You say "elope" and we say "how high?" Or more accurately, how far, how cold and how high. Elopements continue to grow in popularity for their sense of intimacy, adventure and beauty and it's easy to see why – couples are rebelling against the traditional wedding and the fanfare that goes along with it in favor of a bucket list worthy experience with their soulmate and life partner. Yes, the stunning photography is a huge draw for eloping, but the sweet story behind each elopement is what it's really about.
From snow-capped mountaintops to remote desert cliffs, let these 28 stunning and heartwarming elopements inpire your elopement daydreams this year.
“These two had initially wanted to elope, but realized that having a wedding was just too important for all their family + friends, which I think is the case for most people. So instead, they met up with me a week before their wedding to say personal vows in the desert on the side of a cliff and it was nothing short of incredible. We all cried.” - Anni Why we love it: Antelope Canyon is a bucket list destination on it's own and being able to say your vows here as well? The ultimate icing on the cake.
Bali is undeniably one the most perfect honeymoon destinations in the world so why not get a head start on your first married getaway by getting married there? Let the trees, rice paddies and vines frame your "I do's." After you exchange vows, head straight into your honeymoon and let the celebration begin! Why we love it: The jungle mist adds to ambience of the adventurous day.
It's getting hot in here! This desert elopement accented with a ring of fire is hot, hot, hot. Let the fires of love be your guiding light while two become one under the setting sun. Inside tip: Always check with the national park service about lighting campfires and be sure to fully extinguish yours!
“I met up with Allison + Cody while they were there documenting an elopement of their own. They were set to get married on April 1st in Nashville but wanted to say their vows to one another while they were in Iceland. I’ve never seen anything like it and it was incredible just watching icebergs the size of cars float through the canal and into the ocean.” - Jordan Why we love it: Privately saying your vows in a breathtaking location before the big wedding is the perfect way to start your life together.
Mountaintops will never not be breathtaking locations for elopements. Add some snow and consider it done. This Dolomites setting provided this starry-eyed couple with the wedding day of a lifetime and all the elopement inspiration you need. Inside tip: Bring multiple pairs of shoes for trekking and photo-taking.
“Nights on the salt flats when the water on the salt mirrors the sky and all that you see, near and far, are the prettiest hues of pink and purple.” - Kandice Why we love it: Braving the winter air for moments like this add to the excitement of eloping! For adventurous couples, the more daring, the better.
“When Mary contacted me over a year ago, she had her heart set on a Colorado elopement. Something small, simple, with just their immediate family in attendance. And more than anything, she wanted fall colors and spectacular views. Living in Arizona, they weren’t sure exactly when to time the elopement for the fall colors, but that was the beauty of eloping with just a handful of loved ones.” - Jessie Why we love it: Let the changing leaves be your only decor as nature's most dramatic backdrop yet.
“They promised forever to each other with El Cap and a trickling Yosemite Falls as their witness, their only decorations being the trees and rocks around them. It was perfect. After their ceremony, and an announcement to the world that they were married (their officiant literally shouted it from the mountain top!), they spend the rest of the evening dancing around, cuddling, and taking in the sweeping views around them.” - Abbi Why we love it: Taking your love to new heights (literally and figuratively), is a grand romantic gesture we'll never get over.
“The morning sun had already cast its shadows on every feature of Venice. Its shaft of blessing carved a dreamy calmness out of the air. Sometimes all we need is closing our eyes, dancing, bathing in the sun. Like Alexander & Evgeniya. To breathe, to be, to hope, to feel.” - Tu Why we love it: City surroundings are just as romantic as nature when you go with it, forgetting the hustle and bustle around you.
“After a gorgeous drive along Lake Crescent, we hiked a short distance toward the spot they had found just a day earlier. We arrived at a clearing in the trees and a forest floor covered in ferns next to a gorgeous roaring stream cascading down a steep incline of rocks and boulders. It was there where they officially promised themselves to each other in words that were hushed by the sounds of the water while their pup lied at their feet.” - Kandice Why we love it: Being surrouned by lush growth and life is the perfect metaphor for the new journey you are starting.
“We've always been drawn to Mexican influences, but we wanted to think of a new way to interpret such fun patterns and elements. Truly, the existing landscapes and building in Valle were our biggest inspiration.” - Ali Why we love it: If your're going to decorate, take inspiration from the location to have a seamless, natural day.
“When Kourtney invited me to document their intimate wedding on Kauai, I was incredibly honored. She tasked me with finding the most epic views for an epic day-after session for them and I scoured the Island for just the right hike. I absolutely love helping couples find incredibly unique & secluded locations to say their vows and have a one-of-a-kind adventure.” - Maddie Why we love it: Finding a private location suiting your vows is possible, even on a tourist filled island like Kauai.
This magical day took place in the misty mountains of Vietnam and this couple went on the adventure of a lifetime for it. From traversing through fields to glamping on a mountainside, these lovebirds will inspire you to not only elope, but plan several activities for the day. Inside tip: Outfit changes are encouraged! Follow this bride's footsteps and bring several outfits.
“I remember Sam singing, dancing and whooping with the young Masaai men - the traditional Masaai jumping dance to prove their strength and manpower to the women. I remember the Masai elders spitting milk on the feet of Sam and Doris as a blessing of always having plenty of food and healthy children.” - Tu Why we love it: Bringing another culture's traditions into your new life is meaningful and sets the tone as you start your own traditions as a married couple.
How romantic would it be to rent a retro car, throw on a fancy outfit and drive until you find the perfect spot to wed. That is exactly what this couple did and as romantic as it is, it also looks FUN. After all, if you are having fun on your wedding day, what are you doing? Why we love it: The simplest of ideas can turn into the ultimate roadtrip story.
Celebrate your love and make it official next to a roaring waterfall. Providing the drama, let the rushing water be your backdrop and you profess your love to one another. Why we love it: This is all about contrast! The dark vs. light of this image perfectly symbolizes the moment you say your vows and become a married couple.
“Loveland Pass is the highest elevation road in the world that’s regularly open year-round. Pretty epic spot to say your vows at 12,000 ft in the winter and Mikayla & Jared had it all to themselves at sunrise.” - Maddie Why we love it: Waking up before sunrise to have that soft morning glow illuminate your vows is well worth it.
“I’m honoured that I was able to witness such a beautiful celebration of love and commitment. Before the day started myself along with the couple decided it would be interesting to document the day without giving their identity away. Many of the photographs are for their eyes only, but here are a select few I wanted to share.” - Jess Why we love it: Elopements are intimate and personal so why not make your images reflect that? Keeping them for your eyes only is refreshingly romantic.
“Lauren & Ana flew from Washington DC, all the way to the south island of New Zealand to elope. Yes, being helicoptered up to this epic mountain top in Wanaka, was beyond beautiful, but I'll never forget what they said to each other and the way it brought tears to my eyes and touched my heart in the most significant way.” - Lauren Why we love it: These ladies knew they needed a location as big as their love and this mountaintop does it perfect justice.
“Our dear friend + associate photographer Denise and her love David eloped to Paris a few weeks ago, and it was a day full of magic. From waking up at the crack of dawn for their first look in front of an empty Eiffel Tower to delicious brunch at Cafe de Flore followed by intimate vows on the balcony of our airbnb… it was a dream come true.” - Lauren Why we love it: Choosing a photographer you are comfortable with (and maybe even friends!) allows you two to be yourselves to enjoy the day and get beautifully real images.
“These two just celebrated their 10 year wedding anniversary a couples months back. They were 18 when they wed and had a courthouse wedding and never had the "proper" ceremony and photographs. When Bryant reached out about going to New Zealand to renew their vows, I knew it was going to be AWESOME!!” - Brian Why we love it: This thoughtful vow renewal proves marriage only gets better with time! This couples 10 year anniversary was the adventure of a lifetime.
“I knew straight away that I really wanted to work with this couple. They were adventurous and really wanted to go off the beaten track to get gorgeous photos. The whole experience was like a two day road trip where we stopped along the way to take photos all while having an amazing time and enjoying the spectacular scenery that the South Island of New Zealand has to offer.” - Maz Why we love it: Adventure is better! Why not turn your first moments as a married couple into an exciting adventure?
Some places just seem surreal, and this is one of them. This remote corner of Poland may remain a secret between the photographer and the couple for now, but is easy to draw inspiration from. Why we love it: Popular destinations like Yosemite or Horseshoe Bend may get a lot of love, but lesser known spots (like this) can be just as beautiful!
“Our entire relationship and experience together has been very exclusive and intimate, and we wanted our elopement to reflect that. We got married after living together for about 5 months. We saw the best and worst of one another, had good and bad, and, somewhere along the line, realized we wouldn’t want to spend another night apart.” - Bride, Ali Why we love it: Choosing to have your wedding day reflect your relationship is the definition of romance, no?
“Emery had prepared a few pages of vows, as well as an explanation as to what was really happening “for reasons unknown to us, a house fire prevented us from having our dream wedding. But what it can’t prevent is us marrying one another….” She got down on one knee, secretly bought him a ring, and proposed!” - Monique Why we love it: This bride got down on one knee to propose to her groom, wedding dress on and all. They wed on the spot proving, when you know, you know.
“They wanted to celebrate their marriage in the most meaningful and authentic way that they felt represented them as a couple. This one is not about fancy dresses, expensive venues or a huge cake. It’s the story of two lovers that followed their heart and tied the knot in nature, where they feel most at home and where they draw their everyday inspiration.” - Melli & Shayne Why we love it: This couple reminds us of the importance and meaning behind eloping – forget the "stuff" a wedding should have and just focus on one another.
“The beautiful La Graciosa island in the heart of the Atlantic Ocean was the perfect backdrop for a very intimate and romantic two-day photo session. The old city on La Graciosa and the breathtaking landscapes were a perfect fit for the wonderful couple and the light was simply majestic.” - Lukas Why we love it: When the city is completely quiet, the photo opportunities are like none other. Patience for the right moment is everything!
“It appeared the ruggedness of Iceland appealed to them, and of all the rugged locations you can find in Iceland, they chose Snæfellsnes which we fully supported. There is something magical about Snæfellsnes that you simply need to experience in order to fully understand.” - Nordica Why we love it: Any location in Iceland is sure to be magical, but this rugged strech of coastline adds to the raw emotions of the day.
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