Our guide to having the most romantic redwoods elopement!
This Redwoods Elopement started out in the magic of Northern California’s old growth forests. Walking into these groves of ancient giants is an all at once peaceful and overwhelmingly beautiful experience. The day ended with the rush of the Pacific Ocean crashing against coastal cliffs for their sunset elopement adventure.
↓ Keep reading to for the full story + pics + planning advice ↓
Our guide to planning your redwoods elopement
Where to elope in the redwoods
Redwoods National and State Parks are home to some of the worlds oldest, tallest, and most beautiful redwoods in the world. Walking amongst these giants is awe inspiring as you gaze up into the canopy that seems to stretch on forever and ever. It really is like entering a cathedral, especially when the morning and afternoon sun sends rays of light spilling through the high canopy like light through stained glass windows. And what better place for a Redwoods elopement ceremony than smack dab in the middle of an old growth grove? Here’s a list of the best parks in California for your redwoods elopement:
- Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park
- Del Norte Redwoods State Park
- Humboldt Redwoods State Park
- Muir Woods National Monument
- Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
- Sequoia National Park
Makayla and Tanner were joined by their parents and siblings for their Redwoods elopement in Northern California. Their families stayed at a nearby campground in the forest and gathered under the trees for the ceremony. This particular grove was just outside the main area of the park and close to the road, which was perfect for easy access and privacy. There wasn’t another soul out there and it truly felt like Makayla and Tanner had the entire Redwood forest to themselves – it was absolutely perfect!
- Love Makayla’s dreamy elopement dress? Check out this blog on how to find the best elopement dresses for your redwoods elopement.
A redwoods elopement hike
After the ceremony, Makayla and Tanner went on a little Redwoods elopement adventure with us while their families went back to the campground. There are a handful of trails all in this area that are sprinkled with some of the most beautiful ferns and moss covered trees. We were all in disbelief of the beauty as we wandered around the forest. Jurassic Park vibes were going strong for their epic Redwoods elopement.
Fun Fact: Jurassic Park, Star Wars, ET, The Lost World, and The Tree of Life are just a handful of the films that had filming locations in the Redwoods. If you want to check out all the film locations for yourself, you can see all of the spots on this map!
When is the best time to elope in the redwoods?
The best time to get married in the Redwoods is spring and fall because the weather is perfect and you can avoid peak tourist time. We have planned many elopements in the Redwoods and feel that April, May, June, and October in particular are the best months for a redwoods elopement. In spring, the coastal wildflowers and rhododendron are blooming in the forest, giving a romantic and whimsical feel to the groves. In fall, the days are getting shorter and the hazy cathedral light peaking through the canopy is getting softer. We don’t recommend eloping here late June through early September because it’s peak tourist season and trails tend to be incredibly busy. Also, this area tends to get hit the worst by summer wildfire smoke. The redwoods are remote areas, so finding lodging during peak visiting season can be difficult too.
We’ve planned and photographed 300+ elopements all over the world and 30+ elopements were the Northern California Redwoods alone – we are redwoods elopement photography and planning experts.
Your redwoods elopement photographer is the most important decision
You’re likely traveling from halfway across the country for your redwood elopement. Working with a photographer you can trust to do justice in capturing you in this wildly beautiful landscape is so important! We know all the nooks and crannies of this entire area, so you’ll be able to lean on us for our expertise to plan the best possible day.
Exploring ocean cliffs after the redwoods elopement
The nearby coastal beaches are worthy of an elopement in and of themselves, which is why this particular area is incredible – you get 2 for 1! After their Redwoods elopement, we drove as far west as possible to catch the sun setting over the pacific ocean. Our favorite thing about this particular stretch of ocean is you can climb up above the water for an airy cliff overlook. You can also walk down onto the sandy beaches should you want to dip your toes into the ocean. Either way, it’s a perfect way to end a fairytale evening and cap off an epic Redwoods elopement.
- Related: Check out this Beach Elopement on the Oregon Coast.
What does a redwoods elopement look like?
I remember being so mystified by the sheer size of these trees. The lushness of the undergrowth, and the remoteness of this area that added to the sense of stepping back in time. With heads tilted up to the canopy high above, we explored these ancient woods with these two, capturing the feeling of being dwarfed by these giants in our photos. Towards the evening, we emerged from the dense forest to a beautiful Pacific sunset over the most scenic stretch of coastline. Since then we’ve traveled back here nearly every year, but no matter how many times we visit, that overwhelming feeling of awe never goes away. And yes, the Jurassic Park theme song will always be blasting from our truck as we enter this other world. 🦕
Coastal cliff sunset elopement portraits
This entire area is sprinkled with little pockets of epic views, it’s hard to pick just one spot to watch the sun set. After splashing around on the beach for a bit, we headed on up to another spot that gave us some elevation. We had scouted this area earlier in the year and knew this little gem of a spot would be the perfect place for Makayla and Tanner to end their day. We had the entire spot to ourselves as we watched the sun dip below the horizon.
- Related: Check out this Ruby Beach Elopement Adventure.
Redwood elopement package FAQ's
You can elope in the redwood forest if you have a valid permit from the state or national park.
It costs $100 – $150 to have a wedding ceremony in the redwoods. This is the park permit fee and is dependent on the park you choose.
Depending on your total group size, you are able to get married in certain locations in the redwoods. The maximum group size for redwoods elopements is 20, see the full list of approved locations here.
The first step to elope in the redwoods is hire a photographer that is an expert on the area and constantly changing rules and regulations of the redwood national park. Your photographer will be your guide to planning your elopement in the redwoods.
Late spring and early fall are the best times to elope in the redwoods. This is because the weather is ideal and you can avoid the summer crowds and wildfire smoke.
See more Redwood elopements
Here are inside peaks at some of the days we’ve created and photographed with our couples for their redwoods elopements. This is a great way to get a feel for our redwood elopement photography, best places to elope in the redwoods, and what full day adventure elopements look like!
Want us to photograph your redwoods elopement?
Hope you found our tips on eloping in the Redwoods helpful! As you can see, we LOVE talking about elopements and the magical mystical redwood forests. If you’re considering a redwood forest wedding, don’t hesitate to reach out for a free planing call with us!
-Brandon, Gabi, Hannah, and Zoe