18 Jaw-Dropping Destinations That Are Perfect Elopement Backdrops
You're with the person you want to marry, but the idea of planning a wedding and exchanging vows in front of a hundred of your closest friends and family members just sounds daunting. Or maybe you want that big party, but first want to embark on this next chapter without guests in tow. Sound familiar? Then the idea of an elopement has likely already crossed your mind.
Whether it will truly just be you, your spouse, and your officiant, or if you're planning to tie the knot with just your parents or siblings in attendance, one of the major benefits of an elopement is that you have next to no one to coordinate. That means you can wed somewhere gorgeous and remote, or in a place that would have otherwise exceeded your budget with a full guest list. So if you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?
We asked our friends at the Venue Report to share their list of jaw-dropping locations that are just begging to place host to your elopement. From a cave in Ireland and a foggy forest in Utah to a waterfall in Hawaii and the top of a volcano in Italy, these epic locales will make your very special vow exchange that much more memorable.
Lake Louise, Canada
Forget your something-blue—Canada's Lake Louise is turquoise and has that category covered. Situated in Banff National Park, it's also the perfect spot for adventurous couples, since cross-country skiing, snowboarding, ice fishing, snowmobiling, hiking, and ice climbing excursions are all available.
Dunluce Castle, Ireland
What's more romantic than eloping in a place you've always wanted to visit? Bring your coats and your boots to Iceland and find a remote ice cave where you can swap vows in seclusion. It will surely be the experience of a lifetime.
Find a lush forest (or better yet, a lake!) in Sundance, Utah when choosing an elopement site. While you'll likely have to take a short hike to get to the more breathtaking spots, the complete peace and quite (and the yellow leaves of the Aspens!) makes it worth it.
Find a stretch of desolate beach in Normandy, France for the ultimate romantic private ceremony. Just be sure to go explore the surrounding town post-wedding—it's rich with history.
Rattlesnake Ridge, Washington
The sheer cliffs of Rattlesnake Ridge, Washington, provide the most breathtaking photo backdrop for an elopement. Check out the endless views while you swap vows.
Tofino Beach, Canada
Enjoy both the rainforest vibes of the surrounding woodlands and the nautical, stormy beaches in Tofino. We recommend checking into the nearby Wickaninnish Inn for your stay, where you'll enjoy storm-watching at their waterfront restaurant.
Long Beach, California
Looking for a stateside elopement location with European vibes? Welcome to Long Beach, California. A ceremony gondola ride is a must, especially for Italy-lovers.
For couples looking to relax on sandy beaches and chase waterfalls, Kauai is the spot. The Hawaiian island has everything you're looking for in a tropical elopement, including gorgeous weather and lush forests.
Maroon Lake, Colorado
Just ten miles west of the mountains of Aspen, Colorado, sits the Maroon Lake. As the name suggests, the area is colored with a dreamy red hue and it's made all the more lovely thanks to the spectacular basin and mountains that surround the area. This spot is pure magic.
White Sands National Monument, New Mexico
Tie the knot barefoot at the White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. Its creamy dunes serve as the ultimate backdrop for ethereal elopement photos.
The Columbia River Gorge, Oregon
Be prepared to stumble upon countless treasures (like crumbling stone houses with chapel vibes!) in Oregon's Columbia River Gorge. These unexpected structures make the perfect elopement sites.
Mount Cook, New Zealand
While New Zealand mountaintops come with soaring views, you'll want to prepare for the resulting wind. Although, we haven't ever seen a billowing dress or veil photo we didn't like! Add a bit of luxury to the moment by arriving via helicopter, an adventure in and of itself.
Cue the drama! Not every spot on this white-and-blue island is as colorful and saturated as Instagram might lead you to believe. For couples looking for something moodier, rocky summits (complete with misty views) are available.
Mt. Hood, Utah
Warm tones, however, can be found in Mt. Hood, Utah, where rich red rocks and cliff-side views converge. The best part? You'll convene with nature as you commit yourself to each other.
Go big or go home in Iceland, where you can tie the knot atop an actual glacier. The can't-believe-they're-real views of the country's rocky terrain, steep cliffs, and winding rivers aren't half-bad either.
Wahclella Falls, Oregon
If exchanging vows over the gurgle of a waterfall in the middle of a moss-covered ravine sounds like something you and yours would love, book a trip to Oregon's Wahclella Falls. This excursion involves trekking to the base of the falls for the ceremony.