So you’ve decided to ditch the big wedding, the forced traditions and the stressed timeline. Congrats! Now the biggest three decisions you have to make is who, when and where. Oftentimes the who and when can depend on the where, so let’s talk about how to find that perfect elopement location. 

When my dear friends Claire and Alec got engaged, we knew we had to take their announcement photos in front of the building where they had their first UW class together. They decided to have a micro-wedding on the Olympic shores of Kalaloch, where they had spent countless weekends exploring over the years. 

Both Kay and Gabriel moved to O’ahu a few years ago and met each other in paradise. The backdrop of their big day was as “O’ahu” as it could get. 

Angelique and Jeremiah love relaxing in the woods, so that’s how they spent their wedding day in Mt. Rainier National Park.

One thing I absolutely adore about elopements is the opportunity for nontraditional venues and locations. The options are truly endless, so sit down with your partner and do some brainstorming. 

Think about the start of your relationship.

How did you first get together? What was the setting? Were you living in a tiny apartment in the city, studying at college, or frequenting a local park? What did this time in your life look like? Are there any parts of that moment in time that you’d like to bring to your day? 

Think about your most memorable moments.

Have you had any adventures together? Was there a road trip or a vacation that holds a special place in your heart? Was there a trip to a winery, a hike, or an excursion that makes you smile when you think back on it? All of these memories could be incorporated into your elopement in different ways, but is there any particular place (or type of place) that feels special to you as a couple? 

Think about how you like to spend your time together.

What hobbies do you share? Are there special ways that you like to spend your time together? Do you both love houseplants and gardening? Do you kayak, hike, read or cook? How do y’all usually spend your free time? What is the setting of those hobbies? Is it cozy or adventurous? Woodsy or sunny? 

There’s so many ways to make your wedding day uniquely you, and the setting is one important part of that. If you’re overwhelmed, just remember that it’s impossible to make a wrong decision as long as you’re being true to yourself.