The 10 Best Countries to Elope In

December 1, 2020

The best thing about eloping is that you can do it almost anywhere! With no huge bridal party, no long guest list, and no expensive venue to worry about, you’re free to jet off to any exotic destination your heart desires. While eloping close to home can be meaningful and sentimental, there’s something so exciting about saying your vows in a foreign country and spending your elopement exploring somewhere new. 

If you travel abroad for your elopement, it’s a great opportunity to combine your wedding day with your honeymoon! Whether you’re looking to spend a week backpacking through the mountains or a week sipping margaritas on the beach, here are the 10 best countries to elope in.

Most Affordable

While elopements are typically much less expensive than traditional weddings, the expenses can pile up quickly – especially after you book flights and lodging. Here are a few countries that are cheap to explore. 

Nepal

Nepal is a hiker’s paradise – and you don’t have to hike Mt Everest to enjoy the views. The Himalayan mountains run through this beautiful country, so you’ll never run out of trails, whether you’re looking for a short walk or a long backpacking trip.

For those who want to enjoy a little bit of the country’s history, Nepal also features lots of medieval cities and sacred sites. You can see the unique architecture of palaces and shrines, as well as ancient temple art. Nepal is one of the best countries to elope in for those who want to combine history and culture with outdoor adventure!

Thailand

The tropical beaches and crystal clear water of Thailand make it a gorgeous destination for your elopement. You can say your vows at one of the pristine white sand beaches, then explore the forested jungle where you might be lucky enough to spot monkeys and wild hogs. You can spend weeks island hopping, visiting elephant sanctuaries, trying the local street food, and relaxing on the beaches of Thailand!

Nicaragua

An underrated country in Central America, Nicaragua is an affordable and beautiful destination, making it one of the best countries to elope in. The diverse landscape offers volcanos, beaches, remote islands, and forests.

The beaches in Nicaragua are mostly remote and undeveloped, so you can experience them in their natural glory. The shoreline of the Carribean is calm and perfect for snorkeling or swimming, while the Pacific coast is popular for surfers. When you’re done exploring the beaches, you can continue the adventure with exploring active volcanoes, canoeing through alligator infested wetlands, or zip lining over the jungle.

Most Picturesque

If you’re looking to say your vows in some of the most picturesque landscapes in the world and to spend your elopement day amongst nature and gorgeous scenery, here are the best countries to elope in for you!

New Zealand

From towering mountains and misty fjords to golden beaches and tropical forests, New Zealand offers some of the most stunning scenery. It’s no surprise that nature-loving couples flock here to elope. In this island country, you can go from relaxing on a beach and watching penguins to taking a helicopter ride over a glacier. No matter what you choose, there’s no end to the adventures that you can have in New Zealand, and no shortage of beautiful locations for your elopement ceremony.

Patagonia

(this is actually a self portrait!)

Towering mountain peaks, glacial lakes, golden grasslands, and temperate rainforests are just a few of the sights you can find in Patagonia. While technically not a country, I couldn’t leave it off the list. This region is the southernmost tip of South America, and stretches across Argentina and Chile. The landscapes are raw and rugged, and getting off the beaten path is not just easy to do, it’s almost unavoidable. Even with so much natural beauty, the vast expansiveness of Patagonia means it’s incredibly easy to find a private but picturesque spot for your elopement ceremony. Check out this elopement from this gorgeous region!

Iceland

A popular destination over the last few years, Iceland’s rugged natural beauty draws eloping couples from all over the world. Many of Iceland’s scenic locations have become very popular tourist destinations, but there is still much of the country that is remote and can only be accessed with a 4 wheel drive vehicle. You can spend your elopement soaking in natural hot springs, hiking volcanoes, and chasing waterfalls!

Scotland

The urban areas of Scotland are filled with friendly locals and booze, while the more remote landscapes feature castles, mountains, rolling green fields, and sheep. The best place to elope is the Isle of Skye – an island that features stunning scenery and coastlines that will take your breath away. Just imagine saying your vows on a cliff overlooking the ocean, or with a vibrant green backdrop that looks like it came right out of a storybook!

Most Relaxing

If your perfect elopement and honeymoon combo features more unwinding and sipping margaritas on a beach than hiking and outdoor adventures, here are the best countries to elope in that will leave you feeling refreshed!

Maldives

Maldives is a small Island in South Asia known for its luxurious private island resorts, white sand beaches, turquoise blue water, and incredible underworld water bustling with vibrant marine life and colorful coral. For those who want to mix some adventure into their elopement, you can stay amongst the locals and explore on your own, then check into one of the resorts and enjoy amazing food, sunshine, and beaches.

Indonesia

While visiting Indonesia can be very budget friendly, the island of Bali also features luxurious resorts right on the beach. With spas and yoga retreats, you’ll have plenty of time to relax in between dolphin watching and catching the sunset. Bali also has plenty of opportunities for snorkeling, hiking, zip lining, and trekking through the jungle! 

Greece

The Greek islands are all incredible places to elope, with their clear blue waters and scenic beaches. The most popular of these is Santorini – known for its iconic multicolored cliffs dotted with white washed villas. The gorgeous resorts are perfect for wine tasting, watching the sunset over the water, and eating amazing local cuisine. After tying the knot and spending a week or two in Santorini, you’ll feel better than ever!

Choosing the Best Country to Elope In

Of course, the best country to elope in is going to vary – it all depends on what the two of you want to do, see, and experience! As an elopement photographer, my job is to help with everything during the planning process, and that includes finding the perfect spot for you to say your vows. Ready to plan your once in a lifetime, international elopement? Contact me!

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