First off … you’re thinking about getting married in Joshua Tree – AWESOME. Before you start nailing down all the details I want you to think about … is a National Park Wedding right for you? Figure out your guest count first thing. National park weddings are normally intimate weddings – if you want a 250 person wedding a National Park Wedding is NOT for you. Also it’s important to pick a good time of year to get married in Joshua Tree. The high desert has very harsh elements depending on the time of year you decide to get married here. See my post about the best time of year to do your wedding in Joshua Tree, California. And lastly, you will not be able to have your wedding reception in Joshua Tree you will have to find an alternate venue for that. If all this sounds good to you – keep reading to find out just how to get hitched in Joshua Tree National Park.
Here’s a step by step guide on how to get legally married and have the wedding of your dreams surrounded by Joshua trees and the beautiful desert. Please read on if you want to have a beautiful desert wedding that is boho, romantic, and magical.
1) Research and obtain all of your permits for your Joshua Tree Elopement.
Pick a date you want to get married. Please note that Joshua Tree Weddings that are planned SUPER last minute are not a good idea. They take some planning and preparation since permits can take up to a month to get approved. Knowing this, contact the permit maker here to get your permit so you can legally get married in Joshua Tree:
Jeannie Wilson at (760) 367-5518
Joshua Tree National Park Special Park Use Coordinator
BONUS: Read more about the permits here so you understand the process in its entirety. They are $120 and your photographer will also need one and will cost another $150. Normally photographers, myself included, will add this cost to your Joshua Tree wedding photography package. The total cost for both the wedding day use permit for Joshua Tree + Joshua Tree Wedding Photography Permit will be about $350. Not bad for a magical wedding ceremony location in California!
2) Where do you want to get married?
Pick a location in the park! I have a list of my favorite places to shoot weddings in Joshua Tree National Park to help you decide what the most magical place is for your wedding. They are all ADA accessible so your family members can attend easily. All they have to do is show up!
3) Hire your Joshua Tree Wedding Photographer!
This one should be the easiest one, hit that button at the bottom of this page to see if we’re available for your date. 😉 Really though, even if you don’t hire me for your wedding (If you love dark and moody photography this thing isn’t gonna work haha) make sure you prioritize wedding photos. You don’t get married at a beautiful National Park and have mediocre photos!
4) Pick your Joshua Tree Reception Venue
As I mentioned earlier – you can’t have your wedding reception in Joshua Tree National Park. However, all hope is not lost! There are many adorable places in the area where you can have your reception that have the same aesthetic and are perfect for your Joshua Tree wedding.
There are SO many great Joshua tree reception venues to choose from I can’t list them all here. But some of the more popular wedding venues in Joshua tree are:
5) Book your other joshua tree wedding vendors!
You aren’t allowed to have amplified music in Joshua Tree National Park but you could bring a single musician. Maybe a cellist or a harpist? Whatever feels good to you, do it!
6) Make a list and check it thrice!
Once you’re out here there is not much else around. There aren’t any walgreens on the corner. Therefore it is imperative that you make a list of literally EVERYTHING you need and bring everything + more. I’d recommend hiring a Joshua Tree Wedding Planner if you’re prone to forgetting things or just want to worry about nothing on your wedding day.
7) Enjoy every minute
Getting married or Eloping in Joshua Tree is a big frickin deal! It’s going to be exciting and nervewracking to plan a destination wedding like that so be sure to enjoy ALL of the fruits of your labor because weddings are the happiest and most important day of your life.
Hope this guide was helpful for those getting married in Joshua Tree. If you’re looking for a wedding photographer for your Joshua tree wedding or elopement click that button below and see if we’re available for your date. CONGRATULATIONS!