How To Choose Your Dream Elopement Location

Okay, so you’ve made the AWESOME decision to elope! Now you need to pick where your going to do it but there are so many options that it can start to feel overwhelming. One of the main points of eloping is to ditch the stress SO let me help you with some tips on how to pick your dream location for your elopement!

This blog post will give you some real guidance on how to choose your dream elopement location because I truly want you all to have the most magical elopement day and the location is so important. You want to be in an environment that is as magical as your love! So let’s dig in and get started!

  1. DON’T pick a location by scrolling through someone else Instagram highlights!!!

Just because it has 15,000 likes on Instagram doesn’t mean it’s the right place for the two of you. The person who took the photo may have loved it there but you may not. Also a lot of Instagram famous locations are not as secluded as they are made to look. The powerful work of photoshop has probably removed a couple hundred people from that shot to make it look intimate & secluded. That’s something to consider when you’re planning your day, do you want a private location, most of us do. It’s far more important to figure out what kind of place you both will feel swept up in just as much as you are with each other.

The whole point of choosing a day just for the two of you is to make it about the two of you. You can’t do that if you’ve basing all your planning on what someone else enjoyed. You have to focus on what the two of you enjoy. Start there!

2. Take a moment together to make a list of landscapes you love and feel drawn to, even if you’ve never been there.

Ever since I was a little girl I was always drawn to the rugged terrain of Scotland, it’s 100% my favorite place that I’ve ever been. Something about the landscape calls to me and calms me to my very core. What place does that for you? Are you drawn to forests, waterfalls, cliffs, mountains, beaches, fields, etc. If money wasn’t an object what country, state or place have you always wanted to visit?

When couples take the time to ask themselves this question they are without a doubt going to be choosing a place that is right for THEM. Remember this day is for the two of you, not for social media, not to fulfill obligation to anyone else. It’s just for you. Now close your eyes and imagine this fairytale day of yours, where are you? Can you feel water splashing against your skin, the mountain breeze blowing through your hair, or the quiet lullaby of creatures in the forest? What language is everyone around your speaking, what food is being served?

I could tell you all my favorite places to travel in the world but none of that matters. Where do you want to go? Maybe it’s a special spot that you hike to everyday in your home town! Great!! Seriously that’s just as amazing and beautiful as flying off to Iceland for your elopement. It’s all about your elopement dream, no one else’s.

3. Do some research on the legality and logistics or getting married there, or hire someone who can guide you through that process.

The second biggest reason people don’t have the elopement they’ve been dreaming of (first being people guilting them into having a traditional wedding) is they get scared by the logistics and planning. That is why I ALWAYS recommend hiring a pro elopement photographer who live and breathes this stuff because they will already have a wealth of knowledge to help guide you through each step. It can seem daunting but if you take it step by step with someone you know you can trust it really makes a world of difference.

Your best bet when looking for vendors to hire who will know how to guide you through this is to find someone either local to the area who only does elopements or to find someone like me who travels all over doing only elopements. Now why to I say choose someone who only does elopements? Because their heart is 24/7 beating for couples who are looking to elope and their mind is in the game. They know how to guide you because that’s all they do day in and day out. You don’t want second best when it comes to picking someone who is going to guide you through your dream day.

Things you need to consider are include legalities of getting married there, permits (not all locations can you get married for free some lands require permits) and one of the most important ones is Leave No Trace Principles that apply to that area. Often well meaning but uneducated photographers take their couples to fragile locations and damage the beautiful place that hosted their beautiful elopement. This is again why it’s so important to hire someone who knows what they are doing and respects the land.

4. Consider the accessibility, duration of hike or transport to location and seasonal weather that could affect your day.

If you go to Iceland in February it won’t be green and lots of roads and trails will likely not be accessible to you. New Zealand’s summer is during American winters so if you want the green wonderland from the Hobbit you will need make sure to go during their summer months. Thailand is a gorgeous country but if you just choose anytime to go you may be caught in the rain, their wettest months are actually August to September. The list can go on and on and that’s why I will just hound on this one more time, find a photographer who knows this stuff and can help guide you and keep you from expecting one thing and getting another.

You also want to think about how much hiking will be involved to get to your location, are you physically up for it, etc. I personally will always be on the side of the hike is worth it but sometimes we have physical limitations that we have to respect. If that’s you, don’t feel bad! The right professional will help you find an amazing location that suits you, the outdoors are for everyone! 🙂

Keeping these things in mind before saying yes to your location will overall lead to a better experience and that’s all I want for each and every one of you. I truly believe you deserve this unforgettable experience! Small things like this will really take that dream you have from just a dream to a reality! It is possible, it’s doable and it is worth it! 🙂

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© 2019 Bethel Ann Photography  I  All Rights Reserved.
Adventure wedding & elopement photographer.  Based in Adirondack, NY.