Eloping is an evocative
word, conjuring up images of young lovers running away to get married
against the wishes of their families. These days many couples still elope
(i.e. get married without telling anyone*), and more often than not they
decide to get married abroad.
So, how is an elopement any different from a "regular" wedding abroad?
Firstly, it may be planned in more of a hurry - the couple decide to "run" and marry on their terms. Secondly, there are probably no guests
invited, just the couple, the officiant, and perhaps a photographer as a
If you'd like to elope just make sure you choose a country where the
paperwork doesn't take much time. That way you can elope and enjoy it
without it turning into a regular wedding! All the wedding providers on our
country pages are happy to provide an elopement package, and take a look
below to see some great eloping destinations.
As elopements are not generally planned too far
in advance, the main issue tends to end up being arranging the legal
paperwork in time.
Many countries require the legal documents to be sent through to them a
certain number of months before the ceremony in order to process the
marriage licence, so that can rule out a "quickie" wedding.
Countries which make good eloping destinations, with simple paperwork
1. New York
The ideal city elopement destination, New York is perfect for a quick wedding year-round, and there are many wonderful locations to get married at that don't cost a fortune.
We recommend Central Park at any time of year as you can always find a classic location to exchange your vows here, whether it's in Spring as the blossom falls around you, in the Winter when snow muffles the noise of the city, or in the Autumn as the golden leaves tumble from the trees, New York is beautiful all year round.
Make New York Elope Enquiry
New York Marriage Laws
Eloping to Cyprus is a fabulous elopement choice as it's an island where there are plenty of people who are well aquainted with arranging weddings and lots of location choices.
Whether you'd like to have a simple ceremony, or would like to still have a luxurious time even if you are eloping, you'll find it in Cyprus. As marriage laws are easy it's a popular wedding destination in general.
Make Cyprus Elope EnquiryWedding Packages
Cyprus Marriage Laws
Eloping to Gibraltar is very common, especially if you'd like to get married over the weekend as you only need to be in the country for 24 hours before getting married, so you could make a long weekend of it, fly over on Friday, exchange vows on Saturday and fly home on Sunday.
Remember though that you still have to have everything sorted with your wedding planner ahead of time, so you do need to book the date to marry ahead of time!
Make Gibraltar Elope Enquiry
Wedding PackagesGibraltar Marriage Laws
You may not instantly think of Greece as an elopement destination, but it's certainly possible to do so here.
There's such a plethora of islands here where you could run off and get married, and of course in the summer months Greece has the best weather and amazing views, after all, even if you are eloping you still want to have some incredible photos on your wedding day!
Make Kos Elope Enquiry
Greece Marriage Laws
Eloping to Turkey is an easy choice, particularly as you could always book a package holiday and just get married when you're there. Make sure you take all the paperwork with you and either check with your resort or ask an independent wedding planner for exact details, as some resorts may only offer the "full" wedding package.
For a simple ceremony it's probably better to talk to a separate wedding planner who can help with the paperwork and a low key ceremony.
Make Turkey Elope Enquiry
Turkey Marriage Laws
Another easy country to marry in, Denmark is a top choice for an elopement, and, like Gibraltar, you could make the arrangements to nip over and get married over a long weekend.
Town Hall weddings are the simplest ceremonies to do for an elopement, although plenty of other choices are available if you'd like something more ornate.
Make Denmark Elope EnquiryWedding Packages
Denmark Marriage Laws
Most Caribbean countries have simple marriage legalities so make good elope destination.
Make sure you choose an English-speaking island though as the French and Dutch ones follow more restrictive marriage laws. There are some differences in the legalities between the other islands, but not much, so if you'd like to book a package holiday and get married while you're there you can do so in the Caribbean.
Make Caribbean Elope Enquiry
Caribbean Marriage Laws
7. Las Vegas
Last but by no means least is the "elopement capital" of the world, Las Vegas! We've put it last on our list as it's so ridiculously easy to marry here that you don't need any help, especially if you're eloping.
Just grab your passport, go to the Clerk's Office, get your marriage licence, and then show up at one of the thousands of wedding chapels in Vegas. You may not even have to book ahead!
Las Vegas Marriage Laws
Things to Remember
If you're thinking of eloping bear the
following in mind before you book a flight:
- Make sure you have all the required paperwork before you leave.
- Make sure you aren’t going to regret not inviting your friends and family.
- Arrange your officiant/celebrant/wedding planner before you go - you want
to make sure you get married legally!
- Don't forget a camera!