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California Elopement Locations

Simply Eloped offers several elopement packages in California. In San Diego, you can tie the knot on one of the city’s soft white sand beaches, grassy beach cliffs, or a gorgeous lush park. In San Francisco, say “I do” beneath historic architecture, like the Golden Gate Bridge, along the banks of a glistening urban lake or at the stunning marble-laden San Francisco City Hall. If you want to elope in California, we’ve got you covered!

California Elopement Packages

How to elope in California

  1. Choose your ceremony location
  2. Choose your package, as well as any add-ons you’d like for your big day
  3. Pick out which venue you want for your ceremony
  4. Apply for your marriage license at any California County Clerk’s office (in some counties, you can apply online, but you will likely still have to appear in person!)
  5. Make sure you’ve brought a government-issue photo ID and a form of payment
  6. Get married!
How to elope in California

California Elopement Venues

  1. Sunset Cliffs
  2. Coronado Beach
  3. Parq West
  4. Redwood Regional Park (Oakland)
  5. Fay Park
  6. China Cabin
  7. Elope on a Bay Ferry
  8. San Francisco Botanical Garden
  9. Emerald Bay State Park Lookout
  10. Sugar Pine Point State Park Pier
  11. Revive Coffee & Wine
  12. Carmel River State Beach
  13. Carmel redwoods cabin
  14. Big Sur Lodge

How can I elope in California?

Whether you’re dreaming of reciting your vows overlooking the vineyards, on the beach, or in your own backyard with a handful of loved ones, planning an elopement in California has an endless amount of options. And, while it takes a bit of preparation and planning, figuring out exactly how to plan a small wedding in California isn’t all that difficult. We’ll fill you in on everything you need to know to ensure that your California elopement or small California wedding is everything you have dreamt it would be.

When is the best time to elope in California?

California is known for it’s beautiful year-round weather, but depending on where you plan to elope, temperatures can vary. For instance, if you’re planning an intimate celebration on the coast, the forecast can look much different for a ceremony that’s more inland. And remember: choosing the right date and time is equally important if you’re planning a California elopement. Double-check to ensure there aren’t any major events going on in the town that you’re having your ceremony at, such as the Academy Awards, Grammy Awards (which take place in Los Angeles), or Coachella (which is based in Indio). This will help avoid any additional traffic that may arise from these events. And speaking of traffic: California is infamous for its traffic delays, so ask your wedding vendors what time is best to avoid traveling for both you and your guests.

Where can I elope in California?

We might be a bit biased, but we think you can’t go wrong with any California destination for your elopement. We offer our services in San Diego, San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and Big Sur, so chat with your partner to narrow it down to a location that has meaning to you. Did you get engaged while walking along the beach? Perhaps eloping in the coastal city of San Diego will bring back those special memories. Or maybe you’ve always dreamt of a woodland wedding ceremony – in which case, Big Sur might be everything you never knew you needed in a wedding venue. There are plenty of options, so choose a spot that feels most authentic to who you are as a couple!

How do I choose the right California elopement package?

Once you’ve nailed down the location of your elopement, you’ll want to choose an elopement package that fits all of your needs. Think about what’s essential to you, and create your list by ranking of importance so that you can prioritize which vendors you ultimately want. Whether you’re planning an intimate celebration for two or are inviting a few loved ones, consider what details feel most important to you. Is a photographer documenting your day an absolute must? Is a drool-worthy bouquet something you just can’t do without? Whether you want to keep your small California wedding plans simple or go all out with additional vendors like hair and makeup artists and videographers, your package should consist of everything you need for your big day.

Do I need a permit to elope in California?

Wineries, beaches, and parks are just a handful of perfect locations for a California elopement, but it’s important to note that depending on where you’re planning a ceremony, you may be required to apply for a permit. Make sure to check in with the beach, park, or any other venue you choose to ensure nothing is required to rent or reserve a ceremony space. Reach out to your wedding vendors if you’re not sure who to contact regarding permits or other legal paperwork.

How do I get a marriage license in California?

To receive a California marriage license, both you and your partner must be present to apply at the County Clerk’s Office and have valid photo identification such as a driver’s license, passport or military identification. When you receive your license, it will be valid for 90 days, so make sure you properly time when you go in and apply! Your license must be signed by your officiant, who will need to return the license to the County Clerk within 10 days of your California wedding ceremony. If either you or your partner have been divorced within the last 90 days, a copy of the divorce decree is needed. Always call ahead if you’re unsure of what exactly you need to bring along with you to reduce any stress you may have about the application process.

Can I get married the same day in California?

Good news: the state of California has no waiting period, and will give you your license immediately. That means that you can receive your license on the same day you get married.

How much does it cost to elope in California?

Elopement costs can vary depending on where in California you’ll be marrying, and can get costly depending on what you’re envisioning for your day. Be sure to save room in your budget for vendor staples – like an officiant and a photographer – and take into account other possible vendors, such as a florist, hair and makeup artist, or videographer. Our California elopement packages are reasonably priced between $350 for a basic ceremony to $1,450 for all the bells and whistles, with a variety of options to choose from in between. Also take into account not just the elopement itself, but other expenses like accommodations, food, and the cost of travel.

There are a few other expenses that should be taken into account: the $61 marriage license fee, transportation to and from your venue location, and any venue permits (which can vary, but generally cost around $60).

It’s No Secret…

Traditional weddings are incredibly expensive and can take years to plan. When couples choose to elope, their ceremonies can be planned quickly at a fraction of the cost. But don’t take our word for it!

My husband and I eloped and it was absolutely phenomenal. The process was made SUPER easy and the photograph process was just as AMAZING. They were the perfect team to be there for our big day. I highly highly recommend Simply Eloped to anyone thinking of eloping. I’d do it again and again and again if it meant I could relive that day with my new husband.

Samantha & Eric,

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Last modified: January 19, 2021
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