For many couples who attend Burning Man together, Black Rock City is the obvious choice when they choose to tie the knot. While the unpredictable desert can be an unusual venue for a couple’s big day, the couples who have wedded in BRC reflect on their ceremonies with fondness, and most of them emphatically insist that it was the perfect spot for their matrimony.
Since regulations and guidelines in Nevada are very specific, it’s a good idea to write to us at email@example.com. We’ll give you the skinny on what you need to know to plan your playa wedding.
Below, you’ll find some basic suggestions to help you on your way to wedded bliss.
Arrange at least a few weeks in advance of Burning Man for a religious official or judge to marry you. Plenty of wedding officiants attend Burning Man; ask around, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org, or post a message on the e-playa to find someone.
It’s possible for a friend to officiate at your wedding instead. At least a few weeks before your wedding, your friend can get ordained at the Universal Life Church website — as they boast, it takes just three minutes! Then s/he should follow the instructions for ministers below. (If anyone knows of other religious organizations that ordain anyone for the asking, please tell us.)
If your officiant lives outside Nevada, you and your fiancé(e) will need to give that person both your full names and address(es) so that s/he can obtain written permission to marry you. It will probably take your officiant a few weeks to secure this permission. The County Clerk *might* give your officiant last-minute permission to perform your wedding, but why make extra work for her?
Before Burning Man, go to the Pershing County Clerk’s office to get a marriage license. The County Clerk will issue your license on the spot, so you can stop there on the way to Burning Man. You need to bring $60 (per couple) for the license and you both need a driver’s license or some other reliable form of ID. (If you’re NOT a citizen of the U.S. you’ll need a passport.) Nevada does not require a blood test to get a marriage license. The County Clerk’s office is in Lovelock (east of the Burning Man site on I-80) at 398 Main St. It’s open normal office hours Monday through Friday.
There are no legal requirements concerning what you must do or say at your wedding. Create any sort of ritual, game, or party you like. Your minister or friends might want to take charge of the creation of your ceremony.
Don’t forget to get your marriage license signed by your officiant and two witnesses after your wedding. The officiant is legally responsible for sending your certificate to the County Recorder’s office after leaving the playa.