Best Elopement Wedding Destinations in the US
The global pandemic this year has really thrown wedding planning into a downward spiral. Many weddings are being cancelled or postponed with couples frantically trying to decide what to do. Our advice: Get married still! If you two are in love and absolutely ready to tie the knot, then don’t let anything stop you. Among the rising trends this year to put some order to the chaos are microweddings and minimonies, streamed weddings, and elopements. Couples are choosing to hold smaller ceremonies, or elope to somewhere epic and tie the knot. Eloping can be done a thousand different ways and there are plenty of locations to choose from. Just about anywhere can be a romantic, intimate location.
If you're in the mood for something breathtakingly scenic, then have we got the list for you. Herein are some top US locations for elopements. We have compiled a list that ranges from the mountains to beaches, forests, deserts, and even a few indoors locales to appeal to varying couples' tastes and ideal wedding day styles.
Say "I Do" in a Forest
Sequoia National Park
Pictures do not even do this place justice! You will be surrounded by some of the largest and oldest trees in the world. Called 'The Land of Giants,' this forest really does live up to its name. You can check out the National Park website to read up on their wedding permits and possible locations within the park to choose from.
If you are wanting to elope on the East Coast, or can’t make it out west to the Sequoias, then The Appalachian Trail is full of beauty and wonder for you to say “I do.” This trail runs from Georgia to Maine so your options are endless! We recommend Western North Carolina. This could fall under the mountain category, but the forests throughout the mountains of North Carolina are remarkable. Check out this list of places in Asheville to find the perfect spot.
Elope at the Beach
Big Sur California
Big Sur is known for being the longest and most scenic stretch of coastline that has not been developed on. It’s one of the most amazing places you can visit for a beach location. Imagine eloping cliffside with the vast, gorgeous ocean in the background. Talk about a dream come true! Check out this Big Sur elopement guide from a photographer to get your planning started.
We are listing an entire state for this fab elopement destination, because you really can’t go wrong with anywhere in Hawaii. Everywhere you look is filled with lush greens and idyllic beaches. Select your favorite spot in the sand or tropical forest and plan an extended stay for your the ultimate honeymoon celebration. Here's list of beaches and areas in Hawaii to consider, but double check the borders are open to fly in if you're not already a resident.
Tie the knot in the Desert
Joshua Tree National Park is known for its distinct looking trees (hence its name). The trees have gnarly branches that create shapes and designs like no other. Google some images and you will be in awe over the beauty of this place. The park is actually made up of two deserts and there’s so much diversity in its plant life. Follow these steps to properly plan an elopement at Joshua Tree.
Arches National Park
Just as the name suggest, there are arches everywhere in this breathtaking national park and they are unlike anything you've seen before. The structures in Arches National Park are massive and stunning, making for the most beautiful arbor to say your vows, and the hikes to reach them aren't bad either. You're going to want to obtain the right permits and research which arch you prefer to marry under. Get started with this helpful guide.
Get Married in the Mountains
This is a stunning place and one of the most popular locations to elope in the U.S. The Yosemite National Park gives you a mountainous feel but is so unique with its granite cliffs, waterfalls, and deep valleys spread throughout. Its popular ceremony locations include Glacier Point, Swinging Bridge, and El Capitan Meadow among others. Krystal from Preciado Photography put together a helpful guide of vendors and venues in the area to make your elopement dreams come true.
Washington State in itself is full of gorgeous landscapes. It can be hard to choose one spot here, but we have to say that Mount Rainier National Park is popular and absolutely breathtaking. It has the highest volcanic peak in the US. The backdrop of your elopement would be top-notch and would require zero decorating skills due to the park's sheer natural beauty. If this isn’t convincing enough, read up on why you should elope here and how to get started on planning your trip from Between the Pine.
Of course, these aren’t the only amazing locations to elope in the United States, but they sure are some of the best. You can’t go wrong with the vast outdoors no matter which type of scenic backdrop you choose. Factors like who's joining you at the ceremony, proximity to where you live, and budget will play a part in the selection process. There's no time like the present to get married, even if it's during a global pandemic — as Harry Burns said in "When Harry Met Sally," "...when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible."
The best wedding location is the one that suits you and your partner makes you both happy to be there together. Follow your hearts and you will be amazed!
In order to have the perfect wedding, explore all our options of wedding veils, including our Lily veil, Iris Floral Leaf Veil, and more. Plus, complete your wedding elopement look with our collection of bridal adornments!
Destiny Clayton is an environmentalist and traveling enthusiast, and co-owner of Clayton Made Media with her husband, Adam. She loves raw emotion and being part of capturing special moments in her clients' lives.