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Salt Flats Elopement Guide | How to Get Married at the Salt Flats

Elopements, Planning Resources


Couple getting married at the utah salt flats

If you are looking for a unique and otherworldly location for your elopement – look no further than the Bonneville Salt Flats. These are one of Utah’s most unique natural landscapes, stretching over 30,000 acres.

Eloping at the salt flats is fairly accessible, budget friendly, and far less busy than some of Utah’s other natural features.

couple getting married at the salt flats

Getting to the Salt Flats

If you are flying, you will want to fly into SLC International. The Salt Flats sit 2 hours east of the airport. I would recommend meeting your group and vendors at the salt flats rest area. And then follow the signs to the speedway if you are wanting to drive directly on the flats.

Ask your photographer for an exact location pin, they should have you covered!

salt flat elopement couple

Where to Stay at the Salt Flats


The Salt Flats are right next to the Utah-Nevada state line, so the closest town is Wendover, NV. Think of this like mini Vegas…. like VERY MINIATURE. Most people stay at the Montego Bay or Nugget Hotel. These are good options if you don’t want to make the 2 hour drive back to SLC on the same day.

However, if casinos aren’t your vibe, I would recommend heading back to SLC for the night. There is a ton of beautiful scenery surrounding Salt Lake to explore and you can find some little treasures in the city.

Salt Lake City

There are also plenty of other hotels and AirBnbs nearby. I would recommend finding a stay in Salt Lake City, Cottonwood Heights, Millcreek, or Park City. These are some of my favorites:

  • If you are looking for an upscale stay within walking distance of the city, consider The Grand America Hotel. This hotel was built to welcome the 2002 Olympics and sits on beautiful grounds.
  • One of Salt Lake’s newest hotels, Le Mériden is situated right in the heart of SLC, within close proximity to just about everything!
  • If you are more into Utah’s landscape I would recommend a stay at The Cliff Lodge in Little Cottonwood Canyon. You can spend the next day hiking some of Utah’s most beautiful trails or hitting the ski slopes!

I would also recommend extending your trip to visit Southern Utah while you are here. Within 4 hours you can be in Moab or Zion and experience Utah’s famous red rocks!

When to Elope at the Salt Flats

The Salt Flats are open year round but for best weather – I would recommend getting married between mid August and late October. At this time of year, the crust is dry and it is warm but not too hot. 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. Usually the water isn’t more than an inch deep and the reflection is beautiful if you’re willing to get your feet a little wet. It is important to note, you can’t drive on the flats when they are wet.

A Few Other Tips

  • 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

PERMITS: As of February 2024 there are no permits necessary to get married at the Salt Flats. Be sure to check the BLM website for the most up-to-date information and other important info.

MARRIAGE LICENSE: You will need a marriage license from the State of Utah to elope at the Salt Flats. If you are a local you can pick one 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. The closest offices to the Salt Flats are Salt Lake City ($50 fee) and West Wendover ($100 fee). Submit an online application, and be prepared to pay for your license when you pick it up. You can use your license immediately but it must be used within 30 days of picking up. After your elopement day is over, mail your license in and request multiple copies.

OFFICIANT: To get legally married in Utah you need someone to officiate your wedding. You can hire an officiant to join – Anita Gordon and Terri Jo are both great and local to Salt Lake. Or for a more personal touch, you can ask a friend or family member to get ordained to officiate your wedding. Ordination is free!

WITNESSES: 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 joining lives with your love and celebrating your unique and special love story. Your story deserves to be documented so you can look back on the memories and share them with future generations!

I’m here to help you plan, answer all your questions, lighten your stress of planning your elopement, and document it all! I want to help tell your story and create photos that feel like you. Contact me for more information.

couple eloping at the salt flats

Find more elopement planning resources here!