California Elopement Packages for a Small, Affordable & Romantic Wedding on the West Coast

Many people think of California as the dream spot for a romantic elopement or destination wedding.

It's got the perfect setting alongside the Pacific Ocean; plus wonderful mountain views, warm weather, interesting architecture, friendly people and natural beauty.

Here are a few places & ideas to make your California elopement come true.

Eloping in Southern California

Mission Inn Hotel & Spa Riverside CA Elope Package - this jewel was originally built in 1876 as a guesthouse, but has now become a beautiful inn with six award-winning restaurants, gardens, patios and an award-winning spa taking up an entire city block.  Guests here feel like they are in a European castle with huge archways and towers, wrought iron staircases and even a hotel chapel.  There are 238 luxurious guest rooms or suites, and weddings here have included celebrities like Bette Davis and Richard and Pat Nixon.

The Elopement package offered at Mission Inn is available Monday through Thursday at a cost of around $2200.  You provide the celebrant, but get two hours use of the St. Francis of Assisi Chapel and organ, Glenwood hotel room (featuring outdoor patios and entrances set amongst colorful bougainvillea, as well as large floor plans and luxurious furnishings) and overnight parking.  You also receive a small wedding cake and champagne for a celebratory toast! Hint: ask about wedding photos in the spectacular rotunda. (3649 Mission Inn Avenue, Riverside, CA  Phone 951-784-0300)

shore-hotel-santa-monica-beach-elopement

The Simpson House Inn California Elopement Packages -  located in beautiful Santa Barbara is an award-winning bed and breakfast on a full acre of stunning English gardens.  The Victorian house dates to 1874 and the remodeled barn to 1878.  Both have guest rooms and suites and there are also small cottages on the property.  Tucked away behind the privacy of tall hedges, the Simpson House Inn provides luxurious seclusion, while still being just a short walk to historic downtown Santa Barbara.

The elopement package allows you to stay in either a Garden Cottage or Historic Barn room with fireplace (two night minimum) and allows for all the details.  An officiate will be arranged, along with flowers, harpist, photos, wedding cake and champagne with keepsake crystal glasses.  Any stay at the Simpson House also includes an evening wine and hors d’oeuvres reception and gourmet breakfast with mimosas.  805-963-7067 | 800-676-1280

The package is available Sunday to Thursday at a cost of $1424, including taxes.  (Note, however that this cost is based on a one-night stay and two nights are required) Call for details or further information. (1520 Arrallaga St. Santa Barbara, CA 800-676-1280)

Elope in San Diego at the L’Auberge Del Mar -  an historic seaside hotel and resort, overlooking the Pacific. There are 120 rooms and suites, several dining options, (including an award-winning restaurant) a spa, pool area, and private path to the beach. And it’s all located just a few steps from Del Mar Village with all it’s attractions.

The elopement package offered at L’Auberge is $2200 plus the cost of your room or suite. A “Romance Director” will organize everything for the day. You’ll have a seasonal bouquet and boutonniere for the ceremony, which is officiated on the Ocean Terrace, overlooking the sea.  The terrace is scattered with petals to add to the romance and charm, and a professional photographer will work with you for one hour to capture all the special details.  You’ll also have a champagne toast following your vows and rose petal turn down service, including chocolate covered strawberries that night.  (1540 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar California call 858-259-1515)

The Avalon Hotel on Catalina Island is a boutique hotel accessible by ferry or helicopter ride.  The Island has so much to offer and the Avalon is near most things you’ll want to see.  Taxis are also available to take you where you want to go.

Known as The Island of Romance, Catalina would be a great option for an elopement.  The Avalon and its sister property, Aurora Hotel and Spa offer a rooftop decks with panoramic views or a garden courtyard with koi pond for an intimate ceremony.  Several romance packages are available to combine with the ceremony, so visit the website for more information. (124-Whittley Avenue, Catalina Island. 855-387-3214)

Central California Elopement Packages

Old Monterey Inn Elopements - imagine your ceremony set on an estate amid beautiful gardens.  With only ten rooms and plenty of luxury, this award-winning inn might be perfect for your elopement in California.

The package is quite is designed for two to six people.  You get two nights in the best available room, and use of the lush gardens of your event as well as champagne keepsake glasses and the usual gourmet breakfast and complimentary wine and hours d’ oeuvres each evening.  Cost varies from $1200 to $1500 depending on date and time of year.  There are plenty of enhancements that can be added to the basic package, and the surrounding area offers plenty of honeymoon activities. (9500 Martin Street, Monterey, CA  831-375-8284 or 1-800-350-23440)

Northern California Elope Weddings

Fairmont Heritage Plaza San Francisco Weddings - Right on the waterfront, overlooking San Francisco Bay, this area is full of high-end retail shops, great restaurants and wine tasting.

The Elopement Package starts with a ride to City Hall to get your marriage license.  You’ll get overnight accommodation (choose from one, two or three-bedroom residences, all with fully equipped kitchens), a bouquet and boutonniere and a list of officiates to conduct the ceremony.

You also get two hour’s use of the Carillon (outdoor terrace overlooking the bay and Ghirardelli Square), including set-up and a wine and cheese reception. For the wedding night, chocolate-covered strawberries and sparkling wine are provided.  And of course, you will receive a continental breakfast for two. Phone the coordination team for costs and availability. (900-North Point Street, San Francisco, CA  1 888 991 4300) 

Stanford Inn by the Sea -  eco-resort paradise on the Mendocino Coast.  They take “green” tourism seriously while offering plenty of fun things to do, organic gardens, and cozy rooms with fantastic views. There’s an indoor pool and hot tub, wood-burning fireplaces, microwaves in each room, and free mountain bike rentals.  It’s also home to a vegan restaurant called Raven’s Restaurant.

For an eco-conscious small wedding or elopement at The Stanford Inn, a basic package is available for just the bride and groom.  A photographer and officiate are provided, and you may choose the herb garden, the lawn or in front of the fireplace as vow locations.  For $650 you’ll get a lovely ceremony followed by a bottle of sparkling wine in your room.  Just contact the wedding coordinator to make arrangements. (44850 Compche Ukaiah Rd, Mendocino, CA  800-331-8884)

Legal Requirements for Marriage in California

Apply for a marriage license at one of the state County Clerk’s offices.  It may be a good idea to call ahead for an appointment because line-ups can be very long. You both must appear and have valid picture identification and know the date of your of divorce if you were married previously.  You must also know where each of your parents were born and your mother’s maiden name.

You do not have to be California State residents, and can marry in an county as long as the license is filed in the county where you applied. There is no waiting period, but the license expires 90 days after being issued.  Cost varies from county to county, and some offices only accept cash as payment.  You must both be at least 18 years of age or have parental approval.

(Please Note: This page on California elopements is a guide only. Prices for these California wedding packages as well as requirements for marriages in California can change. Please consult with suppliers and official agencies before making any purchases or set arrangements.) 

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