Redwoods elopement

The Redwoods are a stunning elopement location, and offer a ton of variety. The span through the most southern part of Oregon, and a ton of California. So you have a lot to choose from. Wether you want to do a State Park or the National Park, each provides something different. This Redwoods elopement guide is going to cover how to elope in the redwoods, permits, everything you need to know, and the most beautiful Redwoods elopement locations.

Where are the Redwoods

Redwoods National Park is located in California, however there are also multiple State Parks, some of which are located on the southern Oregon Coast. The closest airport to Redwood National Park is the Arcata-Eureka Airport (ACV). You can also fly into Medford, Oregon.

Best Time to Elope in the Redwoods

The best time to elope in the redwoods is likely the spring. This is when there are the least amount of crowds and when the weather is generally temperate. However, there’s a lot of factors to consider with each season as they all have their own pros and cons.


The forest is lush and green, blooming with wildflowers (my favorite.) There’s nothing like a mossy forest contrasted against the Redwood bark. The weather can be a bit unpredictable, there are likely to warmer and colder days, as well as muddy trails and possible rain.


Summer is busy in the redwoods. However, this park attracts less crowds than others, and there’s still many more remote areas that receive less traffic in the busy season. Still, the parking lots are crowded, prices for things go up, and you’ll need reservations to visit certain attractions at the park. Lastly, there’s a LOT of mosquitos in the summer.


Fall is another incredible time of the year to elope in the Redwoods. The crowds have died down, and the weather is still temperate. Even the nearby beaches have less going on due to the weather cooling down, so you’re free to roam and get a lot of privacy. There are a lot of overcast days, however, this is amazing for photos since you won’t be dealing with harsh lighting!


If cool weather suits you, winter can be an amazing time to elope in the Redwoods. The beaches and park have no crowds at all, and you’ll get a ton of locations all to yourselves, even the most popular ones. On the downside, there is a lot of rain this time of year. Being in the trees makes that less hard to deal with thanks to the natural canopy, but still expect to get wet.

Redwoods Wedding Permit

For an elopement in the Redwoods National Park, you’ll need to apply for a special use permit. You can do that here. There is a list of pre-approved locations. You will not be allowed to bring things like arches, arbors, tables, or seating. The application fee for this is $100. If you’re eloping in one of the State Parks, you’ll get your special use permit from the corresponding State Park website. This is all work that I do for my eloping couples when they hire me as their elopement photographer!

How to Get a Marriage License in the Redwoods

Getting a marriage license is actually pretty easy! You do not need to be a resident of Oregon or California to obtain one. First, figure out which state you’re eloping in, Oregon or California. Then, you’ll find the county clerks office closest to you, or on your route coming from the airport. Once you determine what county is closet, you’ll go to their online website and apply online. The two closest counties are Del Norte County and Humboldt County.

Following this, you’ll have to pick up your marriage license in person before your ceremony. Both of you will have to appear and bring valid ID. Once you pay the fee ($61-$78) you’re all set to get married in the Redwoods!

How to Elope in The Redwoods

You plan a Redwoods elopement in similar ways as you’d plan any adventure elopement. There are a few major steps, and you can read about those here on my thorough guide on how to elope. For this Redwoods elopement guide, I’m going over the major things you’ll need to consider!


This is an imperative part of the planning process for elopements. This is because some guests won’t have the hiking ability, some might not want to drive or forest roads, and certain locations will have a cap on how many guests you can have. Choosing a location will be much easier once you’ve determine who you’re inviting, and how many guests total you’ll have.


This might feel early in the planning process, but bear with me. Elopements don’t have wedding planners. Most elopement photographers have taken it upon themselves to help couples with some of the planning. Many actually help you find your location! And they will think of things you might not have considered, such as: lighting, elevation, difficulty in hiking in a dress, permits, and so much more.

Each elopement photographer offers something different. Personally, I send my couples a customized list of locations based on their preferences, hiking ability, who they want to invite, and what they want to see. I also help them determine lodging options, get permits, get their marriage license, recommend vendors, and create a comprehensive day of timeline, and offer unlimited guidance calls for any questions along the way.

The being said, hiring your Redwoods elopement photographer early is going to take a massive amount of planning stress off of your shoulders. Wanna chat? Contact me here!


This is going to help you choose a date and location. There are rainy seasons, busy seasons with crowds, and seasons where it’s lush and green. So, when you’re doing that research, you’ll already want to have in mind what kind of weather you want, as it’ll help you choose when you want to elope.


Once you’ve decided on how much you’d like to hike, how many guests are coming, your ideal weather, and the landscapes you want, you’re ready to deep dive into researching Redwoods elopement locations. Finding the perfect spot will be a lot simpler after considering all of your needs and logistics.

This is information I collect from my couples through a questionnaire, and then use to make a customized list of Redwoods elopement location options for them.


Once you have your location, it’s time to consider if there’s anything you need vendors for. Do you need any event rentals? Do you want a friend or family to officiate, or do you want to hire an officiant? Will you go out to eat, or do you want something catered, like a meal at an Airbnb from a private chef?

Figure out what extra services you may want, and hire your vendors in advance!


You will need to get the correct permits for your elopement. These are usually “special use” permits that you apply for on the National Parks website, or National Forest/BLM website.

Personally, I get all permit information for my eloping couples that hire me. With that, all you need to do is fill out the application when it’s sent to you and pay the fee. Fee’s vary, but are usually around $150 or less.


Activities are such a fun part of an elopement. When you choose to elope, you’re opening yourself up to having a wedding day celebration that feels unique and resonates with you. Incorporate things that will elevate your elopement day experience. Here’s just a few ideas to get you brainstorming:

  • Going on a hike
  • Having a bonfire
  • Having a picnic on a mountain top
  • Star-gazing or astrophotography
  • Visiting waterfalls
  • Camping
  • Glamping
  • Hiring a private chef
  • Hot air balloon ride
  • Sightseeing
  • Scenic driving with time to stop for pictures
  • Exchanging gifts
  • Reading letters from friends or family


Making a timeline is an important part of any elopement. It strings together all of your locations, activities, and lets guests know where to be and when. Creating a well thought out timeline will help you feel relaxed during the day, instead of stressed or rush. Make sure to include drive times as well as buffer times between each “event.”

Here are the things I include in the timelines I make for my couples:

  • All addresses
  • Sunrise time
  • Sunset time
  • Drive times
  • A linke to Accuweather
  • A list of all names for group shots
  • Vendor info
  • Emergency contact info
  • A packing list

Lodging in The Redwoods

Lodging is an important thing to consider when planning your elopement in the Redwoods. This is because you aren’t going to have a traditional venue space. So if you want things like getting ready photos, or a place to host an intimate reception, you’ll want to pick a spot that will allow all of that. You’ll also want to choose something close by to your elopement location so you aren’t driving all day!

Lodging can help shape your day the way you want it to look. I’ve even seen couples use vacation rentals on private land that’s picturesque to have a place to be in nature without any crowds. Meanwhile, some couples want a nice lodge or hotel. You have many options such as resorts, cabins, and airbnbs. If you want to host a reception, an Airbnb is likely your best bet, but always check in with the host first and make sure it’s okay. Here are some lodging options near The Redwoods:

Redwoods elopement

How Much Does it Cost to Elope in The Redwoods

With a special use permit and your marriage license, it costs $161.00- $278 to elope in Redwoods. That being said, most couples spend an average of $5000-$20,000 on their elopement. This includes flights, lodging, permits, vendors, wedding attire, meals, and anything extra a couple might want.

Redwoods Elopement Locations

There are Redwoods in both the state of California and Oregon, with multiple state parks throughout Cali and a National Park. I’m going to list out some of the different state parks, as well as exact Redwoods locations that you can consider for your own elopement!

Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park

Redwoods elopement

This gorgeous location is actually one of my favorites since it runs along the Smith River. Not only that, but it’s incredibly close to some stunning Oregon beaches such as Samuel H Boardman Scenic Corridor, with beautiful natural arches in the Ocean.

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

This Redwoods elopement location primarily preserves the old growth redwoods. With lots of easy hikes, this is a great location for couples who want easy walk up locations. It also runs along the coastline, offering you variety for your elopement day.

Muir Woods National Monument

This Redwoods elopement location is actually apart of the Golden Gate National Recreation area. Here, you can climb up high to get views of the pacific ocean and the the tree tops. It also runs along a creek. Muir Woods offers a ton of variety and is a great choice for couples who want to see it all!

Del Norte Redwoods State Park

Redwoods elopement

This location is stunning, and includes 8 miles of coastline! Another great option that offers variety between the old growth forest and the ocean. Also, dogs are allowed here unlike the National Park!

Lost Man Creek

This trail is a mossy wonderland that runs along the creek. It has multiple large spots for a ceremony, and you’re allowed to have up to 20 people at this Redwoods elopement location. There aren’t a ton of redwoods here, but you can visit more than one location for your elopement.

Prairie Creek Amphitheater

Redwoods elopement

The Prairie Creek amphitheater is the most formal setting you’ll get in The Redwoods National Park. It has actual seating, and can host up to 20 people. This is a good choice for couples seeking privacy, and a place for their guests to sit and watch the ceremony amongst The Redwoods.

Schmidt Grove

Redwoods elopement

This Redwoods elopement location is stunning, with a ton of different options for pull offs and exploring. It’s a great drive up location. It is a dirt road, which can get muddy and close during the rainy season.

High Bluffs Overlook

Redwoods elopement

High Bluffs is a stunning Redwoods elopement location if you want land and sea. This also is a low traffic area, meaning you won’t have to deal with a lot of crowds here and can you privacy for your ceremony or portraits! 20 people are allowed at this location.

Packing for a Redwoods Elopement

Packing for an elopement is important, you want to make sure you’re not missing anything major. This location has a ton of “drive up” locations. I typically recommend lightweight wedding attire, but here you can absolutely get away with a full tux and whatever dress you’d like. Here are some other things to consider packing for your redwoods elopement:

  • Weatherproof jacket
  • bug spray
  • sun screen
  • hiking boots
  • clear umbrellas
  • water
  • snacks

Redwoods Elopement Packages

Elopement photography by Emilee Setting Photo, and everything included in my packages:

  • Explore anywhere within California, all travel fees included in the price!
  • Packages from half day elopements to multi-day elopements
  • Receive a customized location list
  • Help finding lodging that suits your needs if you’re having an intimate reception
  • Included comprehensive timeline design
  • Help obtaining your permits
  • Help obtaining your marriage license
  • A planning checklist
  • Unlimited planning and guidance calls 
  • All of your stunning photos delivered under three months
  • Day of polaroid sneak peeks

Redwoods elopement packages starting at $5800. Want more information on my pricing and what’s included? Click here

Ready to Elope in The Redwoods?

This Redwoods elopement guide is a way to get you excited about all the possibilities of what your day could look like. Although, this amount of information can be overwhelming. I’m here to help. I can answer any and all questions you have on a complimentary low pressure consultation call. If you then choose you’d like to work together, I’ll do all of this planning right by your said to alleviate any stress, and bring your California elopement vision to life. We can chat here!

Don't forget your free elopement planning checklist


You see a stranger’s puppy & it takes everything in you not to run up & cuddle it.

Your dress gets dirt on it, and you shrug.

You think ice cream & wine is always an acceptable dinner option. Always.

You LIVE for the feeling of sunshine on your skin & wind in your hair.

You’re already screaming YASSSS WHERE DO I BOOK YOU?

I'm Emilee

I'm an elopement photographer who specializes in planning, crafting, and documenting untraditional weddings. I believe a wedding day should be filled with traditions that resonate with you. I'm here from start to finish to make that happen. Want to chat about your plans? Click below to set up a free consultation! 

You see a stranger’s puppy & it takes everything in you not to run up & cuddle it.

Your dress gets dirt on it, and you shrug.

You think ice cream & wine is always an acceptable dinner option. Always.

You LIVE for the feeling of sunshine on your skin & wind in your hair.

You’re already screaming YASSSS WHERE DO I BOOK YOU?

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