Elopement Ideas & Inspiration
Deciding to plan an elopement is exciting and freeing. Unlike traditional weddings, elopements are intimate and give you the freedom to plan your wedding day how you want to, without worrying about the big guest number or extra decorations. But what can you do during your elopement? What unique elopement ideas can you incorporate to make your elopement special? We have featured hundreds of elopements throughout the years, and we put together the top 25 elopement ideas you and your partner should consider.
1) Elope at One of The Best Places to Elope
If you both love adventures and the great outdoors, then plan a private wedding ceremony somewhere adventurous. Having an intimate wedding for just the two of you also does not limit you to where you can elope in the world. A great elopement idea is exchanging vows in mother nature’s beauty, and there are so many gorgeous places to do so. We have featured hundreds of elopements, and we put together the best places to elope, so you can get a better idea of where you two would love to say “I do”.
2) Have Your Elopement and Honeymoon at the Same Destination
If you’re planning where to elope, a great idea is to plan your elopement and honeymoon at the same location! Our list of honeymoon destinations is a great indicator of how your ideal honeymoon destination could easily be where you both have your wedding ceremony as well. We love it when couples have the idea to mix the two together because they can enjoy their wedding day and seamlessly jump into their honeymoon together minutes later. How relaxing does that sound?
3) Do an Activity You Love
Photography by Javad Partovi
An elopement idea we love is taking the time to really enjoy the moment with each other and do something you love. For a lot of couples who elope, this usually looks like putting on your hiking boots and going hiking together. However, you don’t have to hike for your elopement. You can do any activity you both love from swimming in the ocean to skiing in the mountains. Explore the streets of a town you have never been, or cuddle under a blanket as you watch the snowfall.
Get inspired with our different elopement resources or team up with an elopement vendor to bounce ideas around with them. Photographers always tell us they prefer couples do an activity they both love to help break the awkwardness of being photographed during their portraits. Since you’re planning an elopement, you have more creative freedom to do whatever you both want on that day, so don’t be afraid to do something wild like rock climbing or cliff diving.
4) Incorporate Your Favorite Wedding Traditions During Your Elopement
Just because you decide to elope doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy some of the wedding traditions you have dreamt about as a child. We love when couples incorporate wedding traditions such as the first dance and cake cutting ceremony on their elopement day. An elopement can be just like a traditional wedding without the additional tables, decisions, expenses, and stress. This is the perfect time to discuss what traditions you both want to incorporate or even personalize.
5) Include Close Family and Friends
A lot of people think when a couple elopes, it is just the two of them. Elopements, however, can be whatever you both want it to be. So if you want your closest friends and family to join in the fun as you get married somewhere adventurous, then go for it! If you want to keep your wedding ceremony private, then you can always announce your elopement in a fun way to your loved ones! If you want to have the best of both worlds, then maybe consider having a live stream wedding ceremony at your favorite location!
Check out our guide on planning a micro wedding with your loved ones.
6) Style Your Elopement How You Want
Deciding to elope allows couples to have fun and style their wedding day how they envision it. There are no rules when it comes to elopements, and that is why we love them. Couples can wear what they want and celebrate their wedding day anywhere they want to in the world. You can also make your elopement as simple or detailed as you want to. If you’re into a more styled elopement, then we highly recommend teaming up with an elopement planner!
7) Elope at a National Park
As professionals in the elopement adventure industry, we know all the ins and outs when it comes to eloping in National Park around the world. National parks are great places to elope because they don’t require a lot of decorations or even planning, but they do provide so many unique opportunities for couples.
Check out our location guides where we break down everything you need to know, including permit information, featured vendors, and leave no trace (LNT) practices.
8) Elope Somewhere That Has a Special Meaning to You Both
You don’t need to elope somewhere completely new! A lot of couples we feature on our blog decide to elope somewhere that actually holds a lot of meaning to them. This can be somewhere you had your first date, first vacation, or even where your proposal was.
9) Plan an All-Day Adventure or a Multi-Day Elopement
A great elopement idea will be breaking your elopement into a multi-day adventure. This could look like a multi-adventure in the mountains or even breaking your wedding into two days. One day for your ceremony and reception and the next day to explore together. Whatever you decide to do, don’t be afraid to plan an all-day adventure!
10) Rent a Picturesque Airbnb Property
Airbnb and Vrbo weddings are becoming more and more popular. You’re able to have a unique property to yourself, and you don’t have to worry about a bunch of tourists in the backdrop of your ceremony if you have your ceremony on the same property.
Check out some of our favorite Airbnb wedding venues.
11) Stay at Home and Have a Virtual Wedding Ceremony
You don’t have to really go anywhere super adventurous for your elopement either! If you want to keep things simple and completely chill, then consider eloping at home! If you have a pretty epic view from home, why hike miles? Celebrating at home also gives you the opportunity to host a virtual wedding ceremony to include some of your friends and family.
12) Include Your Furry Best Friend(s)
Sometimes couples don’t want to include their pets during their wedding because too much would be going on to keep track of them. Elopements, however, are a great way to include your pets! If you decide to hike in the mountains, there are so many pet-friendly options to consider, and your furry friends will have the best time ever.
13)Have a First Look
Just because you decide to elope, doesn’t mean that you can’t have an emotional first look together. You can still take the time to get ready separately and surprise each other before your ceremony together. If you’re hiking together, then you can actually hike together in something more comfortable, and then get ready separately in changing pods once you get to your destination.
14) OR Get Ready Together
If you don’t want to go through getting ready alone, then you can always get ready together during your elopement. We love when couples break tradition and do something like this because your elopement photographer and videographer are able to capture some of the most personal and romantic moments of you both together.
15) Host a Post Elopement Reception With Loved Ones
Do you plan on just eloping the two of you? If you aren’t including anyone during your wedding ceremony, you can actually plan a post elopement reception with your loved ones. You can keep things as simple as a dinner at home or you can rent a reception venue to host your party.
Check out our guide to planning your post elopement reception.
16) Plan a Sunrise Wedding Ceremony
One of our all-time favorite elopement ideas is eloping at sunrise. This is an amazing way to elope because you’ll wake up and get ready way before the sunrises, hike with headlamps, and witness the most gorgeous sunrise you’ll ever see on the most magical day of your life (that’s a win-win in our book).
17) Plan a Sunset Ceremony and Then Stargaze
On the other hand, you can start your elopement adventure a little later and exchange your wedding vows as the sun begins to set, getting the most beautiful light for your photos. Take things a step further and talk to your elopement photographer about stargazing together and capturing some cool starry photos.
18) Write Your Wedding Vows
Speaking of wedding vows… take your time to write your own personal vows together. Unlike big, traditional weddings, you have the opportunity to exchange your vows together without the huge crowd. This means you can get as personal and as emotional as you want without worrying about who listens to your inside jokes.
Here’s what you need to know about writing your wedding vows.
19) Have a First Dance
After you exchange your vows as the sun sets or rises, why not have your first dance together? We love first dances during elopements because they are emotional, romantic, and all-around perfect. Don’t freak out about not having a band play your first dance song either. You can easily play a song from a mini speaker, your phone, or even sing to each other.
20) Have Your Favorite Dessert or Mini Wedding Cake
Don’t you hate those huge wedding cakes? Sure they are beautiful to look at, but a lot of times your guests won’t even eat a slice of cake, and the cake itself may set you back a few hundreds of dollars. For your elopement, invest in a delicious cake or dessert you both love. It doesn’t have to be cake either! We have seen couples share donuts, brownies, and even cinnamon rolls.
21) Don’t Be Afraid to Wear Something Less Traditional
Who said you have to wear a white wedding dress for your elopement? The sky is the limit when it comes to deciding what your elopement attire will look like. You can wear a colored elopement dress, or you both can rock matching wedding suits together.
22) Have a Romantic Picnic
Brining snacks during your elopement is a great idea to get some of your energy back, but to also take a moment to soak in your wedding day together. You can set up a picnic during the middle of your adventure or even at the end! It doesn’t really matter, but it’s a great opportunity to get some epic photos of you both. Another great idea is to hire a private chef to whip up a gourmet meal when you get back from your adventure.
23) Incorporate a Unique Twist During Your Ceremony
Have you thought about what traditions or rituals you’re going to incorporate into your ceremony? One of the best things about eloping is the freedom you have to include whatever you want during your ceremony. You can include a hand-fasting ceremony or even play the guitar together. Include anything you both want to, without the worry of your ceremony being too long!
24) Read Letters From Each Other or From Family
Sometimes not having your family and friends there during your wedding day can be overwhelming for some couples. A suggestion we have is to include your friends and family in some way. You can have them write letters to you both, watch a video recording of them congratulating you, facetime them after your ceremony, or even include family mementos during your ceremony.
25) Trash Your Wedding Attire
Nothing makes your elopement story more unique than trashing your wedding attire together during your adventure. You can trash your wedding dress during your 10-mile hike, or you both can run into the ocean after a long, hot day.
These ideas are not the only ideas you can incorporate into your wedding day. In fact, our elopement blog is filled with more elopement inspiration and ideas for you both to become inspired. The whole point of eloping is to celebrate your wedding how you want to. So take this time to sit down, open a bottle of wine, and write down some ideas you think you both want to include during your elopement adventure.