Asistencia offers elopement packages during this time in which large gatherings are discouraged.

Bob and Norma Clark, who have been married for many years, emerge from the chapel.

Blame it on COVID. That’s becoming the mantra for this unusual time. Canceled or postponed, big weddings are among the COVID casualties because gatherings of almost any size are prohibited.  

Since San Bernardino County has lifted some of the COVID-era constraints, Redlands Conservancy’s Asistencia has an answer: elope. An elopement means that only a handful of people will be at the ceremony, and they can then socially distance themselves for the two-hour celebration.  

“It is June, after all,” said Asistencia General Manager Heather Ross of Knox Consulting. “So Knox Consulting has created a special package for couples who welcome the opportunity to have a small, low-key wedding in a beautiful historic setting — now, without waiting.”

Many years ago while the site was owned by San Bernardino County Museum, its Barton Road frontage was bedecked with a neon sign that said, “Wedding Chapel.” Today, the Asistencia still hosts weddings, and many other celebrations and events. It has a mission-style chapel that would seat 110 guests, except it can’t under COVID restrictions. It will be able to seat up to 25 guests, seated at least six feet apart.  

According to Redlands Conservancy, the Asistencia is a re-creation of an 1830 structure that served the San Gabriel Mission until 1834. The current version was built in the 1930s by the Works Progress Administration and San Bernardino County, and features architecture and a layout that are typical of mission outpost facilities of the mission era. The site has been restored and enhanced with heating and air conditioning, and hosts a variety of activities.

It is the headquarters for Redlands Conservancy.

“Our Elopement Package makes a wedding at this wonderful and unique setting simple to arrange and fabulous to enjoy,” said Ross.  

Because the site is listed on the California Register of Historic Resources, special care is required of any vendor or client who uses the facility to make certain no damage is done to the buildings and grounds. Several local vendors are to be approved for work at the Asistencia, and she has lined up vendors who will be available to provide wedding details for the Elopements.  

“These vendors are all local, which is important to us,” said Ross. “We have photographers, bakers, and florists and even a DJ available, and we can even provide an officiant.

“It’s an-all-in-one package, eliminating all the wedding planning details and agonies.”

Asistencia Elopement Package

n Two hours in the historic Asistencia chapel and courtyard.

n Seasonal floral decorations in the chapel, an officiant, a photographer, champagne toast package for two, seasonal and simple bouquet and boutonniere, and a 6-inch simple buttercream cake.  

n Additional services and upgrades are available.  

n Don’t wait too long: The package will be available through August.  

n For more information about Redlands Conservancy’s Asistencia: Visit redlandsconservancy.org or call (909) 351-0694.