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Information of 9 Amazing Las Vegas National Parks and Wedding Photography Permits They Require

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If you’re a wedding photographer, it’s your responsibility to find amazing wedding photography venues for your clients. Your clients look for venues where they can spend a wonderful time together and capture their romantic moments in the camera which they can see themselves and show to others with joy and pride. But amongst all wedding photography venues, national parks are perhaps the most unique and very special, providing unmatched backdrops and settings for the newlyweds’ photos. And when it comes to national parks, permits are a very crucial factor as the country’s precious wildlife is involved. Although it’s COVID-19 time, the lockdown will soon release, and couples looking forward to capturing their awesome wedding photos may approach you. In that case, as a wedding photographer, you should have thorough knowledge of wedding photography permits in national parks.

The US is blessed with plenty of beautiful national parks, and more than 20% of them are in or around Las Vegas alone, including some in Utah. Las Vegas is a great wedding destination coveted by most wedding couples. Leading Las Vegas wedding photographers, Lorenzo Sandoval and his team, share here valuable information about national park weddings and permits required.

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1. Valley of Fire State Park

Valley of Fire State Park is blessed with unmatched natural beauty. It’s no wonder that it’s one of the most favorite spots to tie the knot for brides. The park provides some gorgeous settings and backdrops for any wedding ceremony. But there is one factor which may deter wedding couples from holding their ceremony here and it’s the difficulty in finding the information about wedding photography. So, here’s the information.

Make sure you inform your clients that they’ll have to use one of the all-inclusive companies that are allowed to hold a wedding ceremony in Valley of Fire. These companies have their own vendors. If they wish to bring their own vendors, for example, Las Vegas elopement photographers, they’ll have to find an all-inclusive company that allows them to add their own photographer in addition to or in place of the company’s own photographers.

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They’ll also have to note that in any national park around Las Vegas, they’ll always have to pay additional fees for ceremonies or photography because the Bureau of Land Management needs permits for every photo shoot conducted within any of their parks. However, fortunately the permit fee of Valley of Fire is reasonable compared to some other state parks. It’s $50 for 15 people or less (these include you – the photographer, and your assistants if any).

You’ll have to remember that obtaining permit would be your job and not your clients’. You then will have to give a copy to them for their records. So, you’ll have to design your Las Vegas wedding photography packages accordingly.

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2. Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area

Red Rock Canyon is located around 30 minutes’ drive west of the Las Vegas Strip and is another most sought-after wedding spot as it offers some incredible vistas of the sienna rocks of the iron-rich Aztec Sandstone formation encrusted with limestone.

For the permit required for the wedding and wedding photography, your clients should fill out the permit and application form and submit the same at least 14 days prior to the wedding along with a $200 fee.

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3. Floyd Lamb National Park

Floyd Lamb National Park at Tule Springs is perfect for couples who want an escape just on the edge of Vegas. It’s located on 680 acres and is rich with mature shady trees, four beautiful lakes, wildlife, picnic areas, scenic trails and majestic mountains. Moreover, it hosts the Tule Springs Ranch, one of the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

To hold a wedding at Floyd Lamb, your clients have to pay $100 per permit for up to 200 guests. If there are 200-400 guests, they’ll have to pay $150 and additional $50 for every 200 guests thereafter. Of course, if your clients are eager to tie the knot in the COVID-19 times, they can’t invite more than 50 guests.

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4. Death Valley National Park

Although majority of the area of Death Valley National Park is located in California, it has a small portion in Nevada, and it’s the closest national park when it comes to Las Vegas national parks. It offers some stunning locations for wedding photography like Scotty’s Castle, Badwater (the lowest spot in North America) and Dante’s View. Death Valley is one of the hottest locations on the planet; however, it does infrequently get some rain and even a wildflower bloom. So, you can imagine how many amazing photo opportunities you can get!

You or your clients will have to complete a photography/filming application form and submit it to the Special Park Uses Coordinator allowing a sufficient time for the park authority to evaluate your application form (usually 30-60 days).

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A non-refundable fee of $300 should be included with the application form in the form of a check, money order or credit card receipt. For a credit card payment, you should send an email with your application requesting for online payment.

You’ll have to assist your clients in filling out the application. This is because you’ll have to attach maps, photography locations etc. to the application so as to help the park staff to evaluate the request. You’ll also have to be thorough in listing locations, props and equipment. Also you’ll have to provide a current copy of general liability insurance certificate in the amount of $1,000,000 USD.

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5. Great Basin National Park

Great Basin National Park is the only national park totally located in Nevada, albeit it’s not very far from the Utah border. Although it’s not the nearest national park to Las Vegas, i.e. about four and a half hours, it’s well worth the drive. The second tallest summit in Nevada, the 13,000-foot Wheeler Peak, is located in Grand Basin. The 12-mile spectacular drive is another attraction of the park where you can halt and capture your clients’ photos on the backdrops of other peaks and mountains. Also, this is a great place for stargazing. So, you can take your clients’ Las Vegas engagement photography and wedding photography to the next level.

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The fee for the permit in Grand Basin is just $50 and your clients should fill out the application form at least 30 days before their wedding date in order to give the staff the processing time. They may also have to pay a Location Fee and additional fees to cover on site monitoring.

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6. Mojave National Preserve

Mojave National Preserve consists of miles and miles of desert landscape visible while heading towards Vegas or Los Angeles. You can capture your clients wedding photos while they’re enjoying a number of activities including hiking, horseback riding, backpacking, biking, motorcycling, fishing, rock climbing or just lazing around and spending the most romantic time of their life with each other.

Your clients will require a Recreation Permit to celebrate their special day. The permit costs $50. They may even need a proof of insurance and posting of a bond.

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7. Zion National Park, Utah

Although Zion National Park is located in Utah, it’s one of the most favorite photo spots of even the best Las Vegas wedding photographers, and is just two and a half hours from Vegas. You can recommend this to your clients because its canyons and the steep sandstone walls rising up to 2,000 feet from the valley floor provide stunning backdrops for wedding photos. In addition, it has got a number of outstanding hikes such as Narrows and Angels Landing.

Your clients will have to obtain a special use permit application and pay $100 application fee, minimum 3 weeks before their big day.

However, they don’t require securing a permit to capture wedding photos in areas that are allowed to the general public. Thus the numerous epic locations of the park are open for their Las Vegas wedding photography. These include some amazing sandstone cliffs, clot canyons and some major peaks.

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8. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Utah has another picturesque national park, Bryce Canyon National Park, which your clients looking for Las Vegas engagement photography and wedding photography would love as their wedding venue because it’s just four and a half miles from Vegas. The jaw-dropping sandstone cliffs towering over Bryce Canyon, and campsites, biking trails and pentacles offering views of numerous native birds will provide you a number of photo opportunities.

Your clients will have to get a Utah state marriage license costing $40 without a waiting period. Make sure you instruct both of them to be present to get the license. Then they will need a Special Use Permit which costs $100. This cost covers processing of the permit, costs of administration and oversight of the function. Note that the park entrance fee is waived for groom and bride and the official conducting the ceremony. Guests too will have to pay the park entrance fee. All these fees are non-refundable.

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9. Arches National Park, Utah

Another lovely wedding spot in Utah is Arches National Park which is around six and a half hours from Vegas. The good news is that all the trails, roads, campground and park store are open, although the Fiery Furnace, theater and museum exhibits are closed on account of the coronavirus pandemic. Some amazing locations where you can capture stunning photos of the wedding couple are La Sal Mountains Viewpoint, Delicate Arch Viewpoint, Panorama Point, Delicate Arch, Pine Tree Arch, Park Avenue and Devils Garden Campground Amphitheater.

A non-refundable fee of $55 should be paid first for a wedding permit, after which an administrative and management fee of $130 should be paid.

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Be ready with this information so that you can get more and more jobs of capturing beautiful wedding photos in Las Vegas national parks.