How To Elope In California?

elope in california

Modern couples are increasingly rejecting the idea that they must make a big announcement about their engagement. California is exceptional in that it offers a wide variety of settings for a lavish elopement. Elope in California and enjoy the breathtaking mountaintops, desert-like atmosphere, epic rock formations, world-famous beaches, and alluring forests and greenery. This article will give you an overview of eloping in California. Please keep reading.

California Elopement Logistics

  • Marriage License: You’ll need a marriage license if you want to get married in California. You must both apply for the license in person and sign it, and you must both be at least 18 years old. There is no waiting period, so you can apply for your license in the morning and get married in the afternoon.
  • Permitting: A special use permit (or wedding permit) is required if you want to get married in a national park or state forest. the cost will depend on the park. different parks have different rules, so make sure that you understand what you can and can’t do before planning your celebration.
  • Officiant/Witnesses: You must have an adult witness present during the ceremony in order for it to be considered official (and legal).

Basic Marriage Requirements For California

  • Minimum age of 18 is required. A California Superior Court Judge must also grant permission for a person under 18 to marry with the written consent of at least one parent (or legal guardian). Minors with parental emancipation are NOT exempt from this procedure.
  • The parties cannot already be married to one another or another person.
  • Your ceremony must have at least one witness in attendance. If you’d rather, two witnesses may sign the license in their presence. However, you may only have two witnesses sign the legal marriage license. More than two witnesses’ signatures will result in the return of the license to the celebrant, who will then have to pay for a duplicate license.
  • Witnesses must be of legal age to understand that they are present during a marriage ceremony. Additionally, they need to be able to sign their names on the official marriage license. There is no official age requirement for witnesses in California

In California, a lot of county clerks hold civil ceremonies in their offices. Contact the County Clerk’s Office directly to learn more about civil marriage ceremonies and to find out if they offer this service.

Getting A Marriage License In California

The first steps to getting a marriage license in California differ depending on the county (see the box to the right for popular links).

Although some counties provide online applications that can be filled out and submitted electronically, regardless of how you complete or submit your application, both parties must appear in person for the application to be processed with all required documentation and identification.

From the date of issuance, marriage licenses are valid for 90 days. A new license must be purchased if you don’t get married within 90 days.

Best Time Of Year For Eloping In California

One of the first questions couples have when organizing an elopement is: When should we do it? The ideal season is when? and the answer really depends on where you want to have your big day. The weather in Northern California and Southern California is very different, despite the fact that the state as a whole has a mild climate.

Having said that, you are free to elope whenever you like in California. Every season has a unique magic to offer.

  • Spring: While SoCal is experiencing breezy summer weather, NorCal’s wildflowers are in full bloom.
  • Summer: While the beaches of Southern California are filled with fun and sunshine, Northern California’s mountains offer cooler summer days and welcome breezes.
  • Fall: Beach and lakeside weddings in SoCal are especially memorable during the cooler fall months. The mountainsides and forests of NorCal are ablaze with vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow as it is the leaf-peeping season.
  • Winter: Even though SoCal winters are generally mild, desert evenings can still be very chilly. in norcal, snowcapped mountains create a dreamy vibe.
elope in california

Best Places For Eloping In California

Yosemite National Park

No matter the season, Yosemite is a timeless California landmark that exudes charm. The best season for outdoor activities is summer.

Other seasons include spring, which brings gushing waterfalls, fall, which is represented by colorful trees and picturesque scenery as wildflowers bloom, and winter, which transforms into a snowy wonderland for skiing and snowshoeing.

In other words, Yosemite is unquestionably the place for hikers, rock climbers, or summertime riverside lounging.

Big Sur

Make Big Sur your elopement location, and you can’t go wrong. Imagine a location with a rocky coastline, imposing sea cliffs, hot springs, tall redwood forests, wildlife, and an endless supply of breathtaking views—the ideal place for your elopement.

In September through October, think about going to Big Sur. Together with your special someone, you can stand on a cliffside and watch the sunset over the Pacific Ocean. Absolutely unbelievable is the view!

Death Valley National Park

The most extravagant and bizarre place for an elopement in California is Death Valley, which is also a stunning natural setting. It has charming sand dunes, stunning slot canyons, mountains, rock formations, dry lake beds, and a captivating night sky, making it the perfect place for an elopement.

Pro tip: Get married here in the fall or winter when it’s not as hot.

Bishop/mammoth Lakes Area

This location, southeast of Yosemite, is without a doubt the most romantic and breathtaking setting for your elopement in California.

These little hot springs are perfect for those with a thirst for adventure, and the mountain views in the area are breathtaking. Make sure you’ve contacted a ranger so they can walk you through the permit guidelines.

Sequoia National Park

If you want a “big landscape, tiny humans” vibe, we suggest eloping to the Sequoia trees in California. They’re unlike anything you’ve ever seen and tower far above everyone using the trails.

You can choose from a list of designated ceremony locations there for your elopement. This location is among the least expensive places to elope because the required permit costs a lot less than what you would pay in a park like Yosemite.

Santa Cruz

A unique variety of landscapes can be found in Santa Cruz. You can find the best of both worlds here, with picture-perfect beaches, sea cliffs, and breathtaking giant redwood forests. Santa Cruz is a destination that you can elope to at any time of the year.

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