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Simone Anne Photography - Destination Wedding Photographer

California & destination | weddings & Elopements

Where to Elope: The Best Places to Elope for an Intimate Wedding, Anywhere in the World

There are so many stunning places to say your vows: I’ve collected over 50 of the best places to elope in the world (or the best places to have an intimate wedding!). Bring just your partner or your family or a few chosen close friends somewhere incredible and say your vows in somewhere you’d only dreamed of. Whether you’re looking for an urban adventure or a breath of fresh air on the top of a mountain, here is the ultimate list of where to elope, all around the world: The most beautiful places to get married on any continent, no matter what you’re looking for.

I’ve collected the best places to elope in the world below based on my own personal experience: I’ve been an elopement photographer and wedding photographer since 2008 and I have photographed hundreds of couples taking in epic views and locations all over the world. Beyond that, I travel a ton and if I haven’t photographed a couple in a location, I can still attest to its excellence as a place to explore, say your vows, and celebrate your commitment to each other. Why not turn your wedding day and your celebration of the next step in your life together into an epic and unforgettable experience? Make your elopement experience an incredible, unforgettable, and life changing wedding day experience.

Browse this list for inspiration, excitement, and ideas, and then reach out to connect! As an experienced elopement photographer based in San Francisco but regularly photographing all over California, the United States, and even the world, I will guide you as you plan your perfect day. Have an elopement that brings you deep joy and a dream experience… and hire a photographer whose images will let you re live all of that joy and emotion in stunning photos you’ll want to hang on your walls for decades to come.

Where to Elope in North America

Hawaii

Say your vows on a beautiful beach or overlooking lush greenery. Celebrate under the palm trees and with a swim in the ocean. Do a helicopter ride of the Na’pali coast to see some of the greenest cliffs you’ve ever experienced, watch the sunset or sunrise from Mauna Kea, the dormant volcano on which many of the world’s most valuable star observations are done (many massive telescopes live here) and then watch more stars than you’ve ever seen before in your life light up the night sky. With so many incredible locations, this island is an amazing place to elope no matter your dreams and preferences.

California Elopement Locations

There are so SO many epic California elopement locations: From stunning beaches and jaw dropping cliffs to incredible granite mountains and sheer rock faces, from tall redwoods to wide open desert, from little towns with cozy and romantic places to celebrate to San Francisco or Los Angeles, bustling with all of the romance and excitement of a big, thriving city… California is THE place to elope, no matter what you’re looking for.

I’ve organized this list of where to elope in California from North to South, so as you browse down this list, you’ll also browse down the state.

Mendocino

This sleepy little town on the Northern California coast has some of the prettiest and most remote coastline in California. Come here for stunning cliffs, wide open horizons, and none of the inaccessibility of Big Sur. With beautiful sunsets, snug B&B’s, and gorgeous rivers and coastline, this place will take your heart and make all of your elopement dreams come true.

Where to Elope: Mendocino California

Browse a Mendocino wedding I photographed here.

Yosemite National Park

One of the most epic places in the world, Yosemite and its granite mountains are worthy of being the background for your vows. Sunrise or sunset, epic views abound here, and it’s always a good idea to marry your person surrounded by rock carved by glaciers millions of years ago. Whether you’re here for the iconic views at Taft Point or Glacier Point (below) or you’re excited about venturing into the backcountry for a secluded ceremony site, you cannot go wrong with this stunning national park.

Where to Elope: Yosemite National Park in California
Where to Elope: Yosemite National Park in California

Browse a Yosemite elopement I photographed here.

Point Reyes

Point Reyes National Seashore is the perfect place to elope if you’re looking for wide, wild, and beautiful beaches, a stunning cypress tree tunnel, and all of the solitude of wide open spaces. Let the winds coming off of the Pacific Ocean swirl around you as you say your vows and then celebrate with fresh local oysters and joy carried on the wind.

Where to Elope: Point Reyes
Where to Elope: Point Reyes

These two wonderful humans eloped and got married at Drakes Beach in Point Reyes, California.

Where to Elope: Point Reyes

Browse a Point Reyes elopement I’ve photographed here.

San Francisco

Is there a city in America more romantic than San Francisco? Say your vows overlooking the water, with the stunning Golden Gate Bridge as your backdrop, or in any of the numerous scenic overlooks. Get up at sunrise to have somewhere stunning all to yourselves or seek out solitude with an off-the-beaten-path elopement spot elsewhere in San Francisco. Whether you want to cap your day with a picnic in the botanical garden or a drink and an upscale dinner at one of the incredible restaurants in the city, there are no wrong answers.

Where to Elope: Baker Beach San Francisco

Browse a San Francisco elopement that I photographed here.

San Francisco City Hall

They just don’t make buildings like this anymore and it’s a damn shame! Have an easy, stress free, and absolutely stunning San Francisco City Hall elopement at one of the most beautiful buildings in the city. With tall arches, a grand staircase worthy of a palace, and stunning window nooks throughout the building, it’s a memorable place to say your vows. Couples come from all over the world to say their vows in this insanely gorgeous building, under the most romantic of rotundas at the top of the grand staircase.

Where to Elope: San Francisco City Hall in San Francisco, California
Where to Elope: San Francisco City Hall in San Francisco, California
Where to Elope: San Francisco City Hall in San Francisco, California

Browse San Francisco City Hall weddings I’ve photographed here.

Find a list of recommendations for where to have your wedding reception after San Francisco City Hall here.

Browse this guide for how to get married at San Francisco City Hall (including both the civic ceremonies and renting a private space for one hour).

Big Sur

With incredible views of the California coastline and stunning rocky cliffs, this is always going to be one of the most incredible spots to say your vows. Look out over the edge of the continent, watch the sunset in one of the most beautiful places in the world, and celebrate with an intimate dinner for two by candlelight at one of the cozy, upscale restaurants that help make Big Sur such an incredible place.

Browse a Big Sur wedding I photographed here.

Tulum, Mexico

With pristine beaches, teal waters, and palm fronds in the breeze, this magical coastal city along the edge of Mexico’s Yucután Peninsula is a beachy dream come true. Plan your wedding here for unique venues, gorgeous beaches, amazing food and drinks, and design forward spots to stay, shop, and eat.

Thinking of Tulum? Check out my list of the 10+ Best Tulum Wedding Venues.

New York Elopement Locations

New York City is one of the most amazing places on earth: With endless iconic views, delicious restaurants, and romantic neighborhoods, it is THE place to get married. Have a super fun and absolutely beautiful New York elopement at any of these incredible locations.

Brooklyn

There’s nowhere like New York City to elope and a City Hall wedding in New York City or a private ceremony beneath the Manhattan Bridge or on the Brooklyn Bridge (go at sunrise to avoid the crowds) is a dream come true. Celebrate by grabbing a slice at your favorite New York City pizza joint or with an epic Italian/anything mean in a romantic setting. Cheers fancy bevvies in a NYC speakeasy or host your intimate friends and family for a private dinner in one of the many hip and delicious New York spots.

Where to Elope: Manhattan Bridge, Brooklyn, New York
Where to Elope: Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn, New York

Browse a Brooklyn elopement I photographed here.

Where to Elope in South America

Are you looking for somewhere to elope that is full of flavor, color, music (always music!) and outdoor beauty? Look no further than South (and Central!) America. With so many cities full of color and parks full of stunning beauty, you cannot go wrong saying your vows in this incredible place.

Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena’s old town is famous for stunningly colorful buildings, historic details, and a view of the sun setting over the ocean. Come here for a sweet elopement with lots of live music, gorgeous photos as you wander the streets of old town Cartagena, and some incredible food.

Nicaragua

Nicaragua is a little under publicized compared to Costa Rica (in part due to a 2018 political crisis), but that just means that you’ll have this incredible country all to yourself. Empty beaches with incredible surf, stunning colors all over Granada (a beautiful colonial city), and hotels that have graced the covers of Travel and Leisure Magazine, you cannot go wrong here. Spend the morning of your wedding swimming in the warm ocean or a volcanic lake, take photos around the city or along the beaches, and celebrate with an intimate dinner under the stars (there are so many in this country) and surrounded by banana trees. Cheap, beautiful, welcoming, and with your catamaran/private beach/lush jungle honeymoon built right in, you’ll come home with stunning photos, the best memories, and sun warmed skin. Elope in Nicaragua for a perfect wedding!

Nicaragua Elopement in Granada
Nicaragua Elopement in Granada
Nicaragua Elopement in Granada

Browse a Nicaragua elopement wedding that I photographed here.

Costa Rica

Dreaming of a beachy elopement followed up with a sunset surf and fresh fruit under an umbrella on the sand? Costa Rica is your place! Come here for stunning views of the coast, gorgeous and sunny portraits, and more.

If you’re not up for the beach, Costa Rica is famous for stunningly beautiful rainforests and a plethora of forest animals. Say your vows under the trees and then wander through the forest and enjoy the animals, birdsong, and more for a perfect elopement day.

Patagonia

Torres del Paine National Park

With some of the most beautiful mountains in the world, Torres del Paine is the place to come if you want epic views and magical mountains for your wedding day. Say your vows against a backdrop that you might not believe is real and then wander the trails to see glaciers, rivers, and possibly even rainbows. With some of the most epic winds in the world, this park is not for the faint of heart. But never fear, you always get more out of this experience than you put in and you truly couldn’t pick a better place to elope that Torres del Paine.

Cerro Torre (Mt. Fitz Roy)

Epic granite mountains that come jutting out of relatively flat ground, these granite rocks pair with teal blue glacial lakes for some of the most stunning scenery. As with Torres del Paine, you might need to brave some wind to say your vows here, but once you see that pink alpenglow on the mountains you’ll know every effort was worth it.

Where to Elope in Europe

Europe has everything you could need for a perfect elopement: With so much variety from one end of the continent to another, plus some of the best food in the world, you’ll find everything you need to plan your perfect elopement in Europe.

Paris

The most romantic city in the world is the absolute perfect place to elope. Wake up at sunrise for a private ceremony in front of the Eiffel Tower, wander the romantic streets of Montmartre with your newlywed, and cheers your union with champagne and a view of the city.

This is a Paris elopement at sunrise overlooking the Eiffel Tower. it doesn’t get more famous and iconic than that!

Where to Elope: Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
Where to Elope: Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

This is a sunrise in the famous, iconic, romantic Montmartre neighborhood. With cobblestone streets and stunningly beautiful old buildings, plus the Sacre Couer and all of the history of the bohemians (poets, writers, artists, and more), this is such a romantic place to walk the streets with your newlywed.

Where to Elope: Montmartre, Paris, France

Browse a Paris elopement I photographed here. Another Paris elopement I photographed.

Ireland Elopement Locations

What is there to say about Ireland except that it’s the perfect place to elope? Celebrate your marriage with a Guinness and hearty Irish meal in a local pub while being serenaded by musicians (there is so so much wonderful pub music in Ireland, all the time). With endless green hills and stunningly beautiful cliffs, plus super sweet little Irish towns and wild winds that will blow through your hair, this is such a romantic and beautiful country to get married in.

Cliffs of Moher

Some of the most famous cliffs in the world, the Cliffs of Moher are the place to say your vows if you and your partner want to look up from being married and feel small against the world. Let the wind blow you, let a beam of sunshine peeking through the clouds celebrate you, and watch the ocean and the birds looking small against these epic cliffs. In the summertime, with super long days, you can say your vows early or late and have this entire place to yourself.

Italy Elopement Locations

Rome

Chanel your inner Italian for a stunning elopement in Rome. Wander historic streets, visit the Trevi fountain, and watch the sunset over the city. Duck into almost any trattoria for an epic and memorable wedding dinner, and pose with the historic homes for memorable wedding portraits. Wake up at sunrise to have a surreptitious ceremony somewhere incredible (in front of the Trevi Fountain, anyone?) and then have an impromptu first dance under the orange trees before sharing a gelato on your way home.

Cinque Terre

With some of the most epic coastline in the world, this romantic collection of towns is the perfect place to say your vows. Elope on a boat overlooking the towns, on a sunrise hike up above the buildings, or on a private balcony with an unforgettable view. Share a celebratory sunset dinner of fresh seafood and pasta, and wrap up your celebration with a swim in the Mediterranean.

Dolomites

If you’re looking for stunning mountains, epic views, pointy spires, AND all of the romance and incredible food of Italy in general, the Dolomites are the place to elope. Say your vows on a stunning overnight backpacking trip OR escape back from the mountains to a cozy B&B after your wedding: You can have everything here!

Greece Elopement Locations

Oia

With stunning white and blue buildings, the Island of Oia might have one of the most iconic sunrise views in the world. Say your vows with the arrival of a new day, then bask in the sunshine while exploring the visually stunning white and blue buildings and churches. With a coastline full of epic views and an endless blue ocean, this is one spot you won’t forget.

Iceland

One of the most famous places to elope in the world, Iceland has everything you could hope for in a wonderful and adventurous outdoor elopement. Say your vows on black sand dunes surrounded by crystal blue icebergs that recently broke from a glacier. Trek out and say your vows ON a glacier (can you say epic?!), or find a verdant cliff overlooking an incredible waterfall and have a private, wild ceremony. With epic winds and lots of weather, this is a perfect spot to elope for the adventurous soul: Your ability to roll with the weather, work around the land, and your love of exploration will mean that you’ll have the elopement of your dreams (and perhaps rainbows, waterfalls, geothermal activity, and even Icelandic horses to go with it).

Africa

Morocco

With winding, colorful streets and stunning deserts, you cannot go wrong with an elopement in Morocco. Beautiful and colorful buildings and streets make this a stunning place for portraits and fun photos in your wedding clothes and a weekend in the desert will provide you with the solitude and endless stars you’ll want to ring in your next step in a life together.

South Africa

Table Mountain is an epic backdrop for your vows and the oceans, with white sands and penguins, are some of the most stunning in the world. With a moderate climate and the proximity to the ocean, you can’t go wrong with an elopement in Cape Town. Spend a week or two in the country to celebrate your elopement with a “safari” trip to see wild elephants and other incredible Big Five animals.

Namibia

An underrated place to elope, Namibia has stunning sand dunes that stretch as far as the eye can see, epic animals, and wide open spaces. You’ll see more stars than you’ve ever imagined and be able to cuddle up with your newlywed around a late evening campfire.

Asia

Asia is so warm and has some of the best food in the world. There are so many incredible countries and stunning views here: Whether you want an elopement for the views, the beaches, the colors, or just about anything else, you’ll find your perfect elopement location in Asia.

Bali

Chase luxury and relaxation by eloping in Bali. Splurge on a stunning Balinese villa, say your vows on private white sand beaches, and celebrate with a moonlit dip in the water. Host your intimate family and friends for a dream dinner under a palapa as the sun sets on a stunning and warm evening. Extend the celebration with next day portraits in your luxury pool, among flowing curtains and bright greenery, and with fun explorations of the beach nearby.

Vietnam

Hoi An, Vietnam

The colorful ancient town of Hoi An is a gorgeous spot for a colorful elopement. Celebrate your new marriage by letting off lanterns into the river and posing by the iconic yellow buildings.

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