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How to Plan a Small Wedding in Laguna Beach at Heisler Park

By: Christopher Todd

Award-winning Orange County photographer specializing in people with 20+ years of experience

How to Plan a Small Wedding in Laguna Beach at Heisler Park

By: Christopher Todd

 Planning a small wedding in Laguna Beach at Heisler Park? We've got you covered with tips on venues, accommodations, and hosting a cozy reception at our favorite oceanfront restaurant. 

Table Of Contents
    bride and groom at heisler park in laguna beach

    How to Plan a Small Wedding in Laguna Beach at Heisler Park

    Planning a wedding can be both exciting and overwhelming, especially when you want it to be intimate and memorable. If you're considering a small wedding in Laguna Beach, Heisler Park offers a picturesque setting perfect for your special day. Here's a comprehensive guide to help you plan a charming and stress-free wedding at Heisler Park, including accommodation options and a delightful reception at Las Brisas Restaurant.

    As a longtime Laguna Beach photographer I'm excited to share some of my local knowledge, and favorite tips with you. Did I mention this is a perfect location for an affordable beach wedding? 

    Looking for a local photographer to help plan & capture your photos?

    A Gazebo Wedding In Laguna Beach

    bride and groom just wed at heisler gazebo park in laguna beach ca.

    Why Choose Heisler Park for Your Wedding?

    Heisler Park is a gem in Laguna Beach, offering breathtaking ocean views, lush gardens, and serene walking paths. It's a photographer's paradise, providing numerous picturesque spots for romantic portraits. Whether you're envisioning a sunset wedding or a morning ceremony with the waves crashing in the background, Heisler Park offers an unparalleled setting.

    The gazebo in Heisler Park wedding cost is not only affordable but it is one of the best places to elope. The average cost of a wedding in the United States according to a study done by the knot: 

    • A wedding with 1-50 guests costs on average: $16,700
    • How much does a wedding with 50-100 guests cost on average?: $28,300
    • How much does a 150-person wedding cost on average?: $45,600
    • How much does a 200-person wedding cost on average?: $60,800"

    The average cost for a wedding with 15-20 guests at Heisler Park with a Reception at Las Brisas (This is an estimate not an actual quote)

    • Heisler Park Gazebo permit- $416
    • Marriage License fees- $61
    • Las Brisas private event dinner- $1700-2500 (based on the number of guests and menu selection taxes and gratuity not included)
    • Valet Parking- optional $200
    • Officiant- Starting at $450
    • Professional Wedding Photographer- Starting at $1200
    • Total- Estimate $4027
    Elopement photo with bride wearing custom jean jacket

    Directions To Heisler Park, Laguna Beach

    Steps to Plan Your Small Wedding at Heisler Park

    elopement ceremony at heiseler park gazebo in laguna beach

    Steps to Plan Your Small Wedding at Heisler Park

    1. Secure Your Permit

    Securing a permit is the first crucial step. Contact the City of Laguna Beach to apply for your wedding permit. We can assist you with this process. It's important to plan ahead since this popular location can book up quickly, especially during peak wedding season. In addition, there are certain times of the year you can not get married here. 

    Things to know about a Laguna Beach wedding permit

    • This permit allows a two consecutive hour use of the designated permit location.
    • Memorial Day to Labor Day – Beach weddings are allowed at four locations only.  Diver’s Cove, Picnic Beach, Rockpile Beach, and North Main Beach 
    • Keep the permit with you while utilizing the site.
    • The application fee is non-refundable.
    • Permit applications must be received at least two business days before the requested date for consideration and processing.

    2. Obtain an Orange County Marriage License for Heisler Gazebo wedding 

    To start the application process, apply online for your Orange County Marriage license, you then go in person to complete the forms. This must be done in person and an Orange County Marriage license is valid for 90 days. Must bring valid government IDs and a proper form of payment. Get all the details about an OC marriage license.

    3. Wedding Ceremony at The Gazebo at Heisler Park

    The iconic Gazebo provides a stunning panoramic view of the ocean, making it a favorite choice for many couples to have their wedding ceremony under. After exchanging the vows, photos can be taken around the area and down at the beach.

    Rules and restrictions to know for a wedding ceremony at the Gazebo in Heisler Park:

    • No tables or chairs 
    • No archways or structures, including large letters and balloons. 
    • No battery/electronic powered music devices or amplified sound permitted.
    • No animal-drawn vehicles are permitted.
    • No alcoholic beverages, including champagne toasts, are permitted.
    • No open flames (including candles, lanterns, tiki torches, etc.) are permitted.
    • No rice, birdseed, confetti, or flower petals (real or artificial) are permitted.
    • Maximum capacity, including wedding party and all guests at the Gazebo, is 50 people.

    4. Hire Local Vendors

    Local vendors are familiar with the park and can offer invaluable insights to enhance your wedding experience. From florists, musicians, hair and make-up, and local officiants. Laguna Beach has a wealth of talented professionals ready to make your day unforgettable. As a local photographer, I can personally recommend some of the best vendors in the area to ensure every detail is perfect. 

    5. Hire a wedding officiant

    Be sure to hire an ordained and certified wedding officiant. They will have to sign your marriage license. I highly recommend Great Officiants. They have 37 professional wedding officiants who will provide excellent service. 

    bride and groom at heisler park in laguna beach
    Heisler park gazebo wedding group photo of family and friends

    Wedding Reception

    Las Brisas Private Event Room

    Hosting a Small Reception at Las Brisas Restaurant

    For an intimate and elegant reception, Las Brisas Restaurant is a fantastic choice. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Las Brisas offers a sophisticated dining experience with a menu that blends Mexican and Californian flavors. It's literally steps from the gazebo at Heisler Park, making it incredibly convenient for you and your guests. Las Brisas offers valet parking for $10, worth every penny for a hassle-free parking experience in Laguna Beach. 

    Tips for a Memorable Reception at Las Brisas

    • Reserve Early: Given its popularity, it's essential to book your reception at Las Brisas well in advance. This ensures you get the best seating arrangement and availability for your preferred date.
    • Create Your Menu: Work with the restaurant's event coordinator to select your menu.  Las Brisas is known for its fresh seafood and flavorful dishes.
    • Simple Decorations and Guidelines: The natural beauty of Las Brisas, with its stunning ocean views, means you won't need extensive decorations. A few elegant touches can enhance the ambiance without overwhelming it. All decorations must be approved by Las Brisas event staff before your event.  Confetti, bubbles, balloons, or open-flame candles are not allowed. Floral centerpieces are always welcome. Amplified sound is not allowed at any time.
    las brisas restaurant wedding reception table outdoor on the patio

    Las Brisas, Restaurant

    Laguna Beach Hotels

    bride and groom standing on beach with dramatic clouds and cliffs in background

    Where to stay in Laguna Beach

    Make your wedding day special with an overnight stay in Laguna Beach. There are a variety of accommodation options, ensuring you and your guests will have a comfortable and enjoyable stay. Here are a few top picks:

    • Montage Laguna Beach: This luxury oceanfront resort offers breathtaking views, world-class amenities, and exceptional service. It's perfect for couples and guests seeking a lavish experience.
    • Casa Loma Beach Hotel: Located steps away from Heisler Park, this charming hotel offers convenience and comfort. It's ideal for guests who want to explore the local area on foot.
    • Pacific Edge Hotel: A beachfront resort where you can enjoy unobstructed views of the ocean, with instant access to your own little stretch of California coastline and a laid-back vibe that encompasses the best of Southern California.
    wedding cake with ocean in background

    Directions Pacific Edge Hotel

    Laguna Beach Elopement Timeline

    Bride and groom with family and friends on beach path overlooking the ocean

    A Sample Timeline of Heisler Park Elopement

    Noon -Getting Ready at a nearby location. 

    3:45 P.M. -Arrive at the meeting location in Laguna Beach. The bridal party and guests arrive. 

    4:00 P.M. -First look with bride and groom. 

    4:15-4:45 -Wedding portraits with bride and groom, family and friends.

    5:00-5:15 -Gazebo wedding ceremony 

    5:30-6 Bride and groom photo session. Go down to the beach and around Heisler Park. 

    6:00 -Reception at Las Brisas including a champagne toast, speeches, dinner, and cake cutting and or dessert. 

    Bride and groom walking on the beach
    bride and groom eloping at laguna beach tidepools


    FAQ section for a Laguna Beach Elopement at Heisler Park

    Have more questions? Get in touch with us to start planning your elopement today.

    Meet The Author & Photographer

    Call Me Chris

    Thanks for checking out my favorite beaches for photography in Laguna Beach. As you can tell I'm excited to share my discoveries having photographed LOTS of people all over Laguna. I hope you can plan something fun with these tips.

    Male photographer holding camera.

    Meet The Author & Photographer

    Male photographer holding camera.

    Call Me Chris

    Thanks for checking out my favorite beaches for photography in Laguna Beach. As you can tell I'm excited to share my discoveries having photographed LOTS of people all over Laguna. I hope you can plan something fun with these tips.

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