The Ultimate Guide to Big Sur Elopement

Love is an Adventure

They say ‘love is an adventure,’ and what’s more adventurous than eloping in Big Sur? I’m here to guide you through every step.

We’ll explore breathtaking locations, navigate legalities, choose vendors, plan the ceremony, arrange accommodations and decide the best time for your special day.

Let’s dive into this thrilling journey of love while respecting Mother Nature. So buckle up, lovers! Your ultimate guide to a Big Sur elopement awaits.

Key Takeaways

  • Consider the benefits of private land and public land ceremonies for your elopement in Big Sur
  • Preserve the beauty of nature by following Leave No Trace practices during your elopement photography
  • Choose transportation, and accommodations, and consider the rules for bringing pets during your Big Sur elopement
  • Understand the process of obtaining a marriage license and the legality of eloping in California

Choosing the Perfect Location and Time

As someone who’s experienced the magic of Big Sur firsthand, I can’t wait to delve into a discussion about the most exquisite spots to elope in this enchanting location.

We’ll explore some of my personal favorite spots for ceremonies that capture the breathtaking beauty and serene solitude of Big Sur – making your elopement not just an event, but a uniquely memorable experience.

From towering cliffs overlooking the azure Pacific Ocean to mystical redwood forests, our journey will take us through some truly awe-inspiring landscapes that make Big Sur one of the best and most beautiful places in the world to say ‘I do’.

best and most beautiful places to elope.

You’ll find that Big Sur offers some of the most stunning and unique locations for your elopement. It combines the beauty of the coastline with the majesty of the redwood forests. Here are some suggestions:

  • Hidden gems: lesser-known spots in Big Sur
  • Limekiln State Park: A forested retreat with a waterfall.
  • Partington Cove: An intimate cove surrounded by cliffs.
  • Dreamy coastal elopements: beach locales in Big Sur
  • Sand Dollar Beach: The largest beach in Big Sur.
  • Pfeiffer Beach: Known for its purple sands and stunning sunsets.

Whether you’re yearning for an enchanting redwood forest venue, breathtaking cliffside views, or secluded spots for an intimate ceremony, you’re sure to find it here.

Let freedom guide your elopement journey; Big Sur is waiting!

Favorite Big Sur elopement ceremony locations

In selecting your dream elopement spot, consider gems like Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park or Garrapata State Park. They’re among the favorites for many couples. These hidden gems are tucked away on the coast of California and offer breathtaking ocean-view venues from atop their rugged coastal cliffs.

Enveloped by towering redwood forests, these parks provide an intimate setting for your special day. As you exchange vows under the canopy of ancient trees, you’ll be serenaded by the symphony of crashing waves below.

For a more personal touch, seek out intimate beach spots where footprints in the sand make perfect aisles. The freedom to choose such unique locales is what makes Big Sur elopements so magical and unforgettable.

Understanding Legal Requirements

As we dive into the legal requirements of eloping in California, I’ll be sharing some crucial tips on how to apply for a marriage license and the paperwork involved.

One of the most common questions I get is ‘how many witnesses do we need?’ and let me tell you, it’s less than you’d think!

Also, we can’t forget about the officiant – their role is just as significant as every other part of your special day.

how to apply for a marriage license in California

Before eloping to Big Sur, you’ll need to get a marriage license from the Monterey County Clerk’s office. It’s an essential part of your adventure. The process isn’t too complicated but involves some crucial steps:

  • Age requirements: You both need to be 18 or older. If not, parental consent is mandatory.
  • Identification documents: Bring valid IDs like passports or driver’s licenses.
  • The application process includes filling out a form and paying the marriage license fees.
  • Waiting period: There’s no waiting time in California! As soon as you receive your license, you’re free to tie the knot.

Remember, freedom comes with responsibility. Ensure everything is sorted before hitting the road for your Big Sur elopement.

Now go ahead and embrace that freedom-loving spirit of yours!

How many witnesses do we need? What about an Officiant?

You’re probably wondering about the legalities of your ceremony – how many witnesses do you need, and what’s the deal with an officiant? Well, let’s navigate these elopement logistics together.

California law requires just one witness for a legal marriage. As for officiant requirements, anyone can become ordained online to perform the ceremony. This opens up exciting elopement ceremony options; maybe a dear friend could lead your intimate day?

The key is ensuring all legal marriage requirements are met, from license to ceremony details. This freedom in choosing who’s involved makes an elopement uniquely yours. Remember though, while it’s freeing to design your own rules, keeping it legal ensures smooth sailing on this romantic adventure!

Selecting Local Vendors

Selecting local vendors for your Big Sur elopement isn’t just about supporting the community; it’s also about tapping into their unique knowledge of the area. These folks know Big Sur like the back of their hand and can offer insider tips that you won’t find anywhere else.

When it comes to choosing vendors, there are a few key factors to consider:

  • Vendor availability: Ensure they’re free on your chosen date.
  • Vendor pricing: Make sure their services fit within your budget.
  • Vendor reviews and portfolios: Always check past client feedback and work examples.

I’ve found that seeking local vendor recommendations is incredibly beneficial. I can vouch for their reliability, quality of service, and intimate understanding of Big Sur. Plus, they often have connections with other local businesses, which can be handy if you need additional services.

Planning The Ceremony

As we delve into planning our Big Sur elopement, there are a few key points I’d like to discuss.

Can we invite guests to join us on this intimate and extraordinary journey?

And what about our furry companions – is it possible for them to partake in our adventure as well?

can we invite guests?

Inviting guests to your Big Sur elopement certainly adds a personal touch, but it’s crucial to consider the capacity limits of both public and private lands. It’s also important to think about guest accommodations. There’s a range of options from luxury hotels to rustic cabins, so everyone can find something that suits their taste. Guest transportation should be straightforward, with plenty of local taxi services and car rentals available.

For guest activities, I’d recommend exploring the breathtaking beauty of Big Sur. Hiking, bird watching or just soaking in the stunning ocean views are all on offer here.

Lastly, let’s not forget about guest attire! It may be worth reminding your guests that Big Sur can get chilly in the evenings – warm layers and comfortable shoes are musts for any outdoor celebration.

can we bring our pets along with us to our big sur elopement

You’re probably wondering if you can bring your furry friends along for the elopement, aren’t you? The good news is—yes, you can! Big Sur offers a variety of pet-friendly accommodations and activities that will make your special day even more memorable.

Bringing pets: With some planning beforehand, your pets can be part of your ceremony or enjoy pet-friendly activities nearby.

Pet care during the elopement: Ensure they’re comfortable and safe by hiring local pet care services or bringing their favorite toys.

Arranging Accommodations

Sorting out accommodations for your Big Sur elopement can be a breeze when you consider the variety of lodging options based on location and amenities. When choosing accommodations, it’s essential to take into account what suits your style and budget best.

For those who love the great outdoors, camping options are plenty. You’ll find some amazing campgrounds in the closest towns such as Carmel-By-The-Sea or Monterey. These campsites offer spectacular views of Big Sur’s rugged coastline and starlit nights that will make your stay truly memorable.

If you’re more inclined towards comfort, Airbnb options are aplenty with cozy cabins nestled amidst Redwoods or chic apartments right in town. They offer privacy and all home comforts making them perfect for pre-wedding day preparations or post-elopement relaxation.

Now, if you’ve got pets joining your celebration, there are pet-friendly places too! However, remember to check rules for pets during elopement at each place beforehand. Some accommodations may have specific pet policies while others might not allow pets at all.

When is the best time to ELope in Big Sur

I’m excited to delve into the specifics of timing your elopement in Big Sur, a decision as crucial as picking the location itself. From discussing the best seasons that offer magic and charm unique to this coastal gem, down to choosing between weekdays or weekends, I’ve got you covered.

Then there’s the long-standing debate: sunrise versus sunset – let’s dig deep and uncover the pros and cons of these two magical times of day for your intimate ceremony.

the best time of year to elope in big sur

It’s important to consider the best time of year for your Big Sur elopement, as it can greatly impact the overall experience. Fall elopements are a popular choice due to milder weather and stunning foliage. Beach ceremonies can be breathtaking any time of year, but they’re especially magical at sunset during summer or early fall.

When thinking about elopement weather, here are three key points:

  1. Spring brings wildflowers but also unpredictable rain.
  2. Summer offers longer days for ample elopement photography opportunities.
  3. Winter is less crowded but comes with chillier temperatures.

Your perfect day depends on what you envision. Elopement planning isn’t about following rules, it’s about creating an unforgettable moment that feels inherently like you in one of nature’s most beautiful settings—free and untamed as your love itself.

the best days of the week to elope in big sur

You’re probably wondering which days of the week are ideal for your elopement ceremony. Here’s a secret: weekday elopements offer several benefits.

They typically see fewer crowds, offering more privacy for your intimate ceremony. In choosing the perfect day, consider weather patterns in Big Sur– some days might be foggy or rainy.

Now, whether you’re planning a sunrise or sunset elopement is another factor to contemplate. A sunrise ceremony offers breathtaking views and solitude while a sunset one presents warm hues and romantic vibes. Both times can provide stunning backdrops for your vows.

sunrise vs sunset

After picking out the perfect day for your Big Sur elopement, the next step is choosing the best time of day.

Now, let’s delve into a magical and often overlooked aspect: opting for a sunrise or sunset ceremony. With natural lighting plays a huge role in capturing stunning photos, and considering this element can add depth to your elopement photography.

A sunrise ceremony offers an intimate setting with fewer crowds and cooler temperatures, enveloping you in soft morning hues that create a uniquely romantic atmosphere.

On the other hand, something is enchanting about saying ‘I do’ under the warm glow of a sunset ceremony.

Whichever you choose, my photography tips will ensure every moment is captured perfectly against Big Sur’s unparalleled landscapes – granting you the freedom to just live in the moment!

Capturing Your Special Day: Photography Tips

As someone who’s passionate about elopements, I can’t help but be excited to delve into the topic of Big Sur Elopement Packages.

These packages offer a unique blend of simplicity and beauty, ideal for couples seeking an intimate celebration amidst nature.

We’ll explore everything from selecting the perfect location in the stunning landscapes of Big Sur to understanding legal requirements, accommodation options, and the importance of capturing these precious moments with excellent photography.

Tips on:

Big Sur Elopement Packages

Let’s dive into the various Big Sur elopement packages that’ll perfectly suit your needs and desires. Whether you’re considering cost, location, or inclusions, there’s something for everyone.

  • Cost and Inclusions:
  • Some packages provide everything from a professional planner to local vendors such as photographers, florists, hair and makeup artists, and officiants.
  • Others may only include the basics but at a more affordable price.
  • Choosing The Perfect Location And Time:
  • Take into account both weather and season when selecting your ideal spot.
  • Big Sur boasts popular spots like Pfeiffer Beach or McWay Falls.

Don’t forget to understand California’s marriage license process including age and identification requirements. Lastly, capturing your special day is crucial; hire a photographer who specializes in outdoor weddings.

Check the weather forecast for your Big Sur elopement day. Dress comfortably, considering the varied terrain. Choose sturdy shoes for navigating trails and outdoor accessories like a shawl or jacket to cope with changing temperatures.

Absolutely! Big Sur’s cuisine is a gastronomic delight. I’d recommend making restaurant reservations at Sierra Mar or Nepenthe. For catering, Big Sur Bakery offers a unique menu selection featuring their local specialties.

Absolutely! Cultural incorporation in your elopement is key for ritual significance. Personalized ceremonies can include traditional music or symbolic decorations. It’s all about celebrating your love, your way, in the beautiful surroundings of Big Sur.

Absolutely! Big Sur’s diverse ecosystem is home to over 400 animal species. It’s critical to follow wildlife precautions, respect flora significance, and be aware of seasonal blooms for allergen awareness and conservation rules.

Absolutely, there are professional elopement planners in Big Sur who can guide you through everything—elopement budgeting, photography options, legal requirements, accommodation suggestions, and even post-elopement activities. As a destination Wedding and Adventure Elopement Photographer, I help most of my couples with the task. As a photographer, I know where to stay, what vendors to book, timeline creations, location scouting, and more.


Eloping in Big Sur is like embarking on a thrilling adventure filled with love and nature’s splendor. It’s your masterpiece, where every detail reflects your love story.

Following this guide, you’ll navigate the process smoothly, from picking the perfect location to capturing those precious moments in photos.

So here’s to an unforgettable Big Sur elopement that leaves nothing but footprints behind and takes away nothing but memories!

Want to Elope in Big Sur?

Follow these 3 easy steps to get the ball rolling.