Many brides undoubtedly dream to be surrounded by loved ones on their wedding day. But, with wedding guest list numbers set to dip over the next few years – with more couples than ever opting for more intimate celebrations – escaping to a gorgeous destination and exchanging vows just you and your loved one in an elopement wedding is a wonderfully romantic option.
7 of the Most Beautiful Places for an Elopement Wedding
Private elopement weddings between just the two of you – or perhaps with just a couple of witnesses – deserve a worthy destination.
We spoke to Charlotte Ingham, co-founder of luxury wedding venue platform Wedinspire, who reveals some of the best locations around the world to elope.
Elopement Weddings in Scotland
Known for its incredible rural beauty, Scotland has gorgeously scenic backdrops to exchange vows, from breathtaking mountain ranges to picturesque lakes and alluring coast lines.
Heading to the Highlands allows for complete freedom when it comes to eloping, which is why many UK couples flock here every year; you can in fact legally wed anywhere in Scotland!
If you fancy a luxury lochside elopement, we love The Lodge on Loch Goil – its famous treehouse is a fantasy hideaway with an impressive Scottish Highlands backdrop, with an expert team who specialise in intimate ceremonies.
Elopement Weddings in Santorini
Whether you want a contemporary haven, rustic authenticity or somewhere ultra-unique for your elopement wedding, you’ll find it on the Greek island of Santorini.
Santorini is host to a collection of intimate and luxurious villas all centred around glorious views across the caldera and Aegean Sea with breathtaking private terraces perfect for exclusive elopement weddings.
For a minimalist design venue and dramatic views, we love the Canaves Oia Suites – or why not head to the historic windmill in the traditional village of Megalochori to exchange vows in laid-back luxury at El Viento?
Elopement Weddings in Lake Como
Think mountainous backdrops and Neoclassical villas that line the lake alongside speed boat tours and spa treatments.
For an abundance of romance, the historical Relais Villa Vittoria is located directly on Lake Como and features an impressive collection of dedicated elopement and intimate wedding areas, like the Wisteria Balcony, Poolside Pergola and Main Terrace.
Elopement Weddings in Cornwall
Head to Cornwall to make countryside and beautiful coastlines the backdrop to your elopement wedding. For a quintessentially English celebration, the stylish boutique country house Treseren, near Newquay, specialises in intimate celebrations.
The award-winning, exclusive-use venue is designed for scaled-back soirees, offering a relaxed vibe with five-star service.
Elopement Weddings in Morocco
Escape reality and head to the desert for an elopement wedding like no other. A secluded desert hideaway might not be the most conventional way to wed – but 4×4 dune rides, camel adventures and sunset dinners can be just as romantic as a traditional wedding.
Embrace your natural surroundings at luxury eco-lodge La Pause, situated in Marrakech just outside the Agafay Desert – an oasis that’s perfect for an intimate elopement wedding.
Elopement Weddings in Gibraltar
Elopement weddings may not come to mind when you think of Gibraltar, but this beautiful destination offers a trendy harbour and quaint beaches – and the marriage process couldn’t be easier.
For an intimate soiree without the fuss, Gibraltar Botanic Gardens, located at the base of the area’s famous rock, is the perfect ceremony destination with its Italian-style garden and open-air theatre.
Elopement Weddings in Ios
Another Greek island gem, Ios offers an authentic setting perfect for private elopement weddings as you say ‘I do’ in an intimate ceremony overlooking the spectacular Aegean Sea on an exclusive beach or hidden garden.
One of our top picks is the Cycladic Gem Luxury Villa, a coastal villa that’s home to one of the most impressive spots on the island – think infinity pools, jacuzzis and incredible sea views.
To see more of the most beautiful, carefully selected wedding venues from around the world head to Wedinspire.
What Does Elope Actually Mean?
While many traditional weddings have a guest list with anywhere from 50 to more than guests – and micro-weddings play host to around 20-50 guests – an elopement wedding is 20 guests or less – or even just you and your partner for ultimate romance.
Why Should I Elope?
Victoria from Sophisticated Weddings, a wedding planning brand in Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast, says those who choose an elopement wedding do so due to many factors but mainly time, stress, money and changing attitudes, particularly since Covid-19.
“A small elopement wedding reduces or eliminates the drama of who to invite, where to seat them, and so on,” says Victoria.
“Just because a couple have decided to marry without the presence of family and friends, it doesn’t mean that they are completely alone.
“Photographers and videographers can create beautiful, timeless photographs which can be shared with family members on their return.
“Often the bride and groom organise a celebration or party back in the UK which gives them a chance to have something more informal and fun, without worrying about the intricate details, dramas and formalities of a wedding day.”