Gone are the days where the wedding industry only catered to big weddings. In fact, more people are falling in love with the idea of eloping. Elopements used to be done in secret and some even out of shame, but elopements are now every wanderer’s dream come true. We created a guide on how to elope to better answer the question of what it means to elope and what tools you need to plan your special day.
Eloping allows couples to celebrate their special day how they want to wherever and whenever. Our Wandering Weddings team has seen a lot of elopements around the world, so we decided to compile 25 eloping ideas to inspire you on your wedding planning journey.
Elope Somewhere You Have Never Traveled To
If you’re here, then we are convinced you love to travel and go on adventures. After all, we specialize in creating content to inspire those who wander. Imagine eloping somewhere EPIC. Somewhere you both always wanted to go in the world. Scratch that spot off your bucket list and elope there to create a memory of a lifetime!
Exchange Your Vows With an EPIC View
Your vows to each other should be personal, romantic, and memorable. What better way to achieve all three than to elope somewhere beautiful? Another great idea we love to see is when couples write down their vows in unique ways such as little books, letters, or even serenading each other while playing an instrument.
Have an Intimate Elopement by the Ocean
If you are thinking about eloping, then consider tying the knot as the waves crash against the shore. Beach and coastal elopements are one of our favorites and are suitable for couples who are care-free and aiming for more of a casual feel. Another great eloping idea for you to add to your list is jumping in the water in your wedding attire after saying, “I do”!
Have a Mountain Elopement
Mountain elopements are one of our favorites. We mainly love mountain elopements because of the endless views couples can see during their special day. Mountain peaks as your backdrop during your ceremony has to be one of the most beautiful things we have seen.
Plan Your Elopement in a National or State Park
There are so many National and State parks around the world. These parks are your oasis to endless options for perfect ceremony locations. These remote locations are untouched, beautiful, and perfect for the wandering soul. Our elopement packages break down each place in detail to give you a better idea of what type of parks you can elope at and what permits you will need.
Elope in the Middle of Nowhere in a Desert
Here’s a unique elopement idea: eloping in the middle of a desert! We love when couples are brave enough to weather any storm and rock full-on wedding attire against gorgeous sun-kissed sand dunes. We think desert elopements are also perfect to plan a glamping experience. Spend the whole night together and wake up as the sun rises. Check out these Desert Wedding Details From This White Sands Elopement to better help you plan.
Elope ANYWHERE YOU WANT
There are so many places you can pick for your elopement destination. You can plan it to be somewhere specific, or you can go on an adventure, find a little nook, and tie the knot! We love seeing couples elope in amazing places we didn’t know exist. Check out the best places to elope, and we encourage you to imagine you and your honey in one of these special places. We also suggest teaming up with one of our Wandering Wedding members to help find the perfect spot during your adventure together. You can elope in a forest, in a cave, by a waterfall, the options are endless!
Plan a Road Trip Together
Wedding days typically last a day, maybe two if you plan a destination wedding. Elopements, however, can be as long as you want it to be. A great idea is to go on a road trip together. We personally love hearing these stories from couples because they tell us how amazing it was to be by their new husband or wife as they saw amazing things on their trip.
Plan a Sunset or Sunrise Elopement
Photographers and couples alike LOVE golden hour wedding portraits. Our elopement photographer members are pros at helping you find the perfect spots to plan a sunrise or sunset elopement. We personally love Yosemite National Park. This sunrise mountain elopement on Mt. Hood is another great spot to check out for some inspiration.
Include Your Closest Family and Friends
Eloping does not need to mean just you and your honey. Here’s an elopement idea: include whoever you want! We love intimate weddings where couples go on an elopement adventure and include their closest family and friends. Planning an adventure wedding is much easier than making sure all 150 guests find their Airbnb.
Include Your Pets During Your Elopement
Even if you plan an elopement with just the two of you, you still need a witness! Some couples love to include their pets in their elopement, and we love it when they do. Planning an adventurous elopement also allows you to bring your furry friend wherever you decide to go! Add a cute bow tie or flower crown to your pet, and have your photographer capture the moment.
Elope Where You Honeymoon
A great eloping idea to consider is to plan your elopement at the same destination you both want to enjoy your honeymoon. Since you’re planning your elopement somewhere adventurous, you can definitely elope where you plan your honeymoon together. We personally love Hawaii and Iceland but check out the best honeymoon destinations for elopers to see if you fall in love with any of the locations we mention.
Elope During Your Favorite Season
When couples plan a wedding, they have to consider what season they want to get married in. A lot of couples love Fall, so couples who are planning weddings have to secure a venue way in advance. With elopements, however, there’s no need to plan so far ahead. Get married during your favorite season, any time you want!
Focus on Your Ceremony Details
Weddings are expensive. They also tend to be so expensive that many couples can’t invest in the details they care about because they have so many things to buy on their list. Elopements allow you to focus on what you love. We personally love when couples have a unique arch during their ceremony. Arches like these make for a great statement piece during your wedding portraits. Are you thinking about not having an arch? Pick one of Nature’s amazing arches instead such as a waterfall, forest, or cave.
Help Each Other Get Ready or Have a First Look
Elopements are meant to be what you want it to be. So if that means getting ready together in your cozy Airbnb, or getting ready separately and having a first look together, do what makes you both happy.
Invest in a Wedding Dress You Love
Having a big wedding sometimes deters you away from buying your dream dress because you are trying to stay within your budget. Eloping, however, lets you plan your day how you want it and stay within budget. Check out this awesome wedding dress guide perfect for elopements.
Accessorize Your Wedding Attire
This is a great idea for couples to remember when they decide to elope. Eloping is what YOU make it. If you want to wear a leather jacket and hiking boots with your pink wedding dress, then go for it! We highlight 10 wedding accessories for adventure brides to give you some more inspiration.
Share Your Favorite Meal Together
If you are thinking about eloping, then a great idea to incorporate is your favorite meal together. Since you only have to really worry about each other or the handful of immediate family you are inviting, you can indulge in whatever your heart desires! We personally love it when a couple enjoys some pizza together on their special day after eloping in the woods.
Plan a Romantic Meal with a Gorgeous View
Imagine sharing a romantic dinner on top of a roof in Santorini, overlooking the gorgeous sunset, as candles surround you both. This idea makes eloping sound like a fairytale come true. If you do decide to elope, we promise you won’t turn into a pumpkin at midnight.
Rent a Cozy Cabin Together
If you are planning an elopement in the mountains or forest, then think about renting a cozy cabin to relax in together. We love it when couples do this because they are able to enjoy beautiful views together, prepare a meal together, and share a cup of coffee on the morning of their wedding day.
Announce You Elopement in a Fun Way
One idea we love to see couples implement on their wedding day is announcing their elopement! Even though eloping usually means the two of you, it’s important to include your family and friends in some way. We love when couples incorporate signs to announce their union.
Celebrate Your New Marriage With Your Favorite Drink
Champagne showers? Ski shots? We are all for fun celebratory drink pictures during elopements. Imagine popping a few bottles with mountains in the background as the sun slowly sets. If you both don’t want to bring a champagne bottle, then you can bring anything you both like! Be creative! We have seen couples shotgun beers, pop champagne bottles, sip some coffee, or take a shot!
Cut a Mini Wedding Cake for a Modern Twist on Wedding Tradition
Maybe you both want to keep some wedding traditions in your intimate elopement adventure. A great idea is to bring along a mini wedding cake. We think these cakes are not only gorgeous but awesome for those couples who still want to cut a cake together. If you don’t want to lug a cake around, then consider bringing along another portable treat you both love such as cookies or cupcakes!
Have a First Dance Together
You most certainly can have a first dance during your elopement. We have seen many couples get flustered and doubt eloping because they don’t want to lose some of the wedding traditions they love. First dances during elopements are mesmerizing and memorable. Twirl around in your dress in the snow, on a mountain, in a desert, on a beach… The options are endless. Are you concerned about your first dance song? You can play your song on your phone, bring a small speaker, hire a musician, or sing to each other.
Do WHATEVER You Want
If you want to wear something casual, go for it. If you want to include a small group of family and friends, do it! Whatever it is that you want to do on your special day, you should do it without thinking twice. These are just some ideas you can implement if you decide to elope. The limit does not exist when it comes to elopements, and that is why we love them so much.
What eloping idea did you love the most?