Written by our rad team members, Jess Dastous & Kiersten Roy
Dreaming of your elopement day, but wondering what you can do to make your day even more unforgettable? Not to worry, we’ve created a list of epic elopement ideas that are sure to help you plan your dream day! We’re breaking down 18 of the most incredible elopement ideas that we’ve seen couples experience and others that we have had tucked in our back pocket. Keep reading (or jump around the blog based on what you want to read more about) for our top elopement ideas!
Table of Contents
- Adventure Elopement Ideas
- Post-Adventure Elopement Ideas
- Elopement Ideas with Family and Friends
- Out-of-the-Box Elopement Ideas
- Meet The Photographers Who Will Help Bring Your Elopement Ideas to Life
Adventure Elopement Ideas
There’s nothing quite like adding a little bit of adventure and excitement to your special day to make it even more memorable. Adventure elopement activities can be something you both already love doing together or something that you’ve always dreamed of doing and want to try for the first time on your wedding day! Besides, planning adventure activities allows you to not only have an incredible time, but also gives you the chance to break up your day and even experience some different scenery for your elopement backdrop.
Looking for a unique idea for your elopement? We’ve got you covered. Horseback riding is a great option (especially if you’re an animal lover) and some of our favorite places for this elopement activity are through the forest in the Olympic Peninsula or even on some of the incredible mountain trails in Colorado.
Want to experience the beauty of Washington from a different perspective? Well, we’ve got one of the most epic elopement ideas to make your day extra memorable! Hop on a sailboat in the San Juan islands, or in and around the Seattle area. Washington has tons of lakes and waterways, so you won’t lack in finding new and beautiful places on the water to explore. Click here to view Audrey and Beaux’s real life sailboat elopement.
If you’re looking for something a little more tropical, we recommend taking a sunset cruise along the Nā Pali Coast in Hawaii. You’ll get to witness the most breathtaking views of Kauai and (if you’re lucky) maybe even some whales or dolphins!
We’ve had this elopement idea tucked away in our back pocket for a while and were so excited when Jo and Mike decided to plan a helicopter elopement in Alaska! Whether you’d like to land on a glacier in Alaska or fly with the doors off along the Kauai coast, there are endless possibilities for your elopement (and love) to take flight!
While we agree, a helicopter tour is an epic way to include some adventure into your elopement day, Washington is known for having its own special way of flying high. As we mentioned, Seattle is surrounded by water so you can easily take a seaplane from the city to some of the most incredible alpine lakes in the North Cascades! Or, why not fly up to the San Juan Islands and explore the Olympic Peninsula? Water, mountains, and air all in one day – what more could you ask for?
One of our personal favorite elopement activity ideas is hiking. Hiking during your elopement allows you to venture to some of the most incredible places. Lace up your books and explore stunning waterfalls, crystal clear alpine lakes, epic mountain overlooks and lush green forests. Whatever you envision for your day, we can venture there (and don’t worry, we always bring the snacks)! Check out some of the most jaw-dropping hiking elopements we have gotten to experience below!
If you love the water, then we’ve got one more water elopement idea for you! Grab your partner and a kayak (or canoe) and venture out on the water. You can explore a winding river or taking it easy on a stunning alpine lake. Either way, you’ll get to explore some very unique landscapes during your day and the best part is you’ll get to experience these moments with just the two of you!
Climbing on your elopement is a picture perfect example of doing one of your favorite activities on your special day. We’ve had couples who have done a multi-pitch climb during their elopement day and once they finished the climb, they eloped at the top (talk about adventure!). If you are traveling from out of state or are new to climbing there are local guides you can hire or, if you are experienced, there are so many places just waiting for you to explore. Plus, we have an elopement photographer who is experienced in climbing, so there is nothing holding you back from having your dream adventure! Check out this epic climbing elopement at Smith Rock in Central Oregon for more inspiration.
Skiing or snowboarding
Last but not least on our list of adventure packed elopement ideas is skiing and snowboarding! If you are choosing to elope in either Washington or Colorado during the winter months, there is no shortage of slopes you can hit up. Picture this, you exchange your vows at the top of a snow capped mountain, then ski down in celebration with your friends and family. Yup, it’s as truly epic as it sounds! Our team member, Whitney is a seasoned elopement photographer and is always ready to strap on her skis for your best day ever!
Needing more elopement inspiration? Check out these elopement guides on the most incredible places to elope.
Post-Adventure Elopement Ideas
Who says said the adventure needs to stop after you exchange your vows? Here is a list of our favorite things to do after exchanging vows with your partner.
Hire a private chef
A lot of people don’t think about hiring a private chef during their elopement, or they assume it is out of their price range. But we’re here to share that we have worked with many chefs who will come to your cabin or even bring a mobile kitchen to your outdoor elopement location and cook you a celebratory meal. Plus, their prices will actually fall in your budget and their food is incredible (a win-win).
Bonfire with s’mores
One of our favorite post elopement ideas is cozying up with your partner around a fire and enjoying some s’mores. You’ll have time to reflect on your day with the ones you love most and enjoy a tasty treat while you’re at it.
Pro tip: use Reese’s for the chocolate portion of your s’more. It is sure to not disappoint!
Stargaze (and astrophotography)
Your elopement doesn’t just have to end when the sun goes down. After you exchange vows and explore the mountain overlook (while taking in the sunset, of course), why not take the opportunity to experience some of the most stunning night skies your eyes will ever witness? Plus, you can choose to do some astrophotography* to end your best day ever!
*Astrophotography is the photography of the night sky and includes stars, planets, and astronomical objects.
Elopement Ideas with Family and Friends
Wanting to include friends and family in your day but don’t know where to start? There are so many unique ways to have your family present during your best day ever and we’ve created a list of some elopement ideas to help you include your loved ones in your day.
Rent an Airbnb to have a celebratory meal with family and friends
Your adventure elopement should have a home base especially if you are inviting guests or traveling in from out of town. Having one central location allows you to have a place to get ready, exchange your first look and even host a celebratory meal.
If your elopement is taking place in Washington state, we know an incredible A-frame that is nestled at the foothills of the Cascades. The Riverbend Retreat would make an incredible location for you to host your friends and family after your adventure elopement and seats up to 12 people in the quaint sunroom, with views of the river nearby. See more elopement photos at the cabin here.
Want to learn more about planning an Airbnb elopement? Click here
Include family and friends in the ceremony portion of your day
This is a great elopement idea if you want to have both an adventure on your day, but also want to invite family and friends to witness you exchange your I do’s. We always recommend you do a ceremony at a more accessible location, then you can head off and explore more adventure locations with your partner and celebrate your day with an epic sunset hike!
Have family and friends write letters that you read on your big day
If you will not be having family and friends join you on your elopement day, one way to still have them share their love for you is by asking them to write letters that you can read on your elopement day. We’ve had couples read their letters together after getting ready in the morning or up on a mountain top or at a celebratory picnic after their ceremony. For more ideas on how to include family and friends in your elopement, check out this blog post.
Have a post elopement celebration with a slideshow of elopement photos
If you decide to elope and you don’t have all your family and friends at your ceremony (or you decide not to have guests at all), the best way to include your friends and family is by having a celebration back home. Whether you host a picnic, backyard bbq, or celebrate at a brewery, having a slideshow to show at your event is a fun way to help people still feel included and helps to show the experience you had on your day.
Pro tip: we recommend planning your celebration at least one month after your elopement day so you have time to plan each day.
Out-of-the-Box Elopement Ideas
Hire live music for your day
Did you know that are vendors in Washington who will actually come up in the mountains and play music for you while you walk down the aisle before exchanging vows? Whether you want an acoustic guitar, violin, or another instrument, you can have live music during your adventure in the mountains. We actually had a couple have their favorite local musician in Portland come to their reception and play music for them. It made their day so special and became a huge memory for them that they will cherish forever.
Bring a polaroid camera to snap a few fun instant photos on your day
We always encourage our couples to do this and it is a great way to have instant memories for the end of your day that you can look back on before you get your final photos! Plus, it’s always fun to have candid moments that you’ll have to cherish forever.
Honeymoon where you eloped
If your elopement is taking place at an incredible destination and you’re already renting an Airbnb, then why not extend the trip and start the honeymoon where you eloped? When extending your stay in the area where you got married, you’ll be able to experience more adventures and truly soak in your surroundings, explore the town your Airbnb is located in, and enjoy all the local food and beverages. We think that this makes for an epic start to the rest of your life together.
Well there you have it, our list of 18 epic elopement ideas to help you start dreaming up your day. If you saw something on this list that caught your eye and you want to make it a reality, head to our contact form and we’ll help you start planning your best day ever in an incredible destination.
Meet The Photographers Who Will Help Bring Your Elopement Ideas to Life
We feel most at home in the outdoors, so it’s no surprise that is where we gravitate towards as your elopement photographers. Between the Pine was founded by Mollie in 2018 and she has hiked hundreds of miles all over the Pacific Northwest, Kauai, Colorado, and beyond. Since 2018, we’ve grown our team and hired three incredible photographers (cue Whitney, Dawn and Kass)!
Dawn has been photographing elopements all over the Pacific Northwest for the last seven years and is truly incredible when it comes to capturing all the in-between moments of your epic elopement!
Kass was previously an outdoor recreation guide and knows all the best locations to adventure. She transitioned from guide to photographer six years ago and hasn’t looked back since!
Whitney is an outdoor enthusiast turned elopement photographer and loves to capture all the details during your elopement in nature. She is guaranteed to take you to some of the most secluded settings with the most jaw-dropping views your eyes will ever see.
Our team at Between the Pine is passionate about our jobs and adventuring to the most beautiful locations to document your best day ever. We know the Pacific Northwest like the back of our hands and are dying for a reason to head back to the mountains, forest and everything in between! Click here to learn more about the Between the Pine team, your dream elopement photography team!