How to Get Married on the Beach in Huntington Beach, California

The love of your life and sound of the ocean.

What could be more romantic for your wedding day?  As a gentle breeze flows through your hair and your toes touch the warm sand, you look into the eyes of your fiancé and say, ”I Do.”   In Orange County, California, we are fortunate to have incredible beaches perfect for weddings.

How to Get Married on the beach in Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach is an amazing place to have your wedding in Orange County.  There is a fun atmosphere here that draws people from all over the world.  While it’s not the ideal place for an intimate beach wedding, it is possible.  To see an example of an intimate beach wedding in Huntington Beach, click here: Alycia & Matt’s Wedding

Huntington Beach is divided into sections, the City Beach and the State Beach.  Each one has it own rules and contacts for a wedding ceremony on the sand.

Huntington Beach City Beach

Location: Between Beach Blvd and Seapoint Street
Application Fee: $125
Site Fee: $450
Liability Insurance: Approximately $100
Contact: Barbara Gray, City of Huntington Beach (714) 536-5281  bgray@surfcity-hb.org

If you want to be as close to the pier as possible, Huntington Beach City Beach may be the perfect place for your beach wedding.  You’ll be walking distance to several restaurants and all the excitement of Main Street.  For less crowds, definitely go north of the pier, the closer to Seapoint Street the better.  However, keep in mind the dog beach starts at Goldenwest so unless you’re ok with dogs running through your ceremony, I would look somewhere around 9th Street.

Things to keep in mind for weddings at Huntington Beach City Beach:
*No fencing off areas – As lovely as it would be to section off an area of the beach to keep unwanted guests out of your wedding ceremony, it’s not allowed.
*No alcohol - There are plenty of places for drinks on Main Street, but you won’t be able to serve your guests alcohol on the sand.
*No amplified sound - Acoustic guitars are fine, which is perfect for a beach wedding.
*The beach is open until 10pm – Unless you are planning on having a moonlit ceremony, the 10pm closing time shouldn’t be an issue here.

Please contact Barbara Gray for more information.  She’ll be more than happy to answer your questions.

Huntington Beach State Beach

Location: Between Brookhurst and Beach Blvd, also north of Seapoint Street (Bolsa Chica State Beach)
Processing Fee: $40
Site Fee: $300 up to 25 people, $400 26-150 people, $500 151 people and more
Monitor Fee: $79 per hour with a 4 hour minimum.  Includes 30 minutes before and after setup
Contact: Special Events Office (714) 377-9422  northsectorevents@parks.ca.gov

Is your idea of the perfect wedding reception a bonfire?  Would you like the opportunity to serve alcohol to your guests and set up chairs?  Then you might want to check out Huntington Beach State Beach for your beach wedding in Orange County.  There are definitely more detailed rules when dealing with the State Beach compared to the City Beach and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND avoiding it for your wedding during the summer, but if you would like to have your ceremony and reception on the sand, it’s definitely an option.

Things to keep in mind for weddings at Huntington Beach State Beach:
*No weekends between Memorial Day & Labor Day - The State Beach is very crowded during the summer with people who show up early and stay late.  Trying to find an open space for your wedding would be incredibly stressful so the State Beach doesn’t even allow it.
*Alcohol is ok with a permit - Having the ability to serve alcohol means paying for a permit and a monitor.  $500 + 1 monitor for up to 100 people, $750 + 1 monitor for 101-200 people and $1200 + 2 monitors for 201 people and more.
*A DJ is ok, but amplified bands are not.  (This requires a monitor)
*The beach is open until 10pm - Even if your beach bonfire is still going strong, you’ll have to relocate the party at 10pm.

Please contact the Special Events Office for more information.  They’ll be happy to guide you through the process.

If the idea of having your wedding at a public space makes you nervous, there are gorgeous venues in Huntington Beach with views of the ocean.  Here are a few to consider:

Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach

Waterfront Beach Resort

Shorebreak Hotel

I hope this has been helpful!  When I was planning my own beach wedding in Orange County, it was overwhelming trying to find all of the information I needed to decide on the perfect spot to say, “I Do.”  All of the information in this post was current at the time it was posted.

Have you found the perfect spot for your beach wedding?

Click here to chat with me about wedding photography!

 

Featured Etsy Shop ~ Wide Eyes Paper Co.

Wedding Invitations can be as unique as you are.

While traditional wedding invitations following all of Emily Post’s rules are beautiful, not every couple wants to spend their wedding budget on double envelopes and letterpress.  Plus, who wants to stress over offending their guests with improper wording when they don’t have to?  

Thankfully, there are plenty of places to find gorgeous wedding invitations that fit your personality and truly add excitement for your guests when they receive them in the mail.

Unique-Wedding-Invitations

Wide Eyes Design is a boutique stationery brand and design studio based in Southern California created by Amanda Franz.  If you love whimsical designs with pops of color, you will love looking at the wedding invitations in her Etsy Shop!

Here’s a little excerpt from her About Page:

“My products feature whimsical, rustic, and vintage style design that express my style that feels both organic and timeless. I thrive off of bold pops of color, and emphasize my love for lay out design with strong use of typography. 

I strongly believe life’s personal stories and moments are best captured through the gift of a hand-written card or note, and hope that my goods inspire you to get creative, think outside the box, and share these moments with others.”

Do you have a favorite Etsy Shop?

I would love to hear about it!  Leave a comment with a link to the shop below. 

*Image is from Wide Eyes Paper Co.’s Etsy Shop.

Golf Club of California Wedding ~ Tiffiny & Bill

It was a perfect February day in Fallbrook.

While the rest of the country was covered in snow, Tiffiny & Bill’s Wedding Day in Southern California was warm and sunny.  The ladies started their day at the Pala Mesa Resort in Fallbrook.

blue wedding shoeswedding dressbride with veilTiffany Blue Bridesmaid DressesBride getting dressedMom helping bridebridebride with grandparentsThe Wedgewood Wedding & Banquet Center at the Golf Club of California is gorgeous!  It’s Spanish architecture and large wooden doors are beautiful backdrops for wedding pictures.

ring bearer and flower girl

The First Look

Bride and Groom First LookBride and GroomBride and GroomBride and GroomBrideBride and GroomWedding FlowersWedding AisleProcessionalHere comes the brideHere comes the brideWeddingThe kissMr. and Mrs.Bride and Groom PicturesBride and Groom Pictures

Tiffiny, you are stunning!Bride and Groom PicturesBride and Groom PicturesTiffany Blue Wedding ShoesWedding BouquetBride laughing

Can you tell Bill is hilarious?Mr. & Mrs.Bride & GroomWedding Cake49ers cupcakeFirst DanceFirst DanceWedding Rings HeartCommunion Napkin

The bride’s nephew and niece were the ring bearer and flower girl.  They kept everyone laughing the entire reception.Ring Bearer

It’s a tough job being a flower girl.Flower Girl

Instead of a bouquet and garter toss, the bridal party and guests played a game with the bride and groom.  The bridesmaids held up signs and if it applied to the guests, they had to stand up.  Then the bride and groom had to guess what the sign said.

It was so much fun!

Wedding GamesBride & Groom cutting cakeReception dancing

Tiffiny & Bill had custom wedding Mickey and Minnie hats made for their Grand Exit.Mickey and Minnie Wedding HatsMickey and Minnie Wedding HatsGrand Exit

Tiffiny and Bill, I am so happy for you both!  Congratulations and I’m looking forward to watching you build your lives together.

Newport Beach Engagement ~ Melissa & Eric

So much can change in 24 hours.

In 24 hours  you could meet the love of your life.  In 24 hours you could be engaged.  In 24 hours on the weekend of Melissa & Eric’s Engagement Session, it went from pouring rain and windy to beautiful blue, sunny skies.  You never know what could happen in 24 hours.

Newport Beach Engagement

Melissa and Eric met at a friend’s get together while riding bikes.

Eric knew he was about to meet an amazing woman his friends had told him about.

Melissa had no idea she was about to meet the man she would plan to marry.Newport Beach Engagement PicturesNewport Beach Engagement PicturesNewport Beach Engagement PicturesNewport Beach Engagement PicturesNewport Beach Engagement Pictures

They spent most of the Engagement Session laughing and making faces at each other.Beach Engagement PicturesBeach Engagement Pictures

I love when couples have fun while taking pictures because it helps them relax and show their true personalities.Beach Engagement PicturesBeach Engagement PicturesBeach Engagement Pictures

Beach Engagement Pictures

Beach Engagement Pictures

Melissa grew up a Dodger Fan and brought her foam finger and Dodger Blue shirt to prove it.

Beach Engagement Pictures

My husband is a huge Dodger Fan as well so he was pretty excited when I showed him the pictures.Beach Engagement Pictures

Beach Engagement Pictures

The sunset after a storm is always amazing at the beach in Orange County.  

After a quick outfit change into their wedding colors, charcoal gray and yellow, we ran back to the sand for some more pictures just as the sun was dipping below the horizon.
Beach Engagement PicturesBeach Engagement PicturesBeach Engagement Pictures

One of Melissa & Eric’s favorite things to do together is play cards.

There are always 2 Jokers in every deck.Beach Engagement PicturesSunset Engagement Pictures

Melissa & Eric, you are such a fun couple to be around and your wedding is going to be filled with so much joy and laughter.

Do you know Melissa & Eric?  Who do you think is funnier?  Leave a comment below!

Jim Joyce - March 19, 2014 - 8:27 pm

Neither…. I am the funnier one!!

Michelle Lewis - March 22, 2014 - 5:57 am

LOVE the pics cuz. Can’t wait til I can meet her. She looks pretty sweet
Wish I could b there for your special day but from the pictures you both look so happy. Glad u found each other……..finally lol. Love you great to see u smile and be so happy keep it up. Michale

Vow Renewal ~ Montclair Senior Center

To be in the presence of true love is amazing.

To be in the presence of 12 couples over the age of 50 in love is extraordinary.  The day before Valentine’s Day the Montclair Senior Center hosted, Wedding Bliss, a Vow Renewal and Celebration of Love for it’s seniors and their families.

I was honored to volunteer as the official Wedding Photographer for the event.

Montclair’s staff and volunteers did an incredible job of putting together a celebration everyone will remember for the rest of their lives.

Senior Citizen Vow RenewalInland Empire Purple Budget Wedding

Anxiously awaiting the start of the ceremony, the brides and grooms hid in a hallway while their friends and family lined up in the entryway.
Senior Citizen Vow RenewalSenior Citizen Vow Renewal

To start the ceremony, Marian sang a beautiful version of, “Can’t Help Falling in Love” that gave me goosebumps.  The lyrics had never had so much meaning until that moment.

Take my hand, take my whole life too.
For I can’t help,  falling in love with you.

Senior Citizen Vow Renewal

The City of Montclair’s Police Department Chaplain, Vicki Brobeck, took her position as the officiant and the processional began to the sound of Sarah playing violin.Senior Citizen Vow RenewalSenior Citizen Vow Renewal

Helen, as well as some of the other brides, wore her original veil to the vow renewal.  The picture on the left is from her and Donald’s wedding in 1956.  When I told her how much I loved her wedding dress, she told me she had made it herself.

It made me love the wedding dress and her that much more.
Senior Citizen Vow Renewal

Some of the couples, like Teresa & Jose, never had a wedding of their own.  Jose became emotional about finally being able to give his wife of 52 years her moment down the aisle.

Senior Citizen Vow RenewalSenior Citizen Vow RenewalSenior Citizen Vow RenewalSenior Citizen Vow RenewalSenior Citizen Vow RenewalSenior Citizen Vow Renewal

This is one of my favorite pictures of the day.  Federico & Josefina have been married 55 years and still gaze into each other’s eyes like teenagers in love.Senior Citizen Vow Renewal

The couples had their First Dance to “Remember When” by Alan Jackson.

Remember when we said when we turned gray
When the children grow up and move away
We won’t be sad, we’ll be glad
For all the life we’ve had
And we’ll remember when.

Senior Citizen Vow RenewalSenior Citizen Vow RenewalPurple Wedding Candy Bar

Senior Citizen Vow RenewalSenior Citizen Vow Renewal

I couldn’t get enough of Mattie’s adorable smile and had to sneak in a picture with her and Richard who she’s been married to for 53 years!
Senior Citizen Vow RenewalSenior Citizen Vow Renewal

Wedding Bliss couldn’t have happened without all of the amazing volunteers and the woman in purple in the picture below.  Ester Vargas-Pipersky never takes no for an answer and put so much time and effort into creating a beautiful event for deserving senior citizens.

Her creativity and love for others amazes me.

Senior Citizen Vow Renewal

Venue: Montclair Senior Center

Photography: Kimberly April Photography

Flowers: Martha’s Flowers

Cake: Ontario Bakery

Violinist: Sarah Merlkelbach

Soloist: Marian Nutley

Photo Booth: GC Photobooth

Other Sponsors: Montclair Hospital & Medical Center, VNA Hospice, West End Family Couseling and Inter Valley Health Plan

Ester Vartgas Pipersky - February 28, 2014 - 1:08 pm

Kimberly, I had already seen the pictures but seeing them on your blog brought a completely new meaning. The pictures are stunning! You have no idea how much impact these pictures are going to make in the lives of the senior citizens who renewed their vows; they are going to love them! Not only are the seniors going to cherish the photos but also many of their family members who will display your for generations to come! Thank you for taking the time to come to our beautiful little city, and volunteer your time, talent and money for this worthwhile event. I cannot wait to give the couples their pictures. Also, thank you for the kind words. Kimberly April Photography is the best!

Debbie Rodela Sharp - February 28, 2014 - 1:31 pm

Kimberly, you’re an amazing artist. You capture the event beautifully. Thank you for sharing this blessed event. Your pictures will touch lives of many.

Martha medina - March 3, 2014 - 10:42 am

One of the things I miss most from working for the city of Montclair is being around the creativity and love of seniors ( really others) that Ester Vargas Pipersky has. If it is in her possibility she give 100% of herself , especially to her “viejitos”, her seniors. May she be around for manny years to come to continue to bless and bring much needed joy to our ever growing Montclair senior center family. I am sure the beautiful photography has brought much happiness to them, great job Kimberly!!!!!!!

An old friend……..