An elopement is a magic time to celebrate your union and your love. When you and your partner decide to elope, the WORLD is at your fingertips! But how do you pick? I’m going to help you narrow it down by giving you all the secrets to some of the best places to elope this year.
Picking an elopement location can be one of the most important parts of eloping for many couples. After all, once you opt to ditch the expensive venue, you’re choosing to open up your horizons to just about any location available. The options are quite literally endless!
Some of the best places to elope start with a memory, or a desire, or curiosity. It can be overwhelming to pick that perfect, heartfelt, meaningful spot to start your life together.
The world is your oyster… so pick the place that really excites you! I’ve picked some of the best places to elope around the U.S. and around the world below. I’ll help you narrow it down!
My home state of Oregon has some of the most incredible spots in the country to elope! No matter what type of landscape you’re looking for, Oregon has it. One of my favorite spots in the state is the Oregon Coastline, which offers rugged beaches, stretches of empty coastline, dramatic rock formations and laid back vibes. Cannon Beach and Astoria are popular places to stay, but there are many smaller cities with cute restaurants and Airbnbs – though things will book up quickly in the summertime!
If you’re looking for something more mountainous, we can always head out to one of my other favorite spots: Crater Lake! In the late summer, the Rim Drive around the park will be open and we can stop for golden hour photos at secluded spots. There are literally COUNTLESS beautiful spots at both sunrise and sunset.
Smith Rock State Park near Bend, Oregon, also makes for a dreamy elopement. With its dreamy snow capped mountains to its red desert cliffs (plenty of rock climbing!), Smith Rock makes for a one-of-a-kind elopement spot. Best of all, it’s a place I’m super familiar with, so I can recommend plenty of incredible spots.
If you keep driving through Bend, you’ll also find some deserts in Oregon – a little known fact! These high deserts are surrounded by beautiful mountains and make for a gorgeous elopement destination.
Oh, and don’t forget the waterfalls. Oregon has more than 200 waterfalls across the state, so if that’s where you want to elope, Oregon is YOUR spot. You can drive right up to some waterfall spots, while others may require a short day hike or a multi-day hike. Some of my favorites are Panther Creeks Falls, Umqua Falls and Abiqua Falls. Plus, many of these waterfalls are nestled into the Columbia River Gorge, a stunning area with dramatic views and lots of hiking.
Be sure to check out Minam Lodge in North East Oregon’s Eagle Cap Wilderness. This beautiful lodge is only accessible via hike in, horseback ride or private plane – talk about romantic! The lodge has private cabins, prepares all meals from locally sources and offers a spa, yoga, fishing, hiking and horseback riding.
Here’s the best part: if your elopement is four hours from my hometown, my travel fees are waived! (I might be biased, but Oregon might be THE best place to elope!) 🙂
Much like Oregon, Washington is an adventure lover’s playground. Mount Rainier National Park is perhaps the biggest and most iconic spot in the state, offers endless summertime trails leading to blossoming meadows and gorgeous look-out points. The North Cascades National Park and Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest leaves so much wilderness to explore, from snow-capped mountains to meadows and beyond. Along the coast, the Olympic Peninsula has old growth moss-covered forests that lead to rugged coastlines, waterfalls and mountain overlooks.
The Hawaiian islands, nestled into the Pacific Ocean, offer endless beautiful views and chill vibes for couples eloping. Each island has something unique to offer, but no matter where you pick, you’ll have stunning beaches, multitudes of mountain views and more. For example, the island of Kauai has the iconic Waimea Canyon, Kokee State Park and some of the best beaches in the U.S. (looking at you, Poipu Beach).
On some of these islands, you can reach jaw-dropping views with a short walk. If you’re looking to have the experience of a lifetime, taking a helicopter tour of one of the islands can be an incredible way to make the day special. Many couples are drawn to not just the gorgeous views on Hawaii, but the laid back vibes, too.
For couples that want to focus on mountain spots, consider Colorado. Colorado offers 15 mountain ranges and more than 50 peaks over 10,000 feet high. You’ll find secluded alpine lakes, lush meadows, and unique backdrops for epic photos. Aspen offers some of the state’s most beautiful mountain passes and peaks for hiking and winter sports.
If you’re looking for a longer trip, White River National Forest in Vail has summertime multi-day backpacking trips and wintertime skiing adventures. Lake Isabella, right outside Boulder, is a quick out-and-back day hike perfect for couples looking for waterfalls, deep forests and stunning lake views. If you’re looking for something a little different, check out Great Sand Dunes National Park for the tallest sand dunes in the U.S. No matter the type of adventure, you’ll find it in Colorado.
California is home to many of the country’s best known national parks and some of the most dramatic coastline views on the West Coast. Yosemite National Park, the most popular national park in the U.S., offers stunning views over the valley with short hikes. If you opt for something more secluded, consider exploring the northern and southern Sierra mountain range on a single or multi-day backpacking trip.
To the south of the mountains, you can find dramatic desert views in Death Valley National Park and, further south, Joshua Tree National Park offers those iconic joshua trees nestled between towering boulders.
If the beach is more your style, consider heading up Highway One and stopping in Big Sur for those wild beach vistas. Even further up Highway One, you’ll find Pebble Beach and more isolated areas with rolling green hills and steep cliffs.
If you’re looking for off-the-beaten path locations and rugged landscapes, Alaska may be the place for you. Alaska offers wide-open spaces unlike anything else you’ll find in the U.S. – and you may need a boat or plane to reach some of the most epic spots.
Alaska is a huge country, much of it untouched with natural beauty. Juneau, Alaska’s state capitol, is a gorgeous city where the mountains fall right into the ocean – or so it seems! From Mendenhall Glacier to Treadwell Mine, there are literally COUNTLESS locations around town or within hiking distance. If you’re looking for something more dramatic, check out the Matanuska Glacier north of Anchorage for a stunning spot to say your vows.
If you’re up for an adventure, consider taking a private plane to the heart of the Wrangell-St. Elias Mountains to Ultima Thule, a unique lodge with five cabins along the river more than 100 miles away from the nearest road. It’s one of the most unique places to say your vows – and plan a short stay.
Montana is a bucket list spot for many outdoor enthusiasts for so many reasons. The state’s crown jewel is Glacier National Park, one of the most popular elopement locations – for a reason! Glacier National Park offers easily accessible stunning mountain views, especially along the Going to the Sun road. Some of my favorite spots include St. Mary’s Lake, Logan Pass and Avalanche Lake. The park works best for a late summer elopement from July to September when the snow finally passes, and you can opt to camp out nearby or pick a cute Airbnb.
Montana isn’t just Glacier National Park, though. For something off-the-beaten path, consider Kootenai National Forest, a more popular destination for locals with the same breathtaking views as Glacier. And don’t forget about Yellowstone National Park to the south, one of the largest national parks in the country. As a small bonus, getting a marriage certificate in Montana is simple and straightforward.
Utah is home to some of the most unique national parks in the country with dramatic landscapes, stunning colors and a whole lot of adventure. You can find beautiful landscapes all year, from snowy mountains to fall colors. Many of the national parks are clustered together, and they offer endless beauty:
These beautiful parks offer some of the world’s most gorgeous red rocks and dramatic rocky landscapes. In addition to national parks, Utah offers many state parks with plenty of hikes and sweeping views. Whether you want to take a helicopter ride over Zion National Park or backpack up to Angel’s Landing, there are so many adventurous ways to celebrate your love.
The national parks are just the start, too. Utah’s salt flats can make for a unique backdrop for your wedding. Lake Powell, a large water-based recreation area on the Arizona border, caters to every adventurer: climbers, rappellers, backpackers and more.
Wyoming has some of the most wild elopement spots in the U.S. Grand Teton National Park has some of the most gorgeous spots in the state for elopements. If you’re looking for an accessible spot in the park, try Schwabacher’s Landing, gentle terrain with a breathtaking mountain backdrop. You can find plenty of gorgeous spots (and adorable Airbnbs!) all around Jackson Hole, like The Wedding Tree, an aptly named majestic tree that frames the mountains. Medicine Bow National Forest, home to the Snowy Mountain Range, provides a more off-the-beaten-path spot with some hidden gems, like Lake Marie. If you’re looking for something a bit more religious, there are multiple old churches around the country nestled with beautiful backdrops, like Esterbrook Church, built in the 1940s.
If you prefer dramatic desert landscapes to forests and jungle landscapes, Arizona may be the perfect place for you! Many couples opt to escape to Sedona’s beautiful red mountains for their easy accessibility, dramatic views and the super cute Airbnbs. Further to the north, Page offers some dramatic canyons (especially the gorgeous Antelope Canyon!) as well Grand Canyon National Park. If you’re looking to add some adventure to your elopement, consider camping under the stars on the banks of the Colorado, nestled in the Grand Canyon – or turn it into a multi-day trip white water rafting down the river. Many of these spots are best for winter elopements as well, due to Arizona’s harsh summers. By the way: if you plan to get legally married in Arizona, you’ll need two witnesses in addition to certain paperwork.
From lush green hills to snow-capped mountains to dramatic beach cliffs, Scotland offers some of the most diverse and dramatic landscapes for adventurous couples. If you’re looking for dramatic, jaw-dropping views, you’ll want to consider Isle of Skye. Glencoe will offer couples rolling, lush green hills – the ones you’ve probably seen in the Harry Potter movies! Cairngorms National Park has some of the country’s most diverse wildlife, and it’s also home to some of the world’s oldest whiskey distilleries. You have so many adventurous options in Scotland to make the trip perfect, from backpacking to island hopping to touring ancient castles and beyond.
Whether you love mountains or beaches, rolling fields or cityscapes, Italy has it ALL (and some amazing food, to boast!). One of the most popular destinations for elopements remains the Amalfi Coast, which can be a pricey pick but remains a stunning (if sometimes crowded) coastal region. Pick between Positano, Sorrento, Ravello or even Capri, right off the coast. Further to the south, Sicily offers some of the most crystal clear waters and historic backdrops for an elopement. On the Adriatic side, the Apulia region provides a more off-the-beaten path experience with beautiful waters and rocky cliff sides – and can easily be combined with a honeymoon road trip through the region. Try Monopoli for a spot with some stunning beaches and coastlines and Port Cesaro for crystal clear waters.
In the north, some of Italy’s most stunning mountains will offer a gorgeous backdrop to your special day. If you’re looking for a luxurious spot, try Lake Cuomo and pick for romantic village spots around the lake and high-end hotels. In the Dolomite region, adventurous couples can spend a night at a breathtaking rifugio in the mountains or stay at an adorable valley hotel surrounded by mountains. Some of my favorite spots include the Secada ridgeline hike near Val Gardena or taking a cable car up to Alpe di Suissi and walking around the alpine meadows for your perfect spot. More adventurous couples may opt for a night at Rifugio Lagazuoi with an early morning Via Ferrata along Alta Via 1. You can’t go wrong with these views!
And who can forget Tuscany?! These rolling hills, laid out as far as the eye can see, remain one of the most popular and most romantic spots for many couples. The historical architecture and relaxed environment make this spot a beloved option for many couples looking to bring along close family. Take a look at Florence, Siena and Luca for some of the most romantic areas in the region.
I’m going to be honest…Iceland may have some of the most INCREDIBLE elopement spots on this list. The country is perfect for elopements for a number of reasons:
This country has some of the most jaw-dropping locations in the world – and if you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you’ve likely seen many of them on the show. You may feel drawn to the iconic Black Sand Beach, or you may want to say your vows in front of one of Iceland’s many waterfalls (Godafoss Waterfall and Skogafoss Waterfall are some of the most impressive!). If you fall in love with Iceland, you can rent a car and drive the Ring Road around the country. Thanks to the light, you can spend all day exploring, have a reception dinner and then say your vows around 10 p.m. If you opt to visit in the winter, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular northern lights.
With dozens of islands to choose from, Greece has romantic options for every island lover. One of the most popular elopement spots is Santorini, located in the Aegean cluster, with a reputation as one of the most romantic spots for lovers. This island, beautiful from spring until fall, offers a number of gorgeous and exclusive villas for your romantic elopement with sweeping views of the sea. Further to the south, the island of Crete offers breathtaking views and a much more expansive location to explore for your romantic escape with lots of hidden nooks and crannies.
In the Ionian island group, Corfu provides an aristocratic air and charming location for your elopement. You can even book older palaces like Achilleon or Mon Repos for a more historic option. But if you’re looking for something really out of the way, try the secluded Antipaxos, two boat rides away from Corfu (you can stay on Paxos). You can spend your wedding day enjoying the beautiful views, crystal clear waters and olive tree groves.
When you think of Peru, you think of the historic Machu Picchu. But the country has so many breathtaking spots for couples looking for that perfect adventurous elopement, from multi-day backpacking trips to jungle excursions. If you base yourself in Cusco, you can visit Machu Picchu one a multi-day trip (or even backpack to get there!) and, once you acquire permits, explore some of the gorgeous look out spots in the ancient city. The nearby Sacred Valley, specifically Urubamba Valley, has some gorgeous peaks and valleys. Several hours away from Cusco, drive out to the Andes Mountain Range and spend several days – or weeks – backpacking through some of the most stunning scenery in the country, including the picturesque Rainbow Mountain.
The rest of the country has plenty of natural wonders, too. Outside of Lima, explore the hidden oasis of Huacachina in the middle of the desert, or the nearby Lake Titicaca, where you can opt to stay with a family on the lake on one of their handmade islands. Or head north of Lima to Caral, the oldest town in the New World, dating back to 2600 BC. The Paracas Natural Reserve, south of Lima, has some beautiful coastline scenery and cliffsides, and nearby, Lunahuana offers river running and rafting for the extra adventurous.
If jungles call your name, make sure to check out the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve, where the Ucayali and Marañon rivers come together – the birthplace of the Amazon River! Peru has dozens of amazing, undiscovered places for everyone, and it’s the perfect spot for your adventurous elopement.
Patagonia encompasses the bottom tip of South America, including Chile and Argentina. It seems far south, but the region offers epic spots overlooking glaciers, alpine lakes and tall, and rocky peaks. You don’t have to expect a multi-day backpacking trip to reach some of the best spots, either – you can book some incredible hotels overlooking mountain ranges.
Many people who flock to Patagonia tend to Torres Del Paine National Park, a picturesque national park known in Chile known for their iconic three granite towers called Cuernos del Paine. The park offers day hikes and multi-day backpacking trips for all types of adventurers. There are plenty of amazing hotels around the park, too, like the world’s first geodesic dome hotel, a sustainable, all-inclusive accommodation option near the park. There’s also Remota Hotel and Tierra Hotels.
Patagonia has so much to offer outside of Torres Del Paine National Park, too. Make sure to check out Punta Arenas and Puerto Natales in Chile as well as El Chalten in Argentina.
Further down south, you can opt to elope in Ushuaia, the city the furthest south in the world in the Tierra del Fuego region – and the taking off point for trips to Antarctica. The cute seaside town offers gorgeous scenery, boutique hotels and penguins, as well as other types of unique wildlife. Make sure to consider Bariloche as well, located near a glacial lake under a beautiful mountain range.
Norway may not be at the top of your list of locations to elope, but this Nordic country has so much to offer for mountain lovers and outdoors lovers. If you opt to elope in Norway, be prepared to spend plenty of time outdoors, enjoying the scenery.
One of the most popular elopement locations in Norway remains the Lofoten Islands in Northern Norway. Vesterålen in particular offers some gorgeous sights, but we can work together to find the best spot in the Lofoten islands to help make your trip extra special, with or without some added day hiking. If you’re around in the winter (or even the summer!), a visit to Senja can be extra special to catch the northern lights.
Western Norway has so many beautiful sights to offer, too. Aurland has some of the most breathtaking valley and mountain views; the Geirangerfjord / Geiranger fjord has easy-to-access locations with some stunning boat rides as well. Sola Beach in Stavanger and Åndalsnes / Rauma are two more beautiful spots, too.
From alpine lakes to lush meadows to towing mountain peaks, Switzerland has so much natural splendor tucked into such a small country. No matter the season, you’ll find something to satisfy your adventure-loving side in this alpine paradise — plus, plenty of fondue, for cheese lovers!
If you long for dramatic mountainscapes, head to the Swiss Alps, long known as home to some of the most beautiful areas in the world. From Matterhorn to the Lauterbrunnen Valley to Alpenzell and beyond, there are literally hundreds of spots to elope in the Alps. If you prefer to stay at a mountain lodge and then head to your wedding destination, you can! If you prefer to spend a few days backpacking in pursuit of the perfect view, I’m down!
The country also has its share of lakeside elopement options, too! With the Alps in the distance, lakeside spots in Switzerland offer a particularly scenic spot to say your vows. Some of the largest lakes include Lake Lucerne, Lake Geneva or Lake Lugano, but venture off into smaller lakes like Interlaken and Lake Thun for a more secluded experience.
From historical towns to stunning sand dunes, Morocco has it all! The popular Marrakech has so many older buildings that make for beautiful backdrops. If you want to keep your wedding in the city, consider staying in an authentic riad, a traditional Moroccan house-turned-hotel. Another special spot for your elopement: the Beldi Country Club. It sounds stuffy, but this country club has a greenhouse vibe mixed with a Moroccan riad. Later, you can walk around Medina, the old town, for some of your photos too – the perfect backdrop for explorers!
If you’re feeling adventurous, let’s head out to the Sahara desert for a truly unbelievable and intentional elopement. You can stay in the desert for a few days at a glamping spot like Kam Kam Dunes, which is located directly in the dunes. Spend your day exploring the dunes (best on the back of a camel!) and find a quiet spot to elope before laying out and enjoying the Milky Way at night.
Ditch the big wedding venue elopement packages and opt for a smaller, more intimate and intentional elopement in Mexico. One of the most popular elopement spots in Mexico remains the gorgeous, boho-chic Tulum. This unique location offers stunning beaches and some of the best Mexican food!
On the west coast of Mexico, Cabo San Lucas has more rocky coastline and cliff sides for all sorts of adventures. Land’s End, also called El Arco, can be the perfect destination for couples looking for a waterside elopement – and gives you the opportunity to snorkel in the Sea of Cortez. For a more plush elopement, you can check out the long beaches and upscale villas between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose de Cabos.
If beaches aren’t your preference, check out Sumidero Canyon near Chiapa de Corzo. The canyon offers plenty of stunning vistas and wildlife for your elopement. Las Coloradas Pink Lakes in Yucatan may be one of the most popular places in Mexico on Instagram, but this one-of-a-kind backdrop offers a unique and secluded backdrop for your wedding day (or your wedding photos). Unfortunately, though, you can’t swim in the lakes.
Make sure to consider Oaxaca as well, one of the most up-and-coming destinations in the country (and tequila land! I love a good margarita, which makes this one of the best places to elope in my book!). In Oaxaca, the jungle runs all the way to the ocean, making for dramatic ocean scenery. Check out Carrizalillo beach or Bacocho beach for some gorgeous, isolated spots.
From beaches to mountainscapes and beyond, there’s no doubt about it – New Zealand is an adventure lover’s paradise, no matter where you look. Many couples will opt to elope in the country and then rent a campervan and explore some of the nation’s most gorgeous sites for the next week or two.
Many people flock to New Zealand for their mountains – and who can blame them! Mount Cook, the highest mountain in the country, makes for a dramatic elopement. If you’re willing to splurge, take a helicopter to one of the many peaks in the range, or opt to hike up to one of the many vista points. One of the easier mountains to access is Te Mata Peak, which offers options for people who want to enjoy secluded nature with less hassle.
If you want to elope seaside, Tunnel Beach in Dunedin provides a stunning backdrop steeped in history and Maori culture. You can elope on the actual beach, or stay on the grassy hills overlooking the water. In contrast, Karekare Beach, just outside Auckland, has dramatic black sand and black cliff faces with big stretches of open beach for your elopement.
New Zealand has their fair share of lakes that make perfect elopement destinations, too! The crystal clear water of Lake Hawea makes for a gorgeous elopement location with snowy mountain peaks off in the distance. Outside of Queensland, Glenorchy is often marked as one of the most beautiful spots in the country. You can stay by the water at Lake Wakitipu or hike up to a vista point through one of the park’s many hiking trails for your elopement – the options are endless!
Heading down to South Africa for your elopement may make for a beautiful and low key wedding! Over the years, South African National Parks have hosted many weddings and elopements. Kruger National Park offers a one-of-a-kind wildlife experience with more than 2 million hectares of wildlife, historical sights and archaeological sights. There are so many spots within this park that offer a more low-key elopement with beautiful scenery.
South African isn’t all wildlife, though. If you’re looking for something more chill, you can drive an hour outside of Cape Town to South Africa’s wine country. At Cherry Glamping in Eglin Valley, you can spend the day wine tasting and relaxing amid beautiful scenery before tying the knot. There’s even a bakery nearby – The Bake Town Cakery – that will make you a cake!
If you’re looking for a more active elopement, consider hiking up Maclear’s Beacon for some incredible views or explore Table Mountain National Park. The Cape of Good Hope may also be a spot to consider; the dramatic cliffs and blue beaches make for a wonderful and quiet spot.
Mark Twain once described Mauritius as the model for heaven, and I couldn’t agree more! This island near Madagascar has some of the bluest beaches in the world surrounded by tall mountain peaks and jungles. If you love crystal clear waters, Mauritius might be the spot for your adventurous elopement!
If you want to explore the jungle, let’s head to Black River Gorge National Park, a sanctuary with lots of history behind it. It’s also home to some incredible day hikes with rewarding views over the ocean or overlooking hidden, dramatic waterfalls – a lovely, secluded spot to elope.
There’s more than just thick jungles on the main island, though. Consider looking at Seven Colored Earths, a geological formation on the southwestern side of the mountain that boosts a small sand dune area made up of seven distinct colors. In the late afternoon, the colors are spectacular!
And of course, who can forget the stunning beaches of Mauritius? Each year, these beaches draw people from around the world, and many couples will elope here and then spend their honeymoon here, making for an amazing and memorable week or two weeks. One of the most stunning beaches on the island is Le Morne, a beach with towering mountains in the back. The southwestern section of the island has some of the country’s most beautiful beaches — and lots of dolphins, too! Book a private tour of the waters around the island, then have a golden hour elopement with the love of your life.
Looking for a wild elopement? Tanzania might be one of the best places to elope then.
Tanzania may not seem like your natural first option for your elopement, but this African country has so much to offer for adventurous couples!
Many people come to Tanzania to elope among the incredible wildlife. If you time your elopement right, eloping at Tanzania’s Serengeti can be an unbelievable spot to tie the knot. If you stay at the Serena Safari Lodge, you can have a more traditional Maasai wedding in the iconic Serengeti Plains — with millions of zebras and wildebeest in the background, if you go during the annual migration.
Alternatively, we can book a private safari prior to your elopement and spend the day watching the “Big Five,” or lions, buffaloes, elephants, rhinoceros, and the illusive leopard before exchanging your vows.
Migration not really calling your name? Tanzania is home to Africa’s highest mountain, Mount Kilamanjaro. We can make the trek up to the peak together and say your vows amid the clouds, overlooking the country.
If you love jungles, beaches and mountain villas, Bali just might be THE spot for your elopement. You can go upscale in Bali and book a posh 5-star villa overlooking the beach (or mountains!), or opt for a much more adventurous wedding in the mountains in the scenic rice fields. One of the most popular spots for elopements in Bali is Ubud, an area with much more of a secluded bohemian vibe. Bali offers couples so many different options for their adventurous elopements.
It can be challenging to find one of the best places to elope. Make sure to consider all factors when thinking about your wedding day, from travel fees to dreamy destinations. Remember: your wedding day is an intentional and adventurous way to start your life together.
If you aren’t sure where the best place to elope for you is, I’m here to help. Contact me for a Free Elopement Consultation and I’ll help you find the perfect place to elope!
For most trips, travel fees will be included with the total price you pay for my elopement services. However, make sure to check out my travel page. If I’m already visiting a certain area, and you plan your elopement during that trip, I waive all travel fees! n of Medford, Oregon, I’ll waive travel fees as well.
© JAYNEMAYAGNES OREGON ELOPEMENT PHOTOGRAPHER 2021
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We all have a responsibility to keep our beloved land beautiful, JayneMayAgnes follows all Leave No Trace Principles.
JayneMayAgnes is an Oregon based elopement photographer who travels internationally to document the beautiful and intimate moments of her couples elopement day. Her style is focused on documenting real emotion, precious moments and big laughter layered over the grand landscapes of the the world. She also photographs micro-weddings and intimate weddings for couples who want their closest family and friends to witness their wedding day.
Medford, Oregon | USA