How to have an adventure Elopement without the hike

Want an epic elopement but hiking just isn’t your thing? Or maybe you love hiking but don’t want to incorporate one on your elopement? Having your perfect elopement in an epic location absolutely does not mean that you need to lace up your hiking boots and go on a grueling 12 mile excursion. You can elope in a gorgeous setting that you’re connected to without breaking out the crampons.

Eloping isn’t just for people who love the outdoors or want to experience wild rock climbing adventures in a wedding dress. The spirit of eloping is inclusive and accepting. This means that no matter your lifestyle, skill, or fitness level, you can get married in an unbelievably beautiful location without going too far out of your comfort zone (if at all). The option to elope is accessible to everyone and should feel that way too. The fact that you’re considering eloping in the first place makes you incredibly adventurous and straight up bad-ass!

You build your elopement experience on a foundation of authenticity, intention, and intimacy. There are no rules when you elope, so it can look and unfold in whatever way emphasizes who you are as a couple.

How, You may ask?

Here are some ideas

Rent A Cabin

Visit a familiar area that you love or someplace completely new and rent a cabin, or check out Airbnb and VRBO. One of my favorite options is for a comfortable, swanky, but remote stay. Visit a friend’s property in the woods for a few days away. Finding a little house that’s privately owned in a remote location gives you a lot of freedom to play out your elopement day the way you want. You can choose to have your ceremony on the grounds for a backyard/destination elopement hybrid, or hop in the car to a beautiful spot close by

Fire Lookout

These are super cool and offer incredible views in remote locations but come with very few amenities; you often have to pack in your own water and sometimes heat sources. These are seasonal, so keep an open mind when it comes to your elopement date. Seriously worth checking out!


Elope Moonrise Kingdom style and go camping or glamping! Go live in nature for a couple of days and exchange vows fireside. But camping isn’t meant only for the woods; you can camp in the desert under the open skies and warm breezes. Find an easily accessible spot to elope in the mountains or along the coast line!

Charter a helicopter, sail boat, catamaran

You don’t even have to be on land!

Intimate Wedding Venue

Smaller wedding venues are awesome for an elopement or intimate wedding. They enforce a guest capacity, are coordinated and organized, and tend to be VERY well curated and set up for a cozy affair, as this is what they specialize in. It’s like when you go to a restaurant and the selection on the menu is tiny. That’s probably because they do a killer job at the dishes they feature.

ceremony at the griffin house

Go International

Have you thought about getting married outside of the US? You can do all the legal stuff state side and then venture off on a grand trip to have a vacation/honeymoon where you just so happen to elope! You can go to a favorite vacation spot that you already value, or choose to go somewhere that’s been on your travel list and attach meaning to a new magical place.

If you want helping planning your international elopement, vow exchange and/or honeymoon, I’m partnered with my travel adviser husband Brian. Reach out to Brian at Timezoneless Travels and he’d be so happy to take some planning stress off your plate and send you someplace amazing.

Get a sweet little villa in Paris for a cozy in home session and explore the most romantic city together.

Take A Stroll

Did you know that there are TONS of hikes that are under or around 0.03 miles with epic payoffs? Once you’ve day-dreamed about the general part of the world you’d like to elope in, get on AllTrails, Instagram, or local government Rec websites and start looking for easy trails in the area. If this is the route that speaks to you, consider a weekday elopement to give yourself better chances of privacy and fewer onlookers.


Whether you’re in the Northeast, the Washington Coast, rolling up to one of the Great Lakes, or on a cliff in Santorini, the coastline offers an incredible mix of accessibility and stop-you-dead-in-your-tracks dramatic beauty. Because we all adore the beach, if you want a somewhat private ceremony without distraction and onlookers, consider eloping on a weekday (noticing a theme?). Once you decide what beach you’d like to exchange vows on, look into permits and research yearly events so as to not accidentally try to elope on a day with a major clamming tide, Kite Festival, or something that will bring in way more people to your location than a typical day. Since the coasts tend to have unpredictable weather, if you have your heart set on a dry day, you may want your elopement day to be flexible. There are some photographers who are willing to work with you on this as long as there is minimal notice.

(The photo below is an example of a secluded beach elopement AND a very short walk to a gorgeous setting.)

National Park

The number of gorgeous Nation Parks in the US and internationally that you can elope in is overwhelmingly absurd (in a good way). If this option or something like it speaks to you, be diligent about covering your bases and eloping at the location the right way. Some NPs have been overrun by people doing it for the ‘gram, disturbing habitats and ruining fragile grounds, to the point that certain Parks are no longer granting permits for elopements of any size to take place there. So, as always, observe Leave No Trace principles, pack out everything you packed in, find the champagne cork, and if there is any kind of trail, stay on it.

Again, because NPs spark so much love and attention, think about eloping during the off season and/or on a weekday to find a bit more privacy. You can even think about checking out some lesser hyped but still insanely gorgeous National Parks. Why not give yourself an even more unique experience?!


Have you thought about having an urban elopement? THEY’RE AMAZING!! San Francisco City Hall is one of the most breathtaking buildings to elope in. But that’s just one example. So many cities are packed full of photogenic buildings, texture, light, symmetry, and spontaneity. You can go to your favorite wine bar or coffee shop, or you can get ice cream, read books, grab cocktails, relax at a spa, or find live music, and all of this on your wedding day!

Ideas like eloping at home or in your backyard, going to a hot springs, packing a picnic, and going canoeing are more ways to have a meaningful and unique elopement experience while keeping it super chill. I’ll be adding onto this list as I think of ideas and collect them from couples I work with, so check back!

I know there are endless options to how you can make your elopement day special without scaling a mountain. If you have any questions, need someone to bounce ideas off of, or want to make your own elopement plan, I’m always here and would love to hear from you!

Similar Posts