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. We have pretty much every landscape you could imagine, and no matter the season you’re looking to elope in, you can find an epic 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.
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. 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…
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. It ultimately just depends on what types of landscapes you like the most. Once you figure out what you like, picking a season becomes easy. Once you’ve figured out those details, you’re ready to narrow things down and find your perfect elopement place.
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 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 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.
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 spots 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.
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.
Telluride is basically an adventurer’s paradise (but it also has boutique hotels and cute little restaurants giving it the perfect balance). 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.
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 such an epic place to elope.
With multiple entrances and various trails fo 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.
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.
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.
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 view 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.
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.
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 sunrise in this park is unreal. We highly recommend this park as one of the best places to elope in the US, without a doubt.
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. Plus, the adorable town of Jackson is right outside the park, and the perfect place for you to stay before you elope.
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 place over encouraging couples to elope in the nearby Rocky Mountain National Park. Frankly, Indian Peaks is better. 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.
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 out here.
We love how extreme Death Valley is. 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.
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 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 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.
Once you’ve chosen the place where you two would like to elope, you’ll want to dig into whether or not you’ll need an elopement permit. Depending on where you are, 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 should be viewed on a location-by-location basis. Definitely check in with your elopement location ranger to get a solid answer on whether or not you’ll need one.
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 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.
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, but helping you plan 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. We’ve been in your shoes with our own elopement, and that’s why we’re in this industry in the first place. We want to help.
Sure, we pride ourselves in taking killer photos of killer people in killer places, but we’re firm believers that your adventure wedding photographer should be so much more than that. They should be a resource and guide to you during the whole adventure elopement planning process. So if that sounds like your vibe, we’d love to chat with you about your dream adventure elopement.
Check out some of our favorite elopement and adventure wedding planning resources:
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!
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.
We like to say we’re adventurers first, photographers second. Which frankly, is what we think makes us good at what we do. We live and breathe the outdoors lifestyle, and we make sure our adventure wedding photos show off your adventurous side too.
Not everyone loves tradition, but that doesn’t make your adventure wedding or elopement any less important.
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