Eloping isn’t just for star-crossed lovers anymore. Today, my sweet friend, it’s for everyone. Running away together makes it easier for you to have your wedding your way and celebrate what matters most—your love for one another.
Here are my top 10 elopement destinations, in no particular order because they’re all incredible. These are the places that I think will make your heart sing and your feet want to slow-dance. You’ll find one in almost every corner of the world because as a destination wedding photographer, I have my dreams too!
Have you always dreamed of being up close with lions and zebras? Does the idea of a meerkat snuggle session excite you? Then Jack’s Camp might be a perfect fit—it’s the ideal combination of adventure and luxury. Located in Botswana’s Kalahari Desert, this luxe 1940s-style safari camp has all of the amenities you’ll need to make your first married memories unforgettable.
Villa Sola Cabiati is a Baroque architectural marvel set against the picturesque drama of the Alps. Start your forever-after in a place designed for royalty and find out why Lake Como has inspired countless poets and artists. If the $10,000 per night price tag makes renting this 500-year-old mansion slightly out of your budget, book a room at the nearby Grand Hotel Tremezzo. You can still have your ceremony at the villa or plan a private dinner in the Sala degli Stucchi to celebrate your love.
La Badia Di Orvieto—Orvieto, Italy
Located in Orvieto and known as the oldest hotel in Italy, this former Benedictine abbey is full of incredible 13th and 14th-century frescoes. It was built in 1100, as was the church that will serve as the your chapel of love. Begin married life as a part of history!
Villa Arconati—Bollate, Italy
Built in the style of the Palace of Versailles, the aristocratic Villa Arconati dates back to the 1700s and has been fully restored to its ancient glory. There are many ways to enjoy its magic, but you’re sure to make some of your fondest moments together as you tour the grounds and halls of this glorious estate. Make your elopement one for the ages!
An elopement here will truly be a joyful testament to your love. Bali is known by many names: Island of the Gods, Last Paradise on Earth, Morning of the World, Island of a Thousand Temples, and Island of the Smiling People. Celebrate your commitment to each other with the vast ocean as your witness and surrender to the happiness, serenity, and gratitude of the island. The Khayangan Estate features luxurious, semi-secluded bedroom suites where you can take romantic baths together or dine alfresco as you enjoy the divine, sweeping vistas.
Kinsterna Hotel—Monemvasia, Greece
In the hills high above the pristine beaches of the Aegean Sea lies the Kinsterna Hotel, a fully-restored Byzantine mansion. Roam the wild lands, cultivated vineyards, and olive groves, and explore the nearby Hellenistic fortress, knowing that you’re following in the footsteps of the ancients. Not only is this hotel a beautiful combination of history and glamour, but it’s also a sustainable masterpiece, relying mainly on traditional agricultural practices and the wealth of the land. The locally vinted wine, farm-grown food, full-service spa, and spring water pools are sure to inspire your long and happy life together.
Lake Louise—Alberta, Canada
If wild nature is what you crave, Lake Louise is your place. Located in Banff, Alberta, this pristine wilderness has to be seen to be believed. Perhaps you’ll want to take your vows in the middle of the lake with only the mountains and birds as your witnesses. Or maybe you’ll want to lie down in a field full of wildflowers and while away the afternoon. One thing is for sure, no matter what natural wonders you’d like to experience, you’ll be sure to find them here.
Horseshoe Bend, Arizona
The dramatic red rock backdrop sets off the clear blue water of The Colorado in Horseshoe Bend, and it’s a staggering 1,000-foot drop from the overlook to the river below. I get so excited thinking about the incredible golden hour photos that I could take here! Close to Lake Powell, Glen Canyon Recreation area, and Antelope Canyon, this place is pure delight. Claim your own little slice of heaven.
Pismo Beach, California
The central coast of California has some of the wildest beaches in the United States. The rocky yet serene landscape is the perfect setting for your dream beach wedding. In the spring, the hills bloom with mustard seeds and take on a marigold glow, but no matter what season you choose for your elopement, you can be sure that this beach town will set you on the path to a lifetime of love.
Dunluce Castle—Northern Ireland, UK
Take in the awe-inspiring scenery of Ireland’s North Coast as you romp through the medieval ruin that served as the basis of Castle Greyjoy in Game of Thrones. Enjoy looking out over the sea from the rugged cliffs or venture beneath the rubble into Mermaid’s Cave. You can hold your ceremony in the surrounding fields and have the most incredible photos taken inside the castle’s crumbling walls. Your love is fit for a king and queen!