Yellowstone national park in Wyoming

Best Places to Elope in the U.S. in 2024

Grand teton national park

Elopement in the U.S.

Planning a U.S. elopement but don’t know where specifically to actually elope? Look no further! Read my epic list to discover the BEST places to elope in the US! From the Rocky Mountains to the New England coastline, there are SO many epic places to choose from. In this post, I go over a ton of resources on eloping in the USA, including:

  • Why Elope in the U.S.
  • How to choose your elopement destination
  • Where to elope in the U.S.
  • How to Elope in the US.

Why Elope in the U.S.

If you’re dreaming of exchanging vows with your beloved somewhere special, there are many great places in the US to elope or have your destination wedding. Forget traditional wedding, elopements are the way to go! Deserts, mountains, beaches, rainforests, you name it. The options are LIMITLESS. I totally get how it can be overwhelming to choose, that’s why I’m here! I’ve had the opportunity to travel all over the states, and LOVE helping couples find the perfect elopement location.

The United States really is unlike any other country – hosting such diverse landscapes across the continent. There really is something for everyone, and always somewhere new to explore! As your destination elopement photographer – I’m here to help ya decide where the best place to elope is!

Okay before we even dive into the lists of elopement destination options, it can be super helpful to take a minute to evaluate the vision you have for your elopement! Here are a few things to ask yourself when trying to decide where to elope:

How to Decide Where to Elope

  1. What kind of scenery/landscape do we want? Are you guys mountain folk, or would you prefer the beach? What views set your soul on fire? Some couples love to go back to a place that is meaningful to them, while others love the opportunity to go explore somewhere new together!
  2. How far do we want to travel? And what mode of transportation are you comfortable with? A cross-country road trip in a camper van can be an EPIC adventure elopement, or you may want to stick to your home state any not worry about crossing state lines. Totally up to you!
  3. How long of a trip can we take? Considering work schedule, PTO, childcare, holiday breaks; all the fine details to be taken into consideration for how much time you have to travel, explore, rest, and maybe honeymoon too? Make a day, a weekend, or however long you want!
  4. What does our budget look like? No one likes to talk about that! But hey we gotta be real and plan for what we can afford! The good news is if it’s a private elopement, you won’t be spending money on guest favors or catered meals for 100+. You get to allocate your budget more on the experience itself!
  5. When are we eloping? The weather and climate varies soooo much across the states, and in the states themselves! Considering what season you are thinking of eloping, can affect where you want to pick for your location. For example ya realllyyy don’t want to pick Death Valley mid-summer!

These are also things we go over in my client consultations! I can help you narrow down your elopement vision, and offer a customized list of where to elope based on your ideas! NOW, onto the best elopement destinations in the United States:

Trip map courtesy of Wanderlog, a trip planner app on iOS and Android

Here’s a list of the Top 10 places to Elope in the US

Arizona

Most people think of Arizona as a hot barren desert, with the random Grand Canyon throw in there. But Arizona has a TON more to offer. With three National Parks and 31 State Parks, you can find so many amazing spots to explore – AND elope! Here are the top 5 places to elope in Arizona:

  • Sedona
  • Tucson
  • Grand Canyon National Park
  • Slot Canyons
  • Horseshoe Bend

California

You cannot go wrong with a classic Cali elopement. The golden state hosts a huge array of options in terms of landscapes and experiences. You could even hit the ocean, desert, AND mountains all in one day! While Southern Calif is well known for its mild seasons and sunshine, places like the desret and central Calif can get HOT in the summertime. And there are plenty of places you can find snow in the winter – even in the high desert! Some of the top elopement destinations in California include:

Colorado

Colorado is an adventure elopement PARADISE!! With tons of hiking options, and so many outdoor activities to try – this is an incredible place to elope! You can find sand dunes, red rocks, deserts, AND the most insane snow-capped mountain landscapes you can imagine! Here are a few of the best places to elope in Colorado:

  • Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Garden of the Gods
  • Aspen
  • Breckenridge
  • Great Sand Dunes National Park

Las Vegas, Nevada

You can’t beat Las Vegas for a wedding and eloping. With plenty of romantic chapels, world-class spa resort hotels, and fun events such as Bellagio’s famous fountain shows and a range of other entertainment options, you don’t need to worry about people other than yourselves taking up your special moment. The iconic Strip itself is a great backdrop for photos of your once-in-a-lifetime night! HOWEVER, that’s not all that this state has to offer! There are plenty of epic outdoor adventure elopement locations in Nevada that don’t involve Elvis Presley or the chaos of the strip! Here are some incredible elopement locations outside of Vegas!

  • Red Rock Canyon
  • Valley of Fire
  • Mt. Rose
  • Black Rock Desert
  • Cathedral Gorge State Park

New England

I could go on and on about how New England is the BEST place to elope (and not just in the fall) It’s an incredible place to explore all year long. I’m lucky enough to photograph elopements all around the east coast, and am proud to call it home! Acadia National Park is one of the most magical places on the East Coast to catch the sunrise for your elopement.

Be sure and check out my blog on Top Locations to Elope in the Northeastern States!

New York

There are so many epic adventure elopement locations in New York. Like Vegas, New York is often associated with bright lights and cityscapes. But that’s not all this northeastern state has to offer! There are magnificent mountains, lakes, and forests all waiting to be explored! I’ve got tons of favorite elopement locations all around the state – but here’s a few of the best places to elope in New York

Oregon

Oregon holds so many hidden treasures. With lush waterfall-filled forests, steep mountain peaks, and also miles of deserts and canyons in the east – you can’t go wrong! Here are 5 amazing places for an elopement in Oregon!

  • Latourell Falls
  • Mt. Hood
  • Columbia River Gorge
  • Cannon Beach
  • Smith Rock State Park

Utah

Utah elopements are so iconic for the US! This state holds some of the weirdest and wildest desert landscapes. They have 5 National Parks and 43 State parks!! Here are some the the best places to elope in Utah:

  • Bonneville Salt Flats
  • Moab (winter)
  • Zion National Park
  • Snow Canyon State Park
  • Arches National Park

Washington

Washington is one THE best places to elope in the US. The PNW landscapes and weather are fierce and magical. With rainforest-adorned coastlines, to pine forests in the mountains. You can’t NOT fall in love with this state! There are plenty of options to choose from, but here are some of the BEST place to elope in Washington state!

  • Ruby Beach
  • Hoh Rain Forest
  • Hurricane Ridge
  • Mt. Rainier
  • Orca Island

Wyoming

DEFINITELY and underrated state for elopements! Some people have no idea just how INSANE the landscapes of Wyoming are! If you’ve ever been to Yellowstone for a family vacation then you got a glimpse, but this state has SO much more to offer! Here are just a few epic places to elope in Wyoming:

How to Elope in the U.S.

Marriage License

This varies from state to state and is something that you’ll need to research based on the location you choose. You can choose to get a marriage license in your hometown prior to your elopement or book an appointment with the county clerk in the state you are traveling to. The details of witnesses, officiants, and other legalities come down to the specifics required of the state you are getting married in. For example. in Colorado you can choose to “Self-Solminize.” This means you can get a $30 marriage license from almost any DMV or County Clerk & Recorder office, say your vows wherever you’d like, sign your license, turn it back in — without an officiant or witness! While other states may have stricter guidelines and requirements for making your marriage legally binding. You can also choose to have a commitment ceremony or spiritual wedding without the paperwork. Up to you!

Permits

This is going to come down to the specific area you’re choosing to elope. Most all National Park Elopements will require a permit of some kind, maybe even two. Either a special use permit (allowing a ceremony, or gathering) and possibly a photographer’s permit as well. This is something that will need to be done in advance, and may take a while to get approved! Costs usually range between $50-$200, but really vary between parks. As your elopement photographer, I can also offer help in preparing for an elopement by reaching out to the NPS and getting the info we need to follow the rules.

Hire an Expert

It’s so important to choose vendors who not only vibe with your vision and personality but can offer you expert knowledge on eloping in the US! As a destination elopement photographer, I’m all about helping my clients plan the experience of a lifetime. I come alongside you not just as your hired vendor, but as your trusted friend, your adventure buddy, and your biggest fan.

US Destination Elopement Photographer

Thinking of eloping outside of the U.S.A? Consider planning a Dolomites Elopement, Morroco Elopement – OR a Tulum, Mexico elopment!

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