Los Angeles Elopement Guide
Los Angeles really does have it all – idyllic weather, picture perfect beaches, mountain views, endless urban adventures, along with the center of the film and TV industry! A Los Angeles elopement is perfect for any couple who wants to combine natural beauty with urban scenery, and this guide will tell you everything you need to know to make your one of a kind wedding day come to life!
What you’ll find in this Los Angeles Elopement Guide:
- Why you should elope in Los Angeles
- Los Angeles Elopement Locations
- Best Time to Elope in Los Angeles
- The Legal Stuff: Permits, Officiants, and Marriage Licenses
- What to Do
- Where to Stay
- Example Timelines
- Alternatives to Los Angeles
- The Cost of Eloping in Los Angeles
- Elopement Packages in Los Angeles – Are you ready to elope Wild & Free?
Why You Should Elope in Los Angeles
Why is a Los Angeles elopement the right fit for you? Here are just a few reasons why we think you’ll love tying the knot in the City of Angels!
Of course, the beaches are one of LA’s most popular attractions! There are scenic beaches with bluffs and incredible views, surfing beaches with idyllic breaks and sandy shores, and plenty of shops, restaurants, and more to explore in the surrounding beach towns.
Along with beaches, Los Angeles is also a great place to elope if you want mountain views! You can see the peaks right from the city, and there are countless gorgeous trails and scenic overlooks.
Los Angeles is known for diverse, delicious cuisine. Grabbing a bite while you’re here is definitely an experience all on it’s own, with options for everybody’s taste! There are unique places like the Cupcake ATM, adorable breakfast spots, fine dining, and any kind of food you can imagine.
Los Angeles Elopement Locations – The Best Places to Elope in Los Angeles
Choosing a spot to exchange vows and officially promise to spend forever together is so exciting! To help you narrow down your options, here are a few of the most incredible Los Angeles elopement locations.
Griffith Park is in the city, but offers over 4,000 acres of land – some of which is developed into picnic areas and park sites, with lots of natural terrain. You’ll find lots of greenery and desert succulents, sandy caves, and tree groves amongst the man made attractions, like the Hollywood Sign, and the Griffith Observatory. It’s an incredible Los Angeles elopement location if you want to see nature, without going too far from the city.
In the Sierra Pelona Mountains is Vasquez rocks, a unique park featuring towering rock formations! The sandstone rocks jagged peaks jut into the sky, creating some of the most picturesque scenery in Los Angeles County. The park is popular for hiking, and has even been featured in several movies! It’s one of the best places to elope in Los Angeles for natural beauty a little farther away from the hustle and bustle.
Catalina Island is one of the most incredible Los Angeles elopement locations, and because you need a boat or plane to get there, it’s one of the most remote! You’ll find absolutely breathtaking scenery, with coastal cliffs, beaches, and rugged beauty.
Malibu is a beach town close to the city of Los Angeles, and it makes an incredible place to elope! With bluffs over the water and serene beaches, you’ll find some of the most amazing scenery.
Big Bear is a little outside of Los Angeles County, but we had to mention it as one of the best Los Angeles elopement locations! It’s just a two hour drive away, and it’s one of the best places to elope for couples looking for mountains. The small town is best known for its ski resort and winter fun, and in the summer, it’s great for hiking! Year round, you’ll find boutiques, shops, and restaurants around the village. Nearby is the scenic Lake Arrowhead, a gorgeous mountain resort with amazing views.
Secret Wild & Free Spots
The best place to elope depends on the couple! You’re unique, and your elopement is too. So part of our job is to help you find those lesser known, off the beaten path locations where you can exchange vows in complete privacy.
Each couple gets a custom list of location recommendations to help you find the right one! Get in touch to learn more about our secret Los Angeles elopement locations.
The Best Time for a Los Angeles Elopement
LA is known for its idyllic weather – so there’s no bad time for a Los Angeles elopement! Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect throughout the year.
Winter in Los Angeles
Winters are rarely cold, with highs in the high 60s and lows in the high 40s. During the day, it’s still warm and great for outdoor adventures, and if you want to drive out to the mountains, you can see snow before retreating back to the warm city! Beware of the coastal breeze, though – when you’re by the water, it can feel much colder, so bring layers.
Winter is technically the rainy season, but sunny days are much more common!
Spring in Los Angeles
Spring is one of the best times to elope in Los Angeles. Temperatures are warm and comfortable, and it’s a great time to get outside or hit the beach. Spring is busier than winter, but it’s much less popular than summer, so this can be a good time to tie the knot if you want some more privacy on your elopement day!
Summer in Los Angeles
Summer is the most popular time to visit LA, so you’ll see more people out and about. The weather is very warm and sunny, so it’s perfect for couples who want to be on the beach or in the water!
Fall in Los Angeles
Fall is definitely one of the best times for a Los Angeles elopement. It’s still warm and sunny, but not as hot during the day. The summer crowds disperse, giving you more privacy to enjoy the outdoor spots.
Elope on a weekday!
Weekends are always more popular than weekdays no matter where you go, so tying the knot on a weekday can help you avoid some crowds! Eloping during the week is the best way to find a more secluded spot to exchange vows without an audience.
The Legal Stuff – Getting Legally Married in Los Angeles
You need a few things to get legally married during your elopement – and we’ll break it all down for you!
Los Angeles Wedding Permits
Beaches, parks, and other Los Angeles elopement locations may require a wedding permit for your ceremony. This depends on where you decide to tie the knot, so we’ll help you figure out permit requirements for your unique elopement!
Los Angeles Marriage License
To get legally married, a marriage license is required. This needs to be from the state of California, so you can find a county clerk’s office close to home if you’re a local. If you’re traveling from out of state, the Los Angeles county clerk will likely be the most convenient location.
An appointment is required, so plan ahead and make your appointment online. When you make your appointment, you’ll also be able to submit the marriage application – when you go to your appointment in person, you’ll need your IDs, and after getting your signatures, you’ll have your marriage license!
For more info on California marriage licenses, check out this guide.
Los Angeles Elopement Officiant
You need an officiant’s signature on your marriage license, so you can hire a professional Los Angeles elopement officiant to perform your ceremony. If you prefer something more private, we’re ordained and can sign the papers for you!
Consider a self uniting ceremony.
Flexibility and freedom are key for an elopement day, and so is privacy – so if you want to exchange vows and have your ceremony exactly the way you want it, you can do a self uniting ceremony. You exchange vows, and then we sign the papers to make it official!
What to Do When You Elope in Los Angeles
There are plenty of adventures around Los Angeles – so when you elope, plan a day that’s truly unforgettable! Here are some ideas for things to do during your elopement.
Surfing is a popular pastime in Los Angeles, and whether you’re a pro or a beginner, it’s a really fun way to make your elopement day unique! You can grab your boards and paddle out for a morning session, or take a lesson if you aren’t confident in the waves yet.
Hit Up Disneyland!
A trip to Disneyland will definitely add some magic to your elopement! Located just south of Los Angeles in Orange County, you can visit the theme park for a day, or for a few.
There are lots of hikes around Los Angeles if you want to explore the scenery! You can trek up to the iconic Hollywood sign, wander around Griffith Park, or explore some of the more remote spots in the mountains around LA.
Los Angeles Elopement Inspiration
To get inspired for your Los Angeles elopement, check out this Pinterest board, or follow us for some more resources and tips to help you plan!
Where to Stay in Los Angeles
There are countless options for places to stay around Los Angeles – from luxurious accommodations to cute cabins!
A Hotel or Resort
A hotel or a resort can provide a relaxing stay during your elopement, giving you a great place to come back to after all your adventures.
Glamping is the perfect way to add some adventure, while still having access to all the amenities! You can stay in a tiny home in the woods, a big canvas tent, and more around LA.
Sample Los Angeles Elopement Timelines
When you elope Wild & Free, we’ll create a timeline that’s completely personalized for you and your day. To get you inspired, here are some sample Los Angeles elopement timelines!
Griffith Park Elopement With Family
10:00 Breakfast & coffee at Airbnb
12:00 Hair and makeup begins
2:00 Put on ceremony attire
2:30 First look outside Airbnb
2:30 Drive to Griffith Park
3:30 Picnic lunch
5:00 Nature walk to ceremony spot
6:00 Photos with family
6:30 Family goes back to Airbnb, couple takes photos
7:00 Drive to Venice Beach for sunset photos
8:30 Back to Airbnb for dinner and toasts
“Just Us” Vasquez Rocks Elopement
9:00 Pancake breakfast
11:00 Hair and makeup begins
12:30 Drive to Vasquez Rocks
1:30 Picnic lunch
2:30 Change into ceremony attire
3:00 First look & photos
4:00 Hike and explore to find the perfect ceremony spot
6:30 Sunset photos
Chat up an expert
Harsh lighting isn’t good for photos – and you don’t want to be squinting throughout the ceremony! Keeping lighting in mind can help you plan the perfect elopement – so talk to an elopement photographer. We’re the experts on lighting, so when we create your elopement timeline, we’ll plan to be in shadier spots during the day, and save the open beaches for sunset!
Alternatives to a Los Angeles Elopement
If you aren’t sure if Los Angeles is just right for you, here are some other locations in California that make amazing places to elope!
Joshua Tree National Park is just a couple hours east of Los Angeles, offering an incredible desert landscape and a really unique backdrop for you to tie the knot!
San Diego is south of Los Angeles, and it’s a big city with small town vibes, with similar scenery but a little more quiet than LA! You’ll find gorgeous beaches and mountain views, with the same incredible weather.
San Francisco is further north, with moodier weather – so if you love the look of the fog covered coast, this is the spot for you! There’s tons to explore in the city, along with some more remote spots outside of town.
The Cost of Eloping in Los Angeles
Eloping is all about prioritizing what’s important to you – and your elopement budget will be spent on things that matter to you, and experiences you’ll remember forever! It can be hard to make a budget if you aren’t sure where to start, so here are some things that might be included in the cost of eloping in Los Angeles.
- Travel – Do you need flights or transportation?
- Accommodations – You’ll need somewhere to come back to after your adventure so whether it’s a campground, trendy Airbnb, or an upscale resort, find something that fits your vibe!
- Meals – Don’t forget about food! You can pack a picnic, stop at a local eatery, or even hire a private chef.
- Marriage License – Fees vary by county, but average around $90 across the state.
- Wedding Permit – If you need a permit, depending on the park and area will average between $200-600.
- Wedding Attire – Dresses, suits, or whatever you’ll be wearing when you tie the knot!
- Hair and Makeup – You can totally do your own, but hiring a professional is so worth it and helps ensure things stay put throughout your adventure – this usually ranges from $300 to $1000.
- Florals – Add a bouquet, flower crown, boutonniere, or floral decorations to your day! A professional florist ranges from $300 to $1500.
- Photographer – Relive your memories over and over by investing in a photographer you love! Elopement photographer packages average from $4000 – $20,000
You’ll never regret investing in good photos
A big part of the elopement budget usually goes towards the photographer – but it’s so worth it to be able to have a reminder of the best day of your life! Looking back and seeing the story of your elopement day, reliving it all over again, is truly priceless. Invest in someone whose photos you love, and who will help you plan the day!
Elopement Packages in Los Angeles – Ready to Elope Wild & Free?
You deserve to get married the way you want to – with no expectations, no limit, and no pressure. Keep the traditions you want and toss out the ones you don’t and let’s plan a carefree, fun day! We’ll help you with every part – finding the right place to elope, recommending vendors and places to stay, getting the right permits, creating a custom timeline, and anything else you need for the perfect elopement day.
Los Angeles Elopement Packages Include:
- Photography coverage
- Options from 2 hours to 2-days of photography coverage with Joni, who has over 13 years of experience
- Photographer’s travel covered to your destination
- A fun photo experience where you’ll feel comfortable in front of the camera in no time and have all of your special moments captured
- Location Lookbooks to show you ceremony and portrait spots for the dreamiest photos
- Creative timeline design to make everything flow perfectly on your day
- Exclusive planning tools to help you design the best day
- Our helpful magazine + a self-paced planning checklist to guide you through designing your elopement from start to finish
- Questionnaires for us to get to know you and your unique vision
- Vendor Lookbooks to build your dream team
- Alternative reception ideas for those looking to celebrate out-of-the-box
- Sustainability and Leave No Trace education for a wedding day you can feel good about
- Officiant signature for self-uniting ceremonies
- Amazing photos + free downloads
- 3-5 sneak peek images within one week of your day so you can share your gorgeous portraits with friends and family right away
- Your full story in hundreds of edited digital images delivered within two months to relive the entire adventure over and over again
- Your own personal gallery to share your images with family and friends
- Free high-resolution digital downloads for everyone (no paying per photo or per download!)
- Printing rights to all photos
- Access to professional quality prints, wall art, magazines, and albums conveniently available for purchase a la carte right inside your gallery
Read more about Wild & Free Elopement packages here!
Ready to elope Wild & Free? Contact us, and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime!