Palm Springs Elopement Guide

Everything You Need to Plan for 2021

Joshua Tree Wedding Photographer

Are You Dreaming Of A Palm Springs Elopement?

Has the wedding planning driven you so far into the depths of madness that you decided the best option for you and your loved one is to pack your bags, head out to the west coast, and elope in Palm Springs? Well, the good news is you are not alone! With warm weather and cold cocktails available nearly all year round, many couples are opting for a Palm Springs elopement over the traditional wedding. Nestled beneath the San Jacinto mountains, the desert city has a little bit of everything for couples eloping from hiking trails above the Palm Springs Aerial Tram to poolside views at private hotels. Whether you are flying into the Coachella Valley via the Palm Springs airport or driving into the city via California Highway 111, there really is no better place to get married than Palm Springs! So let’s go over some of the things you should know about planning a Palm Springs elopement!

Elope In Palm Springs

Places To Elope In Palm Springs

There are a number great locations to choose from when considering where to rock your Palm Springs elopement from open desert spaces to botanical gardens. However, one of the first things a couple needs to determine is if they want to elope somewhere that is private + secluded or at one of the many amazing properties or Palm Springs private estates. So let’s first take a look at some of the more trendy Palm Springs elopement photo spots!

Casa De Monte Vista

This Spanish style private estate is located in the Old Las Palmas neighborhood of Palm Springs and is truly one of the more unique properties for elopements. Casa de Monte Vista has a courtyard, lawn, and garden area all of which can be the perfect setting for any Palm Springs elopement.  The private estate, which is owned and operated by an eccentric man named Joe, has so many little areas that are perfect for wedding portraits. Not to mention, right outside of Casa de Monte Vista is a gorgeous view of the San Jacinto mountains along with some majesty palm trees. Personally, this is one of my favorite spots for Palm Springs elopements and small weddings.

Check out an intimate destination wedding at Casa de Monte Vista by clicking here.

casa de monte vista wedding

Ace Hotel & Swim Club

One of the trendiest Palm Springs photo spots, the Ace Hotel is perfect for anyone seeking that hipster relaxed vibe setting. Couples can get married by the private pool and vintage trailer then take photos throughout the hotel. One of the coolest things about having a Palm Springs elopement at Ace Hotel & Swim Club is that not only will you get rad photos, but you are centrally located to everything in the city since basically all the places and things-to-do are off Palm Canyon Drive. The white walls and retro swim club vibe are great for wedding photos, but it is the Commune Wall at Ace Hotel that really provides a unique backdrop for Palm Springs elopement photography. This is because every year the Commune Wall is redesigned by some of the most talented artists that have included Block Shop Textiles, Chazwick “Chaz” Bear, and Laura Berger.

Check out Palm Springs elopement at Ace Hotel & Swim Club by clicking here.

Palm Springs Elopement

Moorten Botanical Gardens

For couples who love greenery and some cactus goodness, Moorten Botanical Garden is a fantastic location for a Palm Springs Elopement. Couples can explore desert plants from South Africa to the Mojave desert, then get hitched on the garden lawn. There are a lot of reasons why Moorten Botanical Garden is a great location for an elopement with the first being cost. For small weddings and elopements, the investment is only $1,000 for up to 20 guests and 2 hours of renting the grounds! And of course, Moorten Botanical Garden has one of the desert’s most iconic greenhouses which has been the setting for many Palm Springs elopement photos featured on Brides, Green Wedding Shoes, and other popular wedding publications.

Check out Palm Springs elopement at Moorten Botanical Garden by clicking here.

Moortens Palm Springs Wedding

The Saguaro Hotel

If color is what you seek for your Palm Springs elopement than look no further than the Saguaro Hotel. Recognized as the most instagrammable place in Palm Springs, the Saguaro offers many options for couples looking to have a small wedding or elope in the desert city. The trendy wedding venue has a colorful outdoor space and pool area that offers ridiculous views of the San Jacinto mountains, and a terrace area that can provide accommodations for roughly 200 people. However, what really makes The Saguaro the perfect location for a Palm Springs elopement are the design elements that create a beautiful backdrop for wedding photos. Oh and the nachos at the Tequila bar inside are truly something incredible!

saguaro palm springs wedding saguaro palm springs wedding

Palm Springs Photo Shoot Locations

There are many awesome Palm Springs outdoor wedding venues and hotels, but for couples who want simplicity, there are also some unique spots in the surrounding Coachella Valley that are perfect for a Palm Springs elopement. These are locations mostly known to local vendors like myself who has spent over 7 years photographing weddings in Palm Springs. So let’s take a closer look at some of these Palm Springs photo spots that are perfect for couples eloping!

Palm Springs Windmills Photoshoot

One of the most iconic Palm Springs photo spots is located in the open desert near the windmills. Honestly, most couples have a love/hate relationship with our energy-producing friends, but if you are one of those people who love the open desert (and renewable energy) then Palm Springs elopement at the windmills is certainly something to consider. First of all, the high winds really bring the temperature down to something bearable in the summer months for couples rocking Palm Springs windmills photoshoots in June-September. And not to mention, the area is private, secluded, and easy to access, only taking a 10-minute drive on North Indian Canyon Drive to reach the Palm Springs windmills.

palm springs windmill photo shoot

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

Couples who want a little eco-diversity for their Palm Springs elopement should consider getting married on top of the aerial tramway. One of the coolest things about Palm Springs in the February-March time of year is that you can literally be sitting by the pool drinking a cocktail in 100-degree weather than 30 minutes later be on top of the aerial tramway where it is 50 degrees with snow all over the ground. How f***ing crazy is that?! The swimsuit to snowshoes transition within an hour is certainly a unique experience, but the reality is there are some truly amazing spots in the San Jacinto mountains at the top of the aerial tramway that is perfect for couples who want an outdoors Palm Springs elopement. The best part is it only costs $36.00 to use the aerial tramway, and they might even play Billy Idol’s “White Wedding” when you are heading up or down!

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Wedding

Coachella Valley Preserve

Okay so this is not technically in Palm Springs, but the Coachella Valley Preserve is a rad location in the area that is perfect for anyone wanting that desert elopement vibe. There are big beautiful palms, open desert spaces, and all sorts of little areas that are perfect for a photo shoot. The Coachella Valley Preserve also does not charge for couples to elope in the protected grounds (although they do ask for a small donation). So if you like the outdoors, hiking, and that Coachella desert energy than this is certainly a location to put on your “places to elope in Palm Springs” list.

Coachella Preserve Engagement Photos

Palm Springs Desert Wedding

One location that may couples love for their Palm Springs elopement is simply the open desert near the visitor’s center. Any bride or groom who is planning to elope in the desert and asking, “Where can I take pictures in Palm Springs?” there is no spot easier to access, with better views, or more affordable than this spot. Simply park your car at the visitor’s center which located right off Highway 111 as you enter Palm Springs, then walk out into the open desert until you find a spot that feels like magic. On the west will be a glorious view of the San Jacinto mountains, a little east you can see the windmills in the distance, and the “Welcome to Palm Springs” sign is only about 100 yards away. Personally, I have photographed nearly 100 Palm Springs elopements at this spot and it never gets old.

Palm Springs Wedding Photography

Palm Springs Elopement Package

How much is a Palm Springs Elopement Photographer?

So you decided that you wanted to actually enjoy your wedding day and unfortunately, that means leaving your family and friends behind to elope in Palm Springs. AWESOME! Good decision! This is your wedding day and the last thing it should be is stressful or a financial kick to the nuts. Now that you are sold on the desert the one thing you will want to do is book a Palm Springs elopement photographer to document you and your partner in all your wedding day glory. Palm Springs elopement packages will vary depending on the hours of coverage. Here is a break down of how much that investment would be:

  1. One hour of Palm Springs elopement photography $700
  2. Two hours of Palm Springs elopement photography $1,300
  3. Three hours of Palm Springs elopement photography $1,850

Are you looking for a Palm Springs wedding venue for a small or large wedding? Then check out this article on the 7 Best Palm Springs Wedding Venues by click here!

Ryan Horban is a wedding photographer in the Coachella Valley who has documented hundreds of Palm Springs elopements. His hobbies include power walking on the treadmill, petting dogs, making sweet love to his wife while Sade plays on Spotify, and photographing kick ass couples.

palm springs gay wedding planner