I think one of the most fun parts of planning your adventure wedding is choosing the location where you will be saying your vows to one another! There is an entire world of opportunities out there, but it's important to choose one that speaks to you as a couple. Below are a few questions and tips to help you make the right choice...
1.) Think about how far you'd like to travel.
Do you want to stay domestic in the USA or are you thinking of international travel? Are you considering a location closer to home so you don't have to travel much or are you looking for a well-deserved romantic getaway?
2.) What kind of scenery speaks to you?
Are you a couple who loves the magic of an old forest covered in moss? Are you a couple of beach babes with dreams of sand and palm trees? Do you love the idea of saying your vows in front of a towering waterfall or a cliff overlooking a mountain range? Or do red rocks and canyons make your heart race? An adventure wedding can even be in a city, like the French Quarter of New Orleans or Times Square!
3.) Seasons and Temperature
The time of year you choose will play a huge part in how you choose your destination. Late fall through early spring are the best times of year to elope in places like the Southwest and Southeast coasts. Not just for the weather, but also because there are far less vacationers during those months. In fact, the summer is the most heavily trafficked season all across America, so if you can avoid planning around those months, I highly recommend it!
On the other side of things, winter can mean that many roads are impassible in the Rockys and PNW, so if you dream of a snowy mountain elopement, you may want to consider locations in the North East U.S. or locations in the Rockys that are easily accessible from the main roads. November, late April, and May are also great months for snowy mountain elopements! If you do plan a summer wedding, be sure to choose a location outside of the National Parks and busy tourist towns.
4.) Seclusion and Accessibility
Are you looking for a location with lots of privacy? There's plenty to be had in many locations throughout the world, but the trouble is getting there sometimes. Take the money you're saving from not having a big wedding and invest in a UTV rental, an off-road Jeep tour, or a helicopter ride to get to your destination! How much more amazing would your wedding story be if it started with a helicopter ride to the top of a glacier??
Another thought to consider is how popular of a destination your dream location may be. For example, the beautiful Lago di Braies in the Italian Dolomites looks absolutely amazing in photos online, but in reality, it can be crawling with tourists since it became Instagram famous a few years ago. You may consider visiting in the off-season, having a sunrise ceremony, or having your ceremony in another location (like an Airbnb or somewhere less visited) and visiting for portraits at another time.
5.) Are You Bringing Guests?
If so be sure that you choose a place that's accessible to them and their capabilities. If you have anyone with mobility issues it's best to plan a location with a short and easy walk or that's accessible to walkers and wheelchairs. You'll also want to consider how you will obtain chairs for them to sit in and how they'll get to the location. It can be as easy as purchasing a few chairs when you arrive at your destination if your ceremony will be short and if you only need a few for guests with mobility issues. But renting may be the play for groups over 10 and with longer ceremonies.
7.) What Else Would You Like To Do At Your Destination?
Are you wine or beer enthusiasts who would love nothing more than to do some winery/brewery hopping? Are you looking for a luxurious getaway at an ocean-side 5-star resort? Or are you more of a camping-under-the-stars couple with your first dance fireside? Think about all of the other fun things you can do (or not do if you're into some relaxation!) during your stay!
6.) Do You Need Permits?
Always be sure that you're acquired permission to have your wedding at a location. An "ask for forgiveness" or "show up and see what happens" policy is setting you up for trouble! Often times public locations, like national and state parks, require permits and registration in advance. There may be fees involved, as is with most churches and other venues that traditional weddings are held at.
This all sounds like A LOT to think of...
Which is why hiring someone who specializes in elopements to document your day is the best decision you can make when planning an adventure wedding! Especially when you're unsure where you'd like to elope. When you chose a photographer who is experienced in planning weddings in a wide variety of environments and finding the best trails and ceremony locations to match your needs and vision, you'll find yourself set up for success on your wedding day, and not feeling alone and confused throughout the planning process.
If you're ready to take the first step towards planning the best day of your life, check out the "Anywhere in the U.S." elopement package online and fill out the contact form to get started!
Hey there! I'm Carly D'Angelo-Hall - a photographer specializing in documenting weddings across the U.S. If you love adventure, experiencing new things, and if you like to live "outside of the box", let's talk about how I can help you create and capture the wedding day of your dreams! Visit wildnorthweddings.com to view all-inclusive wedding day and adventure session packages.