Evergreen Era Film + Photo
There is nowhere in the world like the green and lush old growth forests of the California Redwoods National Park for a wedding.
Holding your partners hand, walking through the massive fern lined trails with light streaming through the giant tree branches towering above.
It feels safe, it feels magical, and it feels calming.
So if you’re considering choosing this special area for your small wedding or elopement, it’s a great choice!
There are just a few things to consider to help ensure your elopement here will be the best it can be.
I’m here to help!
In the blog post below I cover the following things:
- The best time of year to elope
- Where to stay
- Fees Passes and permits
- What to wear
- What to do
- How to get aruond
- Picking the right photographer/videographer
Let’s do this!
The Best Time of Year to Have a Redwoods National Park Wedding
The best time of year to get married in the park ultimately depends on what season and activities you want for your wedding day. But, I think that one of the most beautiful aspects of The Redwoods are best seen and enjoyed from May through September. The other months of the winter bring heavy rains and clouds along with cooler tempts that aren’t the most ideal.
But also with the summer months comes the busier crowds. This is why I ALWAYS suggest choosing a weekday for your elopement. On weekends in the summer you can experience lines of cars and FULL parking lots.
If you want to avoid busy summer season, but want to avoid winter weather, Spring in May/June or Fall in late August/September are great months to enjoy the park as well.
Where to Stay for your Redwoods National Park Wedding
Camping is always a fun way to celebrate your wedding! Whether you decide you want to live the tent life, have a camper, or rent a camper van, you’ve got lots of options for staying inside the park for a low price!
There are 4 campgrounds within the park: Jedediah Smith, Mill Creek, Elk Prairie & Gold Bluffs Beach.
The campground are extremely popular so making a reservation early is always encouraged. You can make reservations for all of the campgrounds online. They also have different amenities so be sure you find the right one for what kind of stay you are looking for. Some of the campgrounds have small, simple cabins to rent as well.
If you want to get deeper in the woods and have more privacy for your camping experience, you can also backpack in to certain campsites with a permit.
There are also a few campgrounds spread around the outside of the park if you need a backup plan or way to pay smaller fees.
Apart from eight basic campground cabins, Redwood National and State Parks do not have any lodging.
There aren’t many “cute” or “styled” lodges around the Redwoods area so if you’re not into camping, I always suggest looking for an airbnb that you like the look of! Which leads me to…
Since the Redwoods span a large area along the coast, there are a few towns with quick access including Crescent City, Klamath, and Trinidad. All of these towns have a good few motels, hotels, and rental places to stay. They also have food and other amenities you might want access to throughout your trip.
I always suggest finding somewhere that you feel really cozy, comfortable, and excited to stay. I would suggest to book a place to stay as far in advance as possible!
Fees, Passes, & Permits
You do need a permit to get married in the Redwoods National and State Parks (p.s. The Redwood National and State parks are all run under the same municipality, just so you don’t get confused!) You can apply for a permit by downloading the application on their website and emailing it to the listed ranger. The cost ranges based on wedding size and you must apply at least 4 weeks before your desired date.
There are additional restrictions on your pass for your wedding ceremony listed on their website and advised in your permit acceptance. The size of your elopement also determines which locations may be used for wedding ceremonies. The larger the size, the fewer options provided. I always suggest keeping things small and simple for elopements on public land!
You also need a pass to get into the park itself. You can buy a single vehicle pass that gets one car into the park for 7 consecutive days ($30 total) or you have a general America The Beautiful Pass (usually around $80/year). The America the Beautiful pass provides you with a few other perks if you visit national parks frequently. If you plan on visiting the Redwoods multiple more times that year, you could purchase the Annual pass (55 total). But, you likely won’t be doing that unless you live nearby!
Permitting can change at any time, so be sure to check the website below for any updates.
What to Wear For Your Redwoods National Park Wedding
Depending on the time of year, you can wear different things!
The main thing to remember is that it still can get chilly on the coast even in the summer. Rain gear and optional layers are always great to have in your bag.
It is always better to be over prepared than under prepared.
For shoes, you are going to want something super comfortable, durable, and with plenty of traction. You might be walking through mud, dust, water, and sand. Hiking boots are usually the best bet when it comes to your wedding day shoes. But, if you’re going to be enjoying the beach it might be nice to have some sort of sturdy sandal.
If you are wearing a dress, I always suggest dresses that are loose around the hips and light and flowy. You don’t want anything keeping you from moving around, taking normal steps, and weighing you down.
Comfort is always key to having a fun wedding day.
The more comfortable you are, the more present in the moment. This allows you to fully enjoy the experience with your partner.
What to do In The Redwoods
Whether you want to spend the day (or multiple days) doing a mix of things, or focus on one, there are a tons of options of fun outdoor activities to choose from for your wedding inside and outside the forest.
Day Hiking: You can’t go wrong spending the day hiking to through gorgeous scenery and exploring all the beautiful spots like fern canyon.
Backpacking: If you’re wanting more privacy and up for a bit of an adventure, backpacking in to a beautiful spot for the night is a great option! But you will need to get a backpacking permit ahead of time.
Picnics: Everyone loves a good picnic, and what could be better than having one with a beautiful view of the beach or in a grove of redwoods.
Beach or river exploring: There are two major rivers that run through the redwoods, and they are gorgeous! Sometimes it’s nice to take a dip or just sit by the river in the sun. You also can go rafting or kayaking on the ocean or the rivers.
How to Get Around The Redwoods
You will definitely want to rent a car for a wedding in the Redwoods unless you are taking a road trip and driving the whole way there in your own car.
Having the freedom to get around how and whenever you want will be key for the flexibility needed for an elopement day. There are a few spots in the park that it would be nice to have a high clearance car. Therefore, I would pick a SUV over a sedan style vehicle.
Picking the Right Photographer or Videographer
for your Redwoods National Park Wedding
Hey ya’ll, I’m Kathryn!
It is always my priority to let couples be themselves, be present in the moments, and enjoy their elopement day without it feeling like a full day photoshoot. Instead, we plan fun activities and ways to make special memories. That way I can capture the day as it naturally happens and your photos and video can represent you honestly.
I have been to the redwoods multiple times, and can direct you to locations that are just perfect for the two of you and what you imagine for your dream elopement day.
I offer rare and unique photo/video packages where I shoot both myself at the same time, allowing you to re-live the day in multiple ways without having to hire multiple people.
Redwoods National Park
Watch the film of Sydney + Chelsea’s Sweet Redwoods wedding adventure.
Sometimes all you need is a little inspiration!
“A decision you will not regret and a video you will absolutely cherish for years to come. Kathryn is pure magic. Her presence the day of is comforting and the video she produced is beyond what we could have ever hoped and dreamed for. Coming from a couple that was leery about hiring a videographer, the final product seriously outweighs the monetary commitment. Invest in yourself and trust Kathryn, we cannot recommend her highly enough!”
— SYDNEY + CHELSEA