How to Elope in Nevada

Nevada is the wedding capital of the world, with its most famous elopement destination being Las Vegas. But for those looking for something a little different, the state has plenty to offer for everyone.
Outline map of Nevada

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Why is Nevada great for an elopement?

Nevada needs no introduction as a wedding destination, being known as the “Marriage Capital of the World.” Reasons for this date back to when blood tests and waiting periods were more common across the USA. Nevada abolished these requirements to encourage more tourists and elopements. Although blood tests are not used in marriage license applications anymore, and many states don’t have waiting periods, Nevada’s reputation as a wedding destination stands strong.

The second reason is the very reliable weather. Nevada has the least rainfall of all 50 states, making it very likely you’ll get a nice, dry day for your wedding. In the Summer temperatures are very hot, whereas winter can be cold but rarely will it drop below 30°F. This gives couples some options for year-round weddings.

The stereotypical thought when considering a wedding in Las Vegas is getting married in a chapel, with an Elvis impersonator as officiant. If that’s your thing then great! However, there are plenty of other lesser known venues across the state, meaning that Nevada has something to offer any couple who want to elope. If, like me, you love outdoor weddings the deserts in Nevada have plenty of options. The Valley of Fire State Park, located in the Mojave Desert, has stunning fiery red, pink and orange rock formations that need to be seen to be believed: white wedding gowns really stand out against them. The El Dorado Canyon offers a real Western vibe, or even the chance to get married among the many cactus plants in the area. And those who love a great view may want to check out Mt. Charleston, where couples can get married surrounded by stunning panoramic views and snow-capped mountains.


All states require a marriage license, so you need to ensure that you understand all of the requirements very early in the planning process. Luckily, it’s fairly straightforward in most cases as long as you meet the criteria and follow the state requirements.

Here is what you need to know about getting a marriage license in Nevada.

Is Same Sex Marriage Recognized?

Yes! Same sex marriage is recognized in all states, and at a federal level, under the Respect for Marriage Act which was signed into law in December 2022.

Will I Need to take a blood test?

No. Blood tests have been abolished as part of marriage license applications in all 50 states, so don’t worry if you’re afraid of needles!

Who Issues Marriage Licenses in Nevada?

Marriage licenses in Nevada are issued by the County Clerk’s Office.

Do I Need to be a Resident of Nevada?

Both residents and non-residents are able to apply for a marriage license in Nevada.

Is there a waiting period to get married?

There is no waiting period to marry once you have a marriage license.

How long will my marriage license be valid for?

Marriage licenses in Nevada expire 1 year from the date of issuance.


Couples must be aged 18 years or older to marry with no further caveats in Nevada. Those aged 17 may get married, providing that they obtain parental and judicial consent, are residents of Nevada, and there the age gap between both parties is no bigger than 3 years.


Couples are required to bring valid identification to confirm their names and ages. Valid documents include: driver’s license, passport, state ID or military ID. Other documents may be accepted, however it is worth asking at the County Clerk’s Office in advance.


Marriage license fees in Nevada vary by county. Expect to pay around $75 – $102.

On Your Wedding Day

Once you’ve gotten the admin out of the way, you can get to the part you’ve been dreaming of: the wedding ceremony!

As you’d expect, each state has different requirements to make a marriage legal. Make sure you follow the guide below to get your marriage legally recognized.

Will i need witnesses to the marriage?

Marriages in Nevada require at least one witness, in addition to the person performing the ceremony.


An officiant is required to solemnize marriages in Nevada. Officiants must be a licensed, ordained or appointed minister in good standing with their church or religious organization. Further, the officiant must register with the County Clerk in the county where the marriage will take place, so factor this into your planning for the ceremony. Those who aren’t Nevada residents must apply for a temporary license.


So that’s it, everything you need to know about eloping in Nevada. And if you think that it could be the place to host your special day, why not give me a call to chat about your wedding? I’m an experienced elopement photographer, and an ordained minister, so in most cases I can be your officiant too!

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