The past few years have seen a significant increase in the number of elopements and we’re always getting asked for our recommendations on the best places to elope—and for good reason! No longer does the term “to elope” conjure up images of the past, where a couple runs away and marries in haste. Rather, eloping has become an adventurous and romantic option to consider when planning your vows.
Why all the sudden interest in eloping? Well, elopements are intimate, so you get to focus all of your efforts on the two of you instead of catering to a crowd (not to mention saving on all the costs involved with a big wedding). Some couples love the idea of it being just the two of them, an officiant, and a photographer; sometimes they’ll include parents, siblings, a best friend, or a pet. Since you two don’t have to worry about the grand set-up, table arrangements, or all the things that go into the festivities, you can relax and focus on just the two of you and finding the best place to elope. Many couples choose to elope abroad, so not only does that make for a cool story, but you’re all set for a grand adventure following ‘I Do!’
The Best Places to Elope
The best place to elope depends on the couple and their personal style….from colossal mountains, to beaches in France, and painterly lake views, the awe-inspiring elopements keep on comin’… We’ve sorted through our favorite elopements to bring you some destination inspiration! Are you a couple that loves warm weather and sifting your toes through the sand? We’ve got a few tropical locations. Perhaps you’ve got a penchant for history and towering castles? We’ve got that too! Hang out with us as we dish out our top 25 best places elope (in no particular order)!
25. Horseshoe Bend + Antelope Canyon
from this Intimate Horseshoe Bend Elopement
Horseshoe Bend in Page, Arizona is known for its insanely gorgeous view of the water framed by the canyon walls. Also near here is Antelope Canyon, which is set on Navajo land (about a 20-30 minute drive); known for the ‘slot canyon,’ visitors can walk through the giant slabs of rock and take some seriously cool photographs! We’ve been to both and highly recommend checking each out….quite impressive and easy additions to our list of the best places to elope!
24. New Zealand
from this Bohemian-Inspired New Zealand Elopement
This sweet little spot is on a magical island near Auckland, New Zealand. We can’t picture anything dreamier than this!! By the seaside, with your beloved, and golden light… New Zealand has such natural beauty, we wouldn’t be surprised if we hear from you about a newly discovered best place to elope here.
photography: Nadia Meli Photography // venue name: Waiheke Island, New Zealand
23. The Beaches of Normandy
from this Romantic French Elopement in Normandy
While some will say that Paris is the most romantic place in all of France, we think this white sand beach in Normandy *might* just top that…
photography: Fabien Courmont // venue name: Normandy, France
22. Isle of Skye, Scotland
A velvet quilt of verdant moors, jagged + rocky mountains, glistening lochs and colossal sea cliffs—this is the Isle of Skye in Scotland. It’s known for being a mystical + magical place, and as the land of fairy folklore!
photography: The Kitcheners // venue name: Isle of Skye, Scotland, United Kingdom
from this Adventurous Fiji Highland Elopement
This was the first couple to ever tie the knot in the off-the-beaten-path unknown Fijan Highlands! When we think of Fiji, images of turquoise waters and sandy beaches come to mind. However, that’s not all there is to these gorgeous lands!
photography: Kama Catch Me // venue name: Fijian Highlands
20. Lake Louise, Canada
from this Lake Louise Elopement
Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada is unlike any other place in the world. With glistening turquoise waters framed by snow-capped mountains and lush Evergreens, it’s definitely one of the best places to elope in North America!
19. A Castle in Ireland
from this Elopement Inspiration at an Irish Castle
Years and years ago, Lord McQuillan of Dunluce imprisoned his daughter in a tower of this castle, after she refused the arranged marriage to her cousin. On a wild + stormy night, she and her true love fled and set off on a rowboat but were bashed against the cliffs. While one may see it as a romantic tragedy, it’s believed that their souls will forever remain together. Would consider getting married on these historic cliffs?
photography: Priscila Valentina Photography // venue name: Dark Hedges (as seen in Game of Thrones), Dunluce Castle in Ireland
18. In front of an Ice Cave in the PNW
from this Winter Elopement in an Ice Cave
The wintry landscape of the Big Four Ice Caves is just one of the many wonders of the Pacific Northwest. Though they are incredible, if you’re visiting—take caution and pay attention to warnings as this area is known for its unpredictable weather + elements. Perfect for an adventurous elopement!
photography: Dawn Photography // venue name: Big Four Ice Caves, Washington, USA
17. Santorini, Greece
from this Bohemian Elopement in Santorini, Greece
Can you imagine eloping in a place that’s known for its postcard worthy views? And with its proximity to so many other places, can you say island hopping?
from this Iceland Destination Elopement
Iceland’s green + rocky cliffs that overlook the ocean make for one stunning location! Complete with waterfalls, black sand beaches, and intriguing remnants of an old plane crash—Iceland is definitely for the adventurous duo and more than worthy of being listed on the best places to elope!
photography: Nirav Patel // venue name: Landmannalaugar and Dyrholaey in Iceland
15. At a Waterfall
from this Fairytale-Inspired Waterfall Elopement
How about at a waterfall? Your day will surely be memorable if you put on a pair of boots and hike up your dress as you ascend a mountain to the falls!
photography: Kristen Booth // venue name: Wahclella Falls in Portland, Oregon
14. On Top a Hawaiian Crater at Sunset
Surrounded by volcanic rock, ethereal clouds and one incredible sunset, we couldn’t have pictured anything more perfect! For the couple that loves warm locations, especially Hawaii—Haleakala Crater on Maui is for you!
photography: Angie Diaz // venue name: Haleakala Crater, Kula, Hawaii, USA
13. In the Desert of Joshua Tree
from this Bohemian Elopement in Joshua Tree
Are you inspired by the Southwest? Do you love the desert? What about easy California vibes? Joshua Tree offers up insanely starry nights, lots of cactus, and dreamy sunsets.
photography: Emily Wren Photography // venue name: Joshua Tree, California
12. In a Treehouse
from this Bohemian Treehouse Elopement
Stay in a treehouse + marry in the forest? Count us in!
11. Crater Lake in Oregon
from this Idyllic Oregon Lake Elopement
Surrounded by lush greenery + one breathtaking view of the lake—can you imagine saying your vows at Crater Lake?
10. Yosemite National Park
from this Romantic Yosemite Elopement
If you love the mountains, adventurous hikes, and insane views, Yosemite National Park in California may be for you! Nothing beats the incredible sights + photographs from Taft Point.
photography: Tyler Branch // venue name: Yosemite National Park, California, USA
9. In a Flower-Filled Gondola
Want to do something different? How about a mobile venue for our best places to elope list? Plus…you don’t have to be in Venice, Italy for this… Why not rent a gondola and have it decked out with florals? This lovely elopement took place in Long Beach, CA!
8. At the Sand Dunes
Perhaps head out to the sand dunes with some colored smoke bombs with your beloved?
photography: Lillywhite Photography // venue name: Imperial Sand Dunes, Niland, California
7. An Abandoned Building in the PNW
from this Vintage Bohemian Oregon Elopement
Covered in moss, this abandoned building in the PNW is both eerie + enchanting.
photography: Phil Chester // venue name: The Columbia River Gorge, Oregon
6. The Artistic Creation of Salvation Mountain
For the quirky + artistic couple, the cotton candy colored Salvation Mountain in Niland, California is quite the sight!
5. Olympic Peninsula Beach
from this Olympic Peninsula Beach Elopement
The weather at Olympic National Park in La Push, Washington is notorious for being unpredictable…to put it mildly. The day before this couple eloped, there was a storm strong enough to push a colossal tree trunk down the beach!
photography: Ryan Flynn Photography // venue name: Olympic National Park in La Push, Washington
4. In Snowy Colorado
from this Snowy Colorado Elopement
This rustic house. In Colorado. In the snow.
3. Los Angeles — With the Dreamy Skyline in the Background
from this Los Angeles Skyline Elopement
Overlooking the downtown Los Angeles skyline, just above Dodger Stadium… How dreamy is this?!
2. Capitol Reef National Park
from this Capitol Reef National Park Elopement
The unsung hero of Utah’s national parks, this is Capitol Reef.
photography: Phil Chester // venue name: Sunset Point in Capitol Reef National Park, Utah
1. The One That Started it All — Rattlesnake Ridge
from this Romantic Elopement in the Woods
Of course we had to share this one!! We published this elopement at Rattlesnake Ridge back in 2013 — just as elopements were starting to gain traction—and since then, we’ve received so many letters + sweet notes from future brides-to-be, saying this is THE post that inspired them to elope…..so of course it was a must for our list of the best places to elope!
While some may be concerned about offending family members for not including them in the day, many couples have told us after announcing that they had chosen to elope, everyone was really supportive. Ultimately, the day is about you two and celebrating your love. One major thing to consider if you’re wanting to elope in a foreign country—make sure to check out the local embassy’s marriage requirements + restrictions. Sometimes the process is a lot lengthier and special documents must be filed in advance.
So, can you imagine yourself eloping with your loved one? Just you, them, an officiant, and the photographer in some incredible location? Where would you go? Let us know in the comments below!