, professional, and sweet!

Here’s a link over to her work and contact page!
Janelle’s Instagram

janelle ingram utah salt flats elopement
image courtesy Janelle Ingram’s Instagram

Everyday Glamourhood

Vanessa with Everyday Glamourhood is another amazing hair and makeup artist located in the SLC area that works beauty magic every time! Check out more of her work on Instagram.

Vanessa is also a professional model and recently modeled for us at my photography workshop. She is absolutely so talented working with all types of people including people of color. Here she is having done her own makeup and hair for our workshop shoot.

salt lake city makeup artist everyday glamourhood

Florists for a Bonneville Salt Flats Elopement

Ivie Floral Co

Located in Salt Lake City, their attention to delicate details is the perfect way to complement your Bonneville Salt Flats elopement.

ivie floral wedding elopement
image courtesy Ivie Floral Co.

Wedding Officiants for Bonneville Salt Flats Elopement

Linda Radford is a Salt Lake City wedding officiant with hundreds of weddings and dozens of glowing reviews, she’s the perfect addition when you plan a Bonneville Salt Flats elopement.

Looking for an LGBTQ+ friendly officiant? Reach out to the amazing Ash! She personally officiated Adam and Emily’s gorgeous Salt Flats elopement and was so wonderful and easy to work with! Here’s a link to her Instagram!

lgbtq wedding officiant salt flats


Dessert Studio is a mother-daughter founded wedding cake studio for weddings and elopements in Utah. Now their team has expanded to include many others and they have two locations working on beautiful and unique creations all the time. I had the pleasure of getting to photograph AND taste some cake from Dessert Studio during my last visit to SLC and it was pure magic!
The Dessert Studio can be found here! I also like that they are super professional and offer a contract for each wedding and elopement cake they make!

dessert studio bonneville salt flats elopement cake

Heather Oliver Cakes

Another Salt Lake City native, Heather Oliver created Heather Oliver Cakes after graduating with a degree in pastry and for nearly a decade, has created beautiful, tasty, and custom cakes for all couples. During a trip to Salt Lake City for a Bonneville Salt Flats Elopement, I had the pleasure of getting to photograph and taste Heather’s work. It was wonderful!
See Heather Oliver Cakes here!

heather oliver cakes at bonneville salt flats elopement

Rentals for elopements the Bonneville Salt Flats

Rustic Urban Goods

Have you ever seen a wedding editorial that involves furniture in places where furniture typically wouldn’t be? Well, Rustic Urban Goods has everything you need! has super beautiful wedding day furniture rentals that would be a stunning accent when you plan your Bonneville Salt Flats elopement.

I’ve had the personal pleasure of working with Trish multiple times and each time her work just blows me away! She will even drive out there and set up, stay there until we’re done, and pack it all up, making sure to leave no trace behind!

Rustic Urban Goods

rustic urban goods salt flats elopement

Planning your Bonneville Salt Flats Elopement

The next key to a successful elopement is to communicate location, times, and expectations with your vendors! You’ll want to work with your hair and makeup artist to get the correct look you want. If you can, schedule a run through a day or two before you arrive. It’s a great way to verify you love what you’re paying for and to make any adjustments. Plus you’ll look super hot when you go out to a pre-elopement dinner at Bambara.

For the day of your elopement, be sure to allow PLENTY of time for hair and makeup and to let your vendors know your AirBnB’s address.

You’ll also want to let me know what your address is so I can come and photograph details in advance of your ceremony. Then we can adventure out to the Salt Flats together.

Before your Elopement

  • Register for your marriage license here and be sure to arrange a time to pick it up BEFORE your elopement day! Be sure to bring all your official documents you’ll need too. Check the site for updated information on it.
  • Let’s meet up and go over details, have an adventure session, and use that beautiful elopement hair and makeup to adventure to Little Sahara Sand Dunes or perhaps at Little Cottonwood Canyon in the beautiful Wasatch Mountains.
  • Another option is to head out to get couples mani/pedis. Seriously, do it, it’s a blast and having a partner with smooth feet is well, amazing.

  • Have your details organized and ready to go, your wedding garments steamed, and lunch ordered or picked up before you head out to the salt flats. I also recommend heading over to the grocery and buying an entire case of water. The Bonneville Salt Flats is a desert and is pretty far from everything. So make sure you have plenty of gas and things to drink before you go.
  • Get plenty of rest!

The Day of Your Elopement

  • Eat breakfast, enjoy a cup of coffee, and get excited! You’re getting married today! I’ll arrive a few hours before we should leave and photograph your details and final parts of your prep.
  • Ideally, your wedding ceremony should take place a few hours before sunset (or at sunrise and if that’s the case, we’ll need to rearrange the entire day). That means if sunset is at 8PM, you’ll need to leave your AirBnB around 2:30PM in order to arrive at the Salt Flats by 4:30PM and have things set up. Your ceremony can begin around 5 or 5:30PM and we will focus on your portraits up until it’s dark.
  • Then, you can head back to Salt Lake City and enjoy a tasty post-elopement dinner at In-N-Out Burger!
in-n-out burger wedding

After your elopement day.

  • Mail your marriage license in and be sure to request multiple copies.
  • Enjoy Salt Lake City and the surrounding area! If you need more inspiration, check out this blog!
  • Alsooooo allows extra time to visit Moab, just a cool 3.5 hour drive southeast of SLC and then head back toward SLC or take another stop even farther south to Zion National Park!

    Honestly, the entire state of Utah is amazing and it’s worth a trip!
salt flats elopement

Have an amazing time and check out these beautiful images of what your wedding could look like when you plan a Bonneville Salt Flats Elopement.

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New Adventure Productions is owned by Nate Dale, a Lafayette, Indiana wedding and elopement photographer. We travel nation and worldwide to capture beautiful and intimate weddings and elopements while providing a guidance, love, help along the way. 
He is married to the love of his life, Felicia with their two doggies, Pika and Princess. 

  1. Emma says:

    I love how right at the beginning you outline when it’s not a good time to go to the salt flats! I would have never even thought of that!

  2. Mary says:

    Oh my, I always wonder where the location is at but now I know! Bonneville Salt Flats is so beautiful, it’s insane. No wonder why couples would elope there. The location is so unique to the point I thought it’s somewhere cold in Europe, ha!

  3. David Hevesi says:

    This is so helpful than you for sharing. Love those photos. What an awesome way to and an elopement with some In-N-Out Burger.

  4. The light always looks so beautiful in Bonneville flats. So crisp and clean!!

  5. Maria Hildebrand says:

    Wow! This location is just stunning! Such a great guide you have put together!

  6. Marla says:

    Okayyyy go off with the excellent advice and gorgeous images. I’m missing the salt flats!

  7. This place is a dream! I so wish I could photograph an elopement wedding here! Your photos are gorgeous!

  8. Rita says:

    Salt Flats are my DREAM . I hope i can go there and do a photoshoot too, they are so incredible. like never seen place, outside of this world!!! and your photos are amazing!

  9. Molly says:

    This location is a dream within a dream! I think all the information above is also super helpful. As someone who would love to adventure to the Bonneville salt falts some day (Even just to see and explore in person) this post has already been super helpful! Thank you for sharing.

  10. Dylan says:

    This is such a helpful guide to the Salt Flats in Utah! The vendors listed look wonderful and it all adds up to a great experience and a really photogenic day. Great article!

  11. Sienna says:

    If a bonneville salt flats elopement is in the cards for a couple, this article will give them all of the information they need! So helpful!

  12. Marta says:

    This is all such helpful information! Gosh, it’s a dream of mine to photograph an elopement here some day!

  13. Naomi Levit says:

    The Bonneville Flats is such an incredible location for an elopement! I’m dying to visit someday!!

  14. Kat says:

    So much great info for couples wanting to elope to the salt flats! I’ve always wanted to go there!

  15. Alexandria says:

    Wow this is packed with all the information to truly have the best day at the salt flats! I had no idea they flood and basically aren’t available for half the year! Super important for couples to know that.

  16. Lexi says:

    What a great resource for any couple thinking about eloping here! Salt flats are SO neat and are like a blank canvas. You’ve given some great options here!