The 20 Best Places to Elope on Earth

The 20 Best Places to Elope on Earth

If you’re planning to elope, we want to help you make it epic! That's why we reached out to the leading photographers in the world to find the best places with the most spectacular scenery, and came up with 20 engaging locations that every adventurous couple should know about. From dreamy misty mountain tops in Norway to sun-drenched beaches in Bali, these places to kiss are calling out to your romantic side. Scroll down and start dreaming about your once-in-a-lifetime experience and all the extraordinary photos you’ll have to look back on. 

#1 Maui, Hawaii

Maui, 20 best places to elope on earth - Melia Lucida
Waterfalls on the road to Hana - photographed by Melia Lucida
Elopement portrait at Haleakala National Park by Angela Nelson Photography
Couple on the edge of Haleakala Crater in Maui, Hawaii - photographed by Angela Nelson Photography

What to do:

With sundrenched beaches on the west coast, and the gorgeous waterfalls all the way to the idyllic town of Hana on its north, Maui is the perfect mix for couples looking for a combination of 5-star resort living and hiking trails that take them off the beaten path. Try surfing or sailboarding near Paia and snorkeling at Napili Bay; take a sunset cruise to Molikini, and try out the delicious seafood restaurants in Kaanapali and Wailea. If you are not adverse to rising early, ask your photographer to take you on a  trip to Haleakala Crater, which can be otherworldly during a clear sunrise. 

When to go:

Whales breach from November to April and weather is in the upper 70s all year round so you can plan your elopement at any time of year. 

#2 Rome, Italy

Elopement photo outside of the Coliseum - photo by D2 Photography
Elopement photo outside of the Coliseum - photographed by D2 Photography
Bride throwing her bouquet to the crowd at the Trevi Fountain - D2 Photography
Bride throwing her bouquet to the crowd at the Trevi Fountain - photo by D2 Photography, Italy photographers

What to do: 

Rome has romance right in its name and on every street. As soon as you arrive, the city envelopes you in art and keeps you wandering in awe of its history and beauty. Get photos in front of St. Peter’s, the Coliseum, and the Trevi Fountain, and prioritize some time in the gorgeous Villa Borghese Gardens at the top of the Spanish Steps where lush lawns and lakes make for stunning backdrops. Don’t miss the Galleria Borghese with Bernini sculptures (get tickets way in advance), and be sure to book your photographer for an all-day package so every wonderful moment gets captured.

When to go: 

The weather in Rome ranges from near freezing in January to hot in July. To stay cool and beat the crowds there is nothing quite like spring and fall. Go there for the gardens in April and May, or wait until October when autumn brings magical color to the many trees throughout the city.

#3 Ibiza, Spain

Portrait of couple against the Spanish landmark, Es Vedrà, by Julien Laurent Georges
Portrait of couple against the Spanish landmark, Es Vedrà - photographed by Julien Laurent Georges 
Bride posing on beach chair on Ibiza beach - photo by Julien Laurent Georges
Bride posing on beach chair on Ibiza beach - photographed by Julien Laurent Georges 

What to do: 

Ibiza, in the Balearic Islands off the east coast of Spain, rocks with high-energy nightlife, extraordinary restaurants, and white sand beaches where you can show off your new swimwear or leave it in the sand. Couples come to party all night and relax the next day under nearly endless blue skies. Stay in one of the many incredible villas on the island, do yoga in the morning, and find treasure in the Hippy Market, then watch the sunset over Es Vedrà. When the colors fade, head to the local bars to get your fill of tapas and dance the night away.

When to go: 

Ibiza is beautiful year round, with weather ranging from 45 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. However, if you’re looking for time by the pool, shoot for late May to late August and enjoy the heat. 

#4  Aurland, Norway

Bride at sunset on Aurland mountain top - photo by Christin Eide
Bride prepares for sunset ceremony on Aurland mountain top - photographed by Christin Eide
Couple overlooking fjord in Aurland, Norway - photo by Froydis Geithus
Couple overlooking fjord in Aurland, Norway - photographed by Froydis Geithus

What to do:

A world of its own that’s often overlooked by European travelers, couples from the U.S. are flocking to Norway for photos against its stunning fjords and quaint village settings. A wonderful getaway for the adventurous at heart, you can go from the mountaintops to the beach and back again in just a few hours. Plan for photos at Aurlandsfjord, Sognefjord, and the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site, The Nærøyfjorden. Here is one place where it's a must to choose one of our local photographers who deliver epic work and information on vendors, restaurants, accommodations, and secret places, many of which cannot be found online.

When to go:

Norway is in the Arctic Circle and the winters are long, cold, and dark. Between December and February the sun never comes up, and between June and July it never sets. Traveling between May and September is recommended unless you're rugged and ready for daylight hours that come and go quite quickly.

#5 Bora Bora

Couple running on beach near the Four Seasons Bora Bora, photo by Callaway Gable
Couple running on beach near the Four Seasons Bora Bora - photographed by Callaway Gable, Los Angeles
Underwater portrait in Bora Bora lagoon - photo by Callaway Gable
Underwater portrait in Bora Bora lagoon - photographed by Callaway Gable, Los Angeles, California photographers

What to do:

On everybody’s bucket list with good reason, Bora Bora is a lover’s paradise with Gaugin scenery and over-the-water villas where you can swim and snorkel just steps from your bedroom. With resorts like the Four Seasons catering to your every whim, you’ll find everything you need for an ideal elopement, which may be pricey but worth every penny. Take a fabulous destination photographer along and get photos of you on the beach and under the water in one of the world’s most beautiful lagoons. Then, consider renting a boat or hiring a captain to take you to one of dozens of secluded beaches. 

When to go:

Island weather is in the 80s all year round and the only thing that changes much is the precipitation. Rainy season is from late November to late March, which makes for fewer tourists and more plentiful deals for accommodations. Whenever you go, let us know when you get back; we would love to see your pictures!

#6 Banff, Alberta, Canada

Champagne toast at Lake Moraine on a cloudy day - photo by Virginia and Evan
Champagne toast at Lake Moraine on a cloudy day - photographed by Virginia and Evan, Banff, Alberta
Couple portrait at Lake Moraine by Gabe McClintock
Couple portrait at Lake Moraine - photographed by Gabe McClintock

What to do:

Do you love towering mountains and azure lakes but you’ve never been to Banff? Seriously, what are you waiting for? The Rockies rise up and up to create changing shadows that glide across waters so blue they take your breath away. Here, the stunning backdrops never end at world famous elopement spots like Lake Moraine, Lake Louise, and Emerald Lake, and there are hundreds of other jaw-dropping places around every corner. Hike, climb, and canoe then head into town for some microbrews and comfort food. You’ll want to choose a romantic Airbnb that’s totally private and let your experienced photographer take you on adventures in nature you’ll never forget. 

When to go:

Winter arrives as early as September, and by the first week in November the ski runs are out of this world. Most people travel in July and August so if you’re going then, beat the crowds by starting early. What’s the perfect sweet spot? The last week of June, and the first two weeks of September when the larches put on a show. 

#7 Paris

Couple kissing in car by the Eiffel Tower - photo by Julien Laurent Georges
Couple kissing in car by the Eiffel Tower - photographed by Julien Laurent Georges
Elopement photo in front of fairytale French chateau by Julien Laurent Georges
Elopement photo in front of fairytale French chateau - photographed by Julien Laurent Georges

What to do: 

The city of lights turns up the romance with an endless array of vistas overlooking extraordinary architecture and gardens you can get lost in. With cafes, cathedrals, museums, and fashion retailers to die for on every corner you won’t have to go to the big landmarks to be buried in beautiful options. However, if you do, you’ll want to have your photo taken at the Eiffel Tower, in front of the Louvre, and on the steps of Montmarte. French photographers are also happy to take you further afield to places like Versailles, the Loire Valley, and wherever your heart calls to you.

When to go:

Paris rarely has weather that is truly cold, but it can be quite rainy and grey in the winter. Take advantage of the high walking score and go from May to the middle of October and bring a fashionable umbrella with you.

#8 Cuba

Local women watches during elopement shot in Havana, Cuba - photo by Eppel Photography
Local woman watches during elopement shot in Havana, Cuba - photographed by Eppel Photography, Netherlands photographers
On the streets of Havana with retro car - photo by Eppel Photography
On the streets of Havana with retro car - photographed by Eppel Photography

What to do:

A country brimming with biodiversity, couples flock to Cuba to visit its beaches and national parks, and to stroll the streets of old Havana. A total dreamscape for destination photographers, the charming capital city is alive with color, tapas bars, and vintage cars. All you have to do is take a stroll to get gorgeous photos like these. Sunbathers and swimmers must go to Varadero Beach and divers who don’t already know about the underwater garden at Jardines de la Reina do not want to miss that once-in-a-lifetime adventure. 

Add 3 days to your itinerary as the government requires you spend at least that much time in the country before getting married.

When to go: 

June, September and October are considered the months with the best weather to get married, due to their milder weather. Pack a retro wedding dress or classic tux, a cool hat, your hottest swimwear, and lots of loose flowing clothing to catch the breeze.

#9 Iceland

Portrait at secret waterfall in Iceland by Christin Eide
Portrait at secret waterfall in Iceland - photographed by Christin Eide
Bride on Basalt Columns in Vik, Iceland - Photo by M&J Studios
Bride on basalt columns in Vik, Iceland - photographed by M&J Studios

What to do: 

If you can’t afford a rocket ship to the moon, you might want to choose Iceland for an other-worldly experience. Our member photographers say stay away from the famous Golden Circle and go to Snaefellsness and Vik where the waterfalls (many without names) and basalt columns offer a playground of striking backdrops, and be sure to visit the black sand beach with a battered and deserted jet plane in Sólheimasandur, just a few minutes from Reykjavik. Stay in a quaint village B&B and immerse yourself in the culture. This is a place where you will need an experienced photographer who knows the area to make the most of your elopement.

When to go:

There are not enough hours of sunlight from late December through January for great photos but Icelanders love the holidays so much you can visit early in the month to join the Christmas festivities. February is the time for an ice cave elopement with the highest chance of seeing the Northern Lights, but you still can’t bet on it. As April unfolds you may get a sighting, and the spring is glorious all through May; then, the tourists hit hard until the first week of September.

#10 Tuscany

Couple kissing on narrow Tuscan street - photo by David Buck Weddings
Couple kissing on narrow Tuscan street - photographed by David and Sherry Photography
Elopement overlooking the Duomo in Florence - photo by D2 Photography
Elopement overlooking the Duomo in Florence - photographed by D2 Photography

What to do:

Encompassing the medieval cities of Florence, Elba, and Sienna, Tuscany is straight out of a fairytale. Castle spires shoot up against cobblestones streets filled with art, history, and the food that makes Italy famous. You won’t have to worry about speaking the language because Italians are so good at body language and gestures, and they can’t wait to serve you some superlative wine and a memorable meal. For a photo collection worthy of framing, get your pictures taken on the Rialto Bridge and in front of the Duomo in Florence, then head to the hills and travel to Sienna stopping all along the way. We have a world-class list of photographers ready to take you and to amaze you with their skills.

When to go:

May and September bring the best weather and the longest sunny days. Watch the grass turn emerald green in May and the autumn leaves add color to an already magnificent landscape in early October. 

#11 Santorini

Couple holding hands against the white architecture of Santorini, Greece - photo by Edwin Tan
Couple holding hands against the white architecture of Santorini, Greece - photographed by Edwin Tan
Bride makes her way to ceremony site in Santorini, Greece - photo by Edwin Tan
Bride makes her way to ceremony site in Santorini, Greece - photographed by Edwin Tan

What to do:

Synonymous with luxury and beauty, Santorini rises to the top of the Greek Islands when it comes to places to elope. Whitewashed and windswept, the blue of the water makes the perfect compliment to the architecture and green palm trees that dot this volcanic island. Say “I do” on a caldera overlooking the Aegean sea and stay in one of the dozens of 5 star hotels where they’ll cater to your every whim, or rent a villa with spectacular views from your bedroom. On your trip, you can visit the “real Atlantis,” go sailing on any number of cruises, and walk the streets of the tiny capital, Fira, so picturesque it is impossible to describe in words and must be captured in pictures.

When to go:

It’s warm and dry from April to October where the sun shines most of the time. Tourist season begins on Easter and builds up to August when it’s overcrowded and should be avoided. This is another of the world’s sunny places that’s perfect in May and September. 

#12 The French Alps

Just married couple skiing in the French Alps - photo by William Lambelet
Just married couple skiing in the French Alps - photographed by William Lambelet
Lighting lanterns for marriage celebration in the French Alps - photo by William Lambelet
Lighting lanterns for marriage celebration in the French Alps - photographed by William Lambelet

What to do:

While the mountains of Switzerland may be more well known, the French Alps take you by surprise and make you fall in love with them. For skiers they’re a dream come true with resorts like Val d'Isère, Tignes, and the 3 Valleys that offer world-class slopes, charming villages, and big eiderdown beds to cozy up in. For hikers, it’s a paradise in summer with wildflowers and wildlife, including large gatherings of chamois, and a host of trails from easy-in-an-hour walks to multi-day excursions. Get married in Chamonix with the snow-covered Alps as your background, then take a hot-air balloon ride or a cable car to the highest point in the Alps. Want something more off the beaten path? Ask one of the French photographers we recommend to let you in the local secrets. Since you’re in France, the food and wine will be amazing and the romance will rub off on you everywhere you go.

When to go:

The Christmas season is magical and the winter sparkles, while summer is lovely with temperatures ranging from the 60’s to as high as 90 degrees F. As in all European countries, August can be particularly busy, so we suggest going earlier if you are not planning on a fall or winter elopement.

#13 Dubai

Couple riding camels on epic sand dune outside of Dubai - photo by Edwin Tan
Couple riding camels on epic sand dune outside of Dubai - photographed by Edwin Tan
Corner balcony of the Anarata Resort, Dubai - photo by Edwin Tan
Corner balcony of the Anarata Resort, Dubai - photographed by Edwin Tan

What to do:

A hub for shoppers and those who love amusement parks, fine dining, and watching sunsets going down over the desert, Dubai has become increasingly opulent and engaging over the last decade. Muslim weddings are the standard here, and it is mainly visitors who come to elope and have awesome photos taken like the ones above in the golden sand dunes outside the city. 

There are some hoops to jump through to get married here, and that’s why many Westerners get married at home and have another ceremony to celebrate their marriage after they arrive.

When to go:

Dubai has a decided off-season for hosting events, as the summer months get really really hot. The only time to host a wedding in Dubai is between the months of October and May, when it makes for an exotic getaway with great weather that you can still enjoy the scenery in.

#14 Puerto Rico

Couple kissing in surf on Puerto Rican beach - photo by Eppel Photography
Couple kissing in surf on Puerto Rico beach - photographed by Eppel Photography
Drone photo of couple laying on beach in Puerto Rico - Eppel Photography
Drone photo of couple lying on beach in Puerto Rico - photographed by Eppel Photography

What to do:

A Caribbean island with a flavor all its own, Puerto Rico is famous for its beaches and rainforests and its mind-blowing bioluminescent lagoons. When you’re not paddling through a sea of stardust, or discovering a green canopy of plants and animals, you’ll be wandering the streets of old San Juan shopping for arts and crafts while stopping for empanadillas, fresh seafood, and cocktails, or going downtown to gamble and dance. 

When to go:

Plan your elopement from mid-April to the end of June and you’re likely to have clear skies and lovely temperatures before the rain and heat (and potential hurricanes) arrive in the summer. Or travel between October and early December and enjoy the same kind of gorgeous weather.

#15 - Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Saying "I do" at Isla Mujeres - photo by Citlali rico
Saying "I do" at Isla Mujeres - photographed by Citlali Rico
Over the water dining for two in Isla Mujeres, Mexico - Photo by Citlalli Rico
Over the water dining for two in Isla Mujeres, Mexico - photographed by Citlali Rico

What to do: 

More laid back and magical than Cancun and just 20 minutes away by ferry, Isla Mujeres is a mix of Mexican and Caribbean culture under sun-drenched skies. Play on the white sand of Playa Norte, easily one of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico, scuba dive at Manchones Reef and the MUSA Underwater Sculpture Museum, and see a privately funded sanctuary for sea turtles that will make you feel better about the world. Get married on the deck of your villa or right on the beach and have your knowledgeable photographer hook you up with the best destination wedding planner available so you don’t have to worry about a thing. 

When to go:

February, March, April and early May are dry and in the 80s with tropical winds to help you stay cool. This is the ultimate winter getaway for people from the northern hemisphere who need respite from the winter cold. 

# 16 Dingle, Ireland

Private castle elopement in Dingle, Ireland - photo by White Cat Studios
Private castle elopement in Dingle, Ireland - photographed by White Cat Studio
The windswept coast of Dingle, Ireland - photo by White Cat Studios
The windswept coast of Dingle, Ireland - photographed by White Cat Studio

What to do: 

Lucky couples go to Ireland and head to the south for warmer weather in the summer. The coastline is rugged and green and the waves wash up against huge cliffs that keep the sea at bay. One of the most charming places on earth can be found there, the quaint city of Dingle where the pub crawl is an Irish adventure unto itself, and the hills hide dozens of castles both public and private (like the one pictured above). To really take advantage of the spectacular vistas reachable by car, bring an Irish photographer who knows the landscape and can make the most of your time together, and if you want to improve your gift for gab, don’t forget to go kiss the Blarney Stone.

When to go: 

It hardly gets above 60 degrees F over the year, and the summer months can be quite crowded. Plan your ceremony for May when the wildflowers bloom or September when the hedgerows are blazing with the colors of flaming orange montbretia and scarlet fuchsia.

#17 San Francisco 

Just married grooms leaving the world famous San Francisco City Hall - photo by  Chrisman Studios
Just married grooms leaving the world famous San Francisco City Hall - photographed by Chrisman Studios
Couple kissing at the Golden Gate bridge - photographed by Jessica Hill
Couple kissing at the Golden Gate Bridge - photographed by Jessica Hill

What to do:

The City Hall in San Francisco is called the people’s palace and is widely regarded as among the most stunning places in all the world for a civil ceremony. Known for Beaux Arts Renaissance architecture, it’s just one of the iconic places to elope in the city by the Bay which includes vistas over their famous bridge and the gorgeous gardens at Golden Gate Park. Don’t miss the botanical gardens and the Japanese Tea House when you’re roaming with your photographer, then paint the town by starting with Dim Sum in the world famous Chinatown followed by a trip to Richmond and the mission for their many award-winning restaurants and bars. Here, love always wins and everyone is welcome.

When to go:

It may be hard to believe but the best time to visit San Francisco is from September to November. Fall weather is warm and less foggy than summer (with way less crowds) and lots of daylight hours. Spring is also a great time to go and visit the gardens when the rain falls much less than in the winter.

#18 Ski Country, Colorado

Just married couple in wildflower field, Aspen Colorado - photo by J. La Plante Photo
Just married couple in wildflower field, Aspen Colorado - photographed by J. La Plante Photo
Couple kissing in the snow, Breckenridge, Colorado - J. La Plante Photo
Couple kissing in the snow, Breckenridge, Colorado - photographed by J. La Plante Photo

What to do:

From Steamboat Springs to Telluride, Aspen, and Breckenridge, the ski resorts in Colorado rival even the best international slopes. With 300 days of sunshine a year, a high elevation and a low humidity point, there is powdery snow from November to April in this alpine paradise for skiers and snowboarders. Take a sleigh ride or go dog sledding and stop for warm drinks to get engaging photos, or elope in the summer when fields of wildflowers and snow dusted peaks become your backdrops at Estes and Rocky Mountain National Park. Choose your location based on your tastes; from modern and sophisticated to rustic and relaxed, Colorado will deliver what you’re looking for. Want to know about out of the way places and secret gems? Call our photographers and let one of them help you move past the crowds that flock to popular places found on the internet.

When to go:

Winter and spring are a wonderland for snow lovers, and late March and April bring warm, sunny days without the crowds. September and early October turn the landscape golden with millions of Aspens that grace the area.

#19 Prague, Czechoslovakia

Elopement photo from the gardens at Prague Castle - photographed by Eppel Photography
Elopement photo from the gardens at Prague Castle - photographed by Eppel Photography
Elopement portrait on the Charles Bridge in Prague - photographed by Eppel Photography
Elopement portrait on the Charles Bridge in Prague - photographed by Eppel Photography

One of the most popular places Eastern Europe, Prague, the city of 100 spires, is a blend of old world charm and modern sophistication. While you’re there you’ll want to walk all of the medieval bridges (including the oh-so-picturesque Charles) that span the Vltava River, and to head up the steep hills that ascend to the Prague Castle and the St. Vitus Cathedral. Be sure to get your picture taken with the dozens of trumpeter swans you’ll see along the way. The beer here is famous for good reason, and the nightlife sizzles until early in the morning hours. Have a planner arrange for you to elope at the beautiful Vrtba Garden and get even more photos taken in front of the opulent Wallenstein Palace. Wander in the old town square, visit the bustling farmer’s market, and let your photographer handle any permits that you need. You’ll be all set for an unforgettable wedding.

When to go:

Prague is gorgeous from late spring to the early fall when the weather is lovely and the cafes have outdoor dining. Wisteria hangs from windows, walls, and arbors in early June and hiking trails turned to gold and orange from late September to the third week of October. 

#20 The Scottish Highlands

Painting like portrait of couple in Scottish woods - photo by The Kitcheners
Painting-like portrait of couple in Scottish woods - photographed by The Kitcheners
Groom in kilt kissing bride against Scottish landscape - photo by The Kitcheners
Groom in kilt kissing bride against Scottish landscape - photographed by The Kitcheners

What to do:

Ask seasoned travelers to name their favorite place on earth and you’ll be surprised how often you hear “the Scottish Highlands.” A windswept land of extraordinary beauty, you can hike to the mountaintops of Ben Nevis and Cairngorms National Park, stroll along the scenic cliffs, and lose yourself in the castle-dotted countryside with miles of lochs and beaches.

Set yourself up in the Isle of Skye in a cozy, comfy cabin, and check out Glenfinnan and the West Highland line where Harry Potter was filmed. And of course, sampling whiskey, iron brew, and Drambuie is a must for any one who loves a good spirit, so get ready to raise a glass in celebration of your wedding!

#20

 

When to go:

Scotland can be cold, damp, and misty so late Spring and Summer are the best time to visit. You’ll still have to bring a rain jacket and umbrella, but chances are you won’t have to use them. 

Best wishes to you on your elopement! We want you to have the most beautiful and memorable wedding photographs in all the world, and we invite you to take the stress out of your planning by using our directory, the most highly-vetted and trusted source for finding experienced wedding photographers available anywhere.