April 20, 2020 - 8 comments

A Burning Man Wedding in the Desert

The long road out of Gerlach towards Black Rock Desert for a Burning Man inspired wedding celebration!

Wedding guests sit around a bonfire in the desert for a wedding reception.

It's been a long time coming that I hop on here and write about Laura & Grant's Black Rock desert Burning man inspired wedding. There have been a couple of posts about it already! One being on 100 Layer Cake and the other on Melissa Gayle's website. To be quite honest, I don't know where to begin when writing about this one. Laura and Grant's wedding was and still is a HUGE deal to us. I remember when the inquiry came in and Gabby said it was my right of passage to take it on so I said, "Heck ya! Let's do this."

A remote desert wedding setup inspired by Burning Man with glamping tents by Stout Tent rentals

Glamping tents for a desert wedding by Cause We Can Events and Stout Tents for a Burning Man vibe.

 

Choose Wedding Vendors Wisely

Burning Man most likely holds a different meaning to everyone as it is a one of a kind experience. (DISCLAIMER: The 'Cause We Can Events team has never been to Burning Man, we can only speculate based on what attendees have told us). However, there are some people who have opposite feelings about said event and wouldn't return my call when I said "Hey! I am planning a Burning Man inspired wedding and would love for you to be a part of the team." With that, I quickly learned I needed to act fast to build a team that would be willing to make the trip out to Black Rock Desert. Long story short, this paragraph is strictly dedicated to say for those who said yes to this adventure will always remain in my top 5 "you must hire them" list. You can find a link to their website at the end of this post.

A storm approaches Black Rock City threatening a desert wedding.

Weather Pending

This was a unique situation as it was our first full build out from the ground up and the forecast was showing RAIN! Which under normal circumstances, this would be okay but as you can imagine the dry lakebed quickly turns into the stickiest mud you'll ever see. Attempting to be proactive, we did look into other options to move the location to a place that wouldn't be so risky but we decided collectively to take the chance! I think we can all safely say, we are glad we did.

A boho, creative wedding in the desert inspired by Burning Man.

A remote and creative desert wedding ceremony inspired by Burning Man in Black Rock Desert

Rain comes down on a bride and her guests for a desert wedding weekend.

The Experience

We always talk about how we prefer the guest experience over the traditions of a wedding such as a garter toss, cake cutting, etc. With that in mind, we really worked through the guest experience and what that would be like. Not all guests had been to Burning Man so Laura and Grant made the decision early on that this was to be an enjoyable experience for all. This meant we were fully equipped with flushing toilets, hot showers, food served daily and of course a well stocked bar. The toughest vendor to secure was the restrooms but after three months of searching, we finally received confirmation that Quick Space would be joining our vendor team. Honestly, that was the most stressful part of planning this wedding so not bad!

Mystic Flyer, an art car, used for a desert wedding inspired by a festival!

Two wedding goers dressed in cowboy outfits with sparklers during a Burning Man inspired wedding in the desert.

Food & Booze

Plain and simple, every wedding should have good food and great drinks! We did some research and found Big Blue Q. If I could put them in my back pocket and take then to every wedding or event we planned, I would without question. Shane and his team deserve all the points for being professional, helpful and adventurous! We were the first to be able to use their new tap trailer for beers and so glad we did! Not only did it pour some great beers but also acted as a refrigerator for other items so we did not need as much ice. We only had to worry about keeping gas in the generator and the kegs running. Thanks to Big Blue Q the guests and vendor team were well fed and fell hydrated throughout the weekend!

Paella served in the desert by Big Blue Q, a Tahoe wedding caterer.

Accommodations

We finally had the chance to work with Stout Tents on this project! Caitlyn and the rest of the Stout team had the biggest install of them all. We setup three 30' tipis... Yes, 90' worth of tipi went up to act as the center of our event. The guests dined in this tipi, found shelter in the rain and were able to do morning yoga! We also booked Stout for their sleeping tents that come fully stocked with REAL mattresses which is a HUGE deal when "camping" in the desert. As mentioned earlier, we also had hot showers for everyone to use thanks to Stout! Can you believe that?

A wedding reception in a custom built tipi in the desert.

Burning Man Style Entertainment

Obviously a Burning Man wedding would not be complete without an art car! We searched high and low for the best option available to us. Luckily, Laura and Grant have some friends who were able to put us in touch with Fired Up Management. They have a HUGE list of art cars they manage and were able to connect us with Mystic Flyer. This was a double decker bus fully wrapped with lights and a sound bath inside. They had a DJ play from the roof of Mystic Flyer ALL weekend. Amazing.

An art car in the desert for a Burning Man style wedding.

An art car, Mystic Flyer, setup in the desert for a festival style wedding.

Environment / MOOP

This blog post would not be complete without mentioning that the environment came first with this event and should for all events. We worked closely with the town of Gerlach to make sure that we adhered to all the rules, including MOOP. Matter out of Place. Anything and everything that wasn't originally a part of Black Rock Desert must be removed. This means we leave no trace! Laura designed mugs and water bottles that were used by all guests throughout the weekend. We used kegs onsite which helped eliminate the amount of cans and bottles and the guests could use their mug to fill up!

An eco-friendly gift for weddings, a custom coffee cup gift for a wedding in the desert!

All in All

With that, I bring the end of this Burning Man inspired wedding blog post. All I can say is, if you're planning to wed in the desert you need a solid team to back you! It's important to have a team that will be able to troubleshoot without you being bothered, a team that is not afraid of the elements and most importantly a team that is down for the adventure. We look forward to working on more events that challenge us in the best ways! Thanks to Laura and Grant for trusting us! We were able to create a temporary venue in the middle of the freaking desert. As we said on Sunday when wrapping up, "WE DID IT!! Now when can we do it again?"

 

Venue: Black Rock Desert
Catering & Bar: Big Blue Q
Tents & Showers: Stout Tent
Rentals: Tahoe Rustic Rentals
Entertainment: Fired Up Management
Photography: Melissa Gayle
Restrooms: Quick Space

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