The 4 Easiest States to Elope In

It’s no secret that elopements and intimate weddings are some of my favorite things to document.  Elopements especially have a special place in my heart because of how intimate and easy they are for couples to put together.  Believe it or not though, there are actually states throughout the US that are easier than others to elope in, which is what we are going to dive into today.  If you’re looking for an elopement location and want to plan the simplest elopement possible, this blog post is for you.

What Makes Eloping Easy

There are a number of different aspects to eloping that can make things easier or more complicated for a couple.  In general there are a handful of things that you will want to look for when planning your elopement in each state that can vary slightly depending on the state.  You will want to look into the following variables when planning your elopement:

-Do you need a witness?

-Who can marry you in the state you’re planning your elopement in?

-How much does it cost to get your marriage license?

-Is there a waiting period after I apply for my license?

-How long is your license valid after you obtain it?

Different State Requirements for Eloping

Every state has different requirements needed for a legal marriage.  Knowing that everyone’s priorities for an easy elopement vary, I thought I would first start with an overview of which states don’t have some of these variables to get married.

Where Can I Elope Without Witnesses?

For those that would prefer their wedding day just be them and their officiant or photographer, here are all of the states in the US where you can elope without a witness.  

Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Vermont.

It’s important to note that your wedding day witness doesn’t HAVE to be someone you know!  Anyone you run into on your wedding day can serve as witness to your wedding day, whether it be your bartender, a random woman you meet on the street, or even me, your photographer!  So if you want to keep things intimate but your dream location isn’t on this list, know that you have other options.

Where Can I Elope the Same Day I Apply?

If you’re looking to travel and elope as soon as you get into town, these locations allow you to elope the same day that you apply, meaning there is no wait period after applying for your marriage license.  So if you want to drive somewhere specific that is far from where you’re staying or live, and elope while you’re in town, you can do so in these states.

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, DC, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

No hiking required

For those that want jaw dropping views, but aren’t avid hikers, there are SO many different locations that make for beautiful elopement backdrops that are only a short walk from the parking lot. Here are a few of these locations where you can elope with easy access and the states that they’re located in. Arches National Park in Utah (desert), Joshua Tree National Park in California (desert), Cannon Beach in Oregon (beach), Mount Rainier in Washington (forest), Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada (desert), and the Salt Flats in Utah (desert).

The 4 Easiest States to Elope In

Based on all of the factors listed above, I have put together my top four easiest states to elope in along with some of the easier locations to elope at within the state.  


Two Words, self solemnization.  Colorado is one of the easiest states to elope in for a number of reasons, but self-solemnization is the number one reason.  This means that you and your partner can marry yourselves without an additional party conducting the ceremony.  Colorado also does not require a witness to be present when you are married, so essentially, you and your partner could go out on a hike as fianceé’s and come back married! 

Logistics of Eloping in Colorado

When traveling to Colorado, Denver International Airport is the best option for flying into the state.  From there there are plenty of options for flying to different areas of the state or driving to some of the closer locations.  Colorado is FULL of so many different landscapes and backdrops so there are plenty of options for beautiful locations to elope at in the state.  If hiking isn’t quite your thing but you still want to elope somewhere epic, here are a few of the most accessible and easiest locations in the state to elope at.

Where to Elope

Crested Butte National Forest

Crested Butte National Forest is listed first on my list for easiest places to elope in the state of Colorado. My favorite part is that they actually have a handful of homes and lodges that make for a beautiful and intimate location for your elopement or wedding such as Eleven Experience Colorado.  It is important to note that Crested Butte is a very popular tourist destination because of its accessibility, so be sure to do your research and plan ahead if you plan to elope here.

Garden of the Gods

When looking to elope at the Garden of the Gods, the park has a handful of designated spaces reserved for ceremonies within the park.  These various locations throughout the National Park can be found on their website here and have all of the details listed on how many people can be present for your ceremony, and how to apply for your permit. It’s one of the most beautiful parks to elope at in the state and by far one of my favorites!

Maroon Bells Amphitheatre in the White River National Forest

Maroon Bells is a perfect location for your elopement, and also a great location if you have a handful of guests on your elopement day!  With a parking lot within 200 yards from the beautiful site, accessibility to this CO location makes it one of the easiest ways to say I do!

How to Get Your Marriage License in Colorado

Getting your marriage license in Colorado is extremely simple.  You will want to gather the following, proof of age and identity (a license or state ID) along with the $30 needed for a marriage license and head to a county clerk’s office.  If you have a CO address to send your license to you can also apply online and receive your license via mail.

BONUS:  Though you do not need a witness to get married in Colorado, there is still a witness spot on the marriage license, so you can legally bring your dog along and have them sign as witness to your day!


Idaho is such an incredibly easy state to elope in for a number of reasons. You don’t need a witness, there’s no waiting period, and one of the best parts is that there are SO many beautiful spaces and places in Idaho and it’s surprisingly not super popular yet!  So going in peak season and finding a scenic and beautiful place to elope is a lot easier than it is in other states.  You do need an officiant though, so you will have to plan to hire one, or bring an ordained friend along to conduct the ceremony.  

Logistics of Eloping in Idaho

When it comes to getting to Idaho, the Boise airport and the Lewiston Airports are the easiest ways to go.  From there, there are plenty of unique locations throughout Idaho that are only a few hours drive from either airport.  When planning your elopement, be sure to contact the state park you plan to elope at beforehand to check if you need a permit.

Where to Elope

Though the majority of the hikes in Idaho are a bit more extensive, there are a lot of amazing Airbnb’s and other intimate stays that make for the perfect backdrop for your wedding day if hiking isn’t really your thing!

Sawtooth Mountains

The Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho are some of the most sought out views in the state.  The Triangle C Cabins and the Stanley House are two stays that have breathtaking views right outside their front doors.  Book one of these Airbnb’s or Cabins for your elopement and get married right outside your front door.

Bogus Basin

Just a 30 minute drive from Boise, this location is the perfect spot for those that want to elope at a courthouse and then head out for some scenic views following their ceremony.  This popular tourist destination will have you immersed in nature as you say your vows surrounded by gorgeous views.


Another extremely underrated elopement location is Montana!  Montana is an incredibly easy state to elope in because of its ease of travel, many hikes do not require permits, and there are no witnesses required to elope there!  

Logistics for eloping in Montana

When eloping in Montana you’ll more than likely fly into Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport.  From there you will be able to get to some of the states best scenic locations for your elopement.  For whatever reason, Montana still is on the lower end in terms of travel popularity, so there are still many hikes and locations that you can basically have the place to yourself when eloping!

Where to Elope

Bozeman Montana

Known as being one of the most popular tourist towns in Montana, Bozeman is a great location for eloping.  There are plenty of epic views, and parks just outside the small town that make eloping with an epic backdrop simple.

Avalanche Lake

Though this is one of the more crowded trails, it is one of the easiest routes in Montana.  If you do plan to elope at Avalanche lake, making the hike earlier in the morning or later in the season will still give you some intimacy when eloping at this location!

Nevada (Las Vegas Specifically)

One of the easiest places to elope in the US is Las Vegas Nevada.  Known for its unique chapels, elopement venues, and scenic state and national parks, Nevada is a great and easy state to plan your elopement for.  

Logistics of for Eloping in Nevada

Nevada is one of the easiest states to elope in for many reasons, but it’s number one reason is there is no waiting period when you elope in Nevada.  On top of the lack of a waiting period, there are SO many locations throughout Las Vegas with officiants available and ready to marry you with little notice!  So elope in town and then head out to some of Nevada’s beautiful parks to exchange your vows and spend the afternoon with your new spouse!

Where to Elope

Valley of Fire State Park

Just a 46 minute drive from Las Vegas, Valley of Fire state Park has beautiful desert views and SO many easy hikes under a mile long.  This is a fairly popular tourist destination, but if you go on off hours, or earlier in the day, you’re bound to have the place pretty much to yourself.

Death Valley National Park

A 2 hour drive out of Vegas, Death Valley National Park has a wide variety of hikes ranging from easy to difficult.  Known for its vibrantly colored badlands, Death Valley National Park is a beautiful destination for eloping in Nevada.

Not only are these states the easiest to elope in within the US but they also have so many incredible locations for your elopement to take place at. Whether you’re looking to elope in one of these states or somewhere else in the country I am 100% there for you and would love to be a part of your elopement day! Head to my contact page to send me an inquiry and we can start planning your elopement together.

December 16, 2022

Sreeja Ankam

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