Elopements are a chance for couples to break free from the conventional and celebrate their love in a way that is uniquely their own. One of the biggest decisions you’ll make in planning your elopement is where it will happen! In this guide, I’ll share some insight and tips to help you with choosing the perfect elopement location and creating memories that will last a lifetime.
Table of contents:
Stunning scenery that speaks to you
First things first. Close your eyes and imagine your perfect elopement day. You are in your wedding attire with the person you love most in the whole world and you are about to exchange your vows. What type of landscape do you see? What stunning view do you have? Are you on a mountain top surrounded by snowy mountain peaks? Are you on a coast somewhere watching the sun set over the ocean? Maybe you are in a forest surrounded by towering trees? Somewhere tropical? Once you have your vision in your mind, you can start brainstorming locations that match that vision! Google is your friend at this stage! Be sure to check out Google Earth, too!
Explore somewhere new or stick to somewhere meaningful
Every love story is unique, and your elopement location should resonate with your love story. Think about your shared interests, hobbies, and the special moments you’ve shared.
Exploring somewhere you’ve never been adds an extra level of excitement and adventure to your elopement day. Imagine seeing a new incredible view for the first time and exchanging vows at a place you’ve always hoped to visit together. A new location will give you the opportunity to explore and make brand new memories on your elopement day!
But maybe you want to keep your elopement nostalgic and sentimental and want a location that is already special to your love story. Consider the places that hold special meaning in your relationship. Whether it’s where you first met, your favorite hiking trail, or the spot of one of your most favorite dates together. Choosing a location with personal significance is sure to fill your elopement with authentic emotion.
Consider the season when choosing your elopement location
Weather and time of year will have big impact on your elopement. Circle back to your initial vision of your perfect elopement day. What type of weather do you envision? Various locations have special draws at different times of the year, so you’ll want to research the best time of year to visit your specific location to keep your dream elopement day as close to your vision as possible! Keep in mind that peak tourist season usually coincides with when the weather is best in a certain area. A good recommendation to avoid excessive crowds would be to plan your elopement during “shoulder season” in your chosen location. This is the time right before peak season starts or right after it ends. This way you are still likely to have good weather but will also have less crowds to deal with.
Accessibility and Guests
When you pick an elopement location, it’s important to consider how easy or difficult it is to get to. Will the views you want require a long or strenuous hike? If you are planning to include guests in your elopement, you will need to consider their needs when it comes to accessibility, as well. Do you have guests coming that may not be able to handle a long hike? Will your guests need to fly to your elopement location? These are important considerations to think about when deciding on your location.
Other things to note about guests:
- At certain elopement locations, only a certain number of guests may be allowed at your elopement so be sure to do the research on this before hand!
- Most National Parks allow minimal access for dogs. If you want to include your furry friend(s) in your elopement, you will typically choose a location outside of a National Park.
If you just want it to be the two of you but still want to include your loved ones in your special day, head on over to this blog post for some great ways to include family and friends in your elopement.
Permits and Regulations
Many beautiful elopement locations are within protected natural areas. Research the local regulations and obtain any necessary permits or permissions. For example, there are often Special Use Permit requirements to get married in National Parks and State Parks. If you are considering a National Park as an elopement location, be sure to check out their website to find out what permits you will need.
What is most important when choosing the perfect elopement location
Most importantly, choosing your perfect elopement location means that the location should fit you and feel just right. It’s more than just a backdrop; it’s where your love story becomes an adventure. So, think about your journey together, the stunning views that you desire, go with the season you both love, and check those permits and backup plans. And don’t forget to be ready for any weather curveballs. With these tips, you’ll discover a location that not only mirrors your unique love but also sets the stage for unforgettable moments and stunning photos. Embrace the excitement and let your love story shine in the most fabulous setting!
If this is your first time on my page, I’m so happy you’re here! I’m Courtney Webster, an Alabama elopement photographer for adventurous couples who crave raw, real, storytelling images. These are the types of images that set my soul on fire. My mission is to document your dream adventure with images that are filled with emotion and connection. Images that will unfold to tell your beautifully unique love story!
Ready to start planning your dream elopement? Click the button below and send me all of your ideas!! I can’t wait to hear all the details!