How to Elope in Big Sur

Over the years, Big Sur remains one of the best elopement locations along the California coast. When planning your dream elopement here, the top questions are where are the best photo spots, when’s the best time of the year to visit, and do I need a permit to elope here. When M+Y came to me, they shared their vision of an untraditional wedding to elope in Big Sur. They wanted an intimate experience where they can truly be present in a very intentional way, with their closest of friends and family present as they exchange vows. I’ll share their journey with you along with tips & inspiration on how to elope in Big Sur.

Best Redwoods Location for Photography

For stunning redwood photos, immerse yourself with a rustic modern experience by staying at the Glen Oaks Big Sur. Couples can choose to get married at their lodge venue underneath the redwoods along the Big Sur River. While M+Y chose to elope at a different location, the wonderful hosts at Glen Oaks Big Sur gave us access to the private redwoods property for photography. Perched right above the river sits a stunning swing bridge that connects you from the cottages and cabins to the deeper redwoods.

Best Ceremony Location near Big Sur

From April through October, you’ll get the best weather to visit Big Sur. In the mornings, heavy fog can roll in especially during the peak summer months. M+Y’s elopement took place in September, and we planned their couple portraits and ceremony time the hours right before sunset. For their ceremony, we chose Painter’s Point at Garrapata State Park for its dramatic views. Many local artists can be found painting alongside this undeniably dreamy location.

Permits & Planning Your Elopement

To hold your elopement at Big Sur state parks, apply for a Special Event permit here. A special events coordinator at CA Department of Parks and Recreation will help you to reserve your chosen park location for your event. For Garrapata State Park, the event permits will also cover the permit to have professional photography onsite. If you made it this far and love the idea of eloping at Big Sur, contact me so we can start dreaming up your very own elopement!