Planning an Elopement in Joshua Tree National Park

When planning any type of elopement there are multiple things to consider.

Where should I elope?

Do I need a permit to do it?

What time is best for lighting?

What kind of vendors can I /should I have?

How many people should I invite?

All these questions can get overwhelming, I get it trust me. Here’s the thing tho, overwhelming is the absolute last thing you want to be on your beautiful big day. You want to feel at peace, with zero stress level and a whole lot of excitement about the fact that you are about to MARRY THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE. Let that soak in for just a second, you are about to take beautiful, heartfelt vows to your person. If you’re anything like me (me being a hopeless romantic junkie who is obsessed with love) then that is the ONLY thing you will want to focus on when you’re day comes. That’s why I’m here, this step by step guide is going to help you do just that.

1. Make it Legal

I cannot stress this enough, make sure you do this legally. Are there couples out the who havent gotten a permit for their elopement? Yes I’m sure there are, however for a low stress day you’re going to want to make sure you do this right. And the thing is, it’s so simple to do!

You’re going to want to head over to the Joshua Tree National Parks website, for easier access I have linked it below.

Once you’re there, scroll all the way down to the wedding section where you can find basic information, locations to choose from, what you can bring to your wedding & much more. You’ll need to fill out the “NPS Form 10-930 Short Form” and email it to the correspondant listed on the website. From there they should be able to get back in touch with you on the following steps.

2. Selecting your Vendors

When organizing an elopement the purpose can sometimes be to keep it as small & intimate as possible. This means a small vendor list as well. These vendors can include a creatively decorated cake, archway for the ceremony, florals for your bouqet, rug/runner for guests, and last but not least an invitation suite for details. I highly advice coordinating with the vendors and putting together a vision board via Pinterest on what you want your dream day to look like. Here is a few inspo pics for your use, each vendor will be tagged below!

invitation suite;
for florals email;

3. Creating a Timeline

When putting the finishing touches on your elopement make sure to create a timeline that works for all parties involved. I typically tell my couples to base the timeline around sunrise or sunset. For example, the images below were taken between 5:30-6:30pm at the end of September right when that sun was dipping over the mountains. In my opinion the best months to elope in Joshua Tree is August-October, I have found that it’s not too cold but also not scorching hot to the point where you wouldn’t enjoy your day.

4. Last Tip

Now, as my last tip I leave you with a little secret, as your photographer I will do most of these things for you. Such as, applying for the permit, looking up locations and lighting time, and reaching out to local vendors to send off to you as recommendations. All of this is included when booking any type of elopement with me! I do all the heavy lifting so that all you have to do on the day of your wedding is grab the dress and your partner to seal the deal. If this sounds like something you’re interested in i would absolutely love to chat details with you, just head over to my contact page below!


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