California Redwood Elopements
California elopements aren’t just about beaches; many of our couples tell us they want to be married amid the lush redwood forests that are unique to California.
From the Redwood Empire in the northernmost part of the state (which is where the biggest and oldest redwood trees live) to the Santa Cruz mountains and down to Big Sur, we’ve uncovered gorgeous redwood groves that are perfect for intimate weddings. Many of these are little-known, out of the way or private sites far from the usual tourist crowds. There are even some in-town redwood sites close to San Francisco.
There’s something utterly magical about exchanging vows under centuries-old redwood trees. There are also some things to think about–perhaps some things that may not occur to you…cuz…you know…you don’t get married every day of the week… (That’s why you have us!)
Where is the Best Place to Elope in the Redwoods?
That depends on several factors. You’ll need to consider the following:
- Where are you coming from and how far are you willing to travel to get to the ideal redwood elopement site?
- Does anyone in your party have issues with mobility?
- What time of year are you looking at for your redwood elopement?
- What’s your tolerance for onlookers? Are you okay with a few passers-by, or do you want total privacy when you elope in the redwoods?
Redwood elopement sites in California
The best place to have a redwood elopement will be different for each couple. Muir Woods, for example, is often touted as the Holy Grail of redwood elopements. It’s probably the best known elopement wedding site in California. But Muir Woods elopements are restricted to certain times of the day and they are generally held while the park is open to the public. So, Muir Woods is not–in my humble opinion–the best redwood site for a private wedding. It is, however, a gorgeous park and I highly encourage you to visit it if you come to California and you love the redwoods. I just think there are other equally beautiful, but more private redwood sites to actually say “I do.”
Redwood elopement sites within the Bay Area will be the easiest to access from major airports and will offer you and your guests the greatest amount of city amenities in terms of lodging, dining and things to do. If spending time in the big city isn’t the vibe you’re going for, then you might want to consider eloping in more rural areas like Big Sur.
And if you really want to get out in nature and get away from it all, you can’t beat the northwestern part of California (often referred to as the Redwood Empire). This part of the world–while it takes a bit more work to access–is the home of Avenue of the Giants and Redwood National Forest–both spectacular places to elope.
So how does a couple go about determining the best redwood elopement site for them??
The biggest hurdle that couples face when planning a destination California redwood micro-wedding or elopement is finding the perfect redwood site. We’ve got that covered for you. As part of our Location Consulting Services, we’ll point you in the direction of redwood venues that will give your wedding that deep in the woods feeling (while not actually having to hike for hours to get there!).
After finding the perfect-for-you redwood wedding location, obtaining the required permit can be a nightmare for the inexperienced. Sometimes the parties that manage these venues don’t make it easy! Fortunately, we’ve navigated all the federal, state, county and local governments that manage these sites and we can handle the permit process for you. Trust me–this will save you excessive bouts of hair-tearing!We also have exclusive arrangements with some private redwood sites. This might be the way to go if you have 20-30 guests. Some of our private redwood venues also provide onsite lodging and catering for an all-in-one-exclusive California redwood wedding experience.
We’re husband and wife team Maureen Thomson & Jeremy Myers and we love elopement weddings. (We had one ourselves!) We and our crew of talented local wedding professionals have been putting together small weddings filled with laughter and happy tears in California since 2002.