April 2, 2023

Destination Weddings, Elopements

How To Have An Epic Elopement In California

Created by Ali Coşkunfrom the Noun Project

Malibu is a California dream. Actually — with 27 miles of coastal mountains, pristine coves, wide sweeps of golden sand and epic waves — it’s the California dream! Spend a day exploring its beautiful beaches and you’ll understand why celebrities have been hanging about there as far back as the 1930s when pictures first started moving. Hands down, it’s one of the best spots for an elopement in California for a ton of reasons! Let me tell you why … 

The original Chumash Indian name for the 21 miles of gorgeous coastline west of Los Angeles is Humaliwo, which roughly translates to “the surf sounds loudly.” And while there are canyons and hiking trails inland to explore (the eastern border of the California city extends into the Santa Monica Mountains, where visitors can hike through canyons and wander through nature preserves), Malibu is defined by its beaches. 

Throw in some cliffs with sprawling ocean vistas and beautiful coves to explore, and it’s easy to understand why a Malibu beach elopement is so special. The scenery is always matched by the joy of the occasion and every elopement I shoot in Malibu has been exceptional. I LOVE it there! It’s definitely one of the best places to elope in California.  

Why You Should Elope In California

Elopements are my absolute favorite type of wedding because they’re intimate and personal. They’re also simple because there aren’t any rules or expectations! 

Couples can just go with the flow with no stress or fanfare — the focus is just you two and the authentic connection you share. Elopements are also romantic and meaningful because you’re able to enjoy your surroundings together without having anyone else around (except maybe some wildlife), which brings us back to Malibu — my top choice to elope in California! 

A Point Dume Elopement: Beach Wedding Vibes!

One of the most spectacular places in Malibu to exchange your vows is Point Dume, a majestic headland that juts out onto the Pacific Ocean, with a boardwalk and viewing point that offers splendid views of Santa Monica Bay. A Point Dume elopement is one of my favorites because of its natural beauty and unspoiled location!

The blue ocean, white sand and lush green trees make it the perfect setting for a wedding ceremony or vow renewal ceremony under an umbrella on the beach with your closest loved ones by your side celebrating this special moment in your life together. 

The cliffs offer spectacular 360-degree views and are a great place to catch a glimpse of gray whales on their migration between December and April. You’ll also have a chance to spot birds, dolphins and seals. 

You can understand why Hollywood loves it so much (and why it’s one of the best places to elope in southern California) — scenes in The Big Lebowski, The Fabelmans and Iron Man were shot there. In fact, one of the most iconic scenes in film history — Taylor and Nova coming upon the Statue of Liberty at the end of Planet of the Apes — was filmed at Point Dume.

The weather is pretty reliable too, which is what you want for a Point Dume beach wedding! It’s temperate year-round with high temperatures ranging from the mid ‘60s during winter months, up to 80 degrees during summer days (June-August). 

Here are a few things to keep in mind on your special day out west. 

My Top 5 Tips For A Malibu Elopement

Tip #1: Make Your Day Extraordinary 

Malibu is truly a natural playground, with cliffs, coves and beaches all over the show worth exploring and has the potential to add memorable moments to your day. How will you start your day? Where will lunch be? What is the plan for sunset? A Malibu elopement is full of potential for magic!

Tip #2: Location, Location, Location 

It’s not just property that relies on the old mantra, elopement ceremonies definitely fall into the same bracket (which makes a California elopement a no-brainer). A spectacular location — such as Point Dume — will make for stunning photos. 

Tip #3: Make Comfort A Priority 

On your day, you should make choices that feel right for yourself, every step of the way. One of the things I’ve noticed is if the couple is comfortable, they’re happy. 

Tip #4: Disconnect From Devices 

One of the great things about having a Malibu elopement photographer on hand is that you don’t need to worry about taking photos with your phone. In fact, you can stash it away and soak up every moment, giving yourself the great gift of being present.

Tip #5: Embrace The Unexpected  

Despite thorough planning that may or may not go into your elopement, things will almost certainly not go as planned — but that’s often where the best moments lie anyway. Just roll with it and embrace the unexpected during your elopement in California. 

Elopements are the perfect option if you’re looking for a different and meaningful way to say “I do.” Maybe you want to elope in Malibu? (Have I mentioned how much I love a dreamy Malibu elopement)?! 

If you’re starting to plan an epic elopement in California, get in touch with me and let’s get the ball rolling! I specialize in Malibu elopement photography and I’ll get back to you in 48 hours. 

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