You've decided to elope - HECK YES!! But now the big question comes up: WHEN is the best time to elope? If you're trying to narrow down that big date: this post is for you! It can be difficult to choose the exact time to get married, especially if you're not on a deadline or have any specific time restrictions - you could literally choose any day! With elopements being a completely customizable experience; you're not tied down to choosing the traditional Saturday afternoon ceremony in the peak wedding months. With so many options available, I've come up with some helpful tips on how to decide when to elope!

How to decide when to elope:

Decide on the temperature/weather you are hoping for

Cold, warm, snow, cloudy, breezy? Truth is most of us have a preference when it comes to the weather, so embrace that! While the weather can be unpredictable in any season, choose a time when you're more likely to hit that sweet spot in your chosen climate! If you and your partner LOVE the snow - Winter/Spring could be a really awesome time to set your date for!

Choose the type of location and scenery you are going for

Envision your environment - mountains, coast, desert, grasslands, city? If you're not tied down to a specific place yet, start broad and then narrow your search. Start researching; local or afar, areas that match your dream elopement location. If you're unsure of an exact spot, this is something you can discuss with your elopement photographer! I love helping decide a location with my clients, and can offer exclusive location ideas that I have scouted myself or can envision being amazing!

Search time of year for the region and desired weather

Once you've decided what kind of location you'd like; really research the area and look at average weather charts! Understand the variety of temperature and weather conditions, so you can be prepared for both. For example, if you choose Iceland in July, the weather will definitely be nicer than other months, but there is still a chance for crazy rain, wind and cold. Just set those expectations up front!

As well as looking into when peak tourist season may be if it's a popular area. This can give you a good insight into what season will be the best for your elopement.

Pick a time that is off-season for your work

While we've been focusing primarily on what season works best for photos and the experience; it's important to also think about your work life and taking time off. If your job has certain seasons that are more stressful and then harder to take time off in, that's something to keep in mind! The last thing you want is to be worried about a deadline or not having enough time to enjoy the experience.

Should You Elope in the Summer?

Summer elopement in New Hampshire - bride and groom walking arm in arm with epic views.

Long sunny days with plenty of opportunities to explore; Summer is a popular time to elope! You'll have lots of green in the trees and everything will be in bloom. Plus, it is generally a lot easier for people to get time off in the summer if you are planning to have guests.

Pros of eloping in the summer:

  • Easy access to most trails
  • Roads are open
  • Long days, lots of light
  • Summer activities - water sports

Cons of eloping in the summer:

  • Crowds/tourists
  • Hot temperatures
  • Bugs in some locations

Where to elope in the Summer:

This completely depends on the type of weather you are hoping for, because believe it or not, you can find locations that are still cold in the summer (my preference!). Some locations that are absolutely stunning in the summer and you won't sweat right out of your clothes are Iceland, Alaska, California, Coastal New England and Washington!

Should You Elope in the Fall?

Bride and groom walking in Autumn landscape at their elopement.

Cool crips mornings, and warm afternoons; the auburn hues of an Autumn elopement can be an absolute dream!

Pros of eloping in the Fall:

  • Cooler mornings and evenings
  • Gorgeous landscape colors

Cons of eloping in the Fall:

  • Popular trails can still be crowded (especially in New England!)

Where to elope in the Fall:

The Fall is a tough one honestly, because it is so beautiful all around the country (and world). However, I will say that the US has the most beautiful Fall weather and colors from East to West. Some of my absolute favorite places to elope in the Fall are New England, Montana, and North Carolina. In these locations is where you will see those beautiful red/orange/yellow leaves.

Should You Elope in the Winter?

winter elopement ceremony with groom reading vows

Snow-capped mountains and early golden hours; Winter elopements can be so wonderful! Honestly though, it truly can be such a magical time to elope, yet people generally shy away from it!

Check out my post on How to Prepare for a Winter Elopement

Pros of eloping in the winter

  • Less crowds
  • Cheaper accommodations/off season
  • Snow (depending on if you love it)
  • Winter activities (hello skiing, snowshoeing, etc.)

Cons of eloping in the winter

  • Roads/trails may be closed
  • Freezing temperatures
  • Snow (depending on if you hate it)

Where to elope in the Winter:

The winter can be magical, but also very cold depending on where you are planning to elope. I would recommend trying to find somewhere that the weather stays pretty consistent, and you don't have too high of a chance of it dropping below zero degrees. But also, if you are planning to elope in the winter, it is most likely because you want snow! Make sure when you are looking into locations that there is almost a 100% chance that there will be snow, but also check on the month of winter that is best. For example, in New Hampshire, you may want to stick with end of January and early February and up in the White Mountains.

Speaking of, where are the best places to elope in the winter? Some of my all time favorite and magical locations are the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Iceland, Southern California (if you aren't looking for snow but Fall weather) or Northern California (Lake Tahoe, anyone?!) OR Utah.

Should You Elope in the Spring?

bride and groom in elopement photo

Green returning to the hills, and flower buds popping up all around; a Spring elopement can be absolutely magical! When to elope in the Spring can be dependent on where you decide to elope as well. However, in general, I would recommend looking at May and early June. This way you avoid mud season, just be prepared for the bugs!

Pros of eloping in the Spring

  • Flowers blooming
  • Green landscapes
  • Cooler days
  • Overcast moody weather
  • Off season, so more seclusion

Cons of eloping in the Spring

  • Unpredictably wet weather
  • Chances of rain/snow
  • The bugs and flies are a nightmare

Where to elope in the Spring

Spring, to be quite honest, is usually the time I recommend not eloping. However, there are a lot of benefits to eloping in the Spring, and it truly depends on where you decide to elope. For example, in New England and California, Spring is beautiful in May, whereas Oregon, Washington and Colorado, it is generally most beautiful in July (yes, that's when the wild flowers show up!). So make sure to get a good understanding of the best times of year for the Spring in your specific locations.

Some of my favorite Spring locations, mostly for waterfalls and wild flowers, are New England, Iceland, California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado and basically anywhere in Europe.

The benefit of eloping in April and May are mainly because it is off season. Kids are still in school, people are out working on their homes, and it's not a great vacation time. So that gives more seclusion, which is what we love!

Book your Elopement Photographer

I hope that this blog helped you narrow down when to elope, and if you have any questions please reach out!! You can contact me if you're ready to book your adventure elopement photographer. And be sure to follow me on Pinterest to start creating your dream elopement board!

Kelsey Converse Photography adventure elopement photographer

Hey, I'm Kelsey!

A New Hampshire based adventure elopement photographer and educator helping others create a business (and life) they love. I love community and connecting with others, so never hesitate to come say hi!


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