A small wedding on el matador state beach in malibu, California

The homes in Malibu may be reserved for the rich and famous, but the beaches are natural wonders for everyone to enjoy. Here, you’ll find soft white sands, cliffs and rock arches lining the beautiful Pacific Ocean. One of the best beaches for a small wedding in the Malibu area is El Matador State Beach. Just one part of the Robert H. Meyer Memorial State Beach, this location is relatively free of tourists in comparison to the popular beaches of Santa Monica or Venice Beach. Rocks and sea stacks are scattered across the sands here, creating the perfect backdrop for a Malibu beach elopement.

Beach wedding day details

Having a small wedding means that you get to decide what actually matters on your wedding day! Throwing traditions out the window means you can really show off your personal style. You also have a lot more room to invest in things like high-quality florals if you’re not paying to feed 300 people a plate of average fettuccine alfredo at a reception.

This couple decided not to spend money on a big wedding and instead focus on their future and having their dream beach elopement in Malibu. They chose a warm and sunny theme for the day, with lush floral arrangements by Copper and Currant. The groom’s mustard yellow suit set the tone for a stylish yet laid-back day, where they got to focus on having fun with their closest family and friends instead of stuffy traditions.

The bride’s wedding dress was another shining star in this Malibu beach elopement (which makes sense, since it is called the Xanadu gown). From designer Elizabeth Dye, the lightweight skirt and full, billowing sleeves moved effortlessly in the ocean breeze. The unique pattern of the sequins and beading throughout the dress gave it an extra nautical touch.

Groom shows off his wedding ring and boutonniere after an elopement on a Malibu beach in California.
Bride shows off her bridal floral bouquet and wedding dress before an elopement on a Malibu, California beach.
Bride shows off her bridal floral bouquet and wedding dress before an elopement on a Malibu, California beach.
Couple say their wedding vows during a small elopement on a beach in Malibu.
Couple kisses in the sand during their Malibu beach elopement.
Couple kisses in front of the ocean during their elopement on a beach in Malibu, California.
Bride holds her wedding gown above the sand during her Malibu beach elopement.
Couple sits on the soft sand in their wedding dress and suit after their Malibu beach elopement.

Picnic on the beach reception

Elopements out in nature are amazing for so many reasons, but they often leave the couple wondering how they can celebrate afterwards. Many couples opt for a dinner with only their closest family and friends at their home or a local restaurant. If you’re getting married in a beautiful and relaxing setting like the beach, a great option is to set up a celebratory dinner right there! Copper and Currant also designed this intimate picnic reception. This allowed the couple to then spend more time with their loved ones as they watched the sunset after their wedding.

Styled reception picnic for a small wedding after a couple has an elopement on a beach in Malibu.
Rugs and throw pillows made for comfortable seating right on the sand.
Planning your own beach wedding?

Check out my guide to California Beach Weddings for the best beach locations and how to get married on them!


More Galleries: