So you decided to marry the love of your life? CONGRATULATIONS! Planning a wedding or elopement can seem super daunting. If you’ve been dreaming of eloping or have even given it a thought, this blog is for you! As a San Diego elopement photographer, I am going to give you all my tips, tricks, and info around how to elope in San Diego. So if a big wedding doesn’t sound like your vibe, let’s chat about another option to marry your love.
Before we dig into the specifics of eloping, let’s chat about why you would even want to elope. First off, save some money! You can splurge on the big stuff and on details that matter to you, but you don’t have to worry about feeding 250 people and pleasing Aunt Karen. Save your money to spend on things that matter to you, like photography (duh) and an unforgettable honeymoon.
It’s also that much more special of a day when it’s just the two of you (and your photographer, of course). It’s a day fully celebrating your love and getting to soak in all the love you share. It becomes so much more intimate and intentional when you both know you’re there to proclaim your love to each other rather than hosting a party. While I love a party and rarely turn one down, I love capturing elopements because of just how intentional these days are. The overflowing of love in any photo you see of an elopement is almost tangible and that’s what I love about it!
Where to Elope in San Diego?
Let’s dig into how to elope now! First off you’ll probably feel super overwhelmed choosing where to have your elopement. If you are in San Diego or want to go to San Diego to elope, I got you! I have a whole blog and guide to choosing your San Diego elopement location. These resources are completely free to you and packed with info. Go check them out at the link here!
Best Times to Elope in San Diego
Now you’re probably thinking, what time is the best to elope in San Diego?? First off, anytime is the perfect time to elope and marry your love! If you’re looking for amazing weather and less crowds though, I got you. Summer tends to be tourist season and pretty steamy in San Diego. If you don’t want to be sweating and want a more secluded ceremony, I wouldn’t suggest a summer elopement in SD. Winters in SD can be pretty rainy and unpredictable. Which leaves us with spring and fall! Both spring and fall in SD have fabulous and more stable weather and you’ll avoid tourist season. The less people in town to go to the popular spots, leaves you with lots more options of locations and much more stunning views!
How to Legalize Your San Diego Elopement
Even though you’re eloping, you want this marriage to be legal, right? So let’s go over some of the requirements to make this thing legal! First off, you’ll clearly need a marriage license. To get one in SD, you need to make an appointment at the County Clerk’s office. They have lots of branches, I personally went downtown to get mine! You can schedule out pretty far in advance, which I would suggest you do so. Both of you have to be present for the appointment, so make sure to plan around that. You have to have your ceremony and sign it within 90 days, so plan accordingly. You are required to bring a few things to the appointment and there are fees. I know it’s a lot to think about this very minute, so head to this link to see all the requirements and make an appointment.
Plan the Details of Your Day
The next thing to start thinking about is your plan for the day. I love creating a timeline with my eloping couples, so I usually say to forgo a coordinator. They are more for making sure guests, everyone, and everything goes at the right pace. When it’s just a couple people and more simple, there are less things to coordinate. If you don’t want to think about anything and just want to show up and marry your lover then definitely get an elopement planner. Otherwise, you’ll definitely want to weigh your options.
Planning out the details of your day, should reflect what you want to do! Especially if one of your reasonings for eloping was to do the day your way. Let’s make sure every detail reflects you! Throw tradition out the window if it doesn’t serve you. Don’t want cake? Great! Bring donuts, ice cream, or any dessert that you truly love! Since an elopement is a smaller scale event, you can do things exactly how you want without the huge price point.
As far as activities for your day, before or after the ceremony, there are a lots of activities you could plan in San Diego. Hiking in San Diego is super popular and what’s great is there are a lot of flat hikes with stunning views. So if you don’t want too much of trek but want stunning views, that is totally a possibility! You could also plan a picnic. Pack up some champagne and a cheeseboard and we’ll take stunning photos after you say “I do!” and watch the sunset. Sounds super romantic and like stunning photos, right?
You don’t have to kick all tradition to the curb if you don’t want. Take getting ready photos and do a first look if you don’t want to miss out on some of that tradition. BUT don’t feel like anything is a necessity when it comes to eloping. Because it’s all up to you!
Book Your Vendors
Now it’s time to book your vendors. You’ll of course need a photographer, but the other vendors are normally negotiable. Vendors that are normally good to consider include: hair + makeup, florist, food in some form, planner, and sometimes a videographer. A couple of vendors I know and love in the San Diego area are Breezy Day Weddings and Makeup by Shelby. Breezy Day Weddings is a sister team. They do event coordination and floral design, I used them for my own wedding! Makeup by Shelby is amazing at what she does. Even if you don’t book with her, you should follow her on Instagram because she has the best style and makeup recommendations! She also offers private makeup lessons.
Now Go Marry the Love of Your Life!
Now that you know how to elope in San Diego, let’s get you married! If you’re looking for an elopement photographer in San Diego, let’s chat! I am dying to hear about your love story and capture the continuation of it.