California Elopement Packages
California is one of the top elopement destinations in the world. This state has multiple landscapes including deserts, mountain peaks, Redwood trees, and more. Many of our couples want to elope in California, but there are so many beautiful places to pick from that many feel overwhelmed. This is why we created a comprehensive list of locations, vendors, and tips for you to be aware of when you elope in California, including locations in Northern California and Southern California. From permit questions to location ideas, we got you covered.
Are you recently engaged? Do you want to elope somewhere adventurous, fun, and beautiful? Then you came to the right place to build your California Elopement Package.
Disclaimer: While we don’t offer bundled elopement packages, we do provide you with all of the information and resources you will need to create your perfect elopement package. Our Wandering Weddings members are also amazing vendors to ask questions. These members have plenty of experience curating awesome elopement experiences for couples.
This is a very long resource, use the links below to jump right to the section you’d like to check out.
Vendors For Your California Elopement Package
When putting together your California elopement package, you want to consider your overall elopement budget. Elopements have a pretty big range when it comes to an average price because it all depends on what vendors you decide to include on your wedding day. Please note that you are not required to include every vendor type in your package.
Are you ready to start planning your California elopement?
Check out our vendor categories to consider when thinking about your elopement package:
These vendors are where most of your elopement budget will be going towards, but for good reason. On average, our photographers will charge $2,500-$6,000 per elopement. This depends on how many hours of coverage (half-day versus full-day) a couple is looking for their California elopement package.
Like elopement photographers, videographers are going to be a great investment for your elopement day to document your adventures together. On average, our videographers will charge $2,500-$6,000 per elopement. Keep in mind, this depends on how long you want your elopement footage to be. For example, a full-day video coverage would cost more versus covering just your elopement ceremony.
On average, our officiant members will charge $500-$800 per elopement. Officiants are great to orchestrate your favorite traditions and wedding vows. It’s also important to note that some other vendors are also officiants, so we recommend always asking.
You don’t necessarily always need a wedding planner for your elopement adventure, but having a planner does help if couples have a very clear elopement vision. The average price for our planner members is $1,000-$3,000. Planners are also great for couples who don’t want to DIY or worry about anything, or couples who live far from their elopement destination.
Since you’re planning an elopement, you’ll need fewer floral arrangements than your average traditional wedding in California. If you aren’t down to DIY your own bridal bouquet, then a florist in California can average from $300 to $600.
Are you looking to elope in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, or Palm Springs? Even though there are plenty of public land options to consider eloping to in California, there are also some pretty neat private venues in California too. Our team loves private venues because they do offer you more privacy and flexibility when you two are going to elope. Private venues, on average, will charge $300 to $4,000, depending on the location.
Places to Elope in Northern California
So you’re ready to start planning your elopement in California, but you aren’t sure where you should exchange your vows with your husband or wife to be. Northern California is known for its towering redwoods, picturesque mountains, and coastal views. We listed some of our favorites to inspire you as you plan!
The Big Sur is a famous coastline of the Pacific Coast Highway in Northern California. It’s blue water white caps are gorgeous as they crash on a jagged, green cliffside. Get married down at the beach at sunset, on a weekday to avoid crowds. The tall cliffs are also a great place to exchange vows or have your elopement ceremony.
Check out this Intimate Central Coast Wedding in Big Sur to see how this couple included their adorable pup.
If you’re looking for an elopement destination off the beaten path and worth the drive, then Pfeiffer Beach is a great place to elope. This beach in the Big Sur area is a gorgeous spot where you’ll see Keyhole Rock, which creates a beautiful natural arch at the base where saltwater and daylight passes through. We have seen some pretty epic portraits at this location!
Redwood National and State Park
Redwood is a magical dream for couples and photographers alike. Photographers love the streams of light that escape through the tallest trees on earth, and couples get lost in the beautiful landscape. Couples who decide to elope in California’s Redwood also elope near the coastline since there are nearly 40 miles of coast near these magnificent trees.
If you are looking for a mix of Redwood and Big Sur inspiration, then check out Romantic Big Sur Redwoods Elopement.
Lake Tahoe is a large freshwater lake within the Sierra Nevada mountains. This lake is also between the border of California and Nevada, making this destination a perfect one to stop if you both are planning a road trip to both states. This lake is not only beautiful, but it is also close to multiple things to do such as Sand Harbor Beach, Spooner Lake, and Tahoe Rim Trail to name a few.
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is home to gorgeous waterfalls, deep valleys, ancient sequoias, and grand meadows. This park is almost 1,200 square miles, and it’s one of the most popular elopement destinations in California. We love golden hour portraits here, and we also love it when couples plan epic elopement ceremonies here.
Check out this Taft Point Sunset Elopement in Yosemite for some inspiration.
This is a gorgeous fall that cascades over 30 feet onto the south end of Wildcat Beach. Alamere Falls is an adventurous 13-mile round-trip hike, yet it is also a popular spot for many visitors. We do recommend planning a mid-week elopement for this location!
Golden Gate Bridge
Maybe you want an adventurous elopement within the city? California’s Golden Gate Bridge is a great option. Both ends of this epic bridge touch the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. After you have your gorgeous ceremony, you can then explore the nearby trails and vista points.
Places to Elope in Southern California
Southern California is known for its perfect weather, breezy beaches, and desert landscapes. Whether you’re planning an adventure elopement at Joshua Tree National Park, Big Bear Lake, or Sunset Cliffs, these are some of our favorite locations in Southern California.
Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park is perfect for couples who love desert terrain. Couples can also see a variety of gorgeous plants and animals in this park. If you are truly adventurous, then you both can plan a rock climbing adventure after your elopement ceremony.
This Desert Adventure Wedding at Joshua Tree National Park is the perfect inspiration for you to check out as you plan.
Big Bear Lake
Big Bear Lake is a beautiful mountain lake. Here you will also be able to explore the gorgeous San Bernardino National Forest. This area is a great winter elopement destination since it is also near Bear Mountain ski resort.
El Matador State Beach
This beach is a special one with 3 small cliff-foot beaches. These cliffs make for gorgeous portraits, and we also love how close it is to Malibu, California. El Matador State Beach is a natural beauty with sea stacks, caves, and amazing sunsets.
This Southern California elopement location’s name speaks for itself. These cliffs are amazing during sunset. Sunset Cliffs give you dramatic cliff formations, caves, and a native coastal sage scrub habitat to explore. This spot is also great for its panoramic views!
Sequoia National Park
Adjacent to Kings Canyon National Park you will find Sequoia National Park. Known for its huge sequoia trees, this forest is a sight to see. There is also an underground crystal cave with streams and rock formations you both can explore.
Red Rock Canyon State Park
If you both love desert plains, then Red Rock Canyon State Park should be your Southern California elopement location of choice. Featuring scenic desert cliffs and amazing rock formations, this park has unique canyons to explore. This is the perfect spot to plan a glamping elopement day!
Permits for California Elopements
When it comes to permits, you have to do a bit of research to make sure you cover any requirements. We suggest hopping over to the homepages of these locations to find the most up-to-date information for the locations you are loving. Some places only require a permit for weddings with 25 or more guests, which is awesome because you’re planning an intimate elopement!
Make sure to have a witness if you are looking to have a legal marriage ceremony during your adventurous elopement. You will also need an officiant during your ceremony. Acceptable officiants include a minister, rabbi, or priest, current or retired judge, commissioner of civil marriages, a U.S magistrate, or a California congressperson. We suggest teaming up with one of our California vendors because not only do they have awesome experience in California elopements, but some of them may be able to officiate your marriage too! Just ask!
Top 5 Things to Remember When Planning an Elopement in California
- Northern California and Southern California have different climates and seasons from each other, so it’s important to keep that in mind when planning.
- California has 9 National Parks and over 118 State Parks! Your options are endless.
- Fog is common year-round, especially by the coast.
- Remember to obtain permits and pay location fees (if applicable).
- Have fun, and enjoy every moment during your elopement.
Places to Stay in California
Check out some of the best places to stay in California for your elopement.