How to Have a Mountain Elopement in Idyllwild California | Jenn Whalen

January 4, 2023

Location Guides, Resources

How to Have a Mountain Elopement in Idyllwild California

As a California elopement photographer who photographs many different landscapes, I must say that mountain elopements are by far one of my favorite types of elopements! There’s nothing more perfect than being surrounded by the sweet smell of pine trees and cedars! Idyllwild, CA is in the San Jacinto mountains of Southern California one of the most amazing locations for mountain elopement! If you’re looking to get away from the noisy city and ready for a quiet peaceful town then Idyllwild is the perfect elopement location for you! 

But how do you elope here in Idyllwild, California? I’ve put together this elopement guide for you so you can plan a stress-free mountain elopement here in Idyllwild! 

Harvey-House-Styled-Shoot_0022 How to Have a Mountain Elopement in Idyllwild California

Mountain Elopement Intimate Locations and Airbnbs

If you’re looking for something more creative than staying at a cabin or Inn in Idyllwild I’d highly recommend staying at a rustic Airbnb in the San Jacinto mountains! I love when couples choose to stay at Airbnbs for their elopements because it allows them the freedom and intimacy of spending time with just themselves or their closest loved ones. Rather than having a big wedding at a wedding venue where you are running around trying to stick to a traditional timeline, by staying at an Airbnb, you don’t really have those traditions if you dont want them! Not only that, but Airbnbs provide such a fun and unique experience that traditional wedding venues do not. Some cute little beds and breakfasts will also allow space for an intimate wedding or elopement! 

But when planning out your elopement day make sure to always ask the host if you are allowed to have an event at their Airbnb as some Airbnbs may not allow this or they have specific requirements!

Harvey-House-Styled-Shoot_0022 How to Have a Mountain Elopement in Idyllwild California
Harvey-House-Styled-Shoot_0022 How to Have a Mountain Elopement in Idyllwild California

Intimate Locations

Harvey House

Harvey house is a great elopement location option for couples who live in Southern California and are looking to have an intimate ceremony with family as it’s not a far drive and is big enough for a small group of people! 

Harvey House is beyond elegant! It’s a mountain sanctuary that will have you in complete awe as you are surrounded by the natural beauty of the mountains! See Rachelle and Steven’s forest elopement to see just how gorgeous it is to have an elopement at Harvey House.

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Creekstone Inn

Creekstone Inn is a gorgeous modern slant nestled in the woods of Idyllwild. Its stunning scenery of Lily Rock will have you in awe as it’s tucked away on the edge of town. 

Strawberry Creek Inn

Strawberry Creek Inn is a cozy bed and breakfast about two hours away from Los Angeles and San Diego! One of my favorite things about this Inn is that it’s open year-round so you can plan your mountain elopement any time of the year and be able to stay here while you tie the knot and rejuvenate your spirit surrounded by the forests. 

Hicksville Pines B&B

Hicksville Pine is a unique stay that was inspired by the Hicksville Trailer Park in Joshua Tree! Each room is a different theme from a Dolly Parton room to a Christmas Town Room that is Christmas themed year round! If you’re looking for a whimsical, funky eclectic stay this place is for you! 

Garner Ranch

Garner Ranch is California’s most scenic location for weddings in Idyllwild and to this day is still a working cattle ranch. It’s popular for its gorgeous mountain backdrop featuring beautiful meadows, pine trees, ponds as well as Lake Hemet! 

Woodland Park Manor

Woodland Park Manor is located on five acres of Fern Valley and has been providing mountain getaways in Idyllwild California since 1954. Whether you are staying for the weekend or one night they have the coziest Cottages and Vacation rentals ready for you to relax in after your elopement day. They are also very close to Pine Cove and Fern Valley where you can partake in multiple adventures throughout your elopement weekend from hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, and horseback riding! 

Eleven Chimneys

Eleven Chimneys is the perfect location for an intimate wedding as it has 6 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms, 2 living rooms, a kitchen as well as a dining room that can accommodate 14 people! It’s perfect for couples looking for a mountain retreat that’s a short drive from LA, Orange, and San Diego, and its only 40 miles from Palm Springs! 

Airbnbs

Luxury Log Mansion

Three Bears Cabin

Mystical Art Lodge

Idyllwild Cabin

Big Rock Chalet

Marriage Licenses 

Obtaining a marriage license is a huge task to remember when eloping anywhere in California as well as in the states, as each location and state has its own requirements! Here in California you dont need to be a California resident to get married but you need to get a marriage license from a California County Clerks’ office. 

Harvey-House-Styled-Shoot_0022 How to Have a Mountain Elopement in Idyllwild California
Harvey-House-Styled-Shoot_0022 How to Have a Mountain Elopement in Idyllwild California

You can obtain your marriage license in any county and it’s valid throughout the entire state of California for 90 days. You can find out more information on California’s Department of Public Health for more!

You’ll also want to have an elopement officiant! And surprise!! I’m an ordained officiant which means you get a two-for-one, an elopement photographer and guide as well as an officiant ready to get you married! 

I hope this elopement guide has helped you get started on planning your mountain elopement in Idyllwild California! If you’re thinking about having an elopement in this magical location here in Southern California and are looking for a California elopement photographer I’d love to capture your special day! 

Thinking of eloping somewhere else in Southern California with a similar vibe? Check out my blog on How to Elope in the Eastern Sierras & Mammoth Lakes or How to Elope in Big Bear & Lake Arrowhead.

Check out my packages and pricing on my website and see more of my work here! 

Harvey-House-Styled-Shoot_0022 How to Have a Mountain Elopement in Idyllwild California
Harvey-House-Styled-Shoot_0022 How to Have a Mountain Elopement in Idyllwild California
Harvey-House-Styled-Shoot_0022 How to Have a Mountain Elopement in Idyllwild California
Harvey-House-Styled-Shoot_0022 How to Have a Mountain Elopement in Idyllwild California
Harvey-House-Styled-Shoot_0022 How to Have a Mountain Elopement in Idyllwild California
Harvey-House-Styled-Shoot_0022 How to Have a Mountain Elopement in Idyllwild California
Harvey-House-Styled-Shoot_0022 How to Have a Mountain Elopement in Idyllwild California
Harvey-House-Styled-Shoot_0022 How to Have a Mountain Elopement in Idyllwild California
Harvey-House-Styled-Shoot_0022 How to Have a Mountain Elopement in Idyllwild California
Harvey-House-Styled-Shoot_0022 How to Have a Mountain Elopement in Idyllwild California
Harvey-House-Styled-Shoot_0022 How to Have a Mountain Elopement in Idyllwild California
Harvey-House-Styled-Shoot_0022 How to Have a Mountain Elopement in Idyllwild California
Harvey-House-Styled-Shoot_0022 How to Have a Mountain Elopement in Idyllwild California

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From hiking up mountains to running into the ocean, I’m ready to capture your big day just as you imagine it. Let me help you create an experience free of stress and full of what matters most to you. 

I’m your California wedding and elopement photographer turned adventure buddy.

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