Traditionally an elopement wedding referred to a wedding conducted suddenly and secretly, usually without a long engagement period. With the cost of hosting a wedding increasing each year, the term has evolved into something different. Many couples choose to elope alone or with one or two loved ones, often in a vacation setting. They avoid the costs of a large ceremony and create something intimate without the stress of a big wedding.
If you’re thinking of an elopement wedding and need some inspiration, we’ve put together 10 of our favorite elopement destinations. From beaches to breathtaking scenery, our list has something for everyone.
Fiji in the South Pacific is an archipelago of over 300 islands. With its stunning white beaches and clear lagoons, it’s a dreamy spot for an elopement wedding. While it is known for its beaches, Fiji is also home to unique Highlands, lush jungles, and waterfalls, meaning you’ll have no end of stunning backdrops to choose from for your wedding photos.
2. New Zealand
New Zealand’s incredible scenery came to attention globally with the release of the Lord of the Rings movies. With lush green landscapes and fairytale islands, New Zealand is another top choice for a one-of-a-kind wedding. The best time to visit is the summer (December to February) because of warmer temperatures.
3. Santorini, Greece
Santorini, Greece is a group of islands that make up part of the larger Cyclades island group in the Aegean Sea. Formed over a submerged active volcano, Santorini is famous for colorful buildings and gorgeous sunsets. With its location in the Aegean Sea, it’s the perfect spot to do some island hopping before or after your wedding.
4. Joshua Tree, California
Located in California, Joshua Tree National Park is characterized by twisted Joshua trees and jagged rock formations. Growing in popularity for destination weddings, the park offers something unique and rugged that can’t be found anywhere else.
5. Crater Lake, Oregon
If you want your elopement wedding to evoke the vast beauty of nature, look no further than Crater Lake, Oregon. Located about 250 miles southeast of Portland, the deep blue lake is surrounded by lush greenery. This non-traditional setting requires some hiking to get to, but the payoff is a magnificent spot for a wedding ceremony.
6. Olympic Peninsula Beach, Washington
The Pacific Northwest is known for its unpredictable weather. While not an obvious choice for an elopement wedding, the rugged beauty of Olympic Peninsula Beach is an ideal choice for a couple looking for a one-of-a-kind ceremony.
7. Normandy, France
When most of us think of an elopement wedding and France, Paris is the first place that comes to mind. For a different kind of wedding ceremony, the remote beaches of Normandy should be considered. With white sandy beaches and dramatic cliff faces, this setting is special and intimate.
8. Isle of Skye, Scotland
The Isle of Skye is remote and picturesque and filled with dramatic scenery. With landscapes that are reminiscent of something from a fairytale, the Isle of Skye shouldn’t be overlooked for a romantic and stress-free ceremony.
With scenery straight out of Game of Thrones, Ireland has endless options for a destination wedding at a place of historical beauty. Ancient castles perched atop cliffs and quaint colorful towns mean your wedding will look like something from a picturesque postcard.
For an adventurous couple, Iceland offers awe-inspiring scenery thanks to its unique geography. With volcanoes, blue lagoons, and green rocky cliffs, this destination is one of our favorites for an elopement wedding, just make sure to head there during the (slightly) warmer summer months.
If you’re thinking about eloping, we hope our list inspired you. Remember to check out local marriage requirements and restrictions before planning any destination wedding so your special day runs smoothly without a hitch.
(All images are from Shutterstock)