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.
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?
Choose an elopement date
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
Book your wedding vendors.
There are many wonderful vendors in the Salt Lake City area. Here’s who I recommend for your Bonneville Salt Flats elopement.
Hair & Makeup
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.
Here’s a link over to her work and contact page!
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.
Ivie Floral Co
Located in Salt Lake City, their attention to delicate details is the perfect way to complement your 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!
Flour & Flourish is the modern day wedding cake baker in the Salt Lake City. Their beautiful cakes are the best way to add another layer of elegance at your Salt Flats wedding day.
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
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!
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!
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.