Adventure Elopements – Everything You Need To Know For Your Unique Wedding!

The Ultimate Guide For Adventure Elopements

Elopements are a hot topic in the wedding industry right now. Many couples are looking for something meaningful, intimate, and different than the traditional church wedding on their wedding day. An Elopement can give you that special feeling without all the stress of planning a big wedding.

A wedding couple is holding each other and they are standing in front of mountains and a sunset.

ANTONIO JOSE RODRÍGUEZ LÓPEZ – INSTAGRAM

 

We are sure you probably saw countless elopement images from Iceland, among mountain tops, and at a beach on your Insta feed in the past weeks. You may have even considered eloping yourself but never really knew how to go about planning one.

A wedding couple is standing on top of a mountain and is holding each other.

CAITLIN BEATY – WWW.THEBEATYCREATIVEPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

 

Our blog post will help you with everything you ever wanted to know, from ideas to information about the most unique adventures elopement locations, and legal issues.

What are adventure elopements?

Unlike traditional wedding ceremonies and receptions, an adventure elopement has usually no guests, just the two of you, and the beautiful scenery without all the decor and fuss of a traditional wedding.

A wedding couple is kissing each other.

ANEISA SHEPHERD CALDER – THE CALDERS

 

These intimate elopement weddings take place outdoors, usually in a remote setting where you can be completely alone with your loved one and get married without friends and family.

The only people with you should be the officiant, a kick-ass Elopement Photographer/ videographer, and maybe even a local guide.

Spending time with your loved one…

Elopements are about spending the day with your loved one, and all you need is each other and a stunning outdoor location. There are no formalities or traditions, just whatever you two decide on together for your perfect wedding ceremony.

How much money do you need for an adventure elopement?

The cost of an adventure wedding is far more affordable than a traditional wedding. This is mainly because there are no wedding parties, receptions, or decorations to pay for. Plus, you don’t pay for the venue either!

It still costs some money…

An adventure wedding elopement package can cost anywhere between $3000 – $10000 depending on your location and additional services that you want to add (i.e., photography, videography, officiant, and much more). Couples can also save on costs by making a list of what they want and eliminating those items they don’t want.

A wedding couple is holding hands and standing in a garden.

ROSS DANCE – WWW.ROSSDANCEPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

 

To tie the knot in an adventurous style still costs some money, however.

How do you plan a perfect adventure wedding?

Planning an adventure elopement is just like planning a wedding. First, you will need to find the perfect location so you can get married there in style and make all of your friends at home jealous.

A wedding couple is holding each other and standing on a mountain top.

 

You can Elope anywhere…

You can plan your unique wedding experience anywhere in the world, from your hometown to anywhere in the US, Europe, or one of many other adventurous locations. Some elopement destinations are surrounded by some of the most stunning sceneries that Mother Earth has to offer. Waterfalls, mountains, glaciers, get married anywhere you want as there are no boundaries.

Where can I elope in 2021 – 2022?

Iceland, Europe

Have you thought about eloping in Iceland, the land of fire and ice? The scenery in Iceland is perfect for any wedding and elopement photographer who will take photos of your epic wedding day. You may want to have a videographer with you for an Iceland Elopement as well?

A bride is walking along a beach.

DAVID VALDOVINOS – WWW.SILKANDTHORN.COM

 

It’s a good idea – believe us! Just think about the epic photos and video that you will have in the end. Iceland is the ultimate elopement location because of its epic waterfalls, black beaches, volcanoes, and glaciers.

A wedding couple is kissing each other in front of a waterfall.

Kaja Balejko – www.kajabaleijko.com

 

A landscape full of ice, hiking through mesmerizing landscapes, a ceremony underneath majestic waterfalls, exchanging your vows on a glacier, we could go on and on. The best wedding day adventures will be done in Iceland, believe us!

A wedding couple is getting married next to a church in Iceland.

Stephanie Zakas – www.zakasphotography.com

 

It might sound challenging to elope in Iceland, but you can do it with the right planning and research!

Colorado, USA

Have you thought about an adventure wedding in Colorado? Elope in the Rocky Mountains, at the Garden of the Gods, or in Aspen.

A wedding couple is sitting on rocks.

SHAREE DAVENPORT – WWW.SHAREEDAVENPORT.COM

 

Colorado is one of the most stunning locations in the US for your elopement. Imagine hiking an hour through the mountains will reward you with an incredible view and a perfect spot for your intimate wedding ceremony. Pop a bottle of champagne afterward for the ultimate mountain elopement feeling!

Oregon, USA

When you plan an adventurous elopement, you need to consider the state of Oregon with its various epic locations where your private marriage can take place. The Goonies has been filmed in Oregon, what more do we need to say?

A wedding couple is holding each other in Cannon Beach in one of the wedding venues in Oregon.

MARLA MANES – WWW.MARLAMANESPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

 

Explore Cannon Beach, Crater Lake, Mount Hood – Oregon has the nature to be the ultimate destination for an incredible elopement wedding day.

Italy, Europe

Let’s jump on the other side of the world to Europe. Getting married in Italy sounds like the perfect plan as it is one of the most famous countries for elopements and destination weddings. Nearly every single city in Italy is magical and the perfect place for your private elopement wedding. Hence, we would love to share some ideas with you here on our blog.

Tuscany is one of the most unique locations to elope in Italy. The countryside is gorgeous, with hills covered by vineyards and olive groves. In addition, the medieval towns are also interesting to visit during your elopement or honeymoon phase (and even somewhere for you to start your marriage…).

A wedding couple is standing on top of a mountain in the Dolomites.

BARBARA SCHMID – WWW.BARBARA-SCHMID.COM

 

Also, the city of Rome is an amazing place to explore and have your wedding there in an adventurous way. The elopement locations in Rome are breathtaking. You can elope all around the city, from Trastevere to San Giovanni and everywhere else between.

Have you thought about the Amalfi Coast at all? This picturesque area in the north of Italy is perfect for lovers of beautiful hotels, food, fashion, and much more. Elope on the beach, overlooking the stunning hills of Positano, or plan your ultimate adventure elopement by having your ceremony on a boat in the Mediterranean Sea.

Best Places to Elope

Thousands of couples already broke with the tradition and planned an elopement in adventurous locations in the past years. If you need more information about others places for your elopement, please make sure to read our 101 Best Places To Elope blog post that will help you find the perfect place anywhere around the world for you.

How can I make my wedding memorable and fun?

Elopement weddings don’t have to stick with traditions. This wedding day is about you as a couple, and you should plan your wedding day the way you both want to tie the knot. It is not about your closest friends and family. It is about your life and love, so plan your wedding the way you have always imagined.

A wedding couple is walking along a path at the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina.

AMELIA FLETCHER – WWW.AMELIAFLETCHER.COM

 

A journey you should remember forever…

An adventure wedding is not only about the ceremony in a private and epic spot like a glacier, mountain, or waterfall. Creating unforgettable memories of your adventure wedding actually starts when you plan your big day and ends with hiking to a secluded spot of your choice. Celebrating the ceremony without guests and exchanging the vows is the cherry on top of your adventure as a couple.

Is it too crazy to have an elopement in a hot air balloon?

No, definitely not. If you plan to have an adventurous and unforgettable elopement – do it! A hot air balloon might sound crazy, but eloping is crazy anyway, so why not do it with style? Yes, we really mean a hot air balloon.

Let us be part of your journey…

Please do not forget to send us a couple of your photos so that we can post your adventure wedding here on our blog.

Is there a legal side to an elopement?

Getting married by yourself with no witnesses may not qualify as having been actually married in the eyes of the law. However, this is very easy to resolve. Arrangements for your adventure wedding need to be made in advance, and your elopement should be witnessed by at least one person, which should be ideally an officiant.

Make it official and legal…

Planning your elopement with your officiant in advance will make sure that everything is taken care of legally. They can make all the arrangements for you, such as draw up your elopement contract and give you all the information you need.

What else is important for your adventurous wedding day?

Let’s talk about a couple of things you should keep in mind for that day.

Find the right Elopement Photographer

As you plan to celebrate your elopement without family and guests, you should definitely hire a professional for your wedding photos.

We recommend hiring a photographer who is specialized in taking elopement images and who is also familiar with the destination you’ve picked for your wedding. It requires a lot of work as a team to make an elopement day successful, so please make sure beforehand that you’ll look out for photographers who take photography seriously and who are also willing to go with you on an adventure (i.e., to hike on a glacier).

A wedding couple is in a rowboat in front massive ice blocks at the Church State Park in Alaska., photographed by a wedding photographer Alaska.

GRACE ADAMS – WWWW.ITSTHEADAMSCO.COM

 

Make sure that the vibe between you is good because elopements are intimate and beautiful and you do not want to spend the day with someone that you do not really like, even though they take amazing images.

Memories that will last forever…

Wedding photos are super important, and hiring a photographer for your elopement is a necessary investment. Your budget for a photographer depends on the elopement location, but you can expect to pay between $3,000-$8,000 for their services, depending on their experience and travel costs.

Travel plan

As we mentioned above, there are no limitations when choosing your favorite place for your adventure wedding. Whether it is tying the knot on a glacier or a top of a mountain where you want to exchange your vows – it is your personal adventure day, so it is your choice. However, to make this day successful, you should collect a couple of ideas and plan your trip wisely.

Flights

You have found the perfect place for your wedding somewhere in this world, and now you are ready to book your flight tickets.

Start planning your wedding at least 6 months prior to your elopement date; not only will it allow you to keep the costs down, but it will also help you avoid unpleasant surprises along the way. In addition, we recommend that you start with booking your flights to be sure of your availability date.

A wedding couple is standing next to the ocean on rocks and holding each others hand in Hope, Alaska.

AMANDA KOLSTEDT – WWW.AMANDATAKESPICTURES.COM

 

The research for a good flight connection may take an hour or more, but it will be worth every minute; put aside time for this as there are usually elopement locations in remote areas, and you cannot always expect to get there right on time.

Rental Car

We would also recommend booking a rental car for elopement locations that are slightly off the beaten track. It may seem like overkill, but by having your own transportation, you will have more options open to you than if you had to rely on using public transportation or taxis all the time. A 4×4 can come in handy especially if you want to access remote dirt roads or areas that normal cars can not reach.

Holidays are expensive…

Also, do not book your wedding during busy holidays, like Christmas, Thanksgiving, or other days full of tradition. Usually, everything is much more expensive during these periods of time. You will be spending a lot of money on your elopement anyways so try to be smart about it.

Accommodation

Most couples do not want to spend their wedding day tired and work out. Book some extra days before your wedding in a hotel or AirBnB so you can get used to a new timezone or simply want to explore the area beforehand.

A wedding couple is standing on a carpet in the middle of the Saguaro National Park and cheering.

KATIE ROJAN – WWW.KATIEBERGPHOTO.COM

 

This will also give you time to scout for your favorite restaurant. If you plan an elopement far away from home, it makes sense to get to know a new culture, taste new food, and learn some words of the local language.

Enjoy your stay…

Your accommodation should make traveling to your eloping spot “easy” and be also the perfect place to relax after your wedding adventure.

If you plan to have a reception in an AirBnB make sure to ask for permission first as most AirBnB hosts might be surprised to host a wedding, even though it is a fairly small one. Some couples even bring friends along to their elopement so a permission for guests in your AirBnB is needed.

Licenses & Permits

You found the perfect elopement site and already booked your flights, rental car, and accommodation. Well done, but did you know that you sometimes need a couple of licenses for weddings that are taking place in remote places? A lot of couples forget that, but we are here to help you with this.

Getting married in the wild…

Weddings in a National Park, or nature reserve often require a special permit. It is fairly easy to obtain a license or permit for your wedding, however. Most national parks or reserves charge a small fee so you can have the elopement you always wanted. Make sure to check their website or call their offices.

A wedding couple is holding each other and the bride is holding her dress and they are standing near mountains in Sedona.

REBEKAH DELA FONTAINE DOAK – WWW.FROMTHEFOUNTAIN.COM

 

They are normally extremely helpful with this and will most likely have all sorts of information at their fingertips regarding elopement in their areas and will also share some ideas on where to take awesome wedding photos.

A local guide

It can be a good idea to look for a local guide for your wedding by yourself. If you hire a guide, you can absolutely rely on that the guide knows the best way to hike a mountain up and lead you and your elopement team (photographer, officiant) safely to your elopement site and help make your big day even more unforgettable.

The hidden spots are usually the best

It is also very likely that a local guide knows some really hidden gems. They will know places that normal tourists never heard of and give you ideas on how to make your adventure perfect. You can be sure that the photos of you as a bride & groom/ married couple will look stunning.

A wedding couple ist staining behind each other elevated on a mountain and in the background is the ocean and rocks located at the Big Sur.

HEATHER PURDY MOBLEY – WWW.HEATHERKPURDY.COM

 

Leave no trace

The seven principles of leave no trace are a very important part of elopement & outdoor etiquette. Please make sure to follow these rules during your adventure

  • Plan Ahead and Prepare
  • Be Considerate of Others
  • Respect Farm Animals and Wildlife
  • Travel and Camp on Durable Ground
  • Leave What You Find
  • Dispose of Waste Properly
  • Minimize the Effects of Fire

Respect our world and its nature

Please respect these principles, so you can guarantee to not ruin or damage your ceremony site, and keep it as beautiful as you found it. Having weddings in those places is a unique experience and makes you forget the world around you, but everyone has to respect nature and wildlife at all times!

What to bring (and not bring) on site

Take your time preparing what you’ll need to carry, and be sure to pack a couple of things you want along the trip. Traveling light is super important but you also shouldn’t be cold when the night hits.

The right clothing

Depending on what location you have selected for your wedding, you need to prepare your clothing. This will help you prevent freezing as weather patterns in unknown locations can quickly change during a wedding day. Think ahead and be prepared for every possible change of weather.

A wedding couple is dancing in the middle of the Fern Canyon in Northern California.

ANGELA WALSH – WWW.MINDFULMEDIAPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

 

Cold weather

If you elope in Alaska, Iceland, or any similar location that is dominated by cold weather, make sure your dress is suitable for these temperatures. Keep in mind that your elopement location might be affected by wind and snowfall as well. Winter elopements can look awesome but don’t forget warm sweaters, socks, a rain jacket, gloves, scarf, and big boots.

Warm weather

Getting married in a warm elopement place like Bali or Hawaii is beautiful but your biggest concern should be the humidity and how it will affect your body. Make sure to dress accordingly and light but always bring a warm jacket in case of the weather changing suddenly.

A wedding couple is facing each other and touching foreheads and are sitting in the Mojave Desert.

MICHELLE CHAN – WWW.MICHELLECHANPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

 

Snacks & beverages

Please make sure that you and your team do have enough food and drinks to keep you hydrated and don’t turn you into hangry little monsters. Most of your day will be spent taking images so bring enough fruits and snacks to prevent exhaustion and dehydration.

At least some details

Some Couples want to bring decorations like flowers, photo frames, carpets, and candles along for their elopement. Sure, these decorations look amazing in a photo. But it can be a nightmare if you are in an elopement spot that is a bit more remote and you need to hike to your ceremony spot. Consider only taking a couple of things that we mentioned above and that are absolutely crucial.

Your elopement on LOOKSLIKEFILM

We love to hear from couples who read our tips here and eloped somewhere on this beautiful planet. So do let us know where you eloped and send us some photographs. We would love to post the adventure weddings of our couples here on the blog.

A wedding couple is holding hands and smiling at each other and are standing in Breckenridge.

ALEX CELANI – WWW.ROAMINGPINE.COM

 

Go & elope…

We hope you enjoyed this article and found some helpful information. Enjoy your beautiful elopement!

Image by Nick Plus Danée.

Comments (1)

  1. Pierre-Yves Queignec

    Thank you for these valuable recommendations and information! Love these shots too! 🔥

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