As I have become more experienced as an Adventure Elopement and Wedding Photographer, I have learned a thing or two. My favorite thing that has stuck with me? WHEN THE MOUNTAINS CALL? Don’t hesitate to go! That, friends, is exactly what I did for Kelly and Zach’s Lake Tahoe Summer Elopement at D.L. Bliss State Park.

Kelly and Zach’s time in Lake Tahoe was nothing less than magical, and I wanted to share it with you! Not only that, but elopement inspiration can be hard to come by sometimes! For that reason, this blog will serve as some killer inspo for some Lake Tahoe Elopement ideas and locations!

If you are on the fence about deciding where to elope, keep reading because this Lake Tahoe Elopement did not disappoint! It is one of the most beautiful locations I have EVER been to.

Let me take you through Kelly and Zach’s Elopement day in Lake Tahoe.

READY?! I know I am!

Lake Tahoe Summer Elopement at D.L. Bliss State Park

FIRST COMES LOVE: Kelly and Zack’s Story

Kelly was based out of Phoenix working as a flight attendant while Zack lived in California.

They connected at a music festival while waiting in line. Although they hit it off immediately, since living in different states, they actually remained friends for over a year. Suddenly, something clicked and they reconnected in San Diego. From there, they fell into the long-distance relationship game. Honestly, I appreciate the hustle — long distance is no joke!

Kelly ended up transferring to Philadelphia, PA where Kelley pursued other avenues of her career. Zach remained in San Francisco chasing his dreams. After a year of having a long-distance relationship, Kelly moved in with Zack in San Fransisco and this is where their love really grew.

The couple has always been outdoorsy and adventurous types of people.

Honestly, there was no doubt in their mind that they wanted to have an elopement with EPIC views. When Kelly first reached out to me, her two elopement destination ideas were Yosemite or Lake Tahoe. Both me and Kelly went over all the pros and cons of each destination for days and FINALLY, picked a location…

… Lake Tahoe.

THEN COMES MARRIAGE: Their Lake Tahoe Summer Elopement at D.L. Bliss State Park

Kelly and Zach wanted an intimate elopement with just the two of them. Undoubtedly, I don’t think that I could have dreamed up a better Lake Tahoe Summer Elopement with just the two of them.

We were so lucky to be able to get a house right on the beach of Lake Tahoe last minute.

Zach has family friends who own a house on Lake Tahoe near the northwest side of the Lake which we got so lucky they let us stay there. IT WAS MEANT TO BE! Those friends only rent out their house four times a year for weddings. The rest of the time, they use it within the family and to visit Tahoe.

Let’s say the house was UH-MAZING.

It was the perfect place for Kelly and Zach to have their ceremony overlooking the lake while still having the mountains in the backdrop. It was really important to them to have photos of their dog, Charlie, so we decided to have their ceremony at the house. After, we adventured down to Southern Tahoe where we went to Emerald Bay State Park and D.L. Bliss State Park for sunset photos.


Elopement Locations

It was so hard choosing where to take sunset photos in Lake Tahoe.

As you can tell, THERE ARE NO BAD VIEWS anywhere you go; the whole lake is amazingly gorgeous. Lake Tahoe is the clearest Lake in the United States which shows off a dazzling blue/teal color with green trees and mountains in the distance. Lake Tahoe has some of the purest air in all of California which I can see why everyone wants to vacation and get married here

Here is a list of other locations to consider for your Lake Tahoe Summer Elopement.

Elopement Locations in Lake Tahoe

D. L. Bliss State Park
Emerald Bay State Park
Eagle Lake Trail
Sand Harbor Beach
Secret Cove
Cave Rock
Bonsai Rock
Monkey Rock
Kings Beach
Hidden Beach
Donner Summit Canyon
Tallac Point

Food Locations in Lake Tahoe

Drink Coffee Do Stuff
Sage Leaf
Heavenly Village 
Tahoe Bagel Co 
Thirdman Taphouse 
Red Hut Cafe 
The Beacon 
Chambers Landing 
Tahoe House Bakery

Elopement Timeline Idea

Coming up with an Lake Tahoe Summer Elopement Timeline can be a little bit more tricky.

I always recommend when figuring out your elopement day plans, start prioritizing what means the most to you. For example: Getting ready or sunset photos.

Make sure when planning in areas you aren’t familiar with, to always come a day or two before the wedding or elopement to scout out areas. LakeTahoe’s sunset disappears behind the mountains a lot earlier.

Here is how Kelly and Zach’s elopement day looked like.

Zach and Kelly: August 20, 2022

8:00 AM Hair & Makeup Begin
11:30 AM Getting Ready Pictures
1:30 PM Ceremony Begins 
1:45 PM Family Pictures, Group pictures
2:00 PM Pop Champagne and Couple’s Portraits
3:45 PM Head to Emerald Bay for Portraits
6:00 PM Head to D.L. Bliss State Park
6:30 PM Sun Sets Behind the Mountains
7:48 PM Sunset in Lake Tahoe
8:45 PM Dinner Reservations at Wolfdale’s

Zach and Kelley: August 21, 2022

6:00 AM Hot Air Balloon 

Getting to Lake Tahoe for Your Elopement

As far as mountain destinations go, Lake Tahoe, California is actually a pretty easy location to get to!

You can fly right into the Reno, Nevada airport (RNO) and rent a car. The drive from RNO to the lake is about an hour long. With most mountain destinations, you have to drive 2+ hours to get anywhere. Being able to fly right in and dive an hour really makes it easy!

Sacramento (SMF) is another airport you can fly into which is 2 hours away.

Another options is San Francisco Airport, (SFO) which is 3.5 hours away. Renting a car at SFO is a bit more of a hassle with a bigger airport and make the process a lot longer.

Lake Tahoe Summer Elopement at D.L. Bliss State Park
Lake Tahoe Summer Elopement at D.L. Bliss State Park
Lake Tahoe Summer Elopement at D.L. Bliss State Park
Lake Tahoe Summer Elopement at D.L. Bliss State Park
Lake Tahoe Summer Elopement at D.L. Bliss State Park
Lake Tahoe Summer Elopement at D.L. Bliss State Park
Lake Tahoe Summer Elopement at D.L. Bliss State Park
Lake Tahoe Summer Elopement at D.L. Bliss State Park
Lake Tahoe Summer Elopement at D.L. Bliss State Park

Hi! I am Annette, and I am an Arizona-based wedding + elopement photographer. I love helping couples capture memories in the desert.


Undoubtedly, I am out of this world in love with adventuring and capturing humans. I started out shooting my friends when we traveled abroad and then moved on to capturing the candid love of two people. By capturing the energy of couples, I am able to also capture the connection they make..

Let me help you capture the sweet moments with your special person at your Lake Tahoe Summer Elopement.


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