15 of the Most Breathtaking Destination Elopement Locations

15 of the Most Breathtaking Destination Elopement Locations

Table of Contents:

  • How to Plan a Destination Elopement
  • 12 Breathtaking Destination Elopement Locations
    • Dolomites
    • Amalfi Coast
    • Florence
    • Tuscany
    • Cliffs of Moher
    • Killarney National Park
    • Giant’s Causeway
    • Irish Castles
    • Isle of Skye
    • Scottish Lochs
    • Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park
    • Fiordland National Park
  • Destination Elopement Photographer

The more I travel with my own little fam, the more I crave traveling around the world with incredible couples who are dreaming of a once-in-a-lifetime destination elopement. There’s something so special about not just eloping, but eloping in a spectacular destination somewhere on the other side of the world, away from the busyness of your daily life, where you can really be present, grateful, and curious about everything around you. There are an ENDLESS amount of amazing destination elopement locations around the world, so I’ve narrowed down a list of some of the places I’ve been dying to visit with couples that I know would be so freaking epic! 

I wish I had the time to give you every single possible place, but for now I picked four countries that are chock-full of insane destination elopement locations: Italy, Ireland, Scotland, and New Zealand—all of which would be a dream come true for your big day ✨ Can’t wait to see which one ends up being the best fit for your unique adventure!

How to Plan a Destination Elopement

Before I get into where to have your destination elopement, it’s important to talk about how to plan your destination elopement. There is so much involved in planning an international elopement, in a place that you might not be super familiar with: travel, accommodations, culture, transportation, language, budget/currency, marriage laws. . . the list goes on. That’s why I went ahead and put together a whole separate guide to How to Plan an Unforgettable Destination Elopement—highly recommend bookmarking that page to come back to as you begin the planning process!

12 Breathtaking Destination Elopement Locations

Now let’s get into what you came here for! These are 15 of the most breathtaking destination elopement locations in Italy, Ireland, Scotland, and New Zealand that I’m dying to visit with an amazing couple like y’all.

1. Dolomites | Italy

It wouldn’t feel right to start this list with any other location besides the Dolomites, given that it’s the top location on my elopement bucket list! The Dolomites (also known as the Dolomitic Alps) are this absolutely insane mountain range in the northeastern part of Italy, offering some of the most magnificent views you will literally ever witness. It’s a literal paradise for anybody who loves spending time outdoors, exploring the beauty of nature, with its majestic mountain peaks, lush valleys, unbelievably blue alpine lakes, and endless miles of beautiful hiking trails. 

The Dolomites are a great destination elopement location if you’re planning to elope in the summer (June to August), since that’s when the landscapes are the most lush and you’ll have the most opportunities for outdoor adventures such as hiking, biking, and rock climbing. Summer is also the best time to go camping amidst these towering mountain peaks, and will give you more chances to drive along the scenic mountain roads. The Dolomites even have this massive network of “rifugios,” or high-elevation mountain huts, that you can stay in if you’d like to find an accommodation that’s truly out in the middle of the mountain range. 

Here are just a few of the most stunning places to elope in the Dolomites:

  • Lago di Braies—a striking, bright blue lake in the heart of the Dolomites; perfect for a romantic ride in a canoe!
  • Cadini di Misurina—one of the most iconic viewpoints in the eastern Dolomites. It’s only 2 miles out & back and you get insane views of the mountains + Lago di Misurina.
  • Tre Cime di Lavaredo—these three massive peaks that tower over the Dolomites of northeastern Italy, accessible via a moderately-difficult 6-mile loop hike.
  • Seceda—another one of the most recognizable spots in the Dolomites that you can get to via a scenic cable car + a quick 10-minute walk!
  • Cinque Torri—a super popular hiking + rock climbing destination in the Dolomites, featuring a picturesque group of five huge rock formations. 
  • Val di Funes—the most enchanting valley that will make you feel like you’ve entered some sort of fairytale, with spectacular mountain views, rolling green hills, and sooo many hikes.
Photo by Connor Stirling on Unsplash

2. Amalfi Coast | Italy

If your dream destination elopement location looks like a coastal spot with vibrant blue waters, white-sand beaches, and cliffside vistas, then the Amalfi Coast may be more your vibe. Located along a 31-mile stretch of Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula, the Amalfi Coast is by far one of the most scenic coastal areas of Italy—you’ve probably seen it all over Instagram and TikTok without even realizing. The Amalfi Coast’s Mediterranean landscapes are unlike any other, boasting dramatic cliffs, colorful hillside homes, and turquoise blue waters that are just begging to be swam in. 

The best time to elope on the Amalfi Coast is typically the shoulder seasons, when the weather is still beautiful and warm but there aren’t as many crowds—specifically May and September. Summer on the Amalfi Coast gets crazy packed with tourists and accommodation costs are usually significantly higher, plus you’ll have a hard time finding any peace and quiet on the small beaches along the coast. 

Pro tip: if you’re renting a car, make sure you’re prepared to drive on these super windy roads, and that you’re careful of where you park! It’s common for cars to get towed along the Amalfi Coast because there aren’t many street spots where it’s legal to park—I recommend finding a parking lot or garage if you can instead of parking along the street, just to be safe, and then walking to the beach/spot you’re visiting.

3. Florence | Italy

Florence is for sure one of the most romantic cities in Europe; it’s the capital of the Tuscany region of Italy and is home to all sorts of famous art, heritage, and landmarks. It has such a beautiful blend of rich historical significance, Renaissance-inspired architecture, magnificent cathedrals, and down-to-earth, simple ways to experience daily life in Italy. 

You could spend every day of your time in Florence visiting museums and cathedrals, and still not see everything it has to offer, from iconic Michelangelo sculptures to galleries featuring da Vinci’s most famous work! And besides all of the world-famous artwork, the Florence skyline is just beautiful—it would be so romantic to just take a pre-ceremony stroll through the charming streets of the city, and then find a dreamy spot to exchange your vows before heading off to a local restaurant for dinner + drinks. So so many things to do in this amazing city! I recommend eloping in the spring (March to May) or the fall (September to November) to avoid the biggest crowds of the year.

Photo by Jonathan Körner on Unsplash

4. Tuscany | Italy

Florence is technically the capital of Tuscany, but for this section I wanted to focus on the more remote areas of Tuscany, away from the hustle and bustle of the city and deeper into the Italian countryside. Tuscany is the epitome of romance, with idyllic landscapes that feature all sorts of rolling hills, vibrant vineyards, endless olive groves, and a variety of quaint little Tuscan villages. I highly recommend staying in one of these villages if you want a more authentic Tuscan experience where you can stay in a cozy little Airbnb or private rental, meander through the charming streets and ancient ruins, and connect with locals who can give you all the best recommendations. It’s a dream come true for wine connoisseurs 😉 Tuscany is especially beautiful from September to October and April to May, when the temperatures are comfortable and not too hot for exploring, and crowds will be fewer (especially the further out you get into the countryside).

5. Cliffs of Moher | Ireland

Onto Ireland we go! Y’all, I’m seriously so in love with Ireland and you could not go wrong with any of these next few Ireland elopement locations. Starting off with the Cliffs of Moher, which are definitely one of the most (if not THE most) recognizable destinations in Ireland and have been featured in a ton of movies + shows! The rugged sea cliffs of the West Clare coast are freaking otherworldly, towering 700 feet over the ocean and offering panoramic views of the coast that you can’t get anywhere else. You could spend hours exploring the cliff top trails, learning about the history of the cliffs at the visitor center, even experiencing them from sea level on a boat cruise. Whether you want to tie the knot here or simply make it a stop on your itinerary for epic elopement portraits, the Cliffs of Moher are a MUST visit during your time in Ireland!

The weather at the cliffs can be fairly unpredictable, so no matter what time of year you elope you should definitely pack a good rain jacket, a pair of walking boots, and a few layers that you can remove/add as needed. Peak visitor times are usually between 11am and 4pm, so if you can visit outside of those times (especially during spring/fall instead of summer), you’ll have the best chance at more privacy. 

Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

6. Killarney National Park | Ireland

Located in southwestern Ireland, Killarney National Park is home to the highest mountain range in the country as well as a variety of stunning lakes, waterfalls, trails, castles, wildlife, and even mansions. There are a TON of entrances to the park because of how spread out it is—so don’t expect to cover the whole park in a day (or even two). Try to just pick a few spots that you want to visit most, and then maybe you can come back again for an anniversary trip or vow renewal in the future!

There are a few ways to get around Killarney National Park: you can walk, bike, or ride a horse-drawn jaunting car for a more unique method of transportation—this would be sooo cute in your photos, y’all. Killarney National Park has such a diverse array of locations and landscapes to choose from, so you can really find whatever you’re envisioning for your elopement whether that be a medieval castle situated on a cliff overlooking the ocean, a massive mansion filled with picturesque gardens and gorgeous Tudor-style architecture, or cascading waterfalls nestled in the heart of the forest. No matter which location(s) you choose, make sure your photographer gets a permit to photograph your elopement in the park!

Photo by mammuth on iStock

7. Giant’s Causeway | Ireland

Here’s another location you’ve probably seen in all sorts of movies, shows, and on your Instagram feed—the Giant’s Causeway. This is an incredibly scenic area of Northern Ireland that’s made up of around 40,000 basalt columns, which were formed due to volcanic eruption nearly 60 million years ago (or by an Irish giant, if you choose to believe the legend instead!). These columns that stretch into the Atlantic Ocean are a crazy cool + super dramatic sight to see, especially with the surrounding hills that shine such a vibrant green on sunny days. 

It’s best to visit the Giant’s Causeway in the summer because of how windy this coastal spot on the open ocean gets, even though that’s also the time of year that is typically the most crowded. If you can arrive earlier in the day before big tours arrive, you’ll have a better chance of finding a spot that isn’t packed with people! You can drive to the Causeway, or alternatively you could take the 5.4-mile trail from the beautiful Dunseverick Castle instead, if you’re craving more of an adventure along the Causeway Coast.

Photo by Kevin McMahon on Unsplash

8. Irish Castles

Did you know that Ireland is home to over 30,000 different castles?! Ranging from castles that served as defensive strongholds during wars to expansive cliffside homes owned by the wealthy, Ireland is filled with medieval castles and ruins that are not only gorgeous, but fascinating to learn about. I highly recommend exploring as many castles as you can during your time in Ireland to truly experience as much of the idyllic Irish countryside as possible!

Here are some of the most beautiful medieval castles + ruins around Ireland that would be amazing for elopements:

  • Dunluce Castle
  • Dunseverick Castle
  • Dunguaire Castle
  • Glenveagh Castle
  • Belfast Castle
  • Blarney Castle
Photo by Aldo De La Paz on Unsplash

9. Isle of Skye | Scotland

Charming little fishing villages, epic rock climbing destinations, gorgeous lakes, (more) medieval castles, and rugged coastal landscapes. . . what’s not to love about the Isle of Skye? It’s an island that’s connected to the northwest coast of Scotland by a bridge, boasting all sorts of epic mountain + peninsula scenery that people come from all over to see for themselves. The Isle of Skye is one of the top places in Scotland for many outdoor activities such as whale watching, hiking, climbing, and more—all of which would be AMAZING to add to your Scotland elopement itinerary! There are sooo many cozy cottages, oceanfront hotels, and campsites where you can truly be one with the natural beauty of Scotland + have the chance to explore the vast green hills, cliffs, peaks, and waterfalls.

Photo by Bjorn Snelders on Unsplash

10. Scottish Lochs

Scotland has SO many lochs (lakes), especially in the Scottish Highlands, that are absolutely stunning and make for incredible elopement locations! The five biggest lochs are Lochs Awe, Lomond, Morar, Ness, and Shiel, but no matter how large the loch you visit is, you’ll no doubt get to experience some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the country. From the world-class fishing of Loch Awe, to the lush landscapes of Loch Lochmond & the Trossachs National Park, to the mythical stories of Loch Ness, each one has something unique to offer—and they’re all absolutely stunning.

Photo by Johnny Briggs on Unsplash

11. Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park | New Zealand

Finally, I wanted to include a couple of destination elopement locations in New Zealand because I’ve been wanting to visit SO bad! Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park is located on the South Island of New Zealand and is a very popular tourist destination thanks to its breathtaking natural beauty + abundance of hiking and mountain climbing routes. Mount Cook is actually the highest mountain in New Zealand, and the park is made up of the most rugged wilderness full of ice, rock, snowy peaks, glaciers, lakes, and more—essentially all the alpine scenery you could ask for. It would be sooo epic to book a helicopter tour on your elopement day to see the awe-inspiring Mount Cook from above, then maybe kayak to a waterfall or across the lake before stargazing under the dark night sky. How freaking magical?!

Photo by Tyler Lastovich on Unsplash

12. Fiordland National Park | New Zealand

Last up is another unreal national park in New Zealand, situated in the southwest part of the South Island about 5 hours south of Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park. Fiordland National Park is most known for its breathtaking fjords that span across nearly 5,000 square miles of land, where you’ll also find insane waterfalls, craggy peaks, lush forest trails, and glistening lakes. The insane cliffs in this park will make you feel like you’re starring in Game of Thrones or some epic fantasy film, surrounded by such wild and rugged landscapes in the middle of nowhere!

Photo by primeimages on iStock

Destination Elopement Photographer

If you want to elope at one of these incredible destination elopement locations in Italy, Ireland, Scotland, or New Zealand, I’d love to come along and document you against the breathtaking landscapes + guide you on the adventure of a lifetime. I specialize in creating destination elopement imagery that resonates with heartfelt emotions and brings you right back to the moment you said “I do,” whether it was in the middle of the Scottish highlands or on the coast of Italy. Reach out to me here and share all of your dreams, desires, and plans—I can’t wait to begin this journey together.

If you need help planning your destination elopement, make sure to check out my full guide to How to Plan an Unforgettable Destination Elopement, where I walk you through how to choose your location, create your guest list, figure out a budget, and so much more!

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