Calling all elopement destination dreamers! All adventure seekers! And those couples who want their love to be the sole focus of their wedding day. I have a feeling you’re going to want to take notes on what I have to share with you today. As a wedding photographer, I’ve experienced my fair share of destination elopements. I’ve seen the good and not-so-good, which is why I wanted to share four details you should absolutely consider when choosing an elopement destination. I’m not talking about selecting your wedding dress, writing your vows, or figuring out your photographer (while all extremely important). I want you to narrow your focus in on some location details you may not have initially thought about! Together we will make sure that your destination elopement will not only be an epic and memorable experience, but a stress-free and seamless day.
You’ve started to hunt down the perfect elopement destination. Heck yes!! This is the fun part so I don’t want any of these suggestions to stress you out. But, first on my list of things to consider is the time of year and the type of weather you want to elope in! I cannot emphasize how important this is when it comes to choosing your elopement destination!! Seasons change depending on the time of year, your location, and the climate of the location you’re in. For example, some popular elopement locations–although extremely beautiful–may have freezing temperatures and snow during the winter that can last months! Whereas in other locations tree foliage can be radiant in reds, oranges, and yellows but that 100% depends on the time of year. Peak seasons for foliage can vary based on where you are in the world. If you’re dreaming of the picture-perfect fall foliage you’ll want to look into the mountains of Utah or Colorado or even the East Coast! But, these same places can look sooo different during the winter and summer. So, when considering a location, do some research on the average temperatures and weather patterns before committing!
Typically couples who choose to elope are also aiming to save a little bit of money. I don’t blame you! Trust me when I tell you that you’ll still feel the same amount of love at your destination elopement that you would with a big party! With that being said, when you begin considering locations you’ll definitely want to keep your budget in mind. Travel, accommodations, and other factors can add up real quick when it comes to a destination elopement; if you’re not careful this could result in your elopement being more expensive than you anticipated. Note to my lovers dreaming of international travel: start looking at flight prices now! When creating a budget for your elopement you’ll want to keep in mind all of the nitty-gritty details such as travel expenses, accommodations, permits, licenses, and more. If these elements stress you out my suggestion is to consider what is most important to YOU. Your destination elopement can and should be everything you want. Allow this day to reflect and honor your relationship. Elopements are honestly the best because they can be as simple or as extravagant as you want them to be! The options really are endless!!
Let’s talk adventure. Destination elopements are notorious for unreal views and locations that everyone thinks are too far out of reach. However, these destinations don’t come without a little bit of work. That’s why I recommend looking into what it takes to get to these dreamy spots. Do you see yourself taking a long hike and backpacking through a national park for epic views or are you leaning more towards a short walk? Please, please, please!!! Consider your physical health and that of any guests who may be in attendance when selecting your location. I guarantee that if a long hike is out of the picture, the epic views you can get from observation decks or commonly visited locations are JUST as gorgeous.
Wedding trends are trends for a reason. They go in and out of style with the years and recently one trend we have seen is how many couples are now wanting to elope at super popular locations around AZ. Don’t get me wrong, this is sooo totally fine! These locations are popular for a reason!! However, remember that this day is 100% about you. I have found that couples often choose to elope in order to keep the focus of the day on their relationship. Busy locations can really distract from this! With random people you don’t know lingering, taking photos of the location you’re in, and talking during your ceremony can make for an uncomfortable experience. But, if this doesn’t bother you do not let it stop you!! Don’t let yourself fall into the comparison trap that trends can create — stay true to yourself and keep your relationship in mind. You may have a location or hike that means the world to you and want that to be a part of your wedding day somehow! Elopements can exist at sentimental locations or new locations. Wherever you find yourself marrying the love of your life just know that it is going to be incredibly special.
So, which elopement locations do you have at the top of your list?! I would LOVE to hear!! Regardless of your budget, time of year you’re aiming for, or your physical abilities, your elopement is going to be so special. This day is all about you so keep that in mind when choosing your elopement destination. If you’re planning to elope in Arizona, check out our recent blog: “Where To Elope in Arizona“. Ready to book your dream elopement photographer? Let’s chat!