The Ultimate Redwoods Elopement Guide
If you’re looking for a whimsical fairytale elopement, then the redwoods are hands down the best place to elope. The redwood trees can be found on the coasts of California and Oregon, and they are always near water, which makes for a perfect multi-day adventure. There’s so much that goes into a redwoods wedding, so we’re here to break down everything you need to know when planning your adventure near the most epic trees you’ll ever see.
Are you ready to elope in the redwoods? This is a long resource, so feel free to use the links below to jump to the section you’re most interested in.
- Elopement Vendors For Your Redwoods Elopement
- Where to Elope in the Redwoods
- When to Elope in the Redwoods
- Permits and Leave no Trace in the Redwoods
- Best Places to Stay Near The Redwoods
- Planning and Activities For Your Redwoods Wedding
Elopement Vendors For Your Redwoods Elopement
Looking for an all-inclusive elopement package in the redwoods? The first thing you’ll want to plan for is teaming up with an experienced elopement vendor in the area. Finding a vendor who specializes in redwood elopements adventures is the perfect way to make sure you have the best experience and respect the lands you’re eloping on.
Leave No Trace (LNT) is huge, especially when it comes to eloping in the redwoods. An experienced vendor will be the perfect resource and guide when it comes to what you should be aware of during your adventure. They are also great when it comes to suggesting more remote elopement and portrait areas that not many tourists know about.
Check out our featured elopement vendors who specialize in redwood elopements below. Remember to ask what they include in their elopement packages! A lot of vendors include location scouting, adventure timelines, and more.
Liz Koston Photography
Julia Mina Photography
Aris Ringas Photography
Heather Anderson Photo
Stephan & Adriana
Elopements by Ellen
Jenny Renee’ Photo
Where to Elope in the Redwoods
The first question that comes up when planning your wedding near redwood trees is, “where can I elope in the redwood forest?” There are plenty of options and areas to explore with redwood trees. You probably didn’t know, but the Redwoods actually span hundreds of miles from Oregon to California, meaning there is a whole lot of land to pick from for your wedding day. While most couples will just say they want to elope in “redwoods”, there are actually so many parks and groves to explore.
So how much does it cost to get married in the redwood forest? Your elopement budget will mainly depend on what wedding vendors you are hiring and where in the redwoods you’re planning your ceremony. You’ll want to account for any permits and fees you may need when deciding where to elope.
Let’s talk about some of our favorite places to elope near the redwoods.
Redwood National Park
If you want to see some of California’s redwoods, then the first location(s) that come to mind is Redwood National & State Parks. This area spans 140,000 acres and consists of four individual parks (Redwood National Park, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, and Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park).
A special use permit is required to get married here. This permit applies to all weddings, elopements, and vow exchanges. Fees can also depend on the number of guests you are bringing with you too. A basic wedding application fee can cost $100 to over $400 if you’re planning an event with over 100 people. When you’re applying for your special use permit, you should also state where you’re going to have your ceremony. There are a handful of pre-approved ceremony sites, but you can also request a location, not on the list. If you do request a new location, however, you’ll need to apply in advance for them to review it.
Here are the pre-approved locations from North to South:
- Templeman Grove, 20 guests
- Organ Donor’s Grove, 20 guests
- River Trail, 8 guests
- Crescent Beach Day Use, 20 guests [available Oct 25th – May 1]
- Crescent Beach Overlook, 20 guests [available Oct 25th – May 1]
- High Bluff Overlook, 20 guests
- Merriman Grove, 8 guests
- Zig Zag #2, 10 guests
- Schmidt Grove, 20 guests
- Prairie Creek Amphitheater, 20 guests [available Oct 25th – May 1]
- Lost Man Creek Gate, 20 guests
- Berry Glen, 6 guests
Please note: no weddings or elopements are allowed at Fern Canyon, James Irvine Trail, LBJ Grove, or Stout Grove.
If you’re planning on having an adventure session or commitment ceremony, then your vendors will still need a commercial permit. Keep in mind, that permits can change at any time. The information provided here should be a guideline for couples and vendors to follow when planning their special day. However, please contact the redwood park website in regards to any updates on rules and regulations surrounding special use permits.
Sequoia National Park
Sequoia National Park is in central California with some of the most scenic redwood views you’ll ever see. There are multiple wedding locations you can pick in Sequoia that can accommodate anywhere from as many as 75 people to as few as 15 people.
Check out some of Sequoia’s Approved Wedding Locations:
- Beetle Rock, 75 guests
- Giant Forest Museum Patio, 50 guests
- Crescent Meadow, 30 guests
- Halstead Meadow, 20 guests
- Lost Grove Turnout, 25 guests
- Panoramic Point, 15 guests
- Muir Rock, 20 guests
If you’re planning your Redwoods elopement in gorgeous Sequoia National Park, then you need to submit your application 90 days before your wedding date. Please keep in mind two things when planning your wedding at this park: trails are subject to close due to weather and all of these locations to have your ceremony are public. It’s best to work with an experienced elopement vendor to have a plan B (or even C) in place.
Muir Woods National Monument
Muir Woods National Monument is another great option for couples who want to plan a redwood elopement. It’s close to San Francisco, making it a perfect spot to explore before or after your wedding ceremony with family and friends. You will need a special use permit ($60) for your special day, even if it’s just the two of you.
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
If you’re looking for an elopement adventure near the coast and redwoods, then Julia Pfeiffer is a favorite among our team. The California state park is on the Pacific coast and home to 300-foot redwoods over 2,500 years old. This is the perfect spot for a beach and forest wedding.
You currently need a special event permit for your ceremony here, and permits will be issued for elopement weddings of ten people or less. This is not a spot if you’re planning a small wedding.
Please note: events, elopements, and filming is not allowed at the waterfall overlook, the waterfall overlook trail, Mcway Falls, the redwood picnic area, and areas east of Highway 1. Ewoldsen Trail still remains closed due to the damage from the Dolan fire.
Please consult Julia Pfeiffer park’s site for further information and updated permit information.
Limekiln State Park
Limekiln State Park is one of our favorite places to see redwoods on the Big Sur coast. There’s a beach, redwood forest, and impressive falls! Although beautiful, Limekiln State Park is partially open due to the damage from the Dolan Fire. The beach in this area is open, but all trails are still closed.
For more up-to-date information on the reopening and restoration of this park, please consult the Limekiln Park website.
When to Elope in the Redwoods
Weekends and long holidays are a no-go when it comes to planning an intimate wedding experience near the redwoods. Remember you’re visiting public land, and you can’t reserve specific areas to ensure no one is around during your ceremony. The best time of year to elope in the Redwoods would have to be during the weekdays in March through October.
Mosquitos are pretty intense during the summer months, so be sure to bring along some deet-free mosquito spray. If you’re planning your elopement adventure during the winter here, then have backup locations in mind just in case the trail gets closed off due to snow.
Permits and Leave no Trace
The idea of planning an elopement can be exciting, but it’s also our responsibility to remind all couples and vendors of the importance of obtaining the right permits, following all park regulations, and leaving no trace (LNT) during their wedding adventure.
On your wedding day, please pick up after yourself and leave the area exactly as you originally found it. Please stay on the trail and refrain from picking flowers or taking other plants out of the area. When planning your redwoods wedding, it’s also important to not climb the trees. It can be tempting to do so for an epic photo, but you can easily cause a lot of damage to the root system of these gorgeous trees. Another aspect of the redwoods to be aware of is fallen trees (nurse logs). Please be aware these fallen trees are providing a home to small creatures in the area, so please respect their home.
A note on flowers and decorations in the redwoods: Live or dried natural plant/flower material is prohibited. This includes cut flowers for bouquets and potted plants. Live plant materials may contain insects or unwanted pests that could be introduced into the park. Silk or paper flowers are allowed. You are also not allowed to use arbors, arches, stands, risers, or other similar props. For a full list of decoration regulations, check out the redwood’s website.
Best Places to Stay Near The Redwoods
If you’re looking to stay near the redwoods, then we highly recommend the following accommodations listed below:
Nearby Airbnbs and Vrbos (perfect for an intimate and unique stay)
Planning and Activities For Your Redwoods Wedding
We love elopements in the redwoods because you have endless opportunities to celebrate your wedding in a unique way.
Here are some of our favorite ideas to incorporate during your redwoods wedding day:
- Plan a whimsical forest ceremony and coastal adventure (or vice versa)
- Visit a secluded beach
- Plan a romantic picnic
- Get ready within the redwood trees
- Horseback riding
Here’s a list of things to consider when packing for your elopement adventure in the redwoods:
- Plenty of water and snacks
- Bug spray
- Comfortable wedding attire you can easily move in (check out some of our favorite elopement dresses)
- GOOD hiking shoes
- Layers if planning to explore during a cooler month
- A change of clothes if you’re switching out of your wedding attire
Are you ready to elope somewhere among the tallest and grandest trees in the world?