So I’ll say it, I am on social media… a lot! While I am mindlessly scrolling though the gram and going down the rabbit hole I run into a lot of photos from local Las Vegas wedding industry folks that are are out at Red Rock Canyon shooting and performing wedding ceremonies. Red Rock Canyon is one of the most popular locations in Las Vegas to shoot photos and is one of the more popular locations for outdoor wedding ceremonies because of its breathtaking backdrops and close proximity to the Las Vegas strip. ( It only takes about 40-45 minutes to get there from the strip). If you are a bride or groom searching for wedding vendors on Instagram and looking to have a wedding or photoshoot out at Red Rock Canyon I am quite sure you have seen the same.
Here is the thing. Red Rock Canyon is a protected wildlife region which requires a special event permit to be pulled as well as a permit for professional photography. If you don’t have a permit for these and go out there for a photoshoot or wedding ceremony it is considered trespassing on federal land and you can get really hefty fines from the Bureau of Land Management ( they monitor the area). There are currently four different areas in Red Rock Canyon where weddings and elopements are allowed. These are the Overlook, Red Springs Boardwalk, Ash Springs, and the visitors center. We are currently permitted to do ceremonies at every location except the visitors center. ( That location just isn’t the prettiest for weddings in my opinion).
Now you might be thinking I sound like some crazy “rule follower” but the truth is it really makes me angry when I see companies out there shooting and performing wedding illegally. There are less than 15 companies that actually hold annual permits and there are probably hundreds that go out there with clients without a permit. I can’t tell you how many times Elopement Las Vegas has showed up for a wedding ceremony out there and we have arrived to find some random company in our location doing a wedding at Red Rock canyon illegally. We have to ask the company politely to leave and show them the permit we have been issued from the BLM. If I were the client that got “kicked out” I would be embarrassed and probably ticked off at the company that brought me out there without a permit.
If you are a couple looking to elope or have a wedding out at Red Rock Canyon in Las Vegas and are searching different companies online… for goodness sake make sure they have a dang permit. You don’t want to end up being kicked out of the park or fined for that matter – all during the biggest moment of your life. The purpose of this blog is not to shame couples or wedding vendors, it is simply to educate everyone on the rules that they should be abiding by out at Red Rock Canyon. If you have reached to a company for a wedding out there and their prices seem way less then ours, ask them whether they pay for an annual special event permit. My company pays thousands of dollars and countless hours applying for each permit through the BLM. The application process alone for us to get approved out there took six months! We pay for an annual permit along with site fees for each location we offer AND pay for each individual wedding permit. All of those costs are built into our all-inclusive wedding packages.
You can read all about the BLM’s rules and regulations here for more information on special event and photography permits out at Red Rock Canyon.