Elopements and Confidential Weddings

The definition of the word elopement has changed in recent years. It used to be a wedding where the bride and groom ran off to somewhere distant and got married in secret, often against the wishes of their parents. Nowadays, the term has come to mean any small intimate wedding ceremony with very few if any guests.

A photo of a couple exchanging their First Kiss of their Elopement
A couple exchanging the First Kiss of their Elopement at the Fairmont Hotel San Francisco Photo by Amanda Aceves amandaaceves.com

A Confidential Wedding Ceremony is unique to the State of Californa. It requires a particular type of marriage license. Although the county records your marriage license, it is not publically viewable by anyone without a court order. In other words, it stays a secret. California does not require a witness with a confidential wedding so that it might be just you and the Officiant. All confidential marriages could be called an elopement, but not all elopements are confidential. If you need to keep your wedding vows a secret, make a trip to the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area and “Make it Official.”

A photo of a delightful elopement wedding ceremony overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge
Elopement wedding ceremony in the Marin Headlands overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge – Photo by Dmitry Rogozhin www.DmitryRogozhin.com

There are many reasons why a couple might want to have a Last Minute, Elopement, or Confidential Wedding Ceremony. An elopement wedding is undoubtedly less expensive and way less stressful with very little drama. Military service people often need to get married quickly before shipping out overseas. Everyone has their own unique and personal reasons.

A photo of a couple having an Elopement in the Redwoods
A couple having an Elopement in the Redwoods at Redwood Regional Park in Oakland CA

Some of the popular venues for intimate elopements in the San Francisco Bay Area are;

• San Francisco City Hall
• The Palace of Fine Arts
• Crissy Field
• Marin Headlands
• Golden Gate Park
• Redwood Regional Park

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1 thought on “Elopements and Confidential Weddings”

  1. Hi there Andy,
    I think we actually belong in this type of wedding type-an elopement with just my parents as guests…(boy how things have changed through the years with this type of wedding)!

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