So, you want to get married in Lake Tahoe? I don’t blame you! Lake Tahoe is one of the most beautiful and sought-after wedding destinations in the world. And we love being able to help couples plan the most spectacular celebrations in the area. If you’re considering Tahoe as your wedding destination, you’re probably wondering how to get married in Lake Tahoe. Fortunately for you, we have answers! Keep reading for six essential steps you must take to have your dream wedding in Lake Tahoe.
1. Hire a Lake Tahoe Wedding Planner
The easiest and most enjoyable way to get married in Lake Tahoe is to have a Lake Tahoe wedding planner by your side from the beginning. Because Tahoe sees hundreds of weddings a year, many venues in the area actually require couples to work with a planner. A full-service wedding planning company like Epic Thyme can help you navigate the intricacies of a Lake Tahoe wedding. This is especially important for out-of-state couples planning a destination wedding in Lake Tahoe. A wedding planner handles all the big-ticket items and every little detail to ensure you have a spectacular celebration.
2. Determine Your Tahoe Wedding Budget
A Lake Tahoe wedding budget is different from an “average” California or Nevada wedding budget. Tahoe is a luxury destination, which means weddings in the area come with a luxury price tag. While the price of a Lake Tahoe wedding can vary, most of the couples we work with have a budget of around $100,000. Of course, there are ways to cut costs without compromising your wedding vision, and part of our job as wedding planners is to help you identify those areas. We know the average prices of vendors and rentals and can pass along industry discounts from our partners in the area!
3. Choose a Date and Time
Next, you’ll need to choose your wedding date and time. Tahoe is beautiful in every season, but there are some things to consider when deciding when to get married in Lake Tahoe. Summer at the lake is pristine but busy, as it’s a popular time for tourists. Winters in the area are breathtaking but cold and snowy. When choosing your date and time, consider the season and check past weather history to steer clear of inclement weather trends. If you’re looking for ways to save money on your wedding, consider getting married in the off-season–November through March–and choose a weekday instead of a Saturday.
4. Select Your Dream Lake Tahoe Wedding Venue
Once you know your wedding date–or have a few options to choose from–it’s time to search for your Lake Tahoe wedding venue. There are tons of amazing venues all around the lake, in California and Nevada. If you’re not sure where to get married in Lake Tahoe, check out this blog post, where we help you pinpoint the best location for you! You can also learn about some of our favorite Lake Tahoe venues and see photos of gorgeous weddings for inspiration.
5. Get a Marriage License
Once you know whether you’re getting married on the California or Nevada side of Lake Tahoe, you’ll need to take the necessary steps to get a marriage license.
To get a marriage license in California, you need to set an appointment to go to the courthouse to obtain your license. You don’t have to live in California to get married in the state or get your license in the CA county where you’re getting married. However, both parties must be present and bring a valid picture ID to the appointment at the County Clerk’s Office. There is no waiting period after your appointment (you receive your license then and there), and a California marriage license is valid for 90 days.
To get a marriage license in Nevada, both parties need to be present, but you don’t have to have an appointment (although it’s recommended). Additionally, a Nevada marriage license is good for an entire year. This is nice for couples who don’t live in Lake Tahoe and are only making a few trips to the area before their wedding. You can also start the process online and pre-fill your marriage license to expedite the appointment.
One thing to note here is that choosing your officiant is much easier in California than in Nevada. If you get married on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe, your officiant must have authorization from the state to perform your marriage, which means it’s more difficult for friends and family to officiate the ceremony. It’s not impossible, but if you want someone you know to do it, you’ll need to get them ordained and authorized sooner than later if they’re not already.
6. Plan and Then Plan Some More
…with the help of Epic Thyme, of course! Knowing how to get married in Lake Tahoe is one thing. Actually planning the Tahoe wedding of your dreams takes hours of detailed planning. At Epic Thyme, we know how to bring your wedding vision to life and have a darn good time doing it. Our Lake Tahoe wedding planning services include full-service design and coordination from start to finish. Whether you have questions about how to get married in Lake Tahoe or you’re ready to dive into the details, let’s chat. We’d love to be your Lake Tahoe wedding planner of choice!