Planning for your elopement is exciting, but can also be a challenge. How traditional should you be, and how casual? How many guests are you going to invite, if any? Will you be hiring a photographer? And where will you elope?
If you’re still trying to figure out the place and the venue, here are 12 unique options to consider.
“If you’re looking for something like an all-inclusive resort but prefer Europe to a tropical island, we recommend checking out the Danish island of Aero (Ærø). It’s a luxury elopement mecca with breathtaking old-world charm, easy legal ceremony requirements, and plenty of onsite resources—like planners who can handle everything from bouquets to cake. Plus, you’re just a quick ferry ride away from the rest of Denmark.” —Lesley Smith, Ceremony App
“If you head on over to Colorado, Pennsylvania, or Wisconsin, you can actually self-solemnize your own marriage. This means that you and your partner can essentially marry yourselves—without the presence of a third-party officiant. It’s a sweet testament to the love between two people and the quintessential just-the-two-of-you elopement.” —Jenna Miller, Here Comes the Guide
“We love Provincetown! At the very tip of Cape Cod, Provincetown is a stunning location for LGBTQ+ weddings. Massachusetts was the first state to legalize gay marriage, which makes Provincetown the perfect destination for LGBTQ+ weddings. Also, it comes with it all—beaches, bars, fabulous hotels and restaurants and easy access from Boston via ferry!” —Jamie Bohlin, Owner, Cape Cod Celebrations
“This may sound like an obvious choice, but Maggie’s brother married his husband at San Francisco City Hall and it was so sweet! She says, ‘I thought it was going to be a boring, logistical, sign-some-paperwork wedding, but the judge was so happy for them and told the story about how he was able to marry his husband there, too. It was really sweet. And it’s so pretty!'” —Jenna Miller, Here Comes the Guide
“Another stateside destination is The Lytle House in Chicago. This is a super unique venue that was once an auto repair shop—it even has a fully functional garage door! We especially love that it’s an LGBTQ women-owned business with all-inclusive wedding packages and all-inclusive values.” —Jenna Miller, Here Comes the Guide
“For American LGBTQ+ couples, Puerto Rico is an amazing year-round tropical location. Colorful buildings, cobblestone streets, and gorgeous beaches made for ceremonies in the same. Yes, please!” —Liza Roeser Atwood, CEO of FiftyFlowers.com
“One may not immediately think of Nashville, Tennessee, as a unique getaway for a destination wedding but it has ALL the charm and out-of-the-box vibes you could ever ask for in a destination wedding location! At Allenbrooke Farms you’re not just getting married at an ordinary barn. You’re inviting your friends and family to travel to one of the most stunning parts of Tennessee that makes you feel as if you’re tucked away from the rest of the world as you say ‘I do’ overlooking acres on acres that provides organic produce to the local community through the farm’s CSA program. You’re also getting married in a barn that was specifically built with every tiny detail included that makes for an absolutely seamless wedding day, and a wedding venue your guests will never forget! Not to mention, the sunsets over Allenbrooke Farms are better than any Caribbean beach destination!” —Stephanie Allen, Owner, Allenbrooke Farms
“If you want to jet off to Europe, consider a destination elopement in Ireland! Ireland was the first nation to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote, and with its beautifully verdant landscape and endless supply of Guinness, you’ll no doubt have the time of your lives! Guide gal Amy eloped to Ireland, and she gives her tips here.” —Jenna Miller, Here Comes the Guide
“We have clients from all over the world choosing Los Angeles as one of their top destination for elopements or weddings. We had a client from Hong Kong, say their I dos in Santa Monica, California. Great location for those traveling from afar as there are so many things for their guest to do within the area!” —Weddings by Susan Dunne
“If you want a road trip vibe, you can’t beat California’s Highway 1. It doesn’t come without its challenges (like zoning restrictions for ceremonies and weather-related road closures), but an elopement in peak months (late May to early October) will guarantee gorgeous photos and plenty of places to explore along the way. We recommend starting in a more populated area, like Mendocino, for easy access to officiants. And if you’re into glamping, head down to Treebones Resort in Big Sur or Autocamp in Santa Barbara.” —Lesley Smith, Ceremony App
“Iceland is another popular choice! A country where more people believe in gnomes and fairies than any other place on earth (to the degree that the government protects certain mystical spots), it’s the perfect choice for an otherworldly wedding. Imagine historic stone chapels and dramatic scenery as the backdrop to your wedding photos. Plus, the airfare is really reasonable!” —Jenna Miller, Here Comes the Guide
“Consider the Hawaiian Islands for your LGBTQ+ wedding or elopement. Each of the islands has a different personality, from secluded and outdoorsy to a city scene in paradise, Hawaii is the perfect destination for any wedding party. And the scenic backdrops can’t be beaten; from Jurassic Park valleys to ocean cliffs, everywhere you look is beautiful. Modern Elopement is based in Hawaii and is a unique way for LGBTQ+ couples to wed, with pre-designed customizable elopement collections and a wedding concierge on call for your big day, it is a stress-free way to plan a destination wedding from an ocean away.” —Morgan Childs, Modern Elopement