One of the benefits of eloping is sharing a special moment with only yourself and your new spouse. You may not realize this, but the other benefit is having a wide range of locations to choose from—far more than those acceptable for a traditional wedding. Yes, quite a few of the top spots in the world for a wedding allow only elopements, giving you an advantage over your friends with huge guest lists. So, this is where things get interesting.
There are plenty of “classic” locations to choose from when it comes to elopements, but every wedding deserves to be unique! If you happen to be one of those couples looking for a cool elopement venue, why not consider five of the following ideas that are off the beaten path?
(Warning: some of these destinations may persuade you to get hitched without the whole charade!)
1. An Icelandic Ice Cave
Couples are increasingly falling in love with the idea of getting married in Iceland. This northern country is well known for its magnificent, magical terrain that you will not be able to find anywhere else. So, if you’re not afraid of the cold, you might want to tie the knot in the Hálsanefshellir ice cave, located in Vik, Iceland. This is a perfect setting for a winter wedding, but the nearby black sand beaches provide a stunning backdrop in any season.
2. Cinque Terre, Italy
If you want an elopement location outside of the States, we highly recommend checking out the Cinque Terre region of Italy, which is a chain of five charming fishing villages situated along the Mediterranean. These include Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore, all of which feature cute narrow streets, charming boutiques, and amazing dining options. Despite being a top-level destination, even for locals, it’s still considered off the beaten path. You’ll have a blast in whatever town you choose, as Italians are quite lively people and might randomly celebrate with you. In other words, you’ll never feel alone even if you’re eloping with no guests at all.
3. White Sands National Monument, New Mexico
If the description above sounded enticing but you’re not a fan of feeling frozen, you should check out the White Sands National Park, located in New Mexico, as an alternative. As the name suggests, the sand in this desert setting is quite literally snow white. Because of this, you’ll see a wide range of different colors reflecting off of it, depending on what time of the day it is. Eloping couples love this destination not only for the stunning photos, but also for its isolation. This area is rather secluded and far from any major town—making it perfect for a private elopement just between the two of you.
4. Skamania Stone House, Washington
Tucked within the mystical woods of the Columbia River Gorge is a charming little abandoned property that somewhat resembles a chapel. This place isn’t widely advertised and requires a short walk to access, but it is definitely worth the effort. (Hint: It is just off Highway 14 near Franz Road, near the border of Washington and Oregon state.) While the stone house makes for an excellent elopement venue, the rest of the area offers plenty of outdoorsy entertainment if you’re into that sort of thing. Columbia River Gorge is home to numerous hiking and biking trails, over 90 waterfalls, fairytale-like forests, and more. You will not be bored—guaranteed!
5. Saint Augustine, Florida
Known as the oldest city in the state of Florida (some argue that it may be the oldest in the states), Saint Augustine is not a place to miss (if even for a visit). This historical European-like seaside town offers many locations for an elopement ceremony, not including its 42-mile coastline. This place makes the most of its fame with numerous glamorous resorts and hotels, chic boutiques, and delightful drinking and dining options. Its historical locations are quite well-preserved as well, giving you a few unique opportunities for unforgettable photos.