Your wedding or elopement should reflect who you are as a couple, meaning you shouldn’t choose to do a big, elaborate wedding just because Instagram tells you to. But let’s face it you already know that and are looking to celebrate your day how you want to. For some couples, this means eloping on some tropical beach in the Caribbean; for others, this means hiking to the top of a peak in the Rocky Mountains. Whatever your day looks like, it should reflect who you are, so here are some of the best places to elope!
Couples choose to elope for many reasons, citing adventure, intimacy, or budget. Whatever your decision is, make sure your destination reflects it, which is where I come in.
Choosing Where to Elope
As you look at the thousands of different locations you can elope, keep these factors in mind to help narrow down your decision. Elopements are small and intimate, so you might want to look at places off the beaten path. Think remote and secluded beach or lake. But if you want to open it up to a few more guests, you should think about places with facilities that are a bit more accessible. If you think Rocky Mountain National Park, check out this location guide!
Elopements are less expensive than larger weddings due to the smaller guest list. Depending on where you choose to go, some resorts might offer wedding packages, such as Sandals Resorts in the Caribbean. But be careful, these can be costly if you allow yourself to go crazy on the decorations. For more information on planning an elopement or destination wedding on a budget check out this article.
The Perfect Location
Before you begin planning, talk to your partner and figure out where you would like to go, or you might have a rough idea that you both want to say “I Do” on a beach or at a waterfall. Either way, this is a very important step. And you might not have a climate in mind, it might be “We want to get married in Italy” which is a great first step. Either way, you should choose an important place/location/scenery for both of you. Whether for sentimental or cultural reasons, this should be one of the first steps in planning. And keep in mind that these might be the best places to elope, but that doesn’t mean they are the only places to elope.
As mentioned above, eloping is a very personal and intimate decision. It might only be you, an officiant, and 2 of your closest people. But remember that your photographer’s whole job is to capture your adventure for you to look back and cherish forever. And I am not just saying this because I am an elopement photographer… mostly. Choosing the right photographer will alleviate some of the stresses of planning. Many couples choose their final locations based on their photogenic qualities, and your photographer knows where these locations are. Several photographers would love to work with you to capture your big day at any of these seven best places to elope in 2024… including me!
If you plan to go beyond the courthouse, you might want to consider when you will be going. For example, having your Caribbean elopement during hurricane season is probably not a good idea.
Best Places to Elope
The ultimate adventure to start your new lives together, saying your vows in Antarctica! This is a great location to use if you want to reduce your guest list too naturally! Not only will you have bragging rights of being two of 30,000 people to make it to Antarctica a year, let alone get married on the only continent with zero population. The best way to make this happen is to find a cruise to take you down there and bring your photographer with you… cough, cough.
Lake Tahoe, California
There is a reason this is the most popular alpine lake in the US, even more popular than many national parks! Lake Tahoe has the feel of a National Park without all the rules and regulations of one. You cannot go wrong with any location here, you can choose mountain views, lakeside, or even a slight Vegas vibe (Nevada side) if you want to add a little extra pop to your day. An added benefit is that you can choose between two states to get your marriage license… make sure you are doing so properly.
Jamaica offers various activities and scenery, so it is no wonder why this iconic island is quickly becoming one of the more popular places for your tropical elopement. This is probably why many resorts in this area offer wedding planning assistance, specifically in Ochos Riso, Negril, and Montego Bay. You cannot go wrong with any location or resort in Jamaica.
It is probably one of the world’s top destination wedding and elopement locations, and for a good reason. The unique vegetation, natural beauty, and rich cultural traditions make for the perfect setting for your new adventure. It is a bit of a trek from the US, but traveling around the island is fairly cost-effective. I shouldn’t need to mention the beautiful beaches and stunning forest (we’ve all seen the social media posts), but I would be remiss not to mention something about the fairytale landscape, many adventurous couples dream of. Many resorts will help you plan your big day, including the Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay and Tanah Gaja Ubud. Some recommended locations by Bali wedding professionals include Ketewel, Swminyak, Ubub, and Jimbaran.
Bora Bora, French Polynesia
When you think of Tahiti, you probably picture white sand beaches, vibrant sunsets, stunning landscapes, and romantic huts over the calm ocean. All of which sounds like the perfect place to say your vows!! The exotic setting mixed with the remote setting has many couples eloping here.
If you want beautiful, tropical scenery with dramatic views and soft white sand beaches, without having to leave the United States, Maui is for you! Not many places in the US allow you to be cold at the top of a mountain and then lounge on a beach in a bathing suit an hour later. Maui is perfect for those couples who want to add a little adventure to their day, while still being able to relax and go slower. Unfortunately, the recent fires have nearly devastated the Kapalua Coastline, destroying many iconic sites like the Banyan Tree and the town of Lahaina. However, there are still plenty of beautiful places on this island. The entirety of the Road to Hana is still very much undisturbed and beautiful. However, if you do not like narrow, windy roads, I would stick to Kahului or Kihei areas.
Virgin Islands National Park
This is by far the easiest place to travel to in the Caribbean if you are a US resident since it is a US territory. This makes it unbelievably easy to travel there, and they take the US dollar. The US Virgin Islands (USVI) comprises three islands: St. John, St Thomas, and St. Croix. The National Park takes up the majority of St John Island. Because the air routes are some of the most competitive, airfare is super reasonable. You will not be disappointed with beaches, and getting a marriage license is easy.
You cannot go wrong with any location, especially one that reflects who you are as a couple, but you definitely cannot go wrong with any of the above locations. And these are just a few of the best places to elope in 2024.