The Bonneville Salt Flats is one of Utah’s most unique natural landscapes, stretching over 30,000 acres. Eloping at the salt flats is fairly accessible and far less busy than some of Utah’s other natural features. You may have caught a glimpse of the flats in movies: Independence Day, The World’s Fastest Indian or Pirates of the Caribbean: The World’s End. This location almost looks like something from another planet, making it a unique and stunning location for your elopement.
Getting to the Salt Flats
If you’re flying, you’ll likely land in SLC International and have about a 2 hour drive to the Salt Flats. You’ll want to jump on I-80 for a little over 100 miles, until reaching exit 4. You can park at the rest stop or follow the signs to the speedway to drive directly on the flats. However, be cautious if you choose to drive onto the flats. The weight of your car can break through the salt and get stuck in the mud underneath the crust.
Ask for your photographer for an exact location pin, they should have you covered!
When to Elope at the Salt Flats
Late summer/early fall is the best time of the year to elope at the Salt Flats to avoid crowds and harsh weather. The crust is dry and it is warm but not too hot at this time of year. Utah is a desert so the temperature at the Salt Flats drops below freezing in the Winter and soars into the 100’s in the summer. Spring brings good temperatures, but it is rain season and water can pool on the flats. The reflection is beautiful if you’re willing to get a little wet.
- Check for events before choosing a date. The Salt Flats are home to the famous Bonneville speedway, where racing events do take place. Specifically you’ll want to avoid Speed Week in August.
- I would recommend choosing to elope on a weekday to avoid the weekend crowds. There is tons of room to explore and find your own little area, but it is a public space. You can’t guarantee a private elopement, but choosing a weekday can increase the chances.
- Schedule your elopement for sunrise or sunset for best lighting. The way the sun shines over the mountains on the salt crystals makes for dreamy sunrises and sunsets! Consider sunrise if you’re hoping to have the Salt Flats all to yourself.
The Legal Stuff
You’ll need a marriage license from the State of Utah to elope at the Salt Flats. If you are a local you can pick on up at your closest county clerk office. If you will be traveling from out of state, schedule an appointment with the clerk’s office to pick up your license when you arrive in Utah. Submit an online application, and be prepared to pay for your license when you pick it up. The closest offices to the Salt Flats are Salt Lake City ($50 fee) and West Wendover ($100 fee). You can use your license immediately but it must be used within 30 days picking up. After your elopement day is over, mail your license in and request multiple copies.
To get legally married in Utah you need someone to officiate your wedding. You can hire an officiant to join or have a friend or family member get ordained to officiate your wedding!
You’ll also need two witnesses over 18 to sign your marriage license. If you’re inviting guests to your elopement you can ask two of them. But if your elopement is more private you can ask your vendors to sign your marriage license, or find any two adults throughout the day!
Hire an elopement photographer!
Your elopement day is about planning a meaningful day to celebrate your special and unique story. Your story deserves to be documented so you can look back on the memories after all is said and done!
I’m here to help you plan, answer all your questions, lighten your stress of getting married, and document it all! I want to help tell your story and create photos that you can look back on and feel the moment.
View Rocky Mountains Bride’s Salt Flats Wedding Planning Guide for even more information here!