If you’re planning an elopement, America is brimming with romantic getaways and venues that offer affordability and a minimal footprint. From secluded beaches to historic landmarks, here are the best places to elope on a budget in the US.
All the places on our list offer amazing value for money, and the chance to experience nature at its finest or even enjoy a city break with all the hustle and bustle you might enjoy.
When selecting an elopement destination, be sure to choose a photographer that can guide you through exactly what to expect. Not only will a local guide be invaluable, but can make sure that you get the best photos from your elopement day, and really maximize the time you have.
1. San Francisco, California
San Francisco is one of the most iconic cities in the world, and its background and history makes for the perfect backdrop for an elopement. The city is renowned for its beautiful architecture, stunning vistas and romantic atmosphere.
Its varied terrain also makes it a great location for an elopement, with beaches, mountains and forests all within an easy drive. The city is also home to some of the most iconic buildings and monuments in the world, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, the Palace of Fine Arts and San Francisco Bay. Not to mention the stunning Victorian mansions that can be spotted in neighborhoods like Pacific Heights, Bernal Heights and the Mission District.
San Francisco is home to arguably America’s most beautiful City Hall. Couples flock there from all over the world just to tie the knot.
Constructed in 1898, the building was designed by the renowned American architect, William Adams Delannoy. The building, which is made of marble, is considered to be one of the most beautiful city halls in America. It is also a notable tourist attraction, and can be found in the heart of the city’s Civic Center district.
Getting married at San Francisco City Hall is as easy as can be, especially when you choose an experienced San Francisco City Hall wedding photographer. The cost of a Civil Ceremony is minimal (under $200 including marriage license) and you don’t need to be a resident of the United States to get married there!
2. Bill Baggs Cape State Park Preserve, Florida
Bill Baggs Cape State Park is one of the most beautiful natural areas on the Florida Keys and one of the most romantic spots to get married in the US. It is also a stunning location for your elopement, with its idyllic white sand beach, crystal clear waters and lush tropical foliage.
The Cape is a popular spot for honeymooners and couples-on-break, and is known for its secluded and intimate settings. At Bill Baggs, you can get married on the beach or in the park, or anywhere in between.
If you want to elope in Miami, but you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a secluded hotel beach spot, then consider Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. This park is minutes from Miami and has an epic historic 1825 lighthouse. There’s a little bit of everything at this Florida elopement destination.
On the other side of Florida is Saint Pete Beach, another great value elopement destination. Eloping there is a great way to experience the best of Florida without breaking the bank. Saint Pete Beach is a gorgeous beach town located on the Gulf of Mexico in the Florida Panhandle.
It is famous for its white sand beach and azure waters, and is a great spot to unwind and escape the hustle and bustle of the big city. Saint Pete Beach is also home to some of the most iconic buildings and landmarks in the state, including the Flora-Bama Lounge and the Saint Pete Beach Lighthouse.
3. Zion National Park, Utah
There are many fantastic elopement locations in Zion National Park, Utah. The park is located in the middle of Utah’s stunning Wasatch Mountains and is located along the Virgin River.
This river River flows through one of the most popular elopement and honeymoon locations in the world, Kodak Lake. Located on the edge of Zion Canyon, Kodak Lake is a beautiful, secluded spot with incredible views of the towering mountains, turquoise waters and thick vegetation of the canyon
It is considered to be one of the most scenic and unforgettable Park destinations in the United States.
It’s also one of the most accessible parks, with a total of three entrances and one exit. Many couples head to the park for their honeymoons, and now they can return as newly-weds as well.
If you want to elope in a National Park, then Zion National Park should be top of your list!
4. New York City, New York
There are many beautiful places to elope in New York City. The Big Apple is filled with awe-inspiring architecture and beautiful beaches, restaurants, and parks.
It is a big city, but it’s an exciting place to elope, especially if you want to celebrate with friends and family and have good food and drinks afterwards. If you want to elope in a big city, New York should definitely be a hot contender!
Also with such a high cost for a regular wedding, it’s a no-brainer to enjoy all that the city has to offer to brides and grooms (and all those amazing photography opportunities!) with just a fraction of the price tag.
Let’s not beat around the bush: weddings in New York City are expensive. On the other hand, elopements in New York can be incredibly affordable. The average cost of a wedding in New York City is $31,000, which is more than the national average, but less than the national median. Bear in mind, some typical wedding venues in NYC alone can start at $30,000 – $50,000.
Central Park is a lovely, peaceful, and oddly quaint park in New York City. It’s located in the heart of West Harlem, and is home to the Apollo Theater (one of the most famous theaters in the country). This is one of the greatest elopement locations in New York City.
If eloping in New York, remember how important it is to have a location that is easily accessible for you and your guests. There might be a lot of walking involved or difficulty parking in some locations. Central Park is extremely large, occupying an area of over 840 acres (340 hectares), and extending between 59th and 110th streets – that’s 51 city blocks, or 2.5 miles!
Also, choose an experienced New York photographer that can guide you around to save your feet!
5. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
There are so many beautiful places to elope in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. The park is located in the Rocky Mountains and is known for its incredible natural beauty, such as the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and numerous lakes and waterfalls.
The park is also home to many wildlife species, such as elk, bighorn sheep, and Rocky Mountain elk. If you want to elope in a National Park while enjoying a secluded feel where you can feel truly one with nature, Rocky Mountain National Park should be your top choice.
The Rocky Mountain National Park is an ideal spot for an elopement due to its spectacular mountains and ideal location. It’s about an hour’s drive from Denver, the capital and largest city of Colorado.
Yet it feels far removed from the hustle and bustle, and you’re unlikely to run into other folks if you pick the right area. That’s because the Rocky Mountain National Park itself boasts over 150 lakes, 450 miles of rivers and 350 miles of trails.
Enjoy the alpine lakes, 360 mountain vistas and iconic pine forests at this stunning elopement destination. Some favorites at Rocky Mountain are Sapphire Point, 3M Curve, and Lake Isabelle. You can also find your own secret nook or view of the mountains with photography at Silver Dollar Lake.
The permit fee is only $300 at the time of writing, which makes it a truly affordable choice.
So there you have it – our top 5 places to elope on a budget in the US!
When you choose an elopement, you are not constrained with the ordinary costs of having a wedding – that are correlated with guest count. The only expenses you’ll have are permits and licenses, your attire, food and drink if you choose to have something special, plus your photography.
Whether you’re a city dweller and like hustle and bustle, or prefer something a little more centered around natural beauty, there’s something to fit every taste and budget.