Pacific Vows

Pacific Vows Elopements

How to Elope in San Diego

There are many reasons why San Diego is one of the best places to elope!

First of all, the weather is absolutely perfect for eloping all year round – it’s never too hot or too cold.

Secondly, San Diego has some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country, from beaches and rocky deserts to forests and snowy mountains. There are endless possibilities for all types of elopement locations. We’ve lived here for quite some time and still keep finding more and more incredible spots for elopements.

Third, eloping in San Diego is super romantic and intimate. There’s something about eloping in such a beautiful place that makes it even more special and meaningful. There are countless activities to choose from to add to your elopement adventure. You can go hiking, Bicycling, get some ice cream at a local creamery, have an air Balloon Tour, a helicopter Ride, Rent a Yacht, Jet Skis, or have an Off-Road adventure. You can start your day writing vows in a hot tub, and end it stargazing in the middle of the desert.

San Diego Elopement Locations: Sunset Cliffs

Picture this: the most beautiful sunrise you’ve ever seen, the sound of waves crashing against the cliffs, and the person you love by your side. Now imagine getting married in this idyllic setting. Sounds pretty amazing, right? Well, that’s exactly what you can do if you elope at Sunset Cliffs. It’s one of the most popular elopement destinations in the country. Why? Because it’s absolutely breathtaking. If you decide to go with Sunset Cliffs, we always recommend doing your ceremony in the morning to avoid crowds.

Mount Laguna

We love Mount Laguna. How can we not? It’s only about an hour from San Diego. It’s usually cool there during summer, there is snow during winter, and you can get the best apple pie we’ve ever tried in the US there. Also, it doesn’t usually get crowded!! Sunrise or sunset, doesn’t really matter. Both are absolutely incredible in terms of light and privacy.

Balboa Park

One word: Architecture. We’ve never seen anything like this in California. The park is huge and it’s divided into multiple areas that all have a unique look. Balboa Park is a very popular destination, so we recommend a sunrise elopement to have an intimate experience.

The Wedding Bowl

The Wedding Bowl is located in La Jolla, and you can elope there at sunrise or sunset. The area will be booked for your elopement, therefore it stays private no matter the time of the day. It’s great because it’s located in one of the busiest areas of San Diego. Also, it has one of the most beautiful views in the area. And after your ceremony, you can walk across the beach and watch tons of sea lions swimming in the ocean or enjoying a sun bath.

Windandsea Beach

Windandsea has the most amount of “secret”(private) spots in San Diego. They all have a unique landscape, and out of all the listed locations, Mount Laguna and Windandsea would compete for the first place on our list. Picking a location is going to depend on your personal preference, the number of people you’re going to invite, and the activities you’re going to choose. Deciding on the right setting and place is a process, so don’t worry if you can’t take your pick. You probably just need a bit more information. And that’s what we’re here for. Ask, Ask, Ask!

Next on the list would be getting your permit!

Most of the locations require permits! The process might be a little complicated if you’ve never done it before, and that’s why it’s something we always help our couples with!

How to legally get married in San Diego:

Before your wedding day, you will need to obtain a marriage license. You may apply and purchase a marriage license from any county in the state of California. Every California county charges different amounts, but it’s somewhere around $95. Both parties will need to be present and have a government-issued ID. The license is only good for 90 days, so make sure it’s no more than 2-3 months before your wedding date. Once you have your license, make sure to give it to us before the ceremony. It must be physically on-site for the duration of the ceremony. Once we’ve received it, we’ll be in charge of the license from that point on. Immediately after the ceremony, we’ll have the witness(es) sign if necessary (you are required to have at least one but can have up to two for Public Licenses), and we will fill in and sign the license. All you’ll need to do is drop it off, and your marriage is official. After the license has been recorded, certified copies of the marriage certificate will be available from the Recorder’s office for a fee.

San Diego Elopement Activities

To make your day even more unique and memorable, include something that you love to do together, or maybe even something you’ve never done, but always wanted to.

Earlier this year, we dedicated a full blog post to this topic you can find it here.

How Much Does It Cost to Elope in San Diego?

San Diego Elopement Packages: 

  • 6 hours of elopement coverage

  • A personalized elopement planning experience with unlimited assistance

  • Lisa and Simon as your photographers

  • Complimentary officiant services

  • Timeline creation

  • Vendors and activity recommendations

  • Unlimited video chats and emails to plan your dream day

  • Access to our client-only portal

  • Sneak Peek within 5 days of the big day

  • 3-6 Gifs included in your final gallery

  • Private, custom online gallery with unlimited downloads

  • Copyright release for the personal use of the image


San Diego Elopement Timeline Example

Here are two Timeline examples so you have some idea of the flow:

6-Hour Sunrise Elopement Timeline:

5:00am – Simon and Lisa arrive at an Airbnb for getting ready, and detail shots

5:40am – First look at the Airbnb or at a beautiful nearby location

6:00am – Driving to elopement activity

6:30am – Hot air balloon tour

9:00am – Driving to the ceremony site

9:30am – Intimate ceremony, Reading Vows, and First Dance

10am- Photos with friends and family (if invited)

10:20am – Intimate couples photos

10:55am- Simon completes all the legal paperwork

11:00am- You are a happily married couple!

10-Hour Elopement Timeline (most popular)

12:00pm – Simon and Lisa arrive at an Airbnb for getting ready, and detail shots.

1:00pm – First look photos at the Airbnb or at a beautiful nearby location

1:30pm – Couple sitting side by side and writing their vows to each other

2:00 pm – Driving or walking to a nearby hike for a beautifully designed picnic

2:30pm – Arrive and begin a short hike

3:00pm – Intimate vows exchange

3:30pm – romantic picnic

5:00pm – head back to the Airbnb to freshen up and prepare for your ceremony

6:00pm – Intimate ceremony at a nearby secret spot, or Airbnb’s backyard

6:30pm – First dance

6:45pm – Photos with friends and family (if invited)

7:15pm – Sunset Portraits

8:00pm – Blue Hour couple photos with Lanterns, or by the campfire.

9:00pm – Stargazing

9:55pm – Simon completes all the legal paperwork

10:00pm- You are a happily married couple!

Depending on the amount and intensity of the activities you choose to do, we might split your adventure and have you and your family celebrate on day one, and have an intimate couple experience with activities on the 2nd day so that you can get enough rest.

Eloping in San Diego can be an amazing experience that you will never forget. It’s the perfect place to elope because of the weather, landscape, and endless possibilities for an unforgettable and full of variety adventure. If you have any questions about creating an experience of a lifetime for your intimate wedding, please don’t hesitate to let us know! Questions help us create more content for our couples, and make the process of preparing for their elopement much easier.

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