Catalina Island is known for being one of the most romantic islands in the world, so it’s not surprising that you’re wanting to have an elopement on Catalina Island! With so many different places to explore, hikes to climb, and beaches to swim in, you have a variety of activities to do on your wedding day. Within this guide, you’ll find everything you need to know about how to get married on Catalina Island.
How to Get to Catalina Island
You can only get to Catalina Island by boat or helicopter. By boat, there are four main ports you can sail out of – San Pedro, Long Beach, Newport Beach or Dana Point – and it takes about an hour to arrive at the island from each port.
If you prefer a more intimate experience, consider flying in a private helicopter. The helicopter ride only takes 15 minutes, and you can fly from Long Beach, San Pedro, Burbank Airport or John Wayne Airport/SNA.
To see everything you need to know about how to get to Catalina Island, check out the official site here.
Catalina Island Wedding Venues
Website: Lover’s Cove
Lover’s Cove is the most popular snorkeling spot on the island. The cove itself is absolutely beautiful. There are also numerous lookout spots of the cove that make for beautiful ceremony spots. This spot is meant for elopements or smaller weddings due to the size of the lookouts and cove itself.
Little Harbor and Shark Harbor Trail
Website: Little Harbor and Shark Harbor Trail
If you decide to elope or have a small wedding, check out the Little Harbor and Shark Harbor Trail. It’s a 5.6 mile roundtrip hike (though you don’t need to hike the full thing to get breathtaking views) that’s perfect for the outdoor couple. This is definitely one of my favorite Catalina Island wedding venues!
Website: Shark Harbor
Shark Harbor is located on the southwest side of the island and is one of Catalina’s lesser known beaches. Adjacent to one of the most popular beaches, Little Harbor, Shark Harbor is a great option if you’re wanting something smaller and more intimate.
Catalina Adventure Tours
Website: Catalina Adventure Tours
If you’re wanting something super romantic, consider having your ceremony on a private boat in the middle of the ocean. Not only will you get some epic pictures on the water, but it’s a wedding day you’ll remember forever! There are numerous different boating companies you can rent from.
Website: Overlook Hall
If you’re wanting something a bit more rustic, check out Overlook Hall. Originally built as an Italian chapel, this small Catalina Island wedding venue is perfect for the couple looking for something more intimate. The architecture is beautiful, and the coloring is neutral which is always a plus for pictures.
Descanso Beach Club
Website: Descanso Beach Club
Descanso Beach Club is the most popular wedding venue on Catalina Island. Enjoy a ceremony right on the beach, then a reception on the lush green lawn right in front of the outdoor bar. It’s perfect if you want something a bit more laidback and relaxed right on the beach.
Website: Hotel Metropole
Hotel Metropole has a total of three different rooms you can choose from, though I personally recommend The Beach House room and the M Restaurant. Both rooms are sleek, have beautiful views of the harbors, and are conveniently located close to other excursions.
Harbor Reef Restaurant
Website: Harbor Reef Restaurant
The Harbor Reef Restaurant is located right on the harbor. Not only will you get a beautiful view and ceremony location, but you and your guests will also be able to enjoy some delicious fresh food. It’s a great spot to watch the boats, along with the famous California sunsets.
Banning House Lodge
Website: Banning House Lodge
Banning House Lodge is a bed and breakfast that offers sweeping views of the Isthmus and Catalina Harbor. The architecture of the area and beautiful, and it’s a great place to stay for a honeymoon right after your reception.
Garden to Sky Trail
Website: Garden to Sky Trail
If you’re wanting to elope and are looking for that perfect outdoor location, look no further. Garden to Sky Trail is a 2.8 mile hike that will provide you with jaw dropping views of both sides of the island. There are so many different options for your ceremony site on this trail.
Website: Cottonwood Beach
Cottonwood Beach is another small beach located on the southwestern side of the island. It’s not easy to get to, but both the beach and the cliffs above it make it the perfect spot for a wedding ceremony. It’s beautiful, intimate, and most importantly, quiet.
Wrigley Botanical Garden
Website: Wrigley Botanical Garden
The Wrigley Botanical Garden is a charming wedding venue in Catalina Island. The museum that’s attached to the gardens is absolutely stunning, and the gardens themselves are home to various different types of plants that are fun to explore on your wedding day.
Catalina Island Marriage License and Laws
To get married on Catalina Island, you’ll need to get a California marriage license. To see how to get a marriage license, check out this post.
You’ll also need an officiant, two witnesses, and a location permit if you decide to get married anywhere outdoors like on Lover’s Cove or Cottonwood Beach.
Catalina Island Elopement Packages
Now that you’ve decided to get married in Catalina, check out these all-inclusive Catalina Island photography packages. To see more details, check out my pricing!
Catalina Island Elopement Package Pricing
- 4 hours – 1.5 days of elopement coverage in any area on Catalina Island
- A hands-on Catalina Island elopement planning experience with unlimited assistance
- personalized elopement locations and questionnaires
- vendor recommendations
- permit assistance
- customized elopement timeline
- Online gallery with full resolution and printing rights
- 24-48 hour sneak peak images
- Travel fees to ANYWHERE in California are already included
- Starting at $4,000
A wedding on Catalina Island can be as cheap or expensive as you want it. Most venues start around $3,000 but can go all the way up to $25,000.
Yes, you can get married on Catalina Island.
The best time of year to go to Catalina Island is during the spring and fall. In the summer, it’s very crowded. In the winter, it’s rainy and the boat ride to the island can be choppy.
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I’m Brianna, a California elopement photographer who inspires, encourages, and empowers couples to push traditional boundaries and create experiences they’ll remember forever.