Best Places To Elope
In Orange County
"We could just elope"
Sometimes a big wedding just isn't what you want. Elopements are pretty much my favorite thing EVER to photograph, because you get to make the day totally unique to you. When you elope, there aren't any compromises necessary – You can go anywhere you want to, do anything you like, and have the adventure of a lifetime. The beauty is that since you're saving a TON of money that you'd spend on a big wedding, you have more flexibility to
travel, buy that perfect dress, splurge a $1000 on flowers, or spend
a little extra on details you might not be able to afford with a big
Elopements are simple, relaxed, and beautiful. And the best part is you can do it anywhere, anytime.
So if you're planning an elopement in Orange County or Southern California, I've put together a list of great elopement venues. These range from urban
to the 100% wild outdoors. The beauty of eloping in Southern California is there is literally EVERYTHING to choose from. Want to elope on the beach in Laguna? We can do that. Want to head off into the mountains and have an elopement in Big Sur? Easy peesy. Glacier lake elopement photoshoot at Sequoia National Forest - We'll make it happen. Dig that desert vibe? Have an elopement at Joshua Tree! We have some of the best elopement locations in the world. (and that's why I love being an elopement photographer in Orange County!)
With that intro out of the way, lets get into this list of the best elopement
locations around Orange County!
Guide to eloping in Joshua Tree National Park
If you want to tie the knot somewhere absolutely magical, look no further than eloping at Joshua Tree National Park! Yes, its a bit of a drive from Orange County, but the travel time is well worth it.
Breathtaking Views, Astonishing Wildlife,And Incredible Rock Formations
-What's not to love?
Joshua Tree National Park <--Joshua Tree National Park Website
Special Use Permits<-- Permit Application
Joshua Tree National Park Weddings
Park Approved Wedding Venues
***Joshua Tree Elopement & Wedding Locations For Groups Up To 25 Guests***
Hidden Valley Picnic Area
Rattlesnake Canyon Picnic Area At Indian Cove
Special Use Non-Refundable Permit Fee $120.
***Joshua Tree Wedding Locations For Groups Up To 100 Guests***
Indian Cove Amphitheater - Permit Fee $120.
Plus A $200 Location Fee And For Weddings Of 50 to 100 Guests, An Additional Park Monitor Fee of $50/hr.
Professional Photographers, Videographers And Caterers Are Required To Obtain A Special Use Permit
For More Details Contact Joshua Tree National Park At (760) 367-5518
Special Park Use and CUA Permit Coordinator
Joshua Tree National Park
74485 National Park Drive
PHOTO CREDIT: Jay Sadoff
Mojave Desert Elopement: Kelso Sand Dunes
If you want to feel like you've left earth for another planet, the Kelso Sand Dunes are an out of this world place for an elopement or engagement photoshoot location! Its a bit of a drive from Orange County, but if you're after somewhere unforgettable and photos that will take your breath away - The Kelso Sand Dunes is just one of the many amazing spots in the Mojave Desert National Preserve.
PHOTO CREDIT: Derek Thomson @derekthomson
Sequoia National Forest Elopement
Sequoia National Forest is located in the southern Sierra Nevada mountains of California. The U.S. National Forest is named for the majestic Giant Sequoia trees which populate 38 distinct groves within the boundaries of the forest. The Giant Sequoia National Monument is located in the national forest, and WOW are there some unbelievable engagement + wedding photography locations in Sequoia National Forest! If you're after an adventure elopement in Southern California look no further!
PHOTO CREDIT: Victoria Palacios @toriamia
Orange County Beach Elopements / Wedding Guide
Beach weddings in Orange County are pretty ideal. But although it may seem as simple as strolling onto the beach and popping a ring, you'll want to make sure you get all the paperwork sorted to make sure your beach elopement /
wedding runs smoothly.
Some of the best beaches to get married in Southern California are in Orange County. If you decide you'd like to say “I do” with your toes in the
sand, here is a great list of beaches + permit info.
For most beaches in Orange County, you'll need an OC Beach Wedding Park Permit (Which is a special event permit) For more info, you can check out the OCParks website.
As for locations, there are TONS of of oceanside resorts or restaurants, and a good majority are open to hosting an elopement or smaller receptions –
Simply phone and ask. If you've got your heart set on eloping right
on the beach, here are a few options!
PHOTO CREDIT: @carolineromano
Dana Point Beach Elopements & Wedding Locations
Dana Point is a beautiful and relaxing city in Orange County that boasts some beautiful beaches and panoramic views. Reservations can be made up to a year ahead, and are limited to ceremonies only. You'll be required to provide liability insurance.
DANA POINT BEACH WEDDING LOCATIONS:
Palisades Gazebo Park, Dana Point
Pines Park, DanaPoint
Dana Point Harbour Beach, Dana Point
Doheny State Beach – North Beach, Dana Point
Monarch Bay Beach, Dana Point
Salt Creek Beach Park (Below the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel resort)
PHOTO CREDIT: Austin Neill @arstyy
Newport Beach Weddings & Elopement Beaches
Newport Beach Weddings & Elopements
Unlike many Orange County Beaches, there is no event permit required to elope or get married at the beach or at a public park in Newport Beach. However, beaches may NOT be reserved – So everything is first-come first serve (although some of the parks may be reserved – Just not beaches)
Wedding ceremonies at Newport beaches are also restricted to less than 50 guests, and alcohol + amplified sound is not permitted. Since Newport Beaches can be quite crowded in the summer,the we'd suggest either a sunrise ceremony or picking a different location if you're set on the summer!
NEWPORT BEACH WEDDING CEREMONY BEACHES:
Marina Park, Newport Bay
Balboa Peninsula Beach, Sout of the Balboa Pier
Crystal Cove State Park **rules are different here – You must reserve / get a permit - click here.
Newport Municipal Beach (By the Newport Beach Pier)
West Newport Beach
PHOTO CREDIT: Jeremy Bishop
Weddings & Elopement Locations: Huntington Beach
Huntington Beach has the same process of requiring a permit from the city, meaning you can ONLY get permits for the city beach. There are state operated beaches north and south of Seapoint Street and Beach Boulevard.
HUNTINGTON BEACH WEDDING LOCATIONS:
Sunset Beach, Huntington Beach
Bolsa Chica State Beach, Huntington Beach
Huntington City Beach, Huntington Beach
PHOTO CREDIT: Renado Sanchez Lezada
Laguna Beach Wedding & Elopement Locations
Laguna beach is known worldwide, and is often cited as one of the best beach wedding locations in California! Like others, Laguna Beach Weddings require a permit from the city and a fee to reserve your location. With 20+ beaches in Laguna Beach, you'll have lots of options to choose from!
LAGUNA BEACHES WEDDING LOCATIONS:
Crescent Bay Park, Laguna Beach
Heisler Park, Laguna Beach
Agate Street Beach, Laguna Beach
Bluebird Beach, Laguna Beach
Christmas Cove Beach, Laguna Beach
Cress Street Beach, Laguna Beach
Moss Street Beach, Laguna Beach
Thailia Street Beach, Laguna Beach
Treasure Island Beach, Laguna Beach
Victoria Beach, Laguna Beach
PHOTO CREDIT: Nathan Dumlao
San Clemente Weddings & Elopement Locations
I'm going to be honest – San Clemente is my fav place for a beach wedding in Orange County! Not only are there so many awesome places for wedding & elopement photography in San Celemente, but the vibe of this little beach town is sublime, and feels way more relaxed and calm than many of the other beaches in Orange County.
Wedding Ceremonies and elopements at San Clemente don't require any special permits, but the locations are all first come first serve, and you can only have up to 20 guests. Local Parks however let you have up to 50 people.
SAN CLEMENTE BEACH WEDDING LOCATIONS
San Clemente Pier City Beach, San Clemente
Calafia Beach, San Clemente
Mariposa Beach, San Clemente
Riviera Beach, San Clemente
T Street Beach (Esplanade Beach), San Clemente
PHOTO CREDIT: Jessi Pena
Malibu Elopement Location:
If you're looking to elope somewhere with crazy cliffs, check out Point Dume in Malibu!
Point Dume is a promontory on the coast of Malibu, California that juts out into the Pacific Ocean. The point, a long bluff, forms the northern end of the Santa Monica Bay. Point Dume Natural Area affords a vista of the Palos Verdes Peninsula and Santa Catalina Island. Zuma Beach lies to its immediate northwest.
Point Dume Address: Cliffside Dr & Birdview Ave, Malibu, CA 90265
PHOTO CREDIT: Austin Neill @arstyy
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