Best Places To Elope In The US

Our Guide To The Best Places To Elope In The USA | Elopement Destinations USA

The Best Places To Elope In The US | Our Guide To The Best USA Elopement Locations

From the red deserts of Utah to the lush forests of Washington State to the mossy trees of southeastern United States, the US is full of beautiful elopement locations (and frankly, some of the best elopement destinations out there). We have pretty much every landscape you could imagine (and hands-down some of the best places to elope in the world). No matter the season you’re looking to elope in, you can find an epic and romantic spot to call yours for your elopement ceremony. As elopement photographers, we spend a ton of our time getting out and scouting the best places in the country for adventure elopements, and we’ve crafted this list in the process: the best places to elope in the US.

How The Seasons Can Impact The Best Places To Elope In The US

Seasonality Can Have A Huge Impact On Where You Choose To Elope In The US

Depending on where in the US you want to elope, you’ll want to look into how seasonality impacts the weather. Certain parts of the country are great for elopements in the summer months, whereas others would be unbearable. Same goes for winter. It ultimately depends on what types of landscapes speak to you, and how the seasons can impact the best elopement destinations. Once you know that, you can narrow down the best places to elope in the US.

All of that being said, which US regions are best for elopements in the various seasons? Let’s take a look…

Eloping In The US In The Summer and Fall

Best Places To Elope In The US In The Summer Months

  • The mountains and higher elevation locations really shine in the summer months, making them among the best places to elope in the US during this season.
  • The Rocky Mountains and the North Cascades have gorgeous wildflower blooms that come to life in late July and early August, and they’re the perfect backdrop for summer adventure elopements.
  • Depending on where in the mountains you’re looking to elope, there are designated elopement venues as well as awesome trails for you to choose from, all of which make for awesome USA elopement destinations.
  • On the other hand, the desert regions of places like Moab and Death Valley and many parts of the southeast that are riddled with excessive heat. We’d typically suggest avoiding these regions when eloping in the summer, but they make for epic US elopement locations during other parts of the year.

Best Places To Elope In The US In The Fall Months

  • If you want to elope in the mountains in the US, fall is another great season. The leaves in the mountains look gorgeous during peak color time, making mountainous regions one of our favorite places to elope in the US.
  • If you want to elope when the fall colors are at their best, make sure to check when peak colors happen in the mountain region you’re considering. For example, in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, peak fall colors happen at the tail end of September, making CO one of the best elopement destinations for this season.
  • Beaches are some of the best places to elope in the US in the fall. They’re much milder, temperature-wise during this time of the year, and they’re usually less busy since families aren’t on vacation then.
  • The desert is also great in the fall, with the heat from summer fading away. This is when states like Arizona, Utah, and Nevada really shine.

Eloping In The US In The Winter And Spring

Best Places To Elope In The US In The Winter Months​

  • If you want a winter wonderland vibe for your elopement, the mountains can be one of the best elopement destinations. Just be aware that snowshoeing may be necessary if you’re eloping on a hiking trail. Also, certain mountain passes close during the winter season, so that’s something to keep in mind as well (like Rocky Mountain National Park’s Trail Ridge Road). That said, Colorado has some awesome elopement venues, like Sapphire Point, that are so much better in the winter months than any other season. Just be aware that you could be spending multiple hours on end in very cold temps!
  • If you want to elope in winter but prefer a milder climate, the beaches of southern California and Florida are great options. These places tend to stay relatively warm pretty much year round, so making them one of the best places to elope in the US in the wintertime.
  • Also, certain desert locations are a good option in the winter months. Death Valley and Joshua Tree are great this time of year. While it can still be chilly, the temps are nowhere near as uncomfortable as these places can be in the summertime, making them pretty awesome places to elope.

Best Places To Elope In The US In The Spring Months

  • Spring is probably the only season when we’d say avoid the mountains. At higher elevations, plants are still dead from winter, certain regions get heavily bogged down with rain, and sometimes you can end up in the middle of a hail storm. Not the best for an adventure elopement.
  • If your allergies tend to get the best of you, we also recommend avoiding the southeast. Pollen can get pretty intense down there. If you don’t have overactive allergies, the blooming in the spring in the southeast can be gorgeous. 
  • Honestly, in our opinions, the best places to elope in the US are the west coast beaches, particularly in California. Springtime in most regions is known for lots of rain (and hail!), but California is generally drier and the beaches won’t be as hot as they are in the summer months making then a great option.
  • The high deserts of Utah are also great in the spring. This is the ideal time to visit them and elope: before they become scorching in the summer.

The nice thing about the US is that there isn’t really a bad season to elope in. Because this country is so large and covers such a diversity of regions, there are good places to elope in, no matter the time of year. Finding the best places to elope in the US will ultimately just depend on what types of landscapes you like the most. Once you figure out what you like, picking a season becomes easy. After you’ve figured out those details, you’re ready to narrow things down and find your perfect elopement place.

Ok, So You've Narrowed Down Your Preferred Elopement Season. Now, Let's Dig Into Finding Your Perfect Elopement Spot In The US.

The best piece of advice we could give you when you’re trying to find the best places to elope in the US is to chat with your adventure elopement photographer. Why? As adventure elopement photographers ourselves, we spend a huge chunk of our time traveling to the most epic elopement locations and destinations and scouting them out for our couples. We love finding off-the-beaten path spots in national parks, BLM land, and various places in between.

That said, when determining the best places to elope in the US, you and your partner should discuss which types of landscapes you like most. Would you rather elope in the mountains or on the coast? Share your likes and dislikes with your elopement photographer, and should be able to find you the best places in the US to match those preferences. We chat a bit more in detail out this in our Ultimate Elopement Planning Checklist, which covers the elopement process from beginning to end.

Our Personal Favorite US Elopement Locations

The Best Places To Elope In The US

As seasoned adventure elopement photographers and people who have traveled to pretty much every region in the US (from the southeast to the Rockies to the PNW), we’ve seen a lot of places. And from our travels, we’ve narrowed our favorite elopement locations and what we think are the best elopement destinations down to a few key spots. Our list of the best places to elope in the US include the places that made our jaws drop…that felt other-worldly in how inspiring and gorgeous they are. And we couldn’t be more excited to share these special US elopement locations with y’all.  

Best Places To Elope In The US #1

Telluride, Colorado

Colorado in general is known for its epic mountains, and Telluride takes the cake for some of the absolute best in the state. This town is located in the San Juan Mountain range, and it honestly feels like it came straight out of a dream. In the winter months, Telluride is a top skiing destination. In the fall, the aspens are completely aglow. And in the summer the epic mountain passes near the town open up and make for some of the best off-roading you can imagine. This town’s versatility is one of the reasons we consider it one of the best elopement destinations.

Telluride is basically an adventurer’s paradise (but it also has boutique hotels and cute little restaurants giving it the perfect balance of adventure and romance). This town honestly covers all the bases which is why it’s at the top of our list of best places to elope in the US.

Best Places To Elope In The US #2

Mount Rainier National Park

There’s no other way to put it: Mount Rainier is straight majestic. This stratovolcano pretty much follows you the entire drive from Seattle into the park…standing above every hill and mountain nearby. Even in the summer months, the mountain is caked in snow (like in this photo that was taken at the end of July). Personally we love the juxtaposition of a snowy Rainier with late summer wildflower blooms. It’s honestly what makes this park one of the most epic, best places to elope in the US.

With multiple entrances and various trails of differing lengths, you can get away from the crowds and have a slice of Washington State heaven all to yourself on your elopement day. You honestly can’t beat that. A truly special place to elope in the United States, and by far one of the best elopement destinations.

Best Places To Elope In The US #3

Dillon And Breckenridge, Colorado

While mountain towns like Telluride are a bit hard to travel to, given the limited ways to get there and the distance to Denver, the Breckenridge area is far more accessible, which is why we love it so much. You still get those epic mountain views, but you’re only a couple hours from the airport and super close to a main freeway. Ultimately, this area is one of the best elopement destinations for couples looking to have an epic outdoors experience, without wandering too far out into the backcountry.

Personally, we believe the Breckenridge/Dillon area is one of the best places to elope in the US for couples who are looking to bring a few family members or friends along with them. There’s plenty to do in town, but it’s also easy to escape into the Colorado Rockies when you’re ready for some mountain air and exploration.

Best Places To Elope In The US #4

Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park is probably the closest you can get to Canada’s Banff and Jasper when you’re in the US, at least from a views standpoint. When it comes to crazy epic mountain views and glacial lakes, Glacier National park would honestly be our number one best place to elope in the US. The mountains here are unlike anything else.

If you’re thinking about eloping in Glacier, though, we recommend doing so between early July and early October, since that’s when the famous Going To the Sun Road is open, allowing you to drive the length of the park and see some of the most gorgeous mountain views Glacier has to offer. This road is one of the biggest features that makes this park one of the best elopement destinations.

Best Places To Elope In The US #5

Capitol Reef national Park

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: Capitol Reef is the severely underrated underdog of the Utah national parks. Frankly, we’d venture to say it’s the best national park in the state. It’s far less crowded than Zion and Arches, but its views are just as epic. And that’s part of the reason we think this park is also one of the most romantic places to elope: you can so easily get away from it all.

You can actually have some privacy when you elope in Capitol Reef, which can be hard to come by in places like Moab. And oh my gosh, the sunrises in this park is unreal. We highly recommend this park as one of the best places to elope in the US, without a doubt.

Best Places To Elope In The US #6

Grand Teton National Park

While Grand Teton sits right next to its more popular sister Yellowstone NP, we think you’re much better off skipping the geysers and long lines and heading right on over to Grand Teton. Trust us, when you get there you’ll see why this park is listed as one of the best places to elope in the US.

The mountain views are absolutely stunning. The Teton range is jagged and dramatic and feels like it basically just juts out of the ground from nowhere. And the park itself is not nearly as busy as some others in the US, making it an awesome elopement location for a little more seclusion. Plus, the adorable town of Jackson is right outside the park, and the perfect place for you to stay before you elope.

Best Places To Elope In The US #7

Indian Peaks Wilderness In Colorado

While it’s not a national park, the Indian Peaks Wilderness can keep up with the best of them. In fact, there’s a reason why we recommend this spot as one of the best elopement destinations over encouraging couples to elope in the nearby Rocky Mountain National Park. Frankly, Indian Peaks is a far better elopement location. And that’s largely because the designated ceremony spots in Rocky Mountain leave A LOT to be desired. The mountain views aren’t nearly as epic as you might think and you typically have a crowd of people nearby (not the most romantic way to start off your marriage). Meanwhile, Indian Peaks gives you the chance to get away from it all, as long as you’re willing to hike a bit (trust us, it’s worth it for this epic elopement place). 

As elopement photographers based in Colorado, we spend a lot of time wandering and working in the Rockies, which is why we can confidently recommend Indian Peaks as one of the best places to elope in the United States.

Best Places To Elope In The US #8

Death Valley National Park

We love how extreme Death Valley is. Who says a little desert heat can’t be romantic? In the summer months, the temperatures get INSANELY hot (which is why we don’t really recommend eloping here at this time of the year). And this park also contains the lowest elevation point in the entire US. How cool is that?!

But beyond fun facts, the reason we recommend this park as one of the best places to elope in the US is because of the crazy landscapes it has. You have everything from bare mountains to desert, to sand dunes to salt flats. Everything is barren and beautiful. And it’s a feeling you can’t really get anywhere else. It’s honestly these extremes that make this park one of our favorite elopement locations. There’s really nothing else like it.

Best Places To Elope In The US #9

A Place That's Special To You And Your Partner

At the end of the day, where you choose to elope is completely and totally up to you. And it can be anywhere. While epic views are awesome, what’s even more awesome is choosing a place that has meaning to you and your partner. Is there a specific trail that you two went on your first date together? Or do you visit a specific national park every year to go camping? Consider eloping there. The best places to elope in the US (and the most romantic places to elope) are the places that matter the most to you…wherever that may be. Even if that’s just in your backyard or in the courtyard of the coffeeshop where you two had your first date. Sometimes the best elopement destinations are closer to home than you would’ve thought.

Acquire Any Needed Permits To Elope In The US

Once you’ve chosen your preferred US elopement location or elopement venue, you’ll want to dig into whether or not you’ll need an elopement permit. Depending on where you’re eloping, they may or may not be necessary. Some national forests require them and others do not. On the other hand, you can pretty much be certain that you’ll need a wedding permit if you’re eloping in one of the US’s 62 national parks.

Ultimately, permit requirements for elopement locations and elopement venues should be viewed on a location-by-location basis. Definitely check in with a ranger at your elopement location to get a solid answer on whether or not you’ll need one.

What To Do During Your Elopement

Activities You Can Do During Your Adventurous Elopement

Elopements have changed so much lately, and in the best way! They aren’t really viewed as secret, shameful weddings, but adventure-filled, one-of-a-kind, epic, romantic experiences let couples truly infuse their personalities into their wedding day. Elopements are how couples say no to the wedding industry’s ridiculous, outdated, and wasteful rules. It’s their way of choosing to have a wedding day that actually feels like “them.”

Couples nowadays love the idea of making their elopement day their own by incorporating activities that you wouldn’t really be able to do at a traditional wedding, whether that’s hiking, climbing, or taking a soak in your favorite hot springs after you say your vows. That’s the thing about adventure elopements: the things you do on your elopement day don’t necessarily have to even be wedding related. Your day can simply be an adventure, and it can take you wherever you want. Ultimately how you choose to elope in the US is up to you and your boo. This is your elopement day after all: you get to make all the rules. 

So You've Found Your Perfect US Elopement Location Or Elopement Venue.

Wanna Snag Some More Elopement Tips? As Seasoned Elopement Photographers, We've Got Your Back.

Our Ultimate Elopement Guide goes over everything you need to know when planning your adventure elopement. Every step is in there, from how to find the best places to elope to what you should be packing with you. This is the same checklist we used when planning our own elopement (yup, we eloped too, so we’ve been in your shoes!), and the one we use when helping our couples plan their dream elopements.

We’ve also written guides on eloping in some of our favorite states. Interested in eloping in Washington State or Colorado? We tell you all about how to do that. Want to know the best places to elope in Utah or California? No worries…we’ve written articles on that too. 

P.S. As mountain elopement and adventure wedding photographers, we pride ourselves on not just documenting your US elopement or small mountain wedding. We love helping our couple sort out all the little details as well — like helping you figure out the perfect time of year for your California coast elopement or finding you the best places to elope in the US, whether it’s a national park or elopement venue. We’ve been in your shoes with our own US elopement, and that’s why we’re in this industry in the first place. We want to help.

Planning Your Adventure Wedding Or National Park Elopement?

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Colorado Elopement Photographers

The Colorado Rockies are our home. We know these mountains like the back of our hand, and we love helping our couples plan their Colorado adventure elopements. Our land is your land, peeps. so let’s get you mountain married!

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We specialize in photographing small adventure weddings in the great outdoors. We believe small weddings empower couples to be themselves on their wedding day, which is what makes us so honored to be a part of them. There’s nothing better.

Adventure Elopement Photographers

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Sheena Shahangian Photography LLC

Not everyone loves tradition, but that doesn’t make your adventure wedding or elopement any less important.

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Sheena Shahangian is a Colorado elopement photographer + adventure wedding photographer specializing in Rocky Mountain adventure weddings and adventure elopements across the western United States.

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