The Best Elopement Packages in California

From the coast to Coachella Valley, the Golden State sports tons of scenic spots to tie the knot.
Couple on hillside
Photo: Evynn LeValley
Lane Nieset
by Lane Nieset
Updated Sep 15, 2023
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Extending nearly 900 miles from Mexico along the Pacific Coast, California is a state that offers something to suit nearly every couple's style—and budget—when it comes to weddings. If you're hoping to elope somewhere dreamy for a fraction of the price of a traditional wedding, California could be for you. Home to nearly 300 state and national parks, you can set off on a romantic road trip for a national park elopement in Joshua Tree, or cruise the coast and tie the knot cliffside with the waves forming natural background music.

Elopement packages from wedding planners and venues are a great way to get legally married in California without having to worry about the nitty-gritty details, leaving more time to spend on honeymoon planning. Whether you're dreaming of an intimate wedding for two surrounded by nature, or you plan to get a group of friends and family on board for a reception at a resort in wine country, we've pulled together 10 of the best places to elope in California for a ceremony that's sure to be a memorable one.

Just the Two of Us, Fort Bragg

The Inn at Newport Ranch
Photo: Nick Z Photo

Make a grand entrance via helicopter to The Inn at Newport Ranch, an old farmhouse-turned-boutique-inn in a secluded oceanside locale surrounded by old-growth redwoods. Cozy doesn't even begin to cut it here—picture wood-burning fireplaces, oceanfront decks and rooftop hot tubs. The ranch and its 10 different accommodations (which can be bought out if you really want the place all to yourself) sit on a sprawling 2,200 acres, making it one of the largest privately owned coastlines in California. Tie the knot with up to four guests attending the ceremony and celebration dinner ($200 per person) with the weekday Just the Two of Us elopement package ($5,000, not including lodging). The deal includes a bouquet and boutonniere from the ranch's garden florist, an officiant, an hour of professional photography and two hours of dedicated staff shuttling guests around the property.

31502 N Highway 1, Fort Bragg, CA 95437

5.0 Star Rating | Read Reviews

PS…"I Do!", Palm Springs

Outdoor lounge at Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs
Photo: Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs

If you're looking for a destination that guarantees gorgeous backdrops for photos, Palm Springs is your place. Escape for an intimate elopement at the downtown Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs, where you'll enjoy the spa suite on your wedding evening followed by a rooftop ceremony soaking up desert views and vistas of the San Jacinto Mountains. With the PS…"I Do!" package (starting at $3,000), you'll receive a one-hour wedding photography session, a 50-minute in-room couples massage, and a $100 dining credit at rooftop restaurant 4 Saints, where you can sip craft cocktails while dining on modern American fare with 270-degree desert views.

100 W. Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262

4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

Hot Air Balloon Wedding, Napa

Stanly Ranch, Nappa
Photo: Stanly Ranch

A wine country wedding has all of the elements necessary for romance: vineyards and rolling hills, Provence-like patio terraces and beautiful, farmhouse-chic barns. At Stanly Ranch, located on the southern edge of Napa Valley, you'll stay in a charming cottage surrounded by ranch land and vines, with suites that showcase the best of indoor-outdoor living. If you want a traditional ceremony, you have plenty of venue options here, from the sleek Glasshouse Barn to the poolside Basin Bar. But one of the more unique ways to say "I do" is from the sky on a hot air balloon ride (available between April and October) over wine country with only an officiant and one or two guests taking part in the intimate nuptials. After a Champagne toast in the sky, you'll head back to the ranch and continue celebrating over a seasonally driven brunch spread.

200 Stanly Crossroad, Napa, CA 94559

4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

Joshua Tree Micro-Wedding, Joshua Tree

A Desert Road and Joshua Trees at Night
Photo: Daniel J Barr/Getty

Top off a California road trip with a stop at one of the state's most picturesque national parks, Joshua Tree, where you can elope with the striking, namesake succulents in the Mojave Desert backdrop. Rustic-chic Sacred Sands is a top pick in the park thanks to its romantic rooms with retro record players and al fresco soaking tubs that offer prime views of the signature sunsets. The resort's expert event planner can take care of your elopement details, from boho arbors in the high desert to a wedding in the ceremony circle topped off with drinks and light bites on the cocktail hour patio.

63155 Quail Springs Road, Joshua Tree, CA 92252

5.0 Star Rating | Read Reviews

Napa Valley Wine Train Wedding, Napa

Napa Valley Wine Train, Napa Valley
Photo: John Elk III / Getty

Cruise through wine country on board the Napa Valley Wine Train, where you can curate the style and size of your impromptu wedding party in the train's vintage cars. Choose between scenic on-board options like the two-story Vista Dome, an observation-style dining car with mahogany paneling and plush booths, or one of the antique refurbished Pullman rail cars. With the Legacy Experience, you'll set off on a six-hour rail tour for up to 49 guests that includes an hour-long vineyard tasting and tour at Charles Krug and V. Sattui Winery, plus an elegant meal in the gourmet dining car. If you want to get glammed up 1920s style for photos, you'll have plenty of opportunities during the retro rail experience.

1275 McKinstry Street, Napa, CA 94559

4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

Yosemite Elopement Package, Groveland

Rush Creek, hillside villa deck
Photo: Kim Carroll

About a three-hour drive from the San Francisco Bay Area, Rush Creek Lodge sits at the Highway 120 West entrance of Yosemite National Park, offering couples a dream locale for an outdoor wedding. The Yosemite Elopement Package ($7,200) includes a four-course dinner for up to 20 guests, with fresh table garlands, gorgeous glassware, candles and decadent small bites for dessert. Couples have their pick of stunning scenery for the ceremony, from a wedding in the park to the on-site outdoor terrace. You'll also have a two-night stay included in the package price, so you can start your honeymoon surrounded by nature with rooms showing off picture-perfect views of the Sierra sunsets.

34001 Highway 120, Groveland, CA 95321

4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

Say Yes To Forever, Dana Point

Couple having food at Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort
Photo: Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort and Club

Tie the knot on top of a 150-foot seaside bluff at the Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort and Club on the Southern California coast. Their Signature Package (starting at $5,000) includes the venue rental, a professional photographer, decor, flowers and two glasses of Champagne to toast to your new nuptials. If you want something even more all-out, opt for the Go Luxe for Love Package, which elevates the experience with private musicians, flower arches and balloon installations, and light-up "Marry Me" signs.

1 Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point, CA 92629

4.8 Star Rating | Read Reviews

Elopement Package, San Luis Obispo

Couple in felid at Madonna Inn
Photo: Madonna Inn

Direction: Please source a photo of the Madonna Inn on the website

Credit: Madonna Inn

If you're looking for a wedding night that comes with theatrics, Madonna Inn is the place for you. The iconic, 1960s-era inn feels equal parts Route 66 motel and European chalet, with specialty woodwork adorning doors and beams, cavern-like rooms with waterfall showers, and an all-pink suite that could easily be a Barbie Dreamhouse. The inn's elopement package ($2,700) includes an hour-long ceremony on the red chandelier-crowned main dance floor or secret garden; three-hour dinner service with plated meals; a Champagne toast; and a 10-inch custom wedding cake—all for up to 20 people (including the couple).

100 Madonna Road, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405

4.8 Star Rating | Read Reviews

Elopement Package, Big Sur

Sun setting at the Post Ranch Inn
Photo: Post Ranch Inn

Having a hard time deciding whether you want a wedding surrounded by Califonia's signature redwoods or stunning coast? At Post Ranch Inn on the hills of Big Sur, you can say "I do" in a circle of towering trees in the forest or in one of the hotel's rooms with outdoor decks looking over the Pacific. Designed for just you and your other half, the intimate ceremony ($4,100 during the week, $5,500 Friday through Sunday) includes an hour of professional photography, a marriage license, an officiant, wedding florals, a bottle of Champagne, etched crystal flutes and professional wedding coordinating services. The beautiful locale features infinity spa pools, gastronomic cuisine at garden-focused eatery Sierra Mar, complimentary guided nature walks and morning yoga, and rooms built into the California coastline.

47900 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920

5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

Elopement Package, Carlsbad

Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club & Spa
Photo: Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club & Spa

An easy option for couples living in San Diego, the AAA Five-Diamond Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club and Spa sits near the sandy Pacific Ocean beaches and overlooks the Batiquitos Lagoon. The resort is practically made for weddings—

complimentary honeymoon suites and a free night's stay on your first anniversary are among the romantic perks of tying the knot at Park Hyatt Aviara. For those eloping, you can create a lavish, impromptu wedding in one of the grand ballrooms or at the upscale golf clubhouse. The elopement package for up to 10 guests (starting at $1,500) includes a two-hour select open bar, hors d'oeuvres, a wedding dinner and a cake crafted from Southern California's seasonal ingredients.

7100 Aviara Resort Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92011

5.0 Star Rating | Read Reviews

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