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You've finally decided to do what you and your significant other truly want to do and are planning an elopement in California. Now that you don't have to spend $10,000+ on a venue, there are so many choices all around California to pick! How in the world are you going to choose with so many options!

Welcome to my California elopement guide! Below there will be a few ideas and inspiration to help you narrow down the best location to choose! If you want more California elopement inspiration, check out my California elopement photographer home page!

First, here are some things to consider!

So you want to elope in California?

A few things to consider:



1. What kind of elopement do you want to have?

There are many types of elopements out there. Some couples love to spend all day hiking to get to their destination and there are tons of gorgeous hikes all around California! Many couples prefer to simply drive or fly in a helicopter to an epic location and not have to hike too much to get epic views! Others plan ceremonies with their families and friends to join or even book out a coast side venue for their elopement. All of this should be taken into mind when planning your California elopement! Will this location be easy to get to if we have family? Do I want to spend all day hiking or would I rather save my energy and find something close by?

2. What kind of location do you like for your elopement?

Are you someone who prefers coastline views and cliffs? Or do you prefer towering mountains? Do you want something moody or bright? Warm or cold? Knowing what kind of landscape you want as a backdrop before looking at locations is important! This will help influence your decision and narrow it down so it's much easier to choose a specific location to have your adventure elopement!

3. What's your budget like?

California can be expensive sometimes. Although you don't need to book out a venue, considering costs such as gas prices, local floral costs or even permit costs should be considered when looking into eloping in California!

Lucky for you, I'm here to act as a California elopement guide to help you through the process. I provide photo, video, planning and floral services for your elopement to make it super easy! I also know plenty of talented vendors that will help you make your elopement day special! If you're interested in having me plan your special day and document it, reach out to me!

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Starting out with my Southern California, the desert offers some incredible minimalist landscapes for your adventure elopement

Southern California is home to a unique variety of landscapes. Being a drier area, it's home to the California sand dunes, Joshua Tree National Park and even a beautiful coastline near San Diego!

If you're considering eloping in Southern California and fall in love with the desert after going through this blog, don't hesitate to contact me! Having spent a good amount of time in this area, I would love to be able to plan your elopement in California for you and your significant other!


The sand dunes in Southern California are home to an incredible view. Near Yuma there are rolling hills of sand that almost look unreal the longer you stare at them. Luckily for you, they are real and totally accessible! The bad news is, they're not the best place to elope!

I won't sugar coat it...the sand dunes are harsh. Usually the sun is beating down and the wind is blowing. This can create some incredible and epic photographs but to actually get married in could be a nightmare.

I always suggest to solely take "elopement photos" in the sand dunes but to avoid having a full on ceremony with guests there. It will save you a lot of the headache but still be able to get some incredible and minimalistic photos!

If you're interested in having elopement photos like the ones below, don't hesitate to reach out to me!

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Joshua Tree National Park is one of the most unique national parks out there. Imagine a bare desert with pebble mountains and odd looking trees that look like they should be out of a Dr Suess book!


Joshua Tree National Park is a  great place to elope in Southern California due to the beautiful landscape and lack of tourists! Since it is a desert, there won't be a ton of people walking near you or in the background of your photos. 

Located only 2 hours from Los Angeles, this is a great option for all of you desert dwellers who want something more than just desert or sand dunes. Plus, there are a ton of great AirBnB options near the park! Just make sure to bring a lot of water as it can get hot!

If you're thinking of eloping in Joshua Tree National Park or anywhere in Southern California, don't hesitate to reach out! I'd love to help you find somewhere worth getting married at!



If cliffsides and beaches are more your style, San Diego is a great choice for your California elopement! With many options to choose from, San Diego makes a great location to elope! Sunset Cliffs has some beautiful arches and cliffs perfect for getting a beautiful bright sunset.

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Throughout this California Elopement Guide we've talked about some stunning locations! There are so many other amazing locations to have your elopement in Southern California such as saying I do in front of a beautiful lake, walking through giant turbines in Palm Springs or even saying vows on the beach! Southern California truly has it all and as a California elopement photographer myself, I can say that it's one of my favorite areas to photograph elopements!

The weather in Southern California changes depending on where you go! Typically it's warmer than the rest of the state but with the ocean so close, the temperature stays nice all year round! No matter what location you decide on, choosing to elope in California will be your first step! Reach out to me and I will walk you through each step of the California elopement planning process so we can create something memorable!

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Second on our list is the more popular California destinations to elope at!

Central California is definitely the more popular of the areas to elope or get married at! With thousands of people who visit California each month, most people visit areas such as Yosemite, Big Sur and even San Francisco! Eloping in central California is perfect for the couple who may want to have a cooler climate with more unique landscapes such as mountains and cliffs!

If you're considering eloping in California and need help navigating elopement plans in central California, don't hesitate to contact me! Having spent a good amount of time in this area as well, planning a gorgeous California elopement or intimate wedding would be a breeze!


If you're looking for the Ireland coast close to home, Point Reyes is definitely the place to choose. Point Reyes has green grassy cliffs that tower high over the coast similar to the Cliffs of Moher. 

Beach elopements are common on Oahu! Unfortunately, many of the beaches require a permit to be able to have your elopement on one of them! If you'd like to see a list of the beaches that you can elope at through WikiPermits, click here!


Although a permit is required, the whole island has some incredible WikiPermits permiited locations! Going through the permitting process is totally worth it to be able to have beautiful blue water backdrops and towering mountains.

Typically as a Hawaii elopement photographer, I go through the process of taking care of permits so that your elopement can be as legal as possible! With such beautiful lands, it's important to go through proper permits to respect the land  as much as possible! If you're weary about eloping on Oahu and want help planning your elopement, reach out to me! I'd love to help you out!


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From my understanding, eloping at Makapuu Point is totally fine as long as a permit is pulled through WikiPermits! This is how we were able to take photos at this incredible cliffside spot!

Makapuu Point has such incredible views of the Oahu mountains along with the seabird sanctuaries off the coast! This is a location that is so much more beautiful in person and there are ton's of areas to go to without other people watching!

If you're thinking of eloping on Oahu, I definetly recommend considering Makapuu point as a photo location!

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Throughout this Hawaii Elopement Guide we've talked about some stunning locations on Oahu! There are so many other stunning locations to have your Hawaii elopement!


No matter what location you decide on, choosing to elope on Oahu will be your first step! Reach out to me and I will walk you through each step of the Hawaii elopement planning process so we can create something memorable!