Sunrise Griffith Observatory Elopement Los Angeles Photographer

So you’ve decided to elope, but you have no idea where you want to do it or what’s involved with the entire process in general. I can help with that!

One bonus to eloping is that you are far less limited to where you can hold your ceremony than if you were to do a full on wedding with 20+ guests. You can get married in a tiny pocket of the forest, on top of a mountain, at an observatory, or even on the back patio of the hotel room of your honeymoon suite. It’s totally up to you and what feels right for you and your partner.

Here’s what to consider when choosing your location:

Colorado Mountain Wedding by Los Angeles Photographer Jessie Caballero Vail Colorado

1. Where do you envision it happening?

The first thing you should do when choosing where to elope is what kind of environment you want to be in. Do you love the mountains? The beach? Maybe you want more of a fun, urban setting with a nice pop of color or you want to keep it simple at the courthouse. Think about the different spaces you could see yourself saying your vows to each other. Once you’ve got that down, see if all the following tips below meet your checklist!

Beach Cliffside Elopement Malibu California Los Angeles Photographer

2. How many, if any, guests will be attending?

Do you envision a private ceremony with just the two of you, or do you want a handful of your favorite people there to witness your love? The amount of people who tag along is important to know when it comes to the location you choose - you want to make sure everyone will have a comfortable, good view!

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3. Is there any hiking involved?

If your site has a specific view you love, consider whether or not you’ll have to hike up there. How long is the hike? What kind of shoes will you need? If you bring guests, can they handle the hike as well? What about physically disabled or elderly loved ones?

Hollywood Elopement Photography Los Angeles, California Mulholland Drive

4. Do you need a car?

What’s the driving situation like? Are you up in the mountains somewhere with curvy, windy roads? How’s parking and is there enough room for guests to park?


5. Is there enough room?

If you plan on having your closest family members and want a nice portrait of everyone together, is there enough space to squeeze everyone?

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6. Do you need a permit?

Some places are pretty strict about permits, so be sure to double check with the city or state rules! You may need a permit if you plan on incorporating the following things:

- A professional photographer/videographer
- An arch, chairs, benches, tables, or other decor
- Speakers/Music
- 10+ guests attending

And many other wedding traditions! Whatever you’re thinking, do some research before finalizing anything!


7. Do tourists love it, too?

Definitely take a moment to consider how packed your location of choice can be. Is there a time of day, week, or year the area might be less congested?


8. Is there cell service?

Will you need an internet or bluetooth signal to pull off one of the things you want to include in your ceremony? (Music, slideshow, etc.) You might need to get in touch with a loved one who needs directions, or maybe you plan on face-timing family member who can’t attend!

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9. Water & Mud & Dirt, Oh my!

It’s dirty outdoors! Mud, puddles, dirt, saltwater, plants that stick to you. Make sure you’re comfortable with your clothes and shoes taking one for the team!


10. What’s the noise level?

Will it be loud? Waterfalls and oceans are loud, beaches can be windy. People love people watching in populated areas and shouting and celebrating when they see couples getting married.
If you’re hoping for a quiet, peaceful ceremony, think ahead about what the ambiance will be like!

There you have it! I hope these tips help you plan the elopement of your dreams, as well as avoid any mishaps or unplanned disappointments on your big day!

If you have more questions about your elopement and need help planning it, don’t be afraid to reach out! I’m pretty good at replying to emails. ;)

Jessie Caballero