100 Unique Elopement Ideas + Activities for an Epic Celebration

elopement picnic set up

Post Summary: If you want to make your elopement as special & personalized as possible, activities are one of the BEST ways to do just that. Planning unique activities that are authentic to the two of you & your interests, passions, and values will make your elopement absolutely unforgettable – especially if you have guests that you want to make amazing memories with! I’ve put together this massive list of 100 unique elopement ideas + activities to give you a jumping-off point, as well as some tips & reasons why I recommend planning activities for your big day.

couple walking together mt. rainier national park winter

I’ve organized all these ideas into different categories for different parts of your elopement, from getting ready in the morning to wrapping up the celebration with evening activities. There are plenty of elopement ideas for every different type of couple and every level of thrill you might be seeking, from adventurous to extreme. 

I can’t wait to see which ones you pick & incorporate into your special day!!

bride and groom drinking ranier together

Why Plan Activities for Your Elopement?

Before I give you my massive list of unique elopement ideas, let’s talk about why you should even incorporate activities into your elopement & why they’re important.

Oftentimes couples who elope may still feel the pressure to keep things as “traditional” as possible – especially if they have family members coming along who are ready to support them, but might still expect a few traditional elements. 

Or couples might not even realize that incorporating activities into their elopement is even a POSSIBILITY – we’re so used to seeing traditional weddings that sometimes we don’t know what other options are out there! So consider this your permission to take your elopement into your own hands and say bye Felicia to expectations, traditions, and pressure and hello to a unique, personalized day that’s meaningful as heck to the two of you!

couple opening champagne by coast

Why are activities important for your elopement?

Planning activities is truly the best way to create the most meaningful elopement experience possible, because it allows you to curate a day that incorporates all of your favorite things, your favorite people, and your values, interests, & passions. You can plan activities that allow you to share an amazing new experience with your partner – something you’ve been wanting to do together FOREVER, like skydiving or going wine tasting in the valleys of Tuscany. Or you can share something you really love to do together in your normal lives, like going stargazing every chance you get, cozying up next to a campfire just like you do on your annual camping trips, or making your own cocktails like you do once a month at your home. Any activity you genuinely enjoy doing together on a regular day, can be something you do on your elopement day, too! Whether you plan activities that are brand new to you as a couple or are familiar to you and close to your heart, it’s a surefire way to make your elopement so, so special!

Activities are also an important part of creating your dream elopement because they allow you to really break away from the cookie-cutter-ness of traditional weddings. While I love Pinterest & Instagram for finding inspiration, it can be harddd to plan a unique, one-of-a-kind wedding when all you’re doing is taking ideas from other people. By planning activities that you, your partner, and your guests will love, you’re intentionally crafting a day that is perfectly fit to what YOU want – not what Pinterest told you was trendy!

couple standing together near camel

How to include unique activities in your elopement

Now that you understand the importance of planning unique elopement activities, you might be wondering, how do we even start planning or picking out what we want to do?! That’s where I come in!

My role is SO much more than just a photographer – I’m an intentional experience creator. Whether it’s a day spent doing all of your favorite activities together or a weekend of crossing new experiences off your bucket list (or both!), I come together with my couples to help create a day that is 100% unique to them, and is centered around meaningful shared experiences. 

I love helping couples come up with ideas of what to do for an all-day elopement – or if one day isn’t enough, I highly recommend considering a multi-day elopement! Celebrating for multiple days is especially amazing if you’re traveling a significant amount and will have a few days to enjoy your destination, or if you’re inviting guests from afar. 

For example: if you’re having a destination elopement and your friends & fam are flying in to celebrate with you, you could have a welcome dinner the night before, and/or a goodbye brunch on your last day! Or have one day where you do all the official stuff and have your ceremony with your guests, then one day where you plan epic activities & just spend the day exploring on your own. There are SO many opportunities to have an epic elopement experience if you’re open to extending it past just one day!

I offer 2+ days of coverage for elopements to help you keep the party goin’, so don’t worry – I’ll be there to capture all of it🔥

If you’re wondering how much photography coverage you should book for your elopement, check out this blog post!

couple laying together surrounded by flowers

TO RECAP: I encourage you to really think outside of the box when it comes to planning your elopement itinerary! Ask yourselves what you can do to make your elopement extra special, not just through activities but through your timeline, vendors, location, etc. It’s YOUR day and should fully reflect who you are and what means the most to you!

Now, let’s dive into my giant list of 100 unique elopement ideas + activities to show you just how many opportunities there are out there for ya. The world is your oyster!!

couple at picnic together near coast

100 Unique Elopement Ideas + Activities

Getting Ready Elopement Ideas

We’ll begin with some ideas to maximize the time you spend getting ready on your elopement day, whether you do so separately or in the same room, together!

1. Take a bubble bath together

2. Help each other get dressed

3. Exchange gifts

bride and groom giving gifts

4. Write vows together in special books

If you’re not quite sure why this part of your elopement is so special, pause for a minute and check out my recent blog post, The Importance of Wedding “Getting Ready” Photos!

bride and groom drinking from mugs in cabin

Nighttime Elopement Ideas

Next up are some fun ideas for the night of your elopement when you’re just not ready to cut the party off quite yet!

5. Soak in a hot tub at your Airbnb

couple sitting in hot tub

6. Go stargazing at midnight 

couple standing together stargazing

7. Cozy up next to a campfire

8. Roast marshmallow and make some s'mores

9. Have a first dance by the campfire

10. Light up sparklers for some fun photos

11. Have a candlelit dinner

wedding party roasting marshmallows

Food-Related Elopement Ideas

You can’t have an unforgettable elopement without delicious food that you’ll enjoy every bite of – there are SO many options out there for elopement meals nowadays, so get creative!

12. Cook breakfast together 

13. Have a charcuterie board picnic

picnic set up

14. Hit up a local coffee shop

15. Hire a private chef to cook for you at your Airbnb

chef making dishes

16. Go to a craft brewery

17. Enjoy wedding cake/dessert made by a local baker

cake and rose

18. Celebrate in style & eat at a fancy restaurant

19. Hire a food truck to bring you late-night pizza

20. Go wine tasting

21. Make your own custom cocktails

bride making a cocktail

22. Take a cooking class

wedding party eating at reception

Adventurous Elopement Ideas

If you’re looking for an adventurous way to experience the location you’re eloping at, or you’re looking for a little bit of a thrill, here are some adventurous elopement ideas to consider for your big day!

23. Go on a hike

24. Take a paddle board or canoe out on the water

boat in water

25. Cliff jumping

26. Rock climbing 

27. Zip-lining

28. Snorkeling

29. Pack raft on an alpine lake

30. Canyoneering in a slot canyon

31. Sand sledding/sand boarding

32. Ride in a hot air balloon

33. Rent a Jeep and go off-roading

jeep on dirt road

34. Windsurfing

35. White water rafting

36. Jet skiing 

37. Surfing

couple laying together on rocks

Extreme Elopement Ideas

Now if those were a little too mild for you & you’re looking for something a bit more extreme, here are a few more epic elopement ideas for thrill-seekers!

38. Base jumping

39. Bungee jumping

40. Skydiving

41. Scuba diving

42. Parasailing

hot balloons in air

Peaceful Elopement Ideas

Feeling like those adventurous ideas aren’t quite for you? That’s okay – you don’t have to jump off a cliff or take a 10-mile hike for your elopement day to be amazing! Here are a few more peaceful elopement ideas if you’d rather take it easy, relax, and enjoy a slower-paced celebration. 

43. Yoga (bonus points for goat yoga!)

44. Hammock together

45. Spend a relaxing afternoon drawing or painting

46. Play card games

47. Charter a boat and go sailing

48. Go horseback riding 

49. Relax in a hot spring

50. Fly kites

51. Go whale watching

52. Take a pottery class, or make your own creations at home

bride and groom holding horses

City Elopement Ideas

City elopements are sooo underrated – so hopefully these city elopement ideas inspire you to consider having an urban elopement & taking advantage of all that big cities have to offer!

53. Ride bikes around town

54. Visit an aquarium or a zoo

55. Go on a walk with your dog

56. Get tattoos

57. Go ax throwing

58. Rent your dream car and go for a mini road trip

59. Play pool/billiards at a local bar

60. Check out a museum

61. Race Go-Karts

62. Visit a records store and pick out a record together

63. Create an outdoor theater in your backyard and watch a movie

64. Visit an amusement park

65. Check out a local arcade

66. Go skateboarding

67. Go bowling

68. Go roller skating

bride and groom getting food

Winter Elopement Ideas

If you’re planning a winter elopement, you probably won’t be able to go hiking or paddleboarding out on a warm lake – but winter comes with it’s own set of epic opportunities. Below are some fun ways to take advantage of the chilly weather & enjoy the snowy climate during a winter elopement!

69. Go ice skating

70. Build a snowman 

71. Go sledding

72. Snowmobiling

73. Snow shoeing

74. Hit up the slopes & go skiing or snowboarding

75. Have a snowball fight

76. Ice climbing

77. Take a sleigh ride

wedding party going ice clibming

International Elopement Ideas

Want to cross a new country or international experience off your bucket list with your elopement? Here are some seriously awesome activities you could do if you elope abroad (plus I snuck one Alaska in there if you’re in the U.S. and would rather stay a little closer to home)!

78. Ride a helicopter to a glacier in Alaska

79. Go on a wildlife safari in South Africa

80. Ride camels in Jordan

81. Check out the Great Pyramids in Egypt

82. Hike through Patagonia

83. Visit the museums in France

84. Snorkel in Costa Rica

85. Go dog sledding in Canada

86. Take a rowboat out on an alpine lake near the Dolomites of Italy

87. Hike the Himalayas in Nepal

88. Visit a volcano in Iceland

89. Watch the Northern Lights in a glass igloo in Norway

90. Hike the Andes to reach the Incan ruins of Machu Picchu, Peru

91. Ride hot-air balloon in Cappadocia, Turkey

92. Spend the night with penguins in Antarctica 

93. Explore the Great Barrier Reef in Australia

jeep sahara desert landscape

Group Elopement Ideas

Last but not least, here are some activities that’ll help you make the most of your time with your loved ones, if you’re inviting guests along to celebrate with you. Take advantage of having them all in one place by incorporating one (or more) of these meaningful ideas into your elopement experience!

94. Read letters from loved ones

95. Watch video toasts from loved ones who aren’t there (or have toasts via Zoom)

96. Record a video to send your loved ones later

97. Play tabletop games 

98. Compete in a corn hole tournament 

99. Have a pool party

100. Stay in the same Airbnb/hotel

wedding party viewing wedding photos

Washington-Based Elopement Photographer

I wanted to pop in real quick before we wrap this thing up with some info about what I offer – because if you’re planning all of these incredible activities for your elopement, you’ll for sure want somebody to document it all!😉 Whether you’re dreaming up a week-long international elopement experience, a roadtrip across the west coast with a private ceremony, or an intimate gathering in your backyard with your friends & fam, you can take a look at my beginning elopement packages + pricing here. You can also get in touch with me here for full pricing + package options and a free elopement consultation so that we can start dreaming up all the unique elopement ideas that you can incorporate into your day!!

Anywhere in the USA Intimate Weddings & Elopement Packages

  • Full day of elopement photography coverage anywhere in the USA
  • Your own personal elopement guide & consultant
    • Unique and personalized location scouting
    • Vendor recommendations
    • Permit and marriage license assistance
    • Hand-crafted elopement timeline
    • Created just-for-you activity list
    • Unlimited guides and resources
    • 100+ page How to Elope Guidebook
  • Optional complimentary officiant service
  • Digital online gallery with full resolution image and printing rights
  • Sneak peek images within 1 week
  • Photographer travel fees covered anywhere in Egypt

Starting at $6,500

Woohooo you’ve made it all the way to the end!! I know I just threw a TON of ideas at you, but I really hope that these unique elopement ideas helped get your ideas flowin’ & showed you just how many possibilities there are for your elopement. At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you have a wedding day experience that truly feels like YOU. 

So here’s your permission to break from tradition, to indulge in what you wouldn’t normally, to spend the day focused on making memories with your partner & your most loved people. 

I can’t WAIT to see what you plan!

For more elopement inspiration, tips & tricks, and in-depth resources, take a look at my blog! I’ve linked some of my top favorite guides below for you to check out that I KNOW you’ll love if you enjoyed this one 😉

Ultimate List of the Top 60 Elopement Destinations in the U.S.

A Complete Guide to Picking Your Perfect Hiking Elopement Dress

Why You Need to Have Backup Plans for Your Elopement


In order to make your dream elopement day happen, it's super important that we connect and that you feel comfortable with me! The best way to do this is to reach out and schedule a call so you can learn more about me and I can learn about you two so i can document what's real + the most important to you.

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