Eloping gives you the vast freedom to get married wherever, whenever and however you want. You can go to a new place or stay close to home. You can wear a white wedding dress or something unusual or colorful. You can choose to invite your loved ones or keep it private. Heck, you can even bring your pets if you want. The choice is all yours! With so many different eloping ideas, how do you pick one? Here are some of our favorite elopements to spark inspiration for your upcoming ceremony.
A Whimsical Wedding on the Water
Imagine marrying the one you love most with waves crashing in the background, squishy sand under your feet, sunshine on your skin, and clean, crisp coastal air in your lungs. Beach weddings are undeniably romantic and, luckily, not too hard to pull off. We plan elopements, small ceremonies and vow renewals in Hawaii, California, Georgia or any other beachy destination in the world that suits your ceremony.
Hawaii ceremonies are super special, in large part due to the fact that our team of island officiants go above and beyond to make each elopement memorable. While not by any means required, many couples opt to include elements of traditional Hawaiian wedding ceremonies in their elopement, like a lei exchange ceremony.
The lei has a very special place in Hawaiian culture and is a significant symbol in important life occasions. Leis represent unity, beauty, and completeness. Each officiant has their own unique twist on the exchange ceremony, but typically each partner places a lei around the other's neck, which symbolizes the coming together of your separate elements into a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. It's a truly beautiful moment that will surely become one of many beautiful memories of your wedding day.
Georgia might not be what first comes to mind when you think of a beach wedding, but it definitely shouldn't be overlooked. Georgia's coastline spans roughly 110 miles and is dotted with islands that are full of wildlife and clean beaches. Just outside of Savannah lies Tybee Island, which is hands down one of our favorite places for a beach elopement.
Tybee Island is peaceful and has some of the best beaches in the area. It's extremely accessible with a short 20-minute drive from downtown Savannah. One of the most famous features on the island is the Tybee Island Lighthouse, which has been standing since 1736! It's the oldest and tallest lighthouse in the state of Georgia, not to mention incredibly beautiful.
California is one of the most well-known beach destinations in the U.S. The state has nearly 900 miles of coastline along the Pacific Ocean, all of which is diverse and absolutely gorgeous.
San Diego has 70 miles of coastline that ranges from sandy beaches to rocky cliffs. If you're leaning towards calm waves and squishy sand, head to Pacific Beach. Just behind the beach lies a lively neighborhood packed with restaurants, bars, and shops, making for an easy escape to celebrate with your brand new husband or wife.
Sunset Cliffs is another popular ceremony spot and it's not hard to see why. The cliffs rest along the edge of the 68-acre park, so you have green space to one side and crashing waves on the other. We highly recommend sunset ceremonies here. They didn't include it in the name for no reason!
Immerse Yourself in Nature with a Mountain Top Elopement
Mountain weddings are an adventure all on their own. Surrounded by stunning views and incredible natural formations, plus being subject to the elements all makes for an experience you won’t ever forget. Pair your perfect wedding attire with a pair of trusted hiking boots and head out to exchange vows with Mother Nature as your witness.
Some of our favorite places to plan mountain ceremonies are in Colorado, Idaho, and North Carolina.
Colorado is in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, making it one of the very best spots for a mountain elopement. Its diverse landscape features high alpine lakes, rolling mountain meadows, red rock features, and sweeping canyon lands.
Some of our favorite Colorado locations for an elopement with a mountain view are Lookout Mountain and Sprague Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, Garden of the Gods outside of Colorado Springs, and Chautauqua Park, which overlooks the darling city of Boulder.
Idaho is one of the most underrated states for a mountain wedding. Boise, the state capital, is surrounded by rolling foothills that are easily accessible and gorgeous in every season. Head further into the hills to reach Bogus Basin, Boise's nearest mountain resort which is open year-round. Here you will find plenty of trails, natural features and open areas that make for a lovely ceremony spot with a mountain view.
One of Idaho's gems is the Sawtooth Mountains. Here you will find the sparkling Redfish Lake, which has the perfect mix of water and mountains for an elopement ceremony. The landscape here is truly spectacular and is a favorite for many of us at Simply Eloped.
The World is Your Oyster, the City is Your Venue
One of the most beautiful parts of an elopement is the freedom to get married wherever. You know that cool archway in your neighborhood? Get married under it. Have a beautiful City Hall in mind? Elope there. Love the architecture of your library? Say “I do” in front of it. Remember the coffee shop you had your first date in? Make another memory there. Public locations like these not only make for convenient and low-cost wedding venues, they usually end up being some of the most stunning elopements as well.
San Francisco City Hall is truly one of the best. The building itself took two years to construct and spans two city blocks. It's filled with large features, like the grand staircase pictured here, and pretty little nooks that make photo options seem almost endless.
The Daniels & Fisher Clock Tower is one of Denver's most unique elopement venues. It was built in 1910 and was the tallest building between the Mississippi River and California at the time. The 20-foot tower has clock faces on all four sides. Plan your clock tower ceremony at the perfect time of day to get the light shining through the clock faces, as this sweet couple did in the photo shown above. Stunning!
New York City is bursting with places to elope. While some may not seem like a wedding venue, they sure do make for a beautiful backdrop. Whether it's a colorful mural, a bustling city street or a historic bandshell, with a little creativity and a lot of love, your everyday city sight can transform into a lovely little wedding venue.
Fairy Tale Feels with a City Park Wedding
City parks make for excellent weddings venues with tall, old trees, beautiful landscaping, easy access, and low costs. There are also typically structures in place that make for great ceremony sites, like old trees, gazebos or bridges. Many city parks are located within close proximity to parking lots and businesses, making it easy to access your ceremony and celebrate at a nearby location right after.
We plan elopements in city parks all over the nation, but some of our most favorite are in San Diego, Savannah, New Orleans and New York City.
City Park in New Orleans is one of our most popular venues in NOLA. It's easy to get to, beautiful in every season, and is filled with an array of ceremony locations. Within the 1,300-acre park, you'll find some of our most recommended spots for ceremonies and photos, including the infamous Tree of Life, an arched stone bridge, New Orleans Botanical Garden, and Carousel Gardens Amusement Park.
Central Park is a no brainer for New York City elopements! It's filled with life and love and has been since the first section of the park opened in 1858. Our favorite venues within Central Park are A Treehouse for Dreaming, Cop Cot, Ladies Pavilion, Bow Bridge, and Wagner Cove. All in all, you can't really go wrong with an elopement or a first dance in Central Park - even if you are smack dab in the middle of the hustle and bustle!
Incorporate Family Traditions and Culture
Just because you aren’t having a big traditional wedding doesn’t mean you can’t include sentiments of traditions and cultures close to your heart. In fact, you may even be able to make those traditions stand out more in comparison to a traditional wedding. Eloping gives you the freedom to include your culture
Some of our most memorable elopements had some sort of family tradition or culture incorporated in the ceremony. In some instances, couples want to do something to honor the family members that aren't there with them on their wedding day. Sometimes, couples celebrate their heritage and culture through attire or rituals woven into their marriage ceremony.
We often work with couples that include a longtime wedding tradition into their elopement. While there may be some instance where we have to get creative (like not breaking the glass on a beach!), we can absolutely work an important tradition into a ceremony. Some of the most popular traditions are having a loved one walk the bride down the aisle, breaking the glass, hand fasting, doing a champagne toast, and blessing the rings.
Who Said You Have to Wear White?
You’re on the nontraditional wedding route, why wear some nontraditional wedding wear while you’re at it? You can have all kinds of fun with attire while eloping, like wearing bright colors, a special garment that has meaning behind it, or something that reminds you of your friends and family that aren’t in attendance. If you’ve already found the perfect white dress or tux, add your own flare to it by pairing it with a leather jacket, your favorite pair of shoes or fun accessories. The choice is all yours!
Embrace the Microwedding
Eloping doesn’t necessarily mean that no guests are invited. We define eloping as 20 guests or less, which means there is plenty of opportunity to have your loved ones present to witness your wedding. You can go as “formal” as having a wedding party or as simple as bringing your children along for the wedding. This day is about you and your partner and whomever you share it with is entirely up to you — even if that means your pets!
One of the many perks of eloping is getting to choose a venue that works really for your wedding and the people involved. This darling little family got married in Chautauqua Park, which had plenty of space for their little ones to move about while still participating in the ceremony.
Wedding parties are a-ok when it comes to elopements. It's super easy to pull off and we can recommend the best venues to have an elopement with a wedding party for each of our elopement destinations.
Last but definitely not least, bring your pet(s)! Most of our locations allow pets and we have options in every market for pet parents to choose from. We believe that pets are family members and fully support you bringing your fur babies to your big day!