Get Married in the Redwoods

Planning Your Redwoods Elopement

Maybe you’ve only seen the epic trees in photographs. Maybe you visited once on summer vacation long ago. However you fell in love with these ancient cathedrals, you’re ready to get married here.

01 Choose Your Redwoods Location

You have two gorgeous parks to pick from: Humboldt Redwoods State Park and Redwood National Park. There are other parks in California that contain redwoods but nothing that quite rivals these two. Each park requires a wedding permit and has pre-approved ceremony locations. For an additional fee, you may request a location that doesn’t appear on the designated list.

Ceremonies are not permitted in locations that receive heavy visitor traffic including Fern Canyon, Founders Grove, Stout Grove and others. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t visit for photos!

Redwood National Park

Start here if you

Humboldt Redwoods

Start here if you

02 Plan Your Elopement Day

Fill your day with experiences and adventures that bring you joy. Elopements are truly unique celebrations that reflect your priorities, values and sense of fun.

For your Redwoods Elopement

03 Where to Stay

The accommodations you select for your redwoods elopement can play a starring role in your celebration or simply meet the baseline of clean and comfortable.

Couple embrace after redwood elopement ceremony in Prairie Creek Redwoods

Some things to consider when choosing where to stay for your elopement:

Newlywed portrait in Redwood National Park in Northern California with groom in royal blue linen suit and bride wearing vintage lace gown with sheer cape and a butterfly crown.

Distance from Redwoods

Factor drive times into your plans for the day. Consider how far you are comfortable driving on your wedding day and be sure to review drive times in conjunction with miles. It’s not uncommon for a road to measure 12 miles and actually take 35 minutes to drive.


If you are bringing friends and family along you’ll want to consider their participation in the day or weekend. How many group activities are planned? Do you need space for a dinner reception? Centralizing guest accommodations minimizes organizational headaches and maximizes car pool options as well.

Getting ready space

A little room to spread out goes a very long way. Because let’s face it, luggage and the contents thereof have a way of multiplying like a sci fi movie meets backstage at fashion week. Especially when you’ve been told to pack layers. Psst. Pack layers.

Look for large windows with lots of natural light. This is great for makeup and detail images of preparations.


04 You Can Expect


Your wedding photographs will always center you and yours, without making you feel like you’re performing your own life. The day will unfold with you completely immersed in the magic.

experience forward

A drop of mist bracelets your wrist during your vows. The sound of the wind in the upper branches. When you look back on your wedding day, you’ll remember how it felt. The tears in your eyes might be new though.

Redwoods Concierge

Finding vendors in a somewhat remote location like Humboldt can feel extremely daunting. Since I’m based in the area, I have a personal network of vendors to connect you with.

Custom Timeline

Together we’ll create a day that makes space for what truly matters to you. Your day will be tailored to the locations and experiences that bring you the most joy.

Open Communication

Reach out via email, phone or text if you want to connect about anything at all. I serve a limited number of clients a year to ensure that you receive dedicated attention.

Permit logistics

I will happily put you in touch with the permit office for your chosen park as well as answer any questions you might have about the process. And yes, I will sign your marriage license!

Curate your redwoods experience

05 Sample Timelines

Half Day

1:00 HMU; getting ready & capture of heirloom jewelry and sentimental items

1:30 First look near Airbnb

2:00 Drive to Grove

2:30 Arrive at grove parking

3:00 Ceremony

3:30 Exploring redwoods & portraits

4:30 Drive to Beach

5:30 Champagne toast on beach

6:30 Return to Airbnb

7:00 Post-elopement dinner prepared by chef on deck overlooking the ocean

7:30 Coverage ends

Full Day

9:00 HMU; getting ready & detail photos; coffee, mimosas and brunch spread for guests

11:00 First look in garden

11:30 Caravan to grove; walk to ceremony spot

12:30 Ceremony

1:00 Group photos

1:30 Lunch with guests

2:30 Guests drive to Inn while couple explores redwoods and beaches

4:30 Drive back to Inn

5:30 Reception dinner – first dance, cake cutting, toasts

7:30 Golden hour portraits

8:00 Guests settle in around bonfire

9:00 Coverage ends


Your wedding day will reflect and celebrate your unique love story. Whether an adventure for two or twenty, let’s tailor your day to ensure you are present and connected.


what happens if it rains?

Sometimes rain is a part of your wedding story. The Redwoods can get pretty soggy between late October and April. Yes, I have photographed a ceremony under an umbrella while wearing a raincoat and a rain poncho. Sometimes it rains a little and sometimes it rains a lot! That said, rain won’t get in the way of a beautiful experience or incredible images. What it does require is foregrounding flexibility, being prepared (logo free umbrellas, waterproof makeup) and okay with shifting gears on the fly.


why should we book a full Elopement day?

Your wedding day – no matter the guest count – is about the experience. You want to remember the little moments and all of the big feelings. The feeling of being oh so small amongst towering trees, the icy chill of the Pacific Ocean on your toes as you sip champagne.


DO we have to fill out paperwork on our wedding day?

How you decide to handle the legal logistics is totally up to you. If you want to make it California official, you can obtain a marriage license in Humboldt County. Some couples decide to take care of the paperwork at their local courthouse beforehand. Your partnership begins with your vows.


Can we book a multi-day elopement?

Absolutely. It’s not uncommon for couples to gather their closest friends and family for a weekend in Humboldt, splitting the timeline between group and couples experiences.


Can you officiate our Elopement?

In California, a couple may opt for a closed marriage license which does not require any witnesses. I am ordained by way of the internet and if you would like to read your vows to each other while I photograph, I’m happy to pronounce you and sign your paperwork. That said, I can’t conduct a ceremony and take pictures at the same time so I’m happy to refer you to folks who make this a profession if structure is important to you.


Do we have to hike?

Not unless you want to. One of the many beautiful things about the redwoods is that they are supremely user friendly. The wide range of trails makes room for the casual meander and the knee deep in the creek adventure. Yes, I will advise you on the difference.

Portrait of Northern California wedding photographer Kate Donaldson

Your Redwoods Elopement Photographer

You’ve chosen to get married in this surreally beautiful location on the Northern California coast. The last thing you want to do is rush.

Let’s tell your full elopement story. Make space for the little moments that you hold so dear. I can’t stop time but I can take you back.