The Most Kick-Ass Elopement Packages in California
Elopement Packages California – How to elope in California?
California is a dream destination for most, with beaches lining the Pacific Ocean, the warm sands pressing against the skin, and the golden sun shining beautifully. There is no wonder why California is one of the most favored places to elope.
The beautiful inland mountains and picturesque views of the forest make it even more magical. Whether you’re drawn to the state’s natural vibe and beauty, its community, or simply because you love the sun, eloping in California makes the entire experience more memorable and dreamy.
Usually we feature the best wedding photographers in California but this time, we wanted to showcase the best Elopement Packages in California to you.
We do not personally offer any Elopement Packages California, but we are here to give you all the resources you need. Especially if you are looking for a locations and a photographer.
You can use our directory down below to jump to the locations you want to know more about.
Elopement Packages California – Where to elope in Southern California
Palm Springs is the definition of a beautiful tourist destination. With people from different parts of the globe drawn towards its natural beauty, stylish hotels, and hot springs, this makes it a hot attraction and an even perfect elopement destination.
The beautiful views make it a fantastic backdrop for your engagement and marriage photos. The best time to plan your elopement is during the summer season, and if possible, schedule it during the afternoon.
If you have other plans and opt to go for a winter wedding, make sure that you don’t schedule it during sunrise because the temperature can dip below 35 degrees.
Palm Springs is also super famous for it’s large LGBTQ community and therefore the #1 spot for LGBTQ Weddings in the US.
Joshua Tree National Park
The Joshua Tree National Park, well known for its “Yucca” trees, has a whopping 700,000 acres of land – filled with picturesque desert landscapes, perfect for capturing those beautiful memories with your loved one.
IMAGE BY ALLIE DEARIE
No reservations are required to enter the park; however, some campgrounds are only available on a first-come-first-served basis. If you’ve chosen Joshua Tree as your elopement destination, the park requires a special park use permit. You may secure your permit by visiting recreation.gov. Make your reservation via the website.
Securing your permit is done easily by filling up an online form. Payment instructions will then be provided once your permit has been approved. The Park is certainly one of the prettiest outdoor wedding venues in all of the US.
El Matador State Beach
Another top choice for honeymooners and engaged couples alike is the El Matador State Beach. What makes this destination popular is the golden sunset, giving you that perfect ambiance, look, and feel for your elopement photos.
El Matador State Beach is undeniably one of the best beaches in Southern California, with beautiful sands and beaches stretching the horizon.
However, all organized events, including a beach wedding, require a Special Use Permit, which you can obtain from the Marina Del Rey.
Couples need to apply for a permit that is not later than three weeks or not longer than 90 days from the application date. Online payments are now accepted, with further information given to the applicants after submitting their permit application.
IMAGE BY THEHENDRYS.CO
The Beach’s location is not so well-hidden – which makes the Beach crowded at times. If you want a serene day to plan your photoshoot, make sure that you make those reservations ahead of time.
Weddings and engagement photoshoots can be done all year round. Still, it’s best to schedule them during the weekdays, in the afternoon, so you can watch the sunrise – as weekends tend to get jam-packed with tourists and holiday destination travelers.
Yosemite National Park
In Southern California, the Yosemite National Park is one place many people are looking forward to seeing, especially for those marvelous landscapes.
Wherever you go, there are beautiful rock formations and panoramic views for the perfect wedding photos. You shouldn’t miss the sunrise by Glacier Point – it makes up for a romantic photo!
IMAGE BY KYLIE FARMER
Like any other National Park in Southern California, you need a unique wedding or event permit to take photos and hold the ceremony. Because it’s a well-known elopement and wedding destination, the dates can get booked, so make sure that you process your reservations ahead of time.
Check out our special list of elopement photographers for Yosemite as well.
Glamis Sand Dunes
Just imagine – walking in the middle of the sand dunes with nothing else by the bright skies and orange sun, with your partner by your side – this is what you get when you plan your elopement in Glamis Sand Dunes.
Planning the event during the summer is fine, but make sure that you do it at sunrise as it tends to get hot in the afternoon. Winter months are often cold but create an excellent ambiance for the photo and a beautiful memory to share with your partner.
IMAGE BY ALLY BROUSSEAU
Hiring a professional planner can help you with your elopement. They can help secure your permits, bringing you and the photographer to the best scenic locations, away from off-road vehicles.
Glen Oaks Big Sur
Glen Oaks Big Sur is ideal for those who are looking for an intimate elopement ceremony. A magical place filled with Redwood forest trees, surrounded by nature, with a beautiful whooshing sound coming from the nearby river.
Glen Oaks Big Sur is an intimate place where you get to spend time with your loved one and go in a cabin with a rustic ambiance, with intricate fireplace decorations and warm lighting interiors.
IMAGE BY BRE THURSTON
Permits are required to take photographs and for the ceremony to take place. If you’re working with an event planner on this, don’t worry, as they will guide you step by step on how you can obtain these permits and make a venue reservation.
Otherwise, you may visit parks.ca.gov on how to acquire both an elopement and wedding permit. These two are different, and both are required to proceed with the ceremony.
South Lake Tahoe
The majestic, sparkling Lake Tahoe – just between Nevada and California – is another perfect elopement destination, with its prime location being one of the dream destinations of most women.
One of Lake Tahoe’s best things is you get to plan your elopement and wedding ceremony all-year-round.
IMAGE BY RUTHANNE ZOUBOUKOS
If you’re more inclined to enjoy the sunny weather and warm beach waters, doing it in summer is the best time to do it. Otherwise, winter also comes with various sports activities that will make your stay unforgettable.
A marriage license, special park permits (on specific park locations) must take pre-nuptial photos and event gatherings.
If you are looking for multiple locations for your ceremony, please check out our Lake Tahoe Wedding Venues.
When you think of California, you’ll immediately think of beaches, beautiful National Parks, and sparkling lakes and rivers in between forests – but if you want a bit of snow in your photos, Mount Baldy is the perfect choice for you. What’s amazing is this is just an hour’s drive away from downtown Los Angeles! If you are looking for elopement packages California, make sure to put Baldy on your list!
Mount Baldy is a top choice for hiking destinations because it is relatively close to downtown LA – but it’s also a popular choice for wedding and elopement destination packages.
The weather is spontaneous – there may be no snow for the day, but it will randomly snow during the afternoon. Don’t worry – the trails are perfectly safe, and you’ll find yourselves with a bit of snow after the shoot, but that’s about it! Also, check out these most amazing mountain elopement packages for 2022/2023 if you consider a mountain elopement.
A special event permit is also required to shoot pre-nuptial photos and hold the wedding ceremony, which you can obtain within 60 days before the ceremony.
Anza Borrego Desert State Park
Just east of San Diego, Anza Borrego Desert State Park is a treat for those couples who love warm “desert” locations. With more than 600,000 acres of picturesque desert landscape fields, you can take a wide range of photos in this park alone, making it another excellent elopement venue for love birds out there.
IMAGE BY RANDI KRECKMAN
Hike up to Font’s Point for a breathtaking view, partnered with the pretty orange skies during sunset. Summer seemed to be one of the most preferred seasons to visit when doing an elopement in California.
With a low chance of precipitation, you can never go wrong regardless of the time of the year you intend to visit. If you feel a bit of snow in your photos, dong it during winter and late fall.
The State Park is also one of those destinations requiring a special events permit, so ensure you secure it within 90 days before the event date.
Scheduling your engagement or elopement in Griffith Observatory is a great choice. The Hollywood sign, combined with a beautiful sunset, makes the Observatory an excellent location for your photos.
The best part about this is that it’s right in the middle of Los Angeles – which means you can quickly go around the city and enjoy the beautiful and laid-back sights and destinations while you’re at it.
IMAGE BY THEHENDRYS.CO
The Griffith Observatory is located in California’s busiest city; therefore, the area tends to get crowded at times – but you can still get perfect photos with a bit of waiting and patience in between.
The summer season is your best bet to go, but make sure you do it in the afternoon because you don’t want to miss the beautiful sunset view. Park permits are required to obtain 90 days before the event date.
For couples who wish to bring their fur babies with them during the shoot or for their elopement ceremony, Vasquez Rocks is the right place for you. The park is dog-friendly and perfect for adventurous couples who love the outdoors.
Get to enjoy the beautiful scenery, hike rock formations while glammed up, with the perfect view right from the top of your hike. It’s an hour’s drive from LA – and with the traffic in the city, make sure that you drive earlier so you won’t miss the beautiful sunset from the top of these rocks.
IMAGE BY ALEXANDRIA VAIL
Special permits aren’t required to take photos at Vasquez Rocks – and this is perfect for spontaneous and busy couples. You may schedule your event day or night – as the place is both glamorous and beautiful regardless of what time you visit.
Big Bear Lake
Big Bear Lake is another top tourist destination – and expect to see families and couples wandering around the park, especially during the weekend. Nothing to worry though, because there’s always a spot for everyone, no matter how many visitors there are during the day.
Big Bear Lake features a rustic-theme for your elopement ceremony and photographs, with multiple venues to choose from. There are smaller venues for those who are on a smaller budget and more extravagant spots for those who like to splurge a little bit more on their special day.
You should be able to find plenty of Elopement Packages California at Big Bear Lake.
IMAGE BY PHIL PORTO
Just like any other national forest in Southern California, a special permit is required and needs to be processed 90 days before the elopement ceremony. With the green scenery surrounding the area, you can plan your elopement any time of the year.
Situated in San Diego, California, Sunset Cliffs consist of beautiful beachside cliffs surrounded by marvelous caves partnered with tides splashing against the rocks all year round. May to June may get foggy, but surprisingly look good in photos!
IMAGE BY MADELINE BARR
If you’re from outside California, make sure that you drive early, as parking spots are limited. You would want to get to the venue ahead of time, so you can enjoy the beautiful view, listen to the calming splash of water against the rocks, and the wind brushing against your skin.
A wedding permit is required, and an intimate beach by the cliff elopement ceremony is bound to happen.
Walker Canyon Poppy Fields
The Walker Canyon Poppy Fields depicts romance, love, and warmth – and makes it a perfect elopement destination! During the winter, it rains every once in a while, causing the beautiful poppy fields to bloom, making it an ideal photo opportunity for your engagement and elopement ceremony photos!
Because the poppy fields have a short window for blossoming, which takes place between March to April, expect that there will be a lot of tourists in the area, especially during the weekends.
Try to schedule the photoshoot and elopement event during weekdays and early mornings to avoid the crowd.
Torrey Pines State Beach
Torrey Pines is considered one of the most popular beaches in San Diego because it’s well-known for its beautiful cliffside beaches and views!
There’s a huge space for parking, which won’t be a problem for most, with the most impressive sceneries make it a perfect place for taking photos. If you go early in the morning and wait for sunrise, you might even witness some dolphins by the Beach – an ideal experience to share with your loved one.
IMAGE BY ALISA GREENE
You may send an email to email@example.com for a special events permit, which is needed to take pictures and for the ceremony to take place.
Can you imagine exchanging vows, as you look into your partner’s eyes and say “I do,” with the beautiful sunrise right above your head backed against the cloudy blue skies? This is the perfect spot to do it, and best to schedule it between April through October.
Mission Trails Regional Park
The Mission Trails Regional Park is a well-visited place for both tourists and locals alike. People come here to experience the natural scenery and enjoy peace and serenity – away from the city’s heavy traffic and life.
Take your photos and do the ceremony during the sunset, with varied sceneries throughout the park.
IMAGE BY MADELINE BARR
Before your elopement, you may even want to take your time and do a hike to get yourself familiarized with the surroundings. You’ll be glad you did.
An hour drive away from San Diego, Julian is not just known for their famous apple pies – but sure, their pastries are to die for.
If you’re looking for a place to do your elopement away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Julian might be the one you’re looking for. The gentle winds are rustling against the trees, brushing against your skin, and the warm breezes make it a great escape away from the city.
You can even take a picnic basket with you, choose a spot, and enjoy the quiet time with your loved one. You’ll find multiple picnic benches, and there are always spots for everyone to settle down.
The beautiful and gorgeous fields make it a perfect background for your photos. Suppose you’re thinking about eloping during the summer but don’t like the harsh sunlight pressing against your skin. In that case, Julian trees make it a perfect shade during the summer season, so you don’t have to worry about sunburn or extreme weather temperatures during the peak season.
Are you a fan of history? For couples who want to incorporate history and culture along with their elopement plans, Coronado Island is the perfect venue for you. It is an intimate venue by the Beach at sunset, and perfect weather to enjoy between July through September.
IMAGE BY MADELINE BARR
Like most venues in California, a special event permit is needed, depending on the number of guests you have. Make sure to check with the park’s administration office the location and permit requirements.
Big Sur stretches along a 71 mile coastline on the State Route 1 and is loved by many people. The rugged and mountainous landscape is perfect for any elopement.
IMAGE BY FLORA GIBSON
You will find plenty of beaches, state parks and cliffs along the coast. The climate in the area is perfect throughout the entire yea. However we recommend to plan your wedding during late summer and early autumn.
Please visit parks.ca.gov for more information about your elopement permit in the area.
Elopement Packages California – Where to elope in Northern California
Black Sands Beach
Go ahead and plan an adventurous elopement ceremony with the person you love at Black Sands Beach – a beautiful spot with sceneries that appears to be taken out from an Iceland destination.
Though different from the ambiance of other elopement venues we’ve talked about earlier, the Black Sands Beach has an intimate feel, with foggy spots by the mountains, making it a dramatic effect for photographs.
Large wedding events with more than 100 attendees may require a special events permit, but for elopement ceremonies and intimate gatherings not exceeding 50 guests, a permit isn’t necessarily needed.
Many people chose the Bunny Flat, just at Mount Shasta’s base, because of its natural scenery. This location gives you a pristine forest ambiance, surrounded by alpine shrubs and a perfect view of the mountain.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can arrive at the location a day before the event so you can explore and take a hike – and nothing is more beautiful than the overlooking view of the forest at the peak.
IMAGE BY MATT LIM
The peak season falls around somewhere between June and July because the trails and hiking spots are only accessible during this season. You may need to apply for permits, especially when taking photoshoots during the hike and for elopement ceremonies. Make sure to check and process this if you’ve chosen this as your elopement destination.
Half Moon Bay
Situated along the south of San Francisco, this is another great beach destination, especially if you’re looking for an intimate place to celebrate your love with your partner.
It’s a beautiful venue that’s only 30 minutes away from San Francisco – with long sandy beaches, waves gently crashing against the shores.
This venue will surely make a perfect place for your photos and the exchanging of vows. No matter if you want to elope by the Beach or under starry skies. Schedule your event at sunrise or sunset at this intimate location.
IMAGE BY LYNN LEWIS
It’s best to visit during spring and fall when the skies are clear. During the winter, it tends to become foggy and chilly, with high chances of storms along the way as well. Because it’s a popular destination, make sure that you plan and book your reservation in advance.
Monterey marks one of the best spots for an elopement in the Bay Area. The smell of the salty water breeze, an endless coast of sands and beaches lined up with fantastic seafood delicacies make it a perfect spot not just for an elopement but even for a honeymoon.
IMAGE BY PARMVEER MASUTA
The majestic sun touching the endless water horizon against the beautiful sky makes it picture-perfect for events, engagement shoots, and wedding ceremonies alike.
Channel Islands National Park
One of the most taxing activities when planning an elopement in National Parks is that special permits need to be obtained. There’s a lot of planning involved, but all of these are worth it, especially when you see the Channel Islands National Park’s picturesque scenery.
Go on a boating adventure, elope, and spend your honeymoon in these beautiful islands. You can even do it inside a sea cave if you wanted to!
These islands make it a perfect venue for an intimate elopement and wedding ceremony, with thousands of magical sights to see and activities to enjoy with your partner.
There are no harsh weather conditions reported year-round, which means you can visit the park and plan your elopement ceremony anytime you prefer.
You may experience dense fog during the spring, with a bit of wind – but if you don’t mind the coastal winds, spring might also be perfect for you for that “added dramatic” effect.
Special permits are needed to access certain parts of the islands, too, so keep that in mind whenever you’re looking for elopement packages California.
Sequoia National Park
Gorgeous is an understatement when describing how beautiful the Sequoia National Park is. Just imagine spending time with your loved one, surrounded by trees that are no younger than 2,000 years old – this makes up a lovely memory that you can share.
IMAGE BY SHAWN NGIRMANG
The giant sequoias make a beautiful backdrop for your photos, with events limited to 10 guests. A special permit is required to take pictures and for the ceremony to be held in the park.
Applications for permits are to be submitted within 90 days before the event date, and because of the current pandemic situation, social distancing and other health protocols are strictly observed.
Please visit nps.gov for further updates on campgrounds and other open locations for event reservations and bookings.
Castle Rock View Point
Imagine this – exchanging vows with your partner from the top, with an overlooking view of the bay from where you’re standing, the golden sky right above your head with strong winds brushing against your skin.
If this is how you picture your elopement, then Castle Rock View Point is the perfect spot.
Marin Headlands – Golden Gate
There’s this magical spot in San Francisco where it’s not too crowded – where you can enjoy sights like the Golden Gate Bridge, a place away but not too far away from the city where you can get your peace.
IMAGE BY LYNN LEWIS
The Marin Headlands is an intimate place, not too far from the busy streets, but with a location that indeed takes you to a different dimension. With the wilderness in the surroundings, it’s a beautiful and intimate spot for elopement and honeymoon activities alike. One of the most unique wedding venues in the Bay area.
The entire are is pretty popular among portrait photographers in California as well.
Regardless of where in Cali, you choose to celebrate this special day with your loved one, one of the best and easiest ways to deal with this is to find elopement packages.
A good planner will help you provide the best options possible, assist in obtaining permits if necessary, and help you scour for the right location for photoshoots, reception, and the ceremony itself.
We really hope we could help you with Elopement Packages California and that you have a better idea of your Elopement now.
Please also have a look at all of our amazing photographers in California if you are in need of a special creative mind for your elopement in Cali.
Also, check out our destination wedding photographer website for an amazing shortlist of artists around the world.
If you love these amazing outdoor locations but would like to get to know other places around the world, then check out this blog post:
The 101 Most Epic & Best Places to Elope in 2022