sunset cliffs wedding, sunset cliffs elopement

Cost, Locations, Timeline & Tips

A Complete Guide of How to Get Married at Sunset Cliffs

Sunset Cliffs, San Diego is the perfect beach backdrop for your wedding. The cliffs, the colors, the ocean and the range of dimensions not only is beautiful but creates stunning photos! In this guide, we will go over everything you need to know about having your wedding or elopement here.

As your Sunset Cliffs Wedding Photographer, I’m on your team at day one. Through support, timelines, creativity with posing, and capturing all the grand and intimate details of your day I’ll help you plan the most unforgettable wedding day that feels like you, and document your adventure in a way that feels like art.

Locations & Costs

There are 3 designated locations where you can have your wedding at Sunset cliffs and you will need to obtain a permit through San Diego Parks. The cost for this permit is $197. Each location has a max guest count of 50 people. The three locations you can have your wedding are:

-Sunset Cliffs at Ladera Street (50 people. No restrooms available)

-Sunset Cliffs at Luscomb Point (50 people. No restrooms available)

-Sunset Cliffs at Osprey (50 people. No restrooms available)

Other costs will depend on what other vendors you are wanting to have. Florists, planners, videographers, photographers etc. can have a wide range of pricing. My sunset cliffs photography packages start at $3,500. My sunset cliffs photo & video packages start at $4,800. I also assist all my couples in planning, timelines, locations and vendor recommendations.

Sunset Cliffs Location Details:

Luscomb’s Point – this is the most open space along the cliffs. The best spot for a wedding with guests and using chairs!

The Arch/Osprey Point – this is the best spot for elopement or newlywed photos. A little narrow path leads out to a formation in the sea. To the North of Luscomb’s Point. 

Sunset Cliffs Cave – this spot is only accessible during negative tides. To get down to the beach and travel across slippery rocks can be quite dangerous. Stunning cave with an open celiing and very popular when it is accessible.

Garbage Beach – Where all the surfers go! The South end of Sunset Cliffs. You can take the stairs or there is a natural way down with a climbing rope. 

No Surf Beach – This beach is North of Luscomb’s Point and is a very steep climb down.


Sunset Cliffs is a very popular spot, especially at sunset of course, and your permit does not mean you have the area exclusively. There will most likely be people that you will have to work around. Luckily for you, I edit all the people out of your photos!

Since this is a popular area, parking is usually full. Depending on the amount of guests you have coming, you may want to consider alternate ways of transportation. I suggest Ubers or hiring a private transportation van/bus that will drop everyone off and pick everyone up when you are finished.

Timeline Examples

To get the most out of your sunset cliffs wedding, I suggest bouncing around to all the locations possible, including a more secluded beach that’s a hidden gem only accessible at a low tide. Steal my timeline example:

*time stamps on timeline will change based on time of year. This is suggested times for summer months*

-3:00pm: Detail shots, getting ready, bridal party photos at where you are staying

-4:30pm: Ceremony at Luscomb Point

-5:00pm: Family & Friend Photos at Luscomb Point

-5:30pm: Walk down into Sunset Cliffs Cave if the tide is low enough

-6:00pm: Drive down to garbage beach

-6:30pm: Beach Photos

-7:15pm: Drive back up to Osprey Point

-7:30-8:30pm: Sunset photos around the arches at sunset cliffs (there are two you’ll want photos at)

This is a basic outline and can be customized based on anything special you want to include on your day! For more details about locations, google map pins or time stamps, reach out below!

When To Get Married At Sunset Cliffs

The summer months are the most touristy part of the year and for good reason! The weather is typically warm but the sea breeze helps. Picking a weekday date will help with the amount of people at sunset cliffs. The best months would be May, July, August, September & October. I would suggest avoiding June (Gloom June as we call it) as San Diego typically gets rainy and overcast.

Unique Things To Add To Your Sunset Cliffs Wedding

-Private luxury picnic or dinner

-Kayaks around the coast

-Go surfing

-Stay until after dark for star photos

-Bring your dog

-Boat tour

Safety & Taking Care of the Area

Sunset cliffs can be dangerous. Be extremely careful when hiking around the cliffs and hiking down into the beaches. I suggest not wearing heels at this area. You can always pack them and switch into them for photos but not to walk around in. Pack plenty of water, sunscreen and snacks and be aware of your surroundings!

We all want to enjoy Sunset Cliffs so it’s important to take care of the area. If you are having a wedding, please avoid things like confetti or anything else that might make a mess. Make sure you leave the area better than you found it and pick up all trash and pack out what you bring in. Also be aware objects that are light enough to be blown over the edge. This spot will most likely have a breeze and you don’t want anything blowing over into the water that you can’t get back. You may think that’s a given but you would be surprised what gets left behind!

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Adventure wedding & elopement photographer for couples who want epic

Hey, I'm Sammie! I’m an adventurer at heart, with a passion for storytelling. You can usually find me with my couples, hiking cliffside in Zion National Park, chasing sunsets in Moab, or exploring other wild destinations around the Southwest.

I prioritize intentional moments filled with love and capture both grand & intimate photos. I'll help you plan the most unforgettable wedding day that feels like you, and document your adventure in a way that feels like art.

We'll show you the best locations

You won't find the best locations online. You need a local expert & photographer who has spent time exploring the area and scouting these locations in person. We share our exclusive location guide only with our booked clients!

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Adventures that feels like you, and documented in a way that feels like art.

I'm an adventurer at heart, with a passion for storytelling.

I prioritize intentional moments filled with love and capture both grand & intimate photos

I help craft unique adventures in places that feel as epic as your story