The Most Popular Destinations To Elope

More and more couples are bucking tradition, choosing to elope near and far for the intimate wedding of their dreams. For some, this decision may be down to avoiding the undesired limelight that naturally comes with a big wedding, and for others, it’s a great excuse to avoid complicated family relationships or simply to keep costs low.


The destination is also a key factor for an elopement, where a couple may feel a special connection to a particular place that may not be suitable or accessible to large groups. A remote sandy beach, secluded forest, or beautiful cliff top at sunset are incredibly intimate locations for exchanging vows for starting a new life together. They are also fantastic locations for picture-perfect wedding photos that are truly Instagram worthy!


To find out the most popular destinations worldwide, we analysed 100,000 photos on Instagram with the hashtag #Elopement. Explore the interactive map below or view the Polaroids for the top 25 elopement destinations around the world.

Top 25 Worldwide Destinations

Elopement Placeholder

Other Popular Elopement Destinations

United States

New York, New York #1
Las Vegas, Nevada #2
San Francisco, California #3
Seattle, Washington #4
San Diego, California #5
Chicago, Illinois #6
Denver, Colorado #7
Portland, Oregon #8
Los Angeles, California #9
Asheville, North Carolina #10
Santa Barbara, California #11
Austin, Texas #12
Salt Lake City, Utah #13
Nashville, Tennessee #14
Dallas, Texas #15


Paris, France #1
Reykjavik, Iceland #2
Tuscany, Italy #3
Rome, Italy #4
Santorini, Greece #5
London, United Kingdom #6
Barcelona, Spain #7
Venice, Italy #8
Madrid, Spain #9
Ibiza, Spain #10
Vienna, Austria #11
Edinburgh, United Kingdom #12
Dusseldorf, Germany #13
Bucharest, Romania #14
Porto, Portugal #15

U.S. National Parks

Yosemite National Park #1
Joshua Tree National Park #2
Rocky Mountain National Park #3
Zion National Park #4
Glacier National Park #5
Grand Teton National Park #6
Grand Canyon National Park #7
Mount Rainier National Park #8
Olympic National Park #9
Shenandoah National Park #10

Why are Couples Choosing to Elope?

To Save Money

With the average wedding costing £17,740 in the UK and $33,931 in the U.S., money is a major factor as to why couples decide to elope. An intimate wedding with just the bride and groom and sometimes their closest friends and family, eliminates the need to hire an expensive venue and cater food and drink for tens (if not hundreds) of guests.

According to’s national wedding survey, the average spend for a wedding in the United Kingdom is £17,740. The study revealed average costs for these common expenses.

  • Venue hire: £5,406
  • Food: £3,887
  • Engagement ring: £2.419
  • Drink: £1,587
  • Wedding dress/outfit: £1,313
  • Photography: £1,155
  • Entertainment/music: £1,005
  • Videographer: £968

According to The Knot’s 2018 Real Weddings Study, the average spend for a wedding in the United States is $33,931. The study revealed average costs for these common expenses.

  • Reception Venue: $15,439
  • Photographer: $2,679
  • Wedding/Event Planner: $2,002
  • Reception Band: $4,247
  • Reception DJ: $1,292
  • Florist/Décor: $2,411
  • Videographer: $2,021
  • Wedding Dress: $1,631
  • Wedding Cake: $528
  • Catering (price per person): $70
  • Engagement Ring: $5,680

There aren’t really any statistical averages for the cost of an elopement wedding as every situation is personal and unique. You can keep it as affordable or as extravagant as you like, and this will be dependent on whether you travel abroad or stay local, how many family and friends you choose to invite (if any), and how much you spend on the dress.


For a destination wedding, it’s often expected that guests will pay for their own flights and accommodation and make a holiday out of the trip, so this can also reduce the cost of eloping abroad. interviewed nine brides who opted for an elopement wedding, and their costs ranged from $200 – $4,663.

To Avoid Family Politics

Planning a wedding can be stressful, and a couple may feel under pressure to involve their family just the right amount and please them with certain decisions. Then there’s the dilemma of whether to invite cousin Suzie, who you haven’t had any contact with in the last decade, and which of your friends to make bridesmaids.


Eloping allows the couple to choose exactly what they want without the worry of upsetting certain people.

To Save Time Planning

According to the, the average wedding takes 528 hours to organise, and some people just do not have the time or inclination to spend that long. Eloping often means that you don’t need to think about invitations, guest lists, seating plans, catering, music, etc.

To Not Follow the Traditional Norm

Weddings can be full of age-old traditions, such as not seeing your partner the morning of your wedding, the bride being given away, speeches by selected family members, and throwing the bouquet.


Although the concept of eloping has existed for centuries, what was once a hasty method of marriage due to parental or religious objections, is now a modern and intimate way of tying the knot on the couple’s terms.

To Avoid the Limelight

Some couples don’t like being the centre of attention, and the idea of standing in front of 150 people fills them with dread. Expressing your love and making life-long promises and vows can be incredibly personal for some people who would rather do this in a private setting or with just their nearest and dearest.

Is Eloping Becoming More Popular?

The short answer is ‘yes’! Savvy-saving millennials are now opting to elope over hosting large traditional weddings as a means to save towards other life expenses such as a deposit for a house.


In 2019, Pinterest reported that the search term ‘Elopement photography ideas’ had increased by +128% as well as  ‘Destination weddings in the mountains’ by +32%.

Worldwide Google Searches for the Term ‘Elopement’

Elopement Graph

About Catherine Luther Wedding Films

Catherine Luther Wedding Films is a Manchester based videography business filming weddings in North West England, Yorkshire and North Wales, as well as destination weddings. If you’re interested in a videographer for your upcoming wedding, then please contact us.