You decided to elope – that’s awesome! Maybe you were planning a big fancy wedding and decided that it just wasn’t for you or maybe you never wanted the wedding to begin with. Either way, you’ve made the decision to do things your way – and that’s awesome. The problem? Now you have to pick a location! If you’re wondering about the best places to elope, I have the ultimate list for you!
Why should you trust me? As a wedding and elopement photographer who specializes in elopements and intimate weddings and is plagued by wanderlust I spend a lot of time combing the corners of the globe for the BEST places to elope. Whether you’re looking for an epic spot in the U.S. or packing your bags and flying abroad, I’m here to help you find the absolute perfect place for you!
A note about these suggestions: I work with couples who are looking for a unique elopement experience in a beautiful place. They’re looking for authentic experiences in incredible places, not cookie cutter elopements. They want wild views, windblown hair, new cultures, and epic moments.
Best Elopement Locations in the United States
Colorado – Call me biased but I think Colorado is one of the best places for adventurous couples to elope. From 14,000 foot mountains to sand dunes to gorgeous canyons we have it ALL (ok, we don’t have beaches …). While eloping in Rocky Mountain National Park is on most people’s radar, there are more (and better!) spots if you’re willing to adventure a little farther from the beaten path. If hiking elopements are your jam and you LOVE mountains, Colorado is perfect!
Antelope Canyon, Arizona – Slot canyons are pretty freaking incredible and there may be none more beautiful than Antelope Canyon! This spot is famous for its red canyon walls and the way the light and shadows dance off them. If you’re looking for an otherworldly place to elope, Antelope Canyon is perfect! And as a bonus? You can hit additional iconic locations such as Horseshoe Bend!
Kauai – Hawai is no secret as an elopement destination. Hawaii is probably THE elopement destination. But that doesn’t mean you should write it off if you’re looking for something a little more unique. Kauai is an island filled with more than just beaches (although those are beautiful too!). From Red canyons to towering cliffs to waterfalls and jungles, a Kauai elopement is just what the doctor ordered for couples who love the tropics but hate crowds! My little adventure elopement photographer heart would love to go searching for hidden waterfalls or hike the Kalalau Trail with an adventurous couple!
Alaska – Oh, Alaska. Could you be any more gorgeous and wild?! Between HUGE mountains, crazy wildlife, sea kayaking, fishing villages, and glaciers, an Alaska elopement is perfect for an adventurous couple! Get off the beaten path and enjoy stunning views, kick ass sea food, and endless daylight (or a chance to see the northern lights!).
Moab, Utah – If you love adventure, Moab, Utah is a perfect place to elope. Moab is a popular adventure spot for mountain bikers, rock climbers, rafters, and pretty much everyone who loves playing outside and there’s a good reason for it. The scenery is killer, the weather is beautiful, and the adventure options are endless. You could elope in Arches or Canyonlands National Park or find a cool spot on BLM land and have a little more solitude amongst all that red rock.
Best Elopement Locations in the World
Sure, eloping in the U.S. is awesome but for real adventure you may want to head farther afield – or across an ocean. If you’re wanting something truly unique or hope to gain a few more stamps on your passport, here is my list of the best elopement locations in the world for outdoorsy couples looking for adventure!
Iceland – Eloping in Iceland has become extremely popular in recent years and there is a REALLY good reason for it. Iceland is otherworldly. If you LOVE nature and adventure, this is the place. Sure, there are a lot of people there but if you’re willing to venture off the tourist trail there are hidden gems everywhere! From waterfalls to geysers to beaches to a chance to see the northern lights, Iceland is the ultimate place for an adventurous elopement.
Isle of Skye, Scotland – Scotland might not be the first place you think of when you start planning a destination elopement but trust me when I say that this place is a GEM. With rolling green hillsides, gushing waterfalls, and the kind of moody weather that photographers (at least THIS photographer!) love, Isle of Skye is beautiful and off the beaten path.
Santorini, Greece – If you want your destination elopement to have a hint of luxury, Santorini may just be the place. With a moderate mediterranean climate, stunning beauty, and amazing food (seriously, the food!!), eloping in Santorini is a dream come true.
Patagonia – Ahhhhh Patagonia!!! There’s a reason the clothing company named its brand after this epic region. The towering, jagged mountains, ice-filled glacier lagoons, and endless opportunities for adventure make eloping in Patagonia the PERFECT spot for an adventurous couple. Bonus: Because its in the Southern Hemisphere its a great place to go during North America’s winter!
Cliffs of Moher, Ireland – If you’re thinking about eloping in Ireland you’ve probably considered a Cliffs of Moher elopement. This iconic landmark lives up to the hype!! Stand on the edge of the cliff (or a few feet back if you’re not that brave – I won’t judge) and say your vows as the birds swirl and the water crashes below you. The Pro Tip: The Cliffs of Moher are a popular tourist attraction but if you venture past the paved areas you can find a little more solitude and a lot more scenery! Or consider skipping the Cliffs entirely and elope somewhere along the Ring of Kerry or Dingle Peninsula.
If you’re planning an adventurous destination elopement or have ideas on places that I should have included in this list, I’d love to hear from you! Where do YOU want to elope?