All the best beach elopement packages, tips & ceremony locations, plus everything else you need to know when planning your Malibu elopement in 2024.
Malibu is of my favorite places to shoot elopement photography because I live close to the area! Endless golden beaches, incredible coastlines, hiking trails with vista views, many turn-outs along the mountain roads to pull off onto with views, incredible estates that let couples host their wedding and elopement, and numerous vineyards and ranches that are also available for wedding venues. It’s a boho wedding wonderland and a dream location for a California Elopement Photographer like myself. Malibu has quickly become a popular place to elope in California! I’m so excited to share my guide to the area. The when, where, and how will show you why you should book a Malibu elopement package and elope in Malibu!
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Best Beach Elopement Packages
I’m much more than just your friendly Malibu elopement photographer, I help you PLAN your elopement, start to finish, and everything in between!
In addition to stunning photography, I included in every package:
- Planning Portal that will help you stay organized
- A Discovery Call
- Custom Checklist
- Custom Timeline
- Vendor Recommendations
- Marriage License Assistance
- Permit Assistance
- Marriage License Signing
- Unlimited Planning & Correspondence
- Sneak Peek Images
- Private Online Gallery
- Printing Rights
- My Travel fees Included
Check out my Malibu Beach Elopement Packages!
How to Plan a Malibu Elopement
If you love natural beaches and the raw beauty of the great outdoors, then you’re going to love a Malibu elopement. And as a California elopement photographer, it’s my job to make your elopement planning easier! So read on to find out how to plan your Malibu beach elopement, discover my favorite wedding locations, and explore a little bit about my packages!
Why Elope to Malibu
From beachside to mountain top, you are spoiled for choice when it comes to majestic elopement spots in Malibu. With nearly 30 miles of sparkling Pacific coastline, sweeping vistas, and some sprawling estates mere minutes from the beach. In my opinion, it shouldn’t be why elope to Malibu, it should be where! Because you’ll be hard-pressed to find elopement packages that offer more natural beauty than on a Malibu beach, or its countryside in the mountains. And as a California elopement photographer, I can assure you that you will be so inspired by Malibu as its backdrop on your wedding day.
You’ll also find that Malibu offers the perfect place to marry and honeymoon, especially if you’re a couple that desires an intimate setting for your celebration. Because this small, but lively town offers much more than just its 20 plus beaches. There are many gorgeous hiking trails, state beaches to explore, and plenty of surfing to be done!
When to Plan Your Malibu Elopement
The best part about choosing a Malibu elopement is the excellent weather year-round! So regardless of the location you choose to elope to, there’s a very high chance for favorable climatic conditions for your special day. There’s no “wrong” time to elope to Malibu, however, the off-season from September to April is my favorite because there aren’t many tourists. You’ll have more privacy for your ceremony. As soon as temperatures start warming back up end of April through August, there are many crowds at the beach and parking can be challenging.
But there are some slight temperature changes and rain percentages throughout the year, and I’ll explore these changes below.
I like to divide up southern California weather into two groups: “Summer” and “Cold Summer.” By “cold” I mean, chilly. It never really gets “cold” here, but it’s not bikini weather in the winter months.
As with most areas across the country, spring and summer are one of the prettiest and most loved seasons in southern California. In Malibu spring swings in by April-ish and brings with it colorful wildflowers, greener mountains and meadows, and warmer temperatures, leading into summer where the visitor numbers pick up. You are going to see greener hills and more wildflowers during these spring months. But throughout the summer, it tends to dry up. By June, the hills are dry giving the meadows that “golden” look.
Best Months to Plan Your Malibu Elopement
April – October
April Average Temperature 72 High / 53 Low | Average Rainy Days 1
May Average Temperature 79 High / 59 Low | Average Rainy Days 0
June Average Temperature 79 High / 59 Low | Average Rainy Days 0
July Average Temperature 87 High / 64 Low | Average Rainy Days 0
August Average Temperature 87 High / 65 Low | Average Rainy Days 0
September Average Temperature 87 High / 65 Low | Average Rainy Days 0
October Average Temperature 80 High / 61 Low | Average Rainy Days 1
Spring and Summer Malibu Elopements
Summer months are the most popular season for visitors in Malibu, and the temperatures stay pretty hot until late October. The Santa Monica mountains can get quite toasty in the summer months, but along the coast, it stays a pretty consistent 75 degrees by the water. For those of you who like the hot summer months and the energy of a lively beach town, consider eloping between June – August. For those of you who prefer Sept-Oct, those two months are also ideal because there aren’t as many crowds and temperatures are still warm.
November – March
While the beaches may be full in summer, fall, and winter bring way fewer crowds, southern California is usually always sunny, even in the winter months. The average number of days that it rains during these months is 3-5 days a month, so rest assured, even if the temperature is in the 50s, you are most likely going to have a very clear and sunny elopement day! You are also much more likely to have a stunning sunset in the winter months due to having more clouds in the sky!
Fall and Winter Malibu Elopements
November Average Temperature 74 High / 57 Low | Average Rainy Days 3
December Average Temperature 67 High / 52 Low | Average Rainy Days 5
January Average Temperature 68 High / 53 Low | Average Rainy Days 5
February Average Temperature 67 High / 51 Low | Average Rainy Days 5
March Average Temperature 77 High / 53 Low | Average Rainy Days 5
Southern California winters are mild because it doesn’t even come close to reaching freezing temperatures. However, it can get chilly in the evening as the sun goes down, especially at the beach! I always have a light puffy jacket with me, a hat, and a light pair of gloves – especially in the winter months as the sun is setting! The beaches and trails of Malibu will be much less packed with tourists at this time of year, and the chances of having the place more to yourselves are greater.
Best Days of the Week to Elope to Malibu
Monday – Thursday! Most elopement photographers and venues only allow elopements on weekdays. There are a few good reasons for this. First, choosing a time of the week when the least amount of people will be in that area will be a much better experience for you. Second, if you want to rent a venue for your elopement whether it’s just for the two of you or for a small ceremony with guests, most venues only take bookings for elopements on weekdays because Saturdays are usually booked out with bigger weddings. Each venue is different though and it’s worth reaching out to them if you want your elopement on a Saturday.
How To Legally Get Married in Malibu
To legally get married in Malibu, California, certain steps and requirements need to be followed. First and foremost, both individuals must obtain a marriage license from the Los Angeles County Clerk’s Office. This can be done by visiting any of the county clerk’s branch offices, including the one in Santa Monica, which is close to Malibu. Both parties must be present to apply for the license and provide valid government-issued identification, such as a driver’s license or passport. The marriage license is valid for 90 days, allowing flexibility for couples to plan their wedding within that timeframe. When the ceremony is complete, the officiant must return the signed license to the county clerk for registration. Following these steps ensures that the marriage is legally recognized in Malibu and throughout the state of California.
As a courtesy to eloping couples who hire me, I give them step-by-step instructions on how, when, and where to obtain their California marriage license whether they live close by or traveling from out of state. To ensure their elopement is stress-free, I pronounce them married and sign as their officiant on their marriage license! This not only saves $$$, but it keeps their planning to a minimum!
Where to Elope to in Malibu
Malibu is, of course, known for both its beaches and mountains and with good reason. You can have both in Malibu! This is truly unique because not all coastal areas in California have a variety of stunning beaches and mountains in such proximity. The two notable ones are Malibu and Big Sur. And Malibu has by far more estates and venues to choose from.
But we can’t talk about eloping to Malibu, without talking first about the beaches! And two spots, in particular, deserve special mention because they are just so dreamy and my two favorites.
El Matador Beach
El Matador has gained wild popularity in recent years for its natural caves and arches with wild waves crashing against the coasts’ stunning sea stacks. My favorite times of day to photograph at this beach are sunrise and sunset. There are a lot more people there during sunset. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to find a spot in the paid parking lot, but if not, there’s plenty of free parking along PCH. Be careful though as you cross the road, there’s a lot of traffic along HWY 1 and they drive fast! There are porta-potties before you head down the long staircase to the beach.
Point Dume & Zuma Beach
Point Dume is a uniquely rugged piece of coastline one of the most northern beaches in Malibu with pretty trails and pathways. One of many reasons I love this area is because it hasn’t been overtaken by man-made fences, railings, or anything else that photographers find unsightly. They’ve kept it very rugged and I hope that never changes! Zuma Beach is an expansive beach offering lots of room for everyone to spread out. It’s perfect for beach weddings for two-person elopements as well as guests of all ages due to its ease of parking and beach accessibility.
Nestled along the picturesque coastline of Malibu lie some hidden gems—unlisted beaches that I exclusively share with couples who book with me. These beaches are mostly known by locals and can make for an even more private ceremony experience.
Malibu Beach Weddings Rules and Permits in Los Angeles County
It’s important to point out that as long as your elopement or small intimate wedding has 50 or fewer guests with no set-up (chairs, arch, or music, etc.), you will not need a permit to marry on a Los Angeles County beach.
The beaches here are all technically public, and not private, despite some signs and security cameras you may see in certain areas like the Carbon Beach area where there are many luxury homes built right along the coastline. These have been installed by the homeowners in an attempt to deter visitors from using the beachfront right outside their beach mansion. But it’s also important to keep in mind that not all beaches have public access. Many have staircases that are privately owned. But as long as you can find public access, you are free to roam any beach for portraits! I stay away from some of these areas to avoid any altercations. There are 27 miles of beaches in Malibu, so there are plenty of beautiful areas for ceremonies and portraits!
For couples that intend on having a beach picnic or formal set up, I give them step-by-step instructions on how to obtain their permit from LA County!
I hope that this has inspired your search for the perfect Malibu beach elopement location, and maybe given you the info you need to inquire about photography packages. It would be an honor to join you on your adventure elopement and be the California photographer who captures your big day.
If you would like to take a look at many of my past Malibu elopements to get inspired, check out my blog!
Check out my Malibu Beach Elopement Packages!
Ready to start your Malibu elopement adventure? Get in touch!