The Easiest Places to Elope in the US

There is nothing I love more for my elopement couples than creating an experience with and for them that is fun and effortless on their wedding day. Though in most cases elopements in general are easier to plan than a full traditional wedding, there are actually places throughout the US that are easier to elope in than others. There are a number of factors that go into the ease of eloping, whether it be the waiting period after you obtain your permit, finding an officiant, or even finding witnesses. These minor inconveniences can really start to add up when you’re trying to keep your wedding day simple. That’s why after doing some research I have put together my list of the top four easiest places to elope in in the US.

How to Elope in the US

Though the rules in each state vary, there are a few factors that are consistent from state to state that you should be aware of when planning your elopement. For starters most states require you to be 18 years old. You’ll also need a marriage application and license as well as someone who can solemnize your marriage. Most states will also require either one or two witnesses present to sign off on your marriage license, but this varies from state to state. Later on I’ll go in depth on what the easiest places requirements are, but if you plan to elope elsewhere in the US be sure to do your research on what the requirements are there. The US is huge and each state and county have their own way of doing things!

What to Look for When Finding a Place to Elope

Like I mentioned before, each state and county in the US has its own requirements when it comes to elopements, so naturally some are going to be easier than others. If you want to elope somewhere that makes it easier and less stressful for you keep these things in mind when you search. Do you need a witness for your elopement and are you able to self-solemnize? Places where witnesses aren’t required and you can self solemnize make your elopement drastically easier since you won’t need anyone with you! Even if you only need one witness that’ll make things easier as your photographer will be with you!

One other thing to keep in mind when searching for an easier place to elope is whether or not there is a waiting period after you apply for your marriage license. If there is a waiting period that can make things a little more difficult, but if you plan ahead and are able to apply early enough for your elopement you can avoid any complications!

The Four Easiest Places to Elope in the US

Nevada/Las Vegas

First up we have Nevada and more specifically Las Vegas! Vegas and Nevada are first on my list as there is a ton of variety when it comes to locations, and the requirements are incredibly relaxed. You only need one witness, which can be your photographer (me!) and there is no waiting period after you apply for your marriage license so no stress there. There are tons of chapels around Vegas that specialize in elopements so we’ll have plenty of options for your elopement ceremony. Then for the rest of your day we can spend time exploring and taking in all the beautiful sites Vegas and Nevada have to offer!

If you both like exploring the city we can spend our day adventuring on the strip, trying all sorts of food and having an absolute blast. If you’re more into nature and hiking that’s available as well! That is the beauty of Vegas and Nevada in general is that there are so many great locations for an elopement session! Some great locations to adventure include Eldorado Canyon, Valley of Fire, and Red Rock Canyon.


Up next is the beautiful state of Montana! Montana is one of the easiest places in the US for you to elope since anyone who is ordained can marry you and you don’t have to have a witness either. Montana has a TON of great locations for us to explore and hike through, and most don’t even require a permit for a wedding ceremony in them. This makes your elopement just that much easier. The state’s centralized location makes it easy for anyone to travel there and with it being less popular than places like the Grand Canyon or Oregon for hiking chances are we’ll have a more secluded and special elopement day all to ourselves! Places like Glacier National Park, Flathead National Forest, and Lake McDonald are perfect for an adventurous elopement.


Up next we have one of my favorite states for elopements, Colorado! If you’ve ever been to Colorado you know just how beautiful it is there, and even if you haven’t gotten the chance to visit yet anyone who’s been there is sure to have told you about how incredible it is. Not only is it one of the most beautiful states in the US, but it is also one of the easiest places to elope as well due to a few key reasons.

First you’re able to self-solemnize which is where a couple is able to have their wedding without needing the presence of an officiant. There is also no waiting period, and there are a good amount of locations that don’t require a permit in order to have your elopement there! Colorado is home to SO many scenic locations that you really can’t go wrong when choosing where to elope in the state. Some of my favorites are Lake Isabelle, Guanella Pass, and Garden of the Gods.


Last but definitely not least on the list we have Idaho and for good reason too! You do need an officiant, but there are no requirements for witnesses. Another plus is there is no waiting period for when you get your marriage license which makes Idaho one of the easiest places to have your elopement in the US. The state is also breathtakingly gorgeous and has a ton of great spaces to offer for your ceremony. Places like the Sawtooth Mountains, Grand Targhee, and the town of McCall are all incredible places to elope in the state!

Your elopement day is one of the most important and special occasions of your life and you shouldn’t have to feel stressed about planning it! These are the easiest places to elope in the US, but if you have your heart set elsewhere don’t be afraid to go that route either. You’ll just have to do a bit more prep and planning for it, but as long as you create a day that you love and is true to you you’ll be set no matter what! For more elopement tips head over to my blog, and if you need a photographer for your destination elopement head to my contact page here!

August 12, 2022

Sreeja Ankam

Written By: