This is for the desert chasers and cactus lovers! Joshua Tree is unlike any other place in the world. It has mysterious and magical vibes that vibrate throughout the entire day. Consider this desert park a true hidden gem that is tucked away in the center of Southern California! And has turned into a go-to place for a romantic yet bohemian destination elopement.
Joshua Tree features some of the most breathtaking night skies and unique astrophotography elements. If you are trying to figure out how to elope at Joshua Tree National Park then this is for you and your partner. I am going to tell you exactly how to elope in this beautiful place! And I am sure by the end of it, you will be 100% on eloping at Joshua Tree!!
1. Choosing Your Joshua Tree Location
There are so many different areas of Joshua Tree to elope at. My personal favorite is Roaming Travelers. This is an incredible location to help you get that desert boho vibe. It literally checks all the boxes. They have an amazing set up and space for dining. Plus, they even have an area for dancing with cute lights where the desert sun could be showcased. This venue is right outside of Joshua Tree National Park so you are able to have a little more flexibility with the rules.
The only, and I mean only, downside to this location is that there are less places to get the infamous Joshua Tree plants but endless places to roam around. If you would like to learn more about this event space, click here. I highly recommend!
2. Figuring Out Permits + Fees
It is important to take into consideration all of the permits and fees to elope inside of this park. There are fees for just being able to elope inside of the park and entrance fees to get inside the park.
To perform your ceremony you will need a Special Park Use Permit that usually runs about $120 fee with an additional $120 for any photographers or caterers!
A big reason why using the venue of Roaming Travelers is such a great idea is because Joshua Tree prohibits props (such as chairs, arches, etc.)! If you decided to go outside of this venue you can still have props like a bohemian rug for your ceremony or have lots of overflowing flower arrangements!
Make sure to check out the official park website for FAQ’s and more info on elopements and weddings here (to ensure you are up to date – because some things do change)!
3. AirBnB Alternative
There are so many really cool and fun/unique AirBnb’s in the area. Often times they also have tons of the Joshua Tree’s on property that you can use for your elopement or wedding backdrop. This will be perfect if you are looking to forgo the planning on the actual park and all the hassle of the permit process. Plus, a lot of the times the AirBnB’s come with fire pits or cute outdoor seating and lighting! This would be a great place to have a fun celebration with friends and family. Think – s’mores + cocktails!!
4. Pick A Date
Joshua Tree is becoming more and more of a popular place! To avoid the crowds pick a date for your elopement or wedding on the off season. Another great option is to pick a weekday instead of weekend! Remember that Spring (March – May) is the most popular time there due to weather. Speaking of weather, this is definitely something to keep in mind. It is, well, the desert, so if you want to avoid the heat, try the less summery months (November – January).
If you are a desert rat and love the heat, I say go for it just remember it’s wide open and to not count on having a bunch of shade. (Make sure to pack lots of water to stay hydrated!) And on top of that, bring layers because even though it is very hot during the summer days it does cool off in the nighttime!
5. All Things Boho!
Joshua Tree is the perfect spot for boho themed anything! So make sure to bring the tassels, the flowy lace dresses, the cute hats, the boots and all the fun accessories!! Black and muted or neutral colors do really well here! I say if you are wanting to go all out – then definitely go all out! Let me know if you are in need of vendors as well. I always send my couples a Vendor Recommendation List.
6. Marriage License
Don’t forget the marriage license!! Some couples decide to do the paperwork before or after eloping so they don’t have to deal with it on the exact day. However, if you chose to elope in Joshua Tree or California you can get your marriage license in any county even if it is not the county you are having the ceremony in! Just make sure that you do it within 90 days of the ceremony. My recommendation is to make an appointment to make sure you know the official date that it is happening.
Eloping at Joshua Tree National Park – in my opinion – is an amazing idea! If you have any questions about how to elope at Joshua Tree then feel free to reach out any time. Or if you are ready to make your elopement official and have me capture your elopement or wedding then fill out my contact form here! I would be honored to be a part of this magical day!