DESTINATION ELOPEMENT // ADVENTURE ELOPEMENT // URBAN ELOPEMENT // ELOPEMENT LOCATIONS // ELOPEMENT PLANNER
Looking to have an experience of a lifetime or simply an oasis to reconnect with your sweetheart for your elopement? I’ve scoured the globe (and internet) to find the top 10 most gorgeous and totally-utterly-completely underrated destinations for couples to explore in 2023. Whether you want to kayak by a glacier, ride camels through the desert, stay in a castle, or soak in some sunshine on the prettiest beaches in the world—there is the perfect place out there for you and your elopement. Before we can make your elopement day a dream-come-true, we need to figure out the dream. This list has a little bit of EVERYTHING, so it’s a great place to kickstart your imagination! *drum roll please* Let’s get into it!
Location: French Polynesia, South Pacific Island
Best time: May – October
Features: Volcanic mountains, overwater bungalows, rainforests, & beaches
Mo’ore is paradise and a well kept secret that is the perfect elopement location for couples drawn to the overwater bungalows of Bora Bora, but not the price tag. Simply take the $15 ferry ride from Tahiti to this dreamy island. You’ll find much more affordable accommodations, but with million dollar views of the crystal blue waters and lush volcanic terrain. Say “I do”, on the sandy beaches, hike to some cascading waterfalls, and take a sunset cruise around the island. When you’re ready to do a little more adventuring, schedule an ATV tour or go snorkeling. OR just kick back and enjoy paradise.
Location: Baja California Sur, Mexico
Best time: December – February
Features: Whale watching, coves, and markets
2 hours North of the bustling tourist hot spot of Cabo San Lucas, you’ll find the historic and beautiful city, La Paz. A small walkable city with small markets, fantastic little restaurants, and of course gorgeous beaches like Balandra Bay! All of the gorgeous white sand beaches you could dream of without the party atmosphere of the beaches of Cabo. It’s perfect for an intimate wedding or elopement if you’re looking to soak in some sunshine and relax. And if you’re looking for the same vibes with a little more nature check out the nearby city of Loreto!
Location: Leavenworth, Washington, United States
Best time: Year round
Weather: Summer 80°s, Winter 20°s
Features: Festivals, skiing, hiking, and shopping
Want the feeling of being in an entirely different country without leaving the States? Check out this Bavarian village tucked away in the Cascade Mountains of Washington (only two hours from Seattle)! Leavenworth’s European atmosphere will transport you to Bavaria with its colorful buildings, cute shops, wineries, and German festivals—all while surrounded by incredible mountains! Oh, and the best part is it’s a wonderful place to visit year round! During the colder months it transforms into a village straight out of a Hallmark movie and the warmed months are dreamy and lush.
Location: Tucson, Arizona, United States
Best time: October – April
Features: Deserts, mountains, and hiking
Just outside of Tucson you’ll find Saguaro National Park, which feels straight out of an old western movie or wile-e-coyote cartoon. A total VIBE. And what says everlasting love like getting married amongst 30 foot saguaro cacti that are over 100 years old? Head over to this National Park during the cooler months to beat the sweltering heat and take in the red desert sands, watercolor skies, and blooming cacti. After you’re done exploring the city of Tucson is only a short 20 minute drive away, where you can unwind and enjoy the lowkey nightlife.
Is your heart set on eloping in a National Park? Check out this blog…Choosing a National Park for Your Elopement.
Location: Austria, Central Europe
Best time: April – May
Features: Gardens, museums, cathedrals, and river cruises
Vienna is a city rich with history, eclectic architecture, AND it’s right next to the foothills of the Northern Limestone Alps. Unlike the more popular cities in Europe, this one gives off small town vibes, while still having delicious food, incredible sights, and utter charm. Have your wedding Schonbrunn Palace Gardens or elope in the foothills of the Alps! Then spend the rest of your day’s touring museums, taking a river cruise, or wandering through the beautiful city pretending to be Anne Hathaway in Princess Diaries.
Location: Montenegro, Southeastern Europe
Best time: March – May
Features: Markets, nightlife, beaches, and historic churches
The slopes around the Bay of Kotor are dotted with white stone neighborhoods with burnt orange, tiled roofs. This fjord is as pretty as a painting—from the jagged peaks above to the deep blue waters below. Can you imagine having that panoramic view as the backdrop of your elopement? Immerse yourself in the Italian-like, coastal town of Persat, before hopping on a private boat to the the twin islands of Our Lady of the Rocks and St. George, and exchanging your vows privately on the rocky coastline.
Location: Oman, Middle East
Best time: October – April
Weather: 70°s – 90°s
Features: Beaches, deserts, sand dunes, and mosques
This place 100% is bucket list worthy. From the Orange sand dunes to snow white beaches and ancient cities to luxury resorts— it’s no surprise that tourism here is on the rise! Once you hop off the plane in the city, Muscat, you will immediately be taken aback by how otherworldly Oman is. You can choose to ride camels/ATVs across the rolling orange dunes of the Wahiba Desert or take a private boat to the Daymaniyat Islands to go snorkeling (orrr a secret third options of BOTH!). If you’ve been thinking about eloping somewhere in the Middle East, this is your sign!
Location: France, Western Europe
Best time: Spring and Fall
Features: Castles, wineries, and villages
Castles? Say less. Wineries? Say more. France is inherently romantic, but Loire Valley is arguably the most fairytale-esque region in the country. For your elopement, imagine inviting your closest loved ones to stay at a historic and gorgeous chateau like Chateau des Joyaux or The Secret Hamlet. If you don’t want to tour the valleys on foot, why not schedule a hot air balloon ride to take in the sights! And of course, unwind with some sparkling wine at some of the best wineries in France.
Location: Southeast Alaska, United States
Best time: July and August
Features: Glaciers, mountains, hiking, and wildlife tours
If you’re looking to get off the beaten path and really entrench yourself in adventure and the wilderness, Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska is well worth the trek. With 3.3 million acres of wildly beautiful terrain there is no shortage of things to see and do. Temperate rainforests, snow capped mountains, glacier fjords, and more wildlife than you can imagine. Whether your dream is to kayak next to a glacier, take a boat tour to go humpback whale watching, go on a helicopter ride, or simply take a hike through—there is something here for you to experience and an epic elopement is guaranteed.
Location: Florida, United States
Best time: March – May
Features: Beaches, shops, and wildlife preserves
Anna Maria is incredibly lovely and I’m not just saying that, because it’s in my home state, Florida! The energy of the laid back beach town, coupled with the sugary white beaches and turquoise waters, makes this area a wonderful place to unwind and connect with your partner. Wouldn’t it be nice to end your wedding day with a walk down the pier at sunset to watch the dolphins and manatees? (If you want to immerse yourself further in nature you’re a stone’s throw away from multiple state parks and preserves!)
Looking for more locations? Peep these incredible destinations from The 10 Most Breathtaking & Underrated Destinations to Elope in 2022 blog!
Psst! Don’t forget to check the latest CDC guidelines for where you’re traveling here!
“Talented, brilliant, incredible, amazing, show stopping, spectacular, never the same, totally unique”— Lady Gaga describing your elopement. Come on, surely your bucket list just got longer!! Now that you have some inspiration in your system… close your eyes and imagine your dream elopement. What experiences are you having, what’s in the background, what aspects are important to you, and what time of year are you envisioning? As you answer these questions you’ll slowly be able to narrow down the perfect location for you.
If you’re feeling inspired and want to talk about logistics or feel even more torn on where to choose and need some guidance—I’m here for you! Let’s get planning, pack our bags, and go on the adventure of a lifetime!
It starts here!
© Audrey Darke Photography | All Rights Reserved