If you’re dreaming of planning your very own redwoods elopement, look no further! From permit costs, to ceremony sites and the best times of year to elope, you’ll find everything you need here for your Muir Woods wedding.
Muir Woods Wedding Sites
There are a few different sites where you can hold your wedding ceremony in Muir Woods. The first is Founders Grove, where you can have up to 30 people in attendance.
This particular elopement took place in Bohemian Grove, which is the only site that is limited to no more than 10 people. We chose this site for the beautiful open tree trunk that we used as the backdrop for their ceremony.
Fern Creek is the third and final ceremony site location option in Muir Woods and allows up to 30 people. Something important to note is that any vendors in attendance, such as photographers and the officiant, will also count towards the guest limit.
All three locations are incredibly beautiful and surrounded by towering trees. The ceremony must take place at one of these sites, but before and afterwards portraits can be taken in other locations throughout the woods. There are also plenty of beautiful spots along the way to each location (like this bridge!) so you can take advantage of the walk to your spot by capturing some portraits!
I should also note that when I was in the process of researching ceremony sites I kept coming across blog posts mentioning Cathedral Grove. However, while this is indeed a site within Muir Woods that can be used for portraits, the wedding ceremony itself can’t take place here.
When to get Married in Muir Woods
Muir Woods National Monument only allows very specific windows of time for wedding ceremonies. The options are in the morning between 9am-10am or in the evening between 4pm-6pm. For Megan and Luis’s redwoods elopement we chose 9:30am since we had plans in the evening to take portraits in Napa Valley (there will be a separate blog post on that soon!).
Muir Woods can get super busy during the weekends and even more so during holidays. Because of this, weekend and holiday weddings aren’t allowed from March 15th through October 15th. However, any day during the week is a go! It works out much better to elope during the week anyways since there are way less people so you’ll have more of the park to yourself to explore!
Best Time of Year to Elope in Muir Woods
Like most places in the world, the weather changes throughout the year in Muir Woods. Most of the time people try to avoid the rain — this is normally what I recommend, especially if you want sunny, golden photos! However, rain and clouds bring their own appeal and can give the woods a darker, moodier look that’s beautiful in it’s own way!
Muir Woods from May through August
Summers are dry with very little rain, but it’s also the high season for fog. You can expect it to be foggy almost every day in the morning and afternoon, so I recommend dressing warmly and bringing layers in case you get cold! In my opinion, these are some of the best months out of the year to elope in Muir Woods due to the small chance of rain and the added bonus of fog (which can create the most beautiful effect in photos when the sun is streaming through it!).
Muir Woods from September through October
The weather during these months is very similar to summer, but with a little less fog. These are also some of the warmest months out of the year. There are plenty of days during these months that are beautiful to elope, but this is also around the time that rainy days begin to make their appearance in Muir Woods, so be prepared just in case!
Muir Woods from November through April
This time of year is rainy season in Muir Woods. This couple actually eloped in the very beginning of November. It rained so much the day before their wedding that there were still huge puddles everywhere the next day! Luckily she was wearing a pair of boots under her dress which kept her feet from getting muddy! Rainy season is exactly what you would expect: cold and wet. Temperatures can be in the 40s F and windy. If you plan on eloping during this time of year just make sure that you are well prepared with a rain jacket, layers to keep you warm, and a cute clear umbrella in case it rains!
Muir Woods Wedding Permit
Once you’ve selected your ceremony site and date, you can begin the permit application! Call the office prior to submitting it to make sure that the date is available since there is a nonrefundable $60 application fee. Applications are accepted up to one year in advance of your date. View the permit application here.
How much does it cost?
The total cost for a Muir Woods wedding permit is $700, which includes the $60 application fee. The permit also covers photography so you don’t need to worry about getting a separate photography permit.
Something that isn’t included in the wedding permit is parking. You will need to reserve that separately through their website. The cost is based on vehicle size as follows: $9.00 for standard, $30.00 for medium, and $45.00 for large vehicles.
Are pets allowed?
Unfortunately, pets aren’t allowed in Muir Woods National Monument. This rule is in place for many reasons, but first and foremost for your pet’s and your safety. Read more about their pet policy here.
Places to Stay
Sausalito is about 20 minutes away from Muir Woods and has a ton of great places to stay as well as delicious restaurants! Megan and Luis got ready at the beautiful Casa Madrona Hotel & Spa overlooking the water. This is also where they had their first look on their private balcony!
An even closer option is Mill Valley Inn which is located in, you guessed it, Mill Valley! It is surrounded by redwoods so if you want to be amongst the trees the entire day, this is the place for you.
My redwood elopement packages start at $2750. Contact me to get more info on my elopement photography packages and customized quotes!