top states for eloping

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Elopements are a rising trend in the wedding industry, embodying the essence of personal, intimate, and beautiful celebrations. This guide will walk you through the best places in the United States for elopements, ensuring you have an unforgettable and unique experience. As an expert at Ethan Film and Photo, I’m here to help you navigate the world of intimate weddings and make your dream elopement a reality.

Why Choose an Elopement?

Choosing to elope signifies focusing on you and your partner, celebrating your love in a setting that is meaningful and significant to you both. Whether it’s a local spot that holds a special place in your heart or a destination halfway around the globe, the choice is yours.

Elopements allow for personalized and intimate experiences, devoid of the stress and distractions that come with traditional weddings. This is your day, and it should be celebrated in a way that feels authentically you.

Factors to Consider for Your Elopement

When considering where to elope, several factors come into play:

  • Scenery: The backdrop of your elopement plays a crucial role in setting the tone for your day. From towering mountains to serene beaches and bustling cities, the options are plentiful.
  • Accessibility: Depending on whether you plan to include guests, the accessibility of the location is important.
  • Nearby Activities: Consider what activities are available in and around the area. This can add an adventurous element to your elopement, making it even more memorable.
  • Legalities: Each state has its own laws regarding marriage and elopements. It’s essential to understand these before deciding on a location.

The Best States for Elopements

The United States boasts an array of stunning locations, each offering its unique charm and beauty. Here are some of the top places for elopements:

1. Colorado

Colorado is a haven for adventure-loving couples. With its breathtaking mountains, lush forests, and cascading waterfalls, it’s no surprise that it’s one of the best places to elope. Plus, the state’s laws allowing self-solemnization make it one of the easiest places to elope in the U.S.

Best Elopement Locations in Colorado:

  • Rocky Mountain National Park: Known for its majestic peaks and beautiful alpine lakes, this park offers numerous scenic spots for your ceremony.
  • Garden of the Gods: This public park features stunning sandstone formations that provide a unique and dramatic backdrop for your vows.

2. Washington State

Washington State offers diverse landscapes, from the rugged coastline to the snow-capped mountains. The state’s laws are also very accommodating for elopements, making it a top choice for many couples.

Best Elopement Locations in Washington State:

  • Olympic National Park: This park features a variety of landscapes from jagged peaks and alpine lakes to evergreen forests and rocky beaches.
  • Mt. Rainier National Park: Known for its breathtaking views, this park provides the perfect backdrop for your intimate ceremony.

3. Oregon

Oregon is another excellent choice for elopements, offering a mix of mountains, forests, waterfalls, and dramatic beaches. The state’s varied landscapes and relaxed laws make it one of the best places to elope.

Best Elopement Locations in Oregon:

  • Columbia River Gorge: This area is known for its stunning views and numerous hiking trails, making it perfect for adventure-loving couples.
  • Cannon Beach: Famous for its iconic rock formations, Cannon Beach offers a unique and scenic setting for your ceremony.

4. Utah

Utah is renowned for its high desert landscapes, canyons, and slot canyons. Its breathtaking scenery, combined with its relaxed laws, makes it a top choice for elopements.

Best Elopement Locations in Utah:

  • Moab: Moab is home to some of the most stunning landscapes in the state, offering a unique backdrop for your vows.
  • Zion National Park: Known for its red cliffs and stunning vistas, Zion National Park is a truly remarkable place to elope.

5. California

From the towering Redwoods to the sandy beaches and dramatic cliffs of Big Sur, California offers a diverse range of stunning locations for your elopement.

Best Elopement Locations in California:

  • Big Sur: Known for its rugged coastline and misty cliffs, Big Sur provides a dramatic and romantic setting for your ceremony.
  • Joshua Tree: This desert landscape, known for its unique rock formations and starry nights, offers a unique and stunning backdrop for your vows.

6. Montana

Montana’s stunning landscapes, from its vast plains to towering mountains, make it a favorite for elopements. Plus, the state’s laws make it one of the easiest places to elope in the U.S.

Best Elopement Locations in Montana:

  • Glacier National Park: With its breathtaking peaks, alpine meadows, and crystal-clear lakes, this park offers a truly stunning setting for your vows.
  • Flathead Lake: Known for its clear waters and stunning mountain views, Flathead Lake provides a beautiful and serene backdrop for your ceremony.

Before deciding on a location, it’s essential to understand the legalities associated with elopements in each state. Some states, like Colorado and Montana, allow self-solemnization, meaning you don’t need an officiant or witnesses. Other states, like Washington and Oregon, have more traditional requirements but are still very accommodating for elopements.

Capturing Your Elopement

Capturing your elopement beautifully is paramount. As your experienced partner in wedding videography and photography at Ethan Film and Photo, I bring my passion and expertise to capture your unique moments with warmth and attention to detail. I strive to create unforgettable memories, capturing your story authentically and beautifully.


Eloping is a beautiful way to celebrate your love and commitment, focusing on what truly matters: you and your partner. Whether you dream of saying your vows on a mountaintop, by the sea, or in a lush forest, the United States offers some of the most stunning and easiest places to elope. Take the time to research, plan, and choose a location that resonates with your love story. And remember, this is your day—celebrate it in a way that feels authentically you!

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