Steve Haslet • San Diego Wedding Officiant • Wedding Officiants in San Diego • Tiny Weddings
Beach Weddings in San Diego • San Diego Elopements • Small last minute weddings!
Over 4000 weddings since 1987


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Voted BEST elopement services by San Diego Magazine Readers Poll 

It's super easy to ELOPE or have a small wedding on a budget in San Diego!

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​​​​​​​​​After officiating and celebrating with over 4000 couples over the last three decades, as well as having a large wedding myself.... I am here to share the many wonderful benefits of

eloping or having a small wedding.   Let's just look at a few of the reasons and benefits couples choose to celebrate by having a smaller wedding.  

Did you know?  The average wedding for 100 guests in California in 2021 was about $40,000 
Paid for with credit card debt and wedding "loans" about 30% of the time

(ps this didn't include the rings)

In San Diego for example, you can choose to be married for free on the beautiful Coronado Beach IF you keep your guest list to 20 or fewer. Balboa Park has small areas for tiny, tiny weddings (Rose Garden, Alcazar Park), Sunset Cliffs in Ocean Beach. You'll just need to hire an officiant  (a shameless plug for my services) and purchase a marriage license from any California County Clerks office. To get a San Diego County Marriage license ~ it will require an appointment.​ Super easy and so affordable!

• Is there something else you'd rather spend your money on? 
Couples who elope are confident and adventurous! Couples who choose the small or tiny wedding option might even be considered to be practical!  Often couples already live together and have started to build their financial lives together.  They’re just not willing to be pressured into having a big wedding, just because everyone is expecting them to. 
SO...if you’d rather save for a down payment on a home, pay off credit card debt, buy a boat or a tiny house, or honeymoon in Europe for 6 months... YOU CAN JUST DO IT! 

A big wedding doesn't make a happy, successful marriage—

but perhaps building your financial foundation, together on the same page
will help to build that foundation.

• SO MUCH Less Stress!  
A small wedding is an opportunity to be more present at your wedding ~ you’re less likely to experience the anxiety of being pulled in so many directions at the wedding, as well as all of the planning before. It's a big challenge to be fully present in the day and soak up the special moments if you're stressed and distracted.  With a smaller wedding, you can actually focus on the ceremony, the two of you and really enjoy your wedding day. 

• Benefits of a Smaller Guest List
While some may have a hard time downsizing their guest list, many find it a big relief that they don’t have to worry about inviting people “just because". Your plan to elope or have a small wedding can eliminate the feeling that you need to invite everyone, like your parents friends or business associates just because there is room at your venue, or it is expected. 
 I recently heard a suggestion, a unique way to help choose the most important people to invite if you are having a tiny wedding: 

Is this someone I would have at my home for a weekend? Or someone I would splurge on a fancy dinner with?  You'll have your own criteria of course. But ultimately,
the guest list will be up to you.

Additionally, the cost of invitations, alcohol,

catering, and even the size of venue can all be reduced dramatically. 

• You'll have more freedom before, during and after
The average price of just the wedding/ceremony venue alone was $10,000 in 2021 in California. Saving this amount of money on just one item in your budget, can make a world of difference.  Again, in San Diego, where I officiate elopements and small weddings....there are actually FREE gorgeous locations like beaches and so many parks if your guest list is small~ fewer than 20 for most. 
With fewer family members and guests involved before the event and the day of... you’ll have fewer expectations that you'll need to take into consideration. This means you can create and shape traditions in your own style, without worrying what anyone else thinks. The fewer people involved in wedding planning and on the "day of" can mean less pressure to feel you must adhere to others expectations. 

 • Can I still wear a beautiful wedding gown, have flowers, attendants and a cake ? 
Wear what you love.. whatever makes you comfortable, 
special and beautiful. There is no need to insist the groom must wear a stuffy rented tux.Whether that’s an all out fancy wedding gown, a vintage dress

or your very favorite jeans and a beautiful blouse.  It's your wedding!

Show off your style and embrace the freedom you have to do as you please.
It goes with out saying, include your closest friends, children, and even your dog in your tiny wedding. Choose the flowers, decorations and
a bridal bouquet you love ~ that best express your very own style. 

• Hiring great vendors for your small wedding or elopement is essential
Having a fabulous photographer and 
a videographer is a great to way capture your day and 

to share it afterwards for years to come. 

If you are eloping (no guests) or having a tiny wedding ~the inclination to share your day may be strong!  Your photographer and/ or videographer will provide you with the only tangible memories from your wedding day—so you’ll want to be sure they’re reputable, trustworthy and of course, talented. I have some really great referrals for
local San Diego Wedding photographers
that I've worked with over the years. 

If you are choosing on your own, double check to see if they are comfortable, or even specialize in smaller weddings, elopements and couples sessions. 

It takes a different skill set to capture smaller, intimate events. 

Choosing a non~judgmental, flexible, San Diego Wedding officiant with loads of experience, one who can help set the tone for your ceremony, help you with your vows, support and reassure you the day of and file your license after the wedding is an absolute must.  I am honored to have been trusted by so many couples to provide this very personalized service for them. 

Those Little Extra's

Choosing a place to go after the ceremony perhaps for dinner or brunch is a really affordable and relaxing way to have a tiny reception.  You could also have a fancy catered picnic on the beach, or rent an VRBO
for a small gathering, be sure to check their house rules.
You could also have a cake delivered or made on site.

And afterwards, you could send out some fun announcements!  "We Eloped" ! Or perhaps a fun, little holiday card to share your happy news. 

I hope you've found this helpful, I'd love to be part of your special day, 

 and happy to answer any questions you have. 
Whether it's just the two of you, or a small group of family and friends for your San Diego wedding, call, text or fill out the contact form
​And I'll get back to you right away! 


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