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California Dreamin’: The Top 5 California Elopement Locations

Filed in Planning Tips — September 27, 2023


Are you ready to trade the traditional wedding hustle for an intimate elopement in the stunning landscapes of California? California boasts a stunning diversity of landscapes, from the picturesque beaches along the Pacific coast to the majestic redwood forests, arid deserts, and towering mountain ranges, offering something breathtaking for every bride who dreams of eloping in a gorgeous location. We’ve got you covered with the top 5 places to elope, each offering its own unique charm and beauty.

Let’s countdown the top 5 most popular and gorgeous spots to Elope in the Golden State.

5. Joshua Tree National Park – A Desert Oasis of Love

Joshua Tree Elopement inspiration photo from Pinterest

   If your hearts long for a desert adventure, Joshua Tree National Park is the perfect elopement destination. Stark landscapes, surreal rock formations, and the iconic Joshua trees create a magical atmosphere. Imagine stargazing as newlyweds under a vast desert sky.

4. San Francisco City – Elegance in the Heart of the City


Seeking an elopement with a touch of sophistication? San Francisco City Hall is an architectural gem. The grand Rotunda, adorned with marble and majestic staircases, provides an exquisite setting for your vows. It’s the epitome of city chic. Bonus: You could end your evening with a picnic and sunset bridals at Baker Beach, which is a perfect view of The Golden Gate Bridge.

SF City Hall inspiration photo from Pinterest

3. Sunset Cliffs in San Diego – Beachy Bliss at Sunset

Sunset Cliffs inspiration photo, photo credit: Wandering Weddings

   For a relaxed beachside elopement with that quintessential SoCal vibe, Sunset Cliffs in San Diego is a top pick. Imagine saying your vows with the sound of crashing waves as your backdrop, and the sky turning shades of orange and pink as the sun sets. Don’t forget your surfboards for some post-ceremony adventure!

2. Big Sur – Where Romance Meets the Rugged Coastline

Big Sur Elopement Inspo: credit unknown

   If you’ve always dreamed of a coastal elopement, Big Sur won’t disappoint. Its dramatic cliffs, lush forests, and breathtaking ocean views make for a mesmerizing setting. Whether you choose a secluded beach or a spot beneath the towering redwoods, romance and nature come together in harmony.

1. Yosemite National Park – Where Nature Unites Hearts

Yosemite Elopement at Taft Point: Photo credit: Storybook Photography

   Imagine standing amidst towering granite cliffs, serene meadows, and the symphony of cascading waterfalls as you exchange vows. Yosemite National Park provides the perfect backdrop for your elopement, where it’s just you, your partner, and the breathtaking wonders of Mother Nature.

Yosemite Elopement at Taft Point: Photo credit: Storybook Photography

Remember, elopements are all about what resonates with your unique love story. Whether you choose a natural wonder like Yosemite or the grandeur of San Francisco City Hall, California offers a diverse range of elopement locations to suit every couple’s dreams. Discover your perfect backdrop for love in the Golden State.

Not a fan of any of these locations? Ask me about some hidden gems that are my best kept secrets, like the amazing hidden location from an Elopement I captured off the Carson pass.

Carson Pass Elopement | Photo credit: Storybook Photography

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