There are many reasons why you may want to elope. Perhaps the stress and cost of a traditional wedding are too much for you. Perhaps you want your marriage to be a private affair, or perhaps you just want to tie the knot and start your new life together as soon as possible. While an elopement allows you to skip many details of wedding planning, you’ll still need to decide on a location to exchange vows. Since you don’t have to worry about a guest list, your venue options are nearly endless! All you have to do is find the perfect one. Here are nine options to consider.
1. A Dream Holiday
Is there someplace you and your spouse-to-be have always wanted to go? Unlike with a destination wedding where you have to think about your guests’ travel potential, with an elopement all you have to do is book a ticket. This is a great option for many reasons and it allows you to combine your wedding and honeymoon into one.
Although many hotels, resorts, and B&Bs offer wedding packages for a last-minute marriage, you should call ahead to check for availability. And whether you’re traveling to another country or state, check local laws for any necessary legal requirements prior to making a reservation.
2. National Parks
Outdoorsy couples will love this option. Getting married in a national park is a fun way to put a twist on your typical wedding ceremony. Best of all, no matter which park you choose, you are sure to go home with some incredible photos.
National parks are a popular choice for weddings, and their wedding permits are usually not expensive. Some stunning locations in the United States include the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Sequoia, Joshua Tree, and Glacier National Park.
3. Out at Sea
There’s nothing more romantic than an ocean or beach wedding. For this reason and the convenience, cruise ships are an excellent option. Not only do most liners offer complete wedding packages, but there is also always an officiant available on deck—the captain! If you’re looking for something more private, consider chartering a yacht or sailboat instead.
If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can also consider eloping underwater! There are many diving centers around the world that will arrange an experience you won’t forget. Just make sure to take a few lessons before you tie the knot under the sea.
4. Say “I do!” at a Drive-Thru
Popular in the US, drive-thru chapels can be found beyond Las Vegas. Although The Little White Wedding Chapel located on The Strip is the go-to, drive-thru wedding services can be found in other states as well. Two other locations include Wedding Bell Chapel in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, and Lydon Chapel in Quincy, Massachusetts.
5. Vows with a View
As long as you’re not afraid of heights, you can get married on a Ferris wheel! This may not be possible at your local amusement park, but it can be a luxurious affair. For a stunning suggestion, consider the Coca Cola London Eye. The private capsules, complete with champagne service and 360-degree city views, are also suitable for small wedding receptions of up to 21 people.
6. Wine and a Wedding
A vineyard is ideal for the oenophile. The intimate and relaxed setting is perfect for a private wedding. Because vineyard weddings are quite common, arranging one shouldn’t be too difficult. Try to contact the vineyard of your favorite wine brand, or choose a new destination where they specialize in your drink of choice. Northern California, Italy, France, Germany, and Chile are all popular destinations for vineyard wedding ceremonies.
7. Winter Wonderland
Couples who don’t mind the cold can elope at a snowy setting. If ski resorts are too simple, try the ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjarvi, Sweden. As the name suggests, the hotel and ceremony hall are hand-carved into something unique and different every year. Because this is a popular venue, it will likely require you to plan ahead. In addition, the ceremony hall is only open from around Christmas until April, or until the temperatures rise and it starts to melt.
Finland also has a number of romantic wintry locations in Lapland, such as the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, which is known for its snow and glass igloos. If you’re lucky, you should be able to see the northern lights at night.
8. Marry Like Royalty
If you’ve always imagined yourself as a princess or prince at your wedding, or just have a thing for history, why not elope at a castle? Scotland, France, Ireland, and Germany are filled with them, and they are surprisingly quite affordable.
As a suggestion, look into the Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany, which inspired the one in Disneyland, or Bran Castle in Romania, also known as Dracula’s Castle. You can also find your ideal magical venue in the US. One such spot is the Biltmore, located in North Carolina, or the Gillette Castle in Connecticut as a more affordable option.
9. Think Simple
If you’re not fussy about a venue, concentrate on locations that hold a specific memory. Opt for where you had your first date or another place that means something to you and to your beloved. If nothing else, you can just head over to the local city hall. Last but not least, you can always take a trip to Las Vegas. These days, they have an incredible amount of options to suit every style and preference and are far from tacky.