Holy Holy! Well first off, congratulations! Whatever your step in planning, be is research, actively planning, or just curious about elopements; you’ve come to the right place! One of the hardest part about planning a elopement is choosing where. The world is such a big place, and it can be super overwhelming to narrow down that one location! (Trust me I get it) So I tried to create this little post with 5 tips on how you can choose your dream elopement location! So get comfy, grab your partner and of course a snack! Lets get it!
One of the easiest places to start while choosing an elopement location is to picture what your dream elopement looks like. Picture where you can imagine you and your partner exchanging your vows. Do you imagine being on the edge of a cliff with dramatic mountains in the background? Or maybe you have always dreamed of getting married next to a huge saguaro cactus or a lake. Whatever it is, I recommend writing down the type of scene you want! It will help in the end to narrow locations down. Lucky for us, if you cant just pick one scene, but many different ideas of what your elopement could look like, there are so many locations that have multiple scenery types in the same spot! The world is your oyster! But try to make that “must haves” list!
2.Time of Year & Weather
Another important factor of choosing an elopement location is the weather and time of year. When deciding to elope you are agreeing to Mother Nature running your day. Make sure you talk to your partner about your non-negotiables in regards to weather. Maybe you hate humidity and your partner despises the cold. Most locations have ideal seasons for getting married, which is another thing to keep in mind. If you’ve always dreamed of a summer wedding, then the Southwest isn’t going to be at the top of your list. (Oh my does it get HOT) I always like to check the average temperatures during certain months, as well as the chances of rain or snowfall. Don’t forget to be educated on the weather and best times of year to visit for your top locations.
3.Your Favorite Activities
One thing most couples don’t think about when choosing an elopement location is considering your favorite activities to do with each other. If you’ve chosen to elope more than likely you have a special love for nature. When I work with my couples to help plan their elopement day I always ask.. “What would your dream day look like?” The possibilities for activities to do on your wedding day are seriously endless.
4.What State/Country Has All of That?
Now that you have narrowed it down to your favorite sceneries, your desired time of year and weather, and your favorite activities, now it’s time to find a state or country that has it all. If you’re dreaming of an epic adventure I’d suggest to look outside of the U.S.. Maybe you want to go to the country that you and your partner have always had at the top of your bucket list.
If getting married out of the country isn’t desirable, no worries! The United States has so much variety and I promise you can find your dream scenery in one of the states. I suggest using Google, Instagram, and your favorite hiking trails apps to decide on which state is best for your elopement location. You can always reach out to me for recommendations as well!
5.Narrow It Down.. And Choose Your Perfect Elopement Location
Let’s break it down even more specific now that you’ve chosen the ideal state/country for your elopement. If you’re unfamiliar with a state I suggest that you first start looking through the various national parks, state parks, and popular hiking trails. Most national parks do require that wedding ceremonies, no matter the size, must take place at certain spots in the park. Make sure to do all of the proper research ahead of time…it’s important to respect all of the rules that come with getting married out in nature. And if you ever need any help finding this information, I am more than happy to help you!
Once you find one that ticks all the marks, check out the rules for getting married in the park. Some parks require permits, and some don’t. If you’re struggling with narrowing your elopement location to a specific area in the state, I suggest that you talk to me and/or a planner. One of my favorite parts of being an elopement photographer and planner all in one is location scouting!
Don’t worry if you get to this spot and you feel stuck. Take your time researching and talking. Most parks require permits to be submitted within 4 weeks in advance to your desired date. This gives you plenty of time to find the perfect location for your elopement. Have fun researching! If you end up finding a park that isn’t the best spot for your elopement, at least you’ve found another cool spot to explore in the future. Don’t forget to ask lots of questions, look at lots of photos on google, and have FUN.