wedding couple in field of sunflowers

 

Elope Abroad Countries

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 witness?

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.







Wedding Paperwork

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.

Eloping Destinations

Countries which make good eloping destinations, with simple paperwork formalities, include:
bridge in central park new york in autumn

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.

New York Marriage Laws



church in cyprus

2. Cyprus

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.

Cyprus Marriage Laws







rock of gibraltar

3. Gibraltar

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!

Gibraltar Marriage Laws



bay in zante

4. Greece

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!

Greece Marriage Laws



couple by car in turkey

5. Turkey

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.

Turkey Marriage Laws





colourful houses in denmark

5. Denmark

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.

Denmark Marriage Laws

bride on beach in caribbean

6. Caribbean

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.

Caribbean Marriage Laws

las vegas sign

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!