Not Your bland Courthouse Wedding

How to elope in California

As long as your day is all about the two of you, then that’s all that matters.

Eloping no longer implies running off in a dishonorable way to get married in secret. When you elope, you’re choosing to start your lives together with an intimate and intentional celebration. Just like each couple, elopements come in many shapes and sizes. They can be as adventurous or laidback as you want—you can even bring a few loved ones along!

We can all agree (and celebrate) that eloping isn’t what it used to be.

My favorite part is combining the beauty of nature with all of the in-between emotional, spontaneous, and candid moments that make your day special and your connection with each other unique. I’m so honored that I get to document your authentic love through artful storytelling in the great outdoors.

Elopements are about creating an experience to celebrate your story and the beginning of your happily ever after. I am here to help you have the adventure of a lifetime by getting to know you both and recommending locations and activities based on your preferences and what’s meaningful to you. I’ll work with you to create a custom timeline, handpick and refer trusted vendors, and assist you with the not-so-fun paperwork. And I can legally sign as your officiant, which comes in handy for two-person elopements and in locations that are a little more remote. 

How to Elope with Me

A few days after your wedding day, I will send you some sneaky peeky images for social media and present your entire gallery on your one-month anniversary. You’ll have tangible memories to print and share with your loved ones. Forever relive your day through the art of your one-of-a-kind photographs.

06. Deliver

The best day of your lives has finally arrived! You’ll have the day of your dreams and get married while I document it all so you won’t ever forget how you felt.

05. Elope

Remember, this isn’t standard wedding planning where you have to collect a hundred addresses for invitations and spend days putting together a table chart. This is SO MUCH BETTER! It’s time to start creating a timeline for new experiences you’ll have while saying, “I do!” I’ll provide you with unlimited correspondence, permit and marriage license assistance, vendor recommendations, and a personalized checklist.

04. plan

Once you have chosen a date and general location for your elopement, I’ll send you an email through my booking site to make things official with a contract and deposit!

03. Book

We’ll chat and get to know each other and discuss your vision, so you feel truly heard. Whether you are avid weekend hikers or not very outdoorsy at all, I will make sure to guide you to an appropriate elopement location that suits your personality and relationship. If you want to include a few family members and friends, we can discuss those options, too. I’ll give you all the information you need to know for booking.

02. Discover

Reach out on my website by filling out the contact form. I can’t wait to meet you!

01. Inquire

Your greatest adventure is the one that starts right now.

Our journey looks like this:

Adventure Wedding + Elopement Resources

- Michelle J.

“After speaking with several Joshua Tree elopement photographers, we are SO glad that we chose Jennifer Whalen Photography! She is a true adventure wedding photographer at heart and was able to help us plan the most perfect and stress-free elopement! She knew the ins and outs of the location, permits, timing, weather and truly brought everything together seamlessly, which allowed us to be in the moment and enjoy our special day. In addition to the planning aspect, we LOVE how all of our photos and video came out. WE ARE SO GRATEFUL SHE WAS ABLE TO CAPTURE EVERY DETAIL AND MOMENT WHILE WE WERE ABLE TO JUST TAKE IT ALL IN. She went above and beyond to capture every moment and is truly such a talented wedding photographer! In addition to her talent, she is super personable, which is important because your photographer is part of your wedding day, and Jennifer made the experience so much fun and truly such a memorable experience for us. Thank you, Jennifer!”

“Far exceeded our expectations!”

- Stefanie B.

“We are from Germany, and we were looking for someone who could capture images of our elopement in Santa Monica. I contacted Jenn, and she was sooo great from the beginning. She answered all our questions via email (and I had a lot of questions), and that made us feel really good. When we arrived in Venice, we met her, and it felt like meeting a friend. She's fun and professional at the same time. We talked about our ideas, and she was unbelievably motivated and creative. Then we definitely knew that she was the right choice. ON OUR ELOPEMENT DAY, SHE WAS MORE THAN ON TIME AND WELL PREPARED. Our family and friends were amazed at the photos when we got back home. Working with Jenn was the best thing that could have happened to us. It was fun, uncomplicated and she had so much energy and went on a rollercoaster ride with us :) Awesome pictures and an AWESOME PERSON! Thanks for everything!”

“What can I say?! PERFECT!!” 

- Amber E.

“From the moment my wife and I reached out to Jennifer wanting to schedule a mini wedding in Malibu, it was as if she could read our minds. When I told her the date, she mentioned Yosemite instead, our DREAM, but we never thought we could afford it. Everything was planned out, but Yosemite was shut down two days before the elopement due to wildfires. I JUST KNEW THE WHOLE THING WOULD BE CANCELED, BUT JENNIFER JUMPED ON IT AND GAVE US THREE OTHER OPTIONS. We went with Zion, and we were NOT disappointed. Jennifer and her videographer, Dan, went above and beyond to make our day super special. I had a place in mind for the ceremony, but Jennifer had already scoped out multiple locations. Trust her eye because she knows what she’s talking about! Jennifer and Dan are so fun to work with, and I recommend you hire them for all your wedding or elopement needs.”

“She went out of her way to make sure our day was super special.”

- Rebecca S.

Jenn is an amazing photographer and a super sweet person, and SHE MADE OUR ELOPEMENT BETTER THAN WE COULD HAVE EVER IMAGINED. On our first call with her, she was so patient with all of our many, many questions. After we selected Jenn to be our photographer, she made absolutely everything else fall into place. She had a contact for us to work with to get our marriage license and recommended lodging options and hair/makeup options. She was extremely knowledgeable about different shooting locations and helped us find the perfect spot in the woods for our ceremony. She took the time to iron out every little detail with us before the big day. Her photography is amazing, and she really does whatever it takes to get the perfect shot." 

“Jennifer was *everything* for our elopement – our photographer, our officiant, and our planner!”

Am I the photographer for you? Let me help you find your way.