A how to guide from a Northern California luxury wedding photographer on eloping in Joshua Tree, California.
This is a guide to all the lovely newly engaged couples who are head over heels for Joshua Tree. If you are dreaming of the sunshine on your skin, and wide open desert while saying “I do”, then this may be the perfect location for you! I am going to be here to give you all the key steps on planning you’re ideal day while eloping in Joshua Tree, California.
Step 1: How to choose the best time of the year to elope in Joshua Tree?
Joshua Tree is located in the Mojave Desert, and can reach highs of over 100 degrees fahrenheit during the summer. This is something to be very mindful of while planning your elopement if you and your fiance are not used to extreme heats. It is recommended to avoid eloping in Joshua Tree within the summer months due to the heat and tourist spikes.
Ideal months with the most dreamy weather would be spring or fall time. This will allow for cooler weather, and less crowds due to tourist visiting the National Park. My favorite months to elope within the park are October, and November. The weather is perfect, the lighting is beyond dreamy, and the tourism doesn’t heavily pick back up until spring time.
Step 2: Exact location to say “I Do” within the Joshua Tree Park
When thinking of your dream location to say “I do”, what scenery are you dreaming of? Joshua Tree has some of the most stunning locations, and can be extremely vast in looks too. Some of the very stunning and popular locations for eloping in Joshua Tree are:
1. Turkey Flats
Turkey Flats is the perfect Joshua Tree elopement location for the couple looking for something simple yet stunning. This location is very unique within the park as it has a flatter open area surrounded by wildflowers and brush, with distant views of rolling hills. This is perfect for allowing couples to have fun and get creative with colors and textures.
Max capacity: 35 people, 8 cars
2. Cap Rock
Cap Rock is the most popular elopement locations to elope within the Joshua Tree Park. It is one of my personal favorites as you can say “I do” within the trees and backed up to the rocks, and then end the night within the wide open desert for golden hour. There are also many nearby trails to explore if you’re feeling adventurous.
Max capacity: 8 cars & 25 people
Hidden Valley Picnic Area is a Joshua is another amazing location to elope but is only open from June-January. This location is known for being stunning within the fall time. From the wide open scenic views to the touch of rock formations, there’s something here for everyone.
Max capacity: 35 people & 8 cars
The Indian Cove Amphitheater is known as Joshua Tree’s largest wedding venue. The ceremony site has a beautiful backdrop of unique rock formations, surrounded by the wide open desert. This specific location is the perfect site for couples looking to have a larger elopement or micro wedding.
Max capacity: 1 car & 100 people
Nowhere California is located in the outskirts of Joshua Tree and is by far one of the most extremely unique locations to get married within Joshua Tree. The home and property are very modern and beautifully minimalistic. From the breathtaking desert background, to the fun amenities, this location will leave you speechless and mesmerized.
Max capacity: Contact the venue for more information at email@example.com
6. The Morada
The Morada is a fully re-designed 1958 pueblo home which is located a easy fifteen minutes from the Joshua Tree National Park, and a quick ten minutes to downtown Joshua Tree. This is a peaceful lovers oasis, as it is a creative and aesthetic place to unplug and explore within nature while eloping in Joshua Tree.
Max capacity: Contact the venue for more information at https://www.moradajoshuatree.com/contact
Step 3: Wedding Permits To Elope Within Joshua Tree
A permit to elope in Joshua Tree is $120 and is non-refundable. Depending on the size of your elopement or micro wedding, and due to different locations other fees may apply.
To apply for a special use permit you will need to fill out an online application found here and email it to Jeannie_Wilson@nps.gov. Once your application is approved, you’ll receive an email to pay the permit fee online. Don’t forget to bring the permit with you on your wedding day.
As a friendly heads up- your photographer will need to apply for a special use permit as well for their own liability.
Step 4: Finding your dream vendors
When thinking of your ideal elopement day, what vendors do you see helping you every step of the way? From your officiant, planner, photographer, videographer, HMUA, and rentals, ect.
Throughout the process of planning your elopement there may be some vendors you never expected you might want or need. I will go over all my personal favorite elopement/wedding vendors to help make all your wildest elopement dreams come true!
Hair & Makeup:
I specialize in luxury elopements, and will be there every step of the way to help plan your dream day!
I hope this how to guide to planning your Joshua Tree elopement was beyond helpful!!