Meagan and Devin first met at a pool party through mutual friends out in Los Angeles, even though they had grown up only a mile apart in the suburbs of Colorado. Funny how those things work out! Clearly, they were meant to be one way or another. With a love for the outdoors, Meagan and Devin chose to elope in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park near Trinidad, California.
For their ceremony, they held a small, private ceremony surrounded by a few of their closest family members at their Airbnb in McKinleyville, a small coastal city just outside Redwood National Park. This Airbnb was what elopement dreams are made of! It was such a unique home with a mix of English Tudor and seaside cottage vibes. It was absolutely picture-perfect from top to bottom, even the landscaping made it feel as though you were in a secret garden. They decided to have their ceremony on the grounds, beneath a beautiful draping wisteria vine that made for a perfect ceremony arch.
That day, it was very rainy but that didn’t stop Meagan and Devin from making the absolute most of their elopement day. They didn’t let the less-than-ideal weather bother them one bit, instead, they totally embraced it! It just goes to show you that if you just go with the flow, nothing can stand in the way of your love and happiness, bad weather or not. Plus, the weather only added to the moodiness and romance of it all.
After the ceremony, we took a few family photos, and followed it up with a shared donut (instead of a traditional cake cutting) and a champagne toast, before whisking away to the enchanted redwood forest! Our first stop was Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park where we walked beneath the towering trees along the fern-covered forest floor, taking plenty of photos as we went.
From the forest, we made our way down to one of the beaches in Trinidad, where they frolicked around the beach with bare feet and played like little kids. It was a blast! Meagan and Devin had such incredible energy throughout the whole day—it was infectious and we all had such an amazing time because of it. This fun-loving, free-spirited couple wouldn’t let any kind of dreary weather stand in the way of their love for one another. It was a true “pinch me moment” to be able to photograph such wonderful people on such a momentous occasion in their lives. Gosh, I am so lucky!
Eloping in Redwood National Park
With old-growth forests, rugged coastline, sandy beaches, and towering redwoods, it’s no wonder Redwood National Park is such a popular destination for elopements. Its breathtaking beauty is hard to beat and its moody and magical vibes will leave you feeling full of love and admiration for each other and the nature that surrounds you.
Where to Elope: Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
With open meadows, sandy beaches, and of course, giant redwoods, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park is one of my favorite elopement locations. The park itself is actually one of four parks co-managed by the state of California that make up the Redwood National and State Parks. It is well-known for its iconic Fern Canyon, a cascading canyon with fern-covered walls, and its large elk population. Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park is definitely one of the can’t-miss locations to experience the boundless beauty of the mighty redwoods.
To see some other elopement locations I recommend in Redwood National Park, check out my guide on How to Elope in Redwoods National Park.
Where to Stay: McKinleyville, Trinidad, Arcata, & Eureka
There are a few quaint towns just south of Prairie Creek Redwoods National Park – Mckinleyville, Trinidad, Arcata, and Eureka. Sitting on a bluff surrounded by forested mountains, these towns are right on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. These locations are accessible to plenty of outdoor adventures—hiking, camping, whitewater rafting, horseback riding, and so much more. I definitely recommend checking out the Airbnbs in these areas. There are some really cute cabins and cottages to choose from!
When to Elope: May through October
The Redwoods climate is usually cool and wet with moderate temperatures ranging from the mid 40s to low 60s year round. October through April are the rainiest months of the year but the weather typically dries out from May to October, making these months the best time to elope in the Redwoods. By late May, rainy spring days give way to warmer and dryer weather. The summer months are some of the driest but also bring thick blankets of fog to the coast—perfect for those wanting some moody coastal vibes! By September, summer crowds have dwindled and you can enjoy warmer days before the cooler and wetter fall weather sets in.
Ready to elope in the majestical Redwoods? Read more of my tips for eloping among these ancient giants in my post, How to Elope in Redwoods National Park. And if you’re still searching for a Northern California elopement photographer, I’d love to hear from you!