How to Plan your Redwood National Park Elopement

Nowadays couples are becoming more and more adventurous, searching for an exciting thrill seeking journey.  For the newly engaged, outgoing, exploring couple, an elopement in the middle of mother nature is an amazing way to tie the knot!  If the thought of being surrounded by an enchanting forest filled with redwood sorrel, luscious ferns and massive trees sounds exciting, Redwood National Park has an abundance of beauty to choose from!

Redwood National Park currently has more than 206 miles of terrain and includes nearly 61 miles of old-growth coast redwood forest.  It’s made up of three existing California parks, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.  Within this prime destination location, there are 19 beautiful coast redwood groves.

With a variety of places within this geographical area to choose from there is some pre-planning involved if you are going to elope in this majestic part of the world.  Here are are few helpful tips on how to plan your Redwood National Park Elopement.

Proper Permits…  Permits are required for events, weddings and elopements. You will need to fill out a Special Use Permit along with completing a “Threatened and endangered species addendum”.

Permit Cost…  Expedited weddings application fee is usually around $100.00.

Tier one: 1-50 people, no unusual requests: $200.

Tier Two: 51 – 100 people, OR unusual requests: $300.

Tier Three: 100+ people or highly unusual requests: $400.

Approved Locations… Here are a few locations that are pre-approved for elopements along with the specifics.  Keep in mind that “pre-approved does not guarantee that the time and date you are requesting will be available, events may be restricted before, during and after holidays, or due to conflicting events.

Schmidt Grove – max number of attendees is 20, has vehicle access but limited to seasonal access.

Berry Glen – max number of attendees is 6.

Templeman Grove – max number of attendees is 20.

Organ Donor’s Grove – max number of attendees is 20.

Merriman Grove – max number of attendees is 8.

Prairie Creek Amphitheater – max number of attendees is 20 and only available Oct 25-May 1.

River Trail – max number of attendees is 8.

Unfamiliar Territory…  Be sure to connect with the nearest visitor center closest to the area of where you are eloping so you can become more familiar with your desired location.

Officiant…  If you haven’t found an officiant yet do a little research in the area you are going to be and see who might be available. I know of a few officiants within Humboldt County you can consider!

Photographers…  Shooting an elopement in the redwood forest requires knowledge in lighting, adapting to depth and range and of course, some experience.  A good photographer will understand that photographing images in a setting as surreal as this one requires timing, patience and the ability to let nature create itself.  Take the time to get to know your photographer, who they are, their style and experience in shooting elopements.

Eloping in the redwoods has a romantic and intimate feel to it.  With nature’s majestic landscape setting, the images captured here are abundant in beauty and style.  Stepping foot in the redwood forest and seeing with your eyes the enchanting picture perfect view before you, will leave you completely breathless. 

If an unforgettable experience is what you are after, I would highly recommend a Redwood National Park Elopement!

Written by Jenny Early on behalf of Parky’s Pics Photography