Majestic Prairie Creek Elopement in the California Redwoods

Majestic Prairie Creek Elopement in the California Redwoods

Haley and Sal had an amazing celebration at the majestic Prairie Creek area of the California Redwoods. They came from their home in Seattle for their elopement day, but are originally from New Jersey. They had the best of both worlds with their beach ceremony with loved ones and Redwoods adventure.

Thinking about eloping in the California Redwoods? Use our elopement director to find your preferred wedding vendor in the area!

About This Prairie Creek Elopement in the Redwoods

Photography by Sam Starns LLC

“Their day started off with some fun getting ready photos, and then we did a first look at the Redwood Sky Walk at Sequoia Park Zoo, which made for some epic and super unique images. Let me tell ya, if you have an opportunity to do a Redwood canopy walk, do it. We were so honored and appreciative that the Sequoia Park Zoo allowed us to be there to have this super cool moment. From there we went to grab some tacos from a local taco truck. We spent some time in the Prairie Creek area before we took off to head over to a local beach where they had their beautiful sunset ceremony near Trinidad. Their ceremony was complete with fishermen and seals watching as witnesses.” [Sam, the photographer]

Learn more about planning your elopement in the California Redwoods!

LNT and Permit Information For Your Redwoods Elopement Adventure

“Going off-trail in the Redwoods can cause more damage than you think. Redwood trees have extensive but shallow root systems and repeated trampling, particularly near tree bases, can cause significant damage. Fallen logs are not removed from the Redwood parks for a good reason – they lessen erosion and are ‘nurse’ logs for certain organisms that only call downed Redwood trees home. 

Other Redwood trees can grow out of down logs, right on top of them. Just a few steps on a tree can destroy seedlings or other organisms not seen by the naked eye. In my extensive time in the Redwoods, I have yet to see a trail that requires a hiker to walk across a log length-wise. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the general shape of the trail so you’re not tempted by social trails that others have made or small trails that are used by wildlife.

Also, drones are not allowed in the Redwoods (commercially or not)! The images you see in this blog that are from above were taken from a canopy walk.” [Sam, the photographer]

Learn more about leaving no trace during your elopement.

Top Tips Eloping Here

“The Redwoods can be moody, or they can be bright and sunny! Unless it’s June-August, be prepared for either condition. During the summer, weekends can be busy, particularly among popular trailheads. Also, be sure to get your permit from the Redwoods NP permit office in advance. My top tip: book someone who is familiar with the Redwoods! They’ll know all the ins and outs, can share fun biology and LNT information, know the best trails, and more.”

Deciding to Elope

“We choose an elopement instead of a formal wedding for a few reasons. We really wanted a day that was truly about us. From all the big weddings we have been a part of, we felt the day gets further and further from being about the couple and more about everyone else’s good time. We wanted a day that was intentional, where the focus could truly be on each other, our love and our first day of forever together being a totally epic one!

Choosing the location was fairly easy for us. Sal and I both grew up in New Jersey spending summers on the Jersey shore, so making the coast a part of our day was important to us. Which is why we chose the beach for our actual ceremony, but as far as Redwoods goes they are kind of where our adventure together began. When we met in college, in Dendrology class (the study of trees). One of the first conversations we had was about how we both always wanted to see the giant trees in person one day. Fast forward a year and a half, we graduated and worked all summer to take a cross country roadtrip which of course one of our favorite stops was Redwoods and Sequoia National parks. So the big trees just had to be where we eloped!” [The couple]

Check out these top reasons to elope.

Estimated Cost From This Elopement

Below is a  breakdown of this elopement cost, including the dinner afterward with all of their guests:

Dinner: 600$





Total: roughly 12k

Learn more about elopement cost.

Memorable Moments During This Elopement

From the photographer:

“The canopy walk we explored allowed for amazing and unique images during their day! In the Redwoods, it can be somewhat repetitive since a lot of the trails look similar, and you’re limited to staying on-trail as well as not using a drone. Before their beach ceremony with their loved ones, they read personal vows to each other in the Redwoods. It allowed them to be open, honest, and intimate without family listening in. During their ceremony, they had simple repeat-after-me style vows. I love this as an option when you have guests!”

From the couple:

“Getting to have our special time just the two of us, together in the redwoods. We decided to read our vows to each other for the first time privately which was very special to us and a really memorable part of the day.  We also loved being able to share a really special place with our families and getting to see them see all of the planning and thoughtful intention that went into the day. 

We loved being able to incorporate the Redwood skywalk into the day and since I am a zookeeper it was an added bonus that the skywalk is located at Eureka’s local zoo, Sequoia Park Zoo. The skywalk made for some pretty dope photos and we also got to visit with some of the animals afterward too!”

Final Words of Advice

From the photographer:

“Haley and Sal were intentional with the people they invited, but even with the fewest guests, complications can happen. If you are thinking of having a small number of guests, consider why you’re inviting them. Do you feel guilty? Is it possible they may cause drama? Could they be involved in some other way? Be aware that extra guests mean more time needed when you’re getting ready and transferring locations, and questions you’ll need to field (Where is the ceremony? My flight was delayed! I’m lost!). It’s easy to make other decisions to please other people without realizing it. While we all want people to be happy, consider whether the decision you’re making is being made at a cost to your own happiness.”

From the couple:

“DO YOU!! it’s about you and your partner and the promises you’re making to each other. Everything else should come second to that,especially if you plan to have guests. Your love and having fun with each other is what the day is all about!

A comment from Sal about eloping ” The best decision regarding the wedding was to elope, was able to make a personal and intimate connection and memories with Hale privately and then also got to have the people I’m closest with to witness the ceremony. Easily the best of both worlds, I was able to focus on my commitment, love and my day with my wife instead of worrying about typical wedding day stresses.” 

Learn how to elope here.


Photography | Sam Starns LLC

Florals | Faye Zierer Krause 

Hair/makeup | Fleurt Beauty Company  

Photos From This Elopement

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