Post Summary: Full of rich African culture, spectacular food, diverse landscapes, and authentic desert adventure, Morocco is truly one of the top elopement destinations in the world. Below, you’ll find a complete guide to how to elope in Morocco, where I’ve included everything you need to know to plan an epic Morocco elopement – from the best places to elope in Morocco to unique Morocco elopement ideas, and so much more!
If you’re dreaming up an elopement outside of the U.S., chances are you’ve considered places like Mexico, Italy, Thailand. . . all of which are PHENOMENAL elopement locations, don’t get me wrong. But have you ever considered heading somewhere a little further south, across the Alboran Sea – somewhere like Morocco?! When I tell you that Morocco is one of THE most underrated elopement locations in the world, I mean it: with stunning landscapes, incredible architecture, fascinating history, and colorful old-world design, Morocco has so much to offer to any eloping couple looking for a unique adventure. That’s why I put together this full guide to how to elope in Morocco – I freaking guarantee you’ll be falling in love with this beautiful country within just a few paragraphs 😉 Let’s dive right into all my best Morocco elopement tips, ideas, and advice!
Where is Morocco?
Before we talk all things elopement-related, let’s do a little geography lesson – where even is Morocco?
Morocco (a.k.a. the Kingdom of Morocco) is a country located in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Western Sahara to the south, and Algeria to the east. If you look for Morocco on a map, it’s the African country right below Spain across the Strait of Gibraltar – it almost looks like they’re connected, but they’re not! Morocco’s capital is Rabat, one of the country’s four historic imperial/capital cities that’s situated right on the Atlantic coast.
How to Get to Morocco
When it comes to traveling to Morocco from the U.S., or really anywhere besides Europe, you have two choices of airport: Mohammed V International Airport is the biggest airport, located in Casablanca, or Menara Airport, which is the most popular airport, located in Marrakech.
If you’re traveling to Morocco from Europe, a ferry will typically be the easiest option for you, either from Spain, France, or Italy, depending on where you want to arrive in Morocco.
Why Elope in Morocco?
Now that you’re familiar with where Morocco is located, let’s cover some of the main reasons why you’d want to elope there – and I say “main” because the full list could truly go on forever!
First off, Morocco is known for its delicious cuisine, a blend of Berber, Andalusian, Mediterranean, and slight European influences that combine with spices to create some of the most delicious flavors in the world. Moroccan cuisine is part of the rich African culture you’ll find in the country, along with other cultural elements such as the iconic pisé mud-brick architecture, traditional Islam values, and intimate family relationships. As soon as you step foot in Morocco, you’ll start to get a feel for the country’s unique culture and I highly recommend taking some time to learn about its history & its people!
Along with the fascinating culture, mouth-watering food, and incredible old-world architecture, Morocco’s diverse landscapes are one of the biggest draws for tourists around the world. The majority of the country lies at high elevations, boasting two gorgeous mountain ranges that divide the country: the Rif Mountains in northern Morocco and the Atlas Mountains in the Maghreb region. With stunning natural features such as waterfalls, vast sand dunes, deep valleys, colorful rocks, and beaches, you will NEVER run out of ways to experience the beauty of this country – especially if you’re up for an authentic desert adventure, such as sandboarding or riding camels through the dunes! These diverse landscapes paired with the amazing, year-round sunny weather is just *chef’s kiss.*
7 Best Places to Elope in Morocco
I am SO excited to show you some of the most amazing elopement locations in Morocco, so let’s just get right into it! This is a list that could’ve been endless, so I narrowed it down as best as I could for you – I’ve got some more up my sleeve for my couples, though, don’t worry 😉
Marrakech is the fourth largest city in Morocco, and is one of those four historical imperial cities I was talking about earlier. It’s also one of the most famous spots for visitors thanks to the colorful souks, beautiful architecture, charming gardens, and amazing cuisine. Two of my favorite spots in Marrakech are Ouzoud Falls (Cascades d’Ouzoud) and the Agafay Desert, which is a great alternative if you can’t make it to the Sahara Desert!
If you want to be close to the water, Essaouira is a great option, as it’s a port city on the Atlantic coast with a wide, sandy beach and gorgeous ocean views! There is a TON to do in this picturesque city – you can take a dip in the ocean, explore the old city walls, go kitesurfing, sunbathe on the sand, or even just take a stroll along the beach.
The Sahara obviously has to be on this list, being that it’s the most famous and BEAUTIFUL freaking desert in the world! Covering nearly all of northern Africa, the Sahara is a must-visit for anybody visiting Morocco, whether you want to say your vows in the desert or go quad biking, camel riding, or sandboarding. I recommend checking out Erg Chebbi, one of Morocco’s “ergs” – which are massive seas of sand dunes formed by sand that the wind blows around. It’s freaking breathtaking!
The Atlas Mountains are one of the two mountain ranges in Morocco, separating the Sahara Desert from the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It’s also North Africa’s highest mountain range! With lush valleys, endless miles of hiking trails, remote villages, and spectacular views, these mountains make for an amazing elopement location for adventurous couples. I recommend exploring Jebel Toubkal, a gorgeous mountain peak located in Toubkal National Park, and the Tinmal Mosque, located in the village of Tinmel up high in the mountains.
The Rif Mountains are the other mountain range in Morocco, located in the northern part of the country and bordered by the Mediterranean Sea & Spain. They’re known more for their lush forests and rivers, whereas the Atlas Mountains are a bit more rugged. Chefchaouen, also known as Morocco’s “Blue City” thanks to its unique blue houses and buildings, is a must-visit in the area!
6. Sidi Ifni
Sidi Ifni is another phenomenal coastal spot, located on the west coast of Morocco and boasting absolutely incredible ocean views! Legzira Beach (Plage Rouge Legzira) is probably the most iconic spot in the area, featuring dramatic red rock arches and gorgeous waves.
Last but not least is Iriqui National Park, Morocco’s largest national park! Spanning 1,230 square kilometers of the Sahara, this park is filled with diverse flora and fauna, desert lakes, and, of course, epic views.
Best Riads & Luxury Hotels in Morocco
Whether you’re visiting Morocco for a week or three, finding an amazing place to stay is a MUST! You just have to take advantage of the incredible accommodation options throughout the country, from traditional Moroccan Riads to unique Airbnbs to luxury hotels. A Riad is a traditional Moroccan house, typically with multiple stories and a central open-air courtyard or garden, often featuring a beautiful fountain and breathtaking greenery. I highly recommend staying in a Riad if you’re able to, because it’s truly one of the most amazing ways to experience authentic Moroccan culture! Below, I’ve compiled some of the best Riads in Morocco, as well as a few of the top luxury hotels in the country if that’s more your vibe.
Best Riads in Morocco
Best Luxury Hotels in Morocco
6 Unique Ideas for Your Morocco Elopement
1. Go kitesurfing on the coast
If you’ve never heard of kitesurfing, it’s basically when you ride along the water on a small surfboard or kiteboard, propelled by a massive parachute above you – a.k.a. a freaking BLAST! Morocco has some pretty dang incredible spots for kitesurfing along the coast, two of the most popular being Dakhla and Essaouira (which is actually known as the “Windy City of Africa). If you like being out on the water and you want a more thrilling way to experience the Moroccan coast, kitesurfing is the perfect activity!
2. Go sandboarding in the desert
Sandboarding (or sandsurfing) is one of the coolest ways to experience the vast Moroccan desert and I highlyyyy recommend trying it out somewhere like Morocco’s Great Desert Dunes – you are, after all, in one of the most beautiful deserts in the world! It’s similar to snowboarding, except you’re gliding through the orange sand of the dunes rather than snowy mountains (duh).
3. Ride a hot air balloon at sunset
If you’d rather experience Morocco from above (or you just want a totally unique perspective of this gorgeous country), you HAVE to take a hot air balloon ride at sunset! There are tons of companies that offer beautiful hot air balloon rides either at sunrise or sunset over Marrakech, giving you magical views of the Marrakech Agafay Desert, lush palm groves, and ancient villages full of old-world architecture.
4. Ride camels through the sand dunes of Erg Chigaga
Now if you’re looking for a classic desert experience, of COURSE you have to book a camel ride through the desert; specifically, Erg Chigaga! In fact, this spot is one of the best not only for camel treks but also for stargazing, sandboarding, and even simple guided walks. No matter what way you choose to experience the desert, you’re going to have a freaking amazing time – but I definitely recommend riding camels at some point during your trip if you’re able to!
5. Visit a hammam
A hammam is essentially a public bath, where you go to purify and cleanse both your body and mind – and I highly recommend experiencing one for yourself during your time in Morocco! Visiting a hammam is an ancient ritual that’s significant to Moroccan culture, as it offers you an escape from the stresses of daily life in a quiet location, typically featuring beautiful architecture as well. Visitors usually start in a dry, heated zone to open up pores and start the relaxation journey, and move through other rooms with steam, body scrubs, and rinsing. It’s an incredible experience for both locals and tourists alike, and would be an amazing way to prep for your elopement day OR relax afterward!
6. Go quad biking in the dunes
Finally, quad biking is another epic way to experience the Moroccan sand dunes, or even just the countryside areas outside of the city. It’s a must for adventurous couples who are looking for a bit of a thrill during their trip!
How to Get Your Morocco Marriage License
If you are a foreigner wanting to elope in Morocco, there are two routes you can take as far as legalities go: you can either follow the process to legally get married in Morocco, or you can legally get married in your home country beforehand – I typically recommend the latter! Getting the paperwork to legally get married in Morocco as a foreigner can get extremely complicated, and can add a whole lot of work to your already-long elopement planning to-do list. You can get married in your home country before your trip, and then have a symbolic ceremony or unity ceremony in Morocco to represent your commitment – I promise it will be JUST as special!
If you do want to look into the possibility of getting legally married in Morocco as American citizens, you’ll need a few things:
- A visa
- An Affidavit of Nationality and Eligibility to Marry from the U.S. Consulate General in Casablanca
- Copies of your passport notarized at the U.S. Consulate General in Casablanca
- Original or certified copies of your birth certificates
- Evidence of employment or source of income in your home country
- A written statement indicating your intent to marry in Morocco
- A notarized statement of religious denomination or a certified copy of a conversion document to Islam – required for males
- A medical certificate of good health from a doctor in Morocco
- A police record from your country of residence
I recommend checking out the U.S. Embassy website for details about the full licensing process, which can take up to 3 months or sometimes longer.
What to Wear for Your Morocco Elopement
When it comes to attire for your Morocco elopement, you’ll want to wear clothes that are loose, flowy, and comfortable, no matter whether you’re wearing a dress, a suit, or more casual outfits. To keep yourselves as cool as possible in the desert heat, you should also choose clothing made of lightweight, breathable fabrics such as organza, tulle, or crepe. Avoid wearing anything too tight or restrictive, as you’ll be moving around a lot – especially if you’re doing any sort of adventurous activity or exploring the desert!
And if you’ll be exploring the desert at all during your elopement, you should definitely wear hiking boots, or at least sturdy walking shoes, if you’ll mainly be walking around the city. If you want to wear heels for your ceremony you can totally bring some to change into, but it’s best to choose safety and comfort over fashion while you’re exploring & adventuring!
Best Wedding Dress Designers for Your Morocco Elopement
If you’ll be wearing a dress for your Morocco elopement, here are some of the best wedding dress designers that I’d recommend checking out:
- Leanne Marshall
- Rue de Seine
- Daughters of Simone
- Odylyne The Ceremony
- Galia Lahav
- Made with Love
Best Time of Year to Elope in Morocco
Overall, I’d say that the best time of year to elope in Morocco is between March-May or September-November.
Morocco is sunny all year-round, which makes it an amazing place to visit at any time. However, you’ll want to consider what temperatures you’re most comfortable with, if you’re up for some rain, and what size of crowds you’re okay with!
The northern and coastal areas of Morocco have a cooler, moderate climate, whereas the inland and southern areas are more extreme.
Spring and fall in Morocco are warm, but temperatures are still super pleasant, ranging between 50-80°F in the spring and 60-85°F in the fall. Keep in mind that spring also has the most rain out of any season – yes, even the desert gets rain! Because of the comfortable temperatures, spring is the busiest time in Morocco, but is also the best time to elope if you want wildflowers. So it’s up to you to weigh the pros & cons! Summer can get pretty dang hot and dry, especially in the desert, with temperatures ranging between 65-100°F, and is the best time to elope in the mountains. And finally, winters in Morocco are very mild, with temperatures staying between 45-70°F. This is by far the best time to elope in the Sahara!
My Top Morocco Travel Tips for Your Elopement
Before I wrap this up, I wanted to give you a few final Morocco travel tips that will be super important to keep in mind for your elopement!
- Dress appropriately – be sure to cover up and dress respectfully, especially when going into mosques or other sacred places.
- Keep local currency on you – most places will take credit cards, but it’s good to carry around cash just in case. The local currency is the Moroccan Dirham, and the exchange rate is currently MAD 1.00 = 0.101 USD.
- Pay attention to Muslim holidays – Morocco is a Muslim country, so it’s important to pay attention to their holidays as most things close down, especially during Ramadan. Many things are also closed on Fridays!
- Consider hiring a translator – locals speak a mix of Arabic, English, French, and Amazigh (Berber). In bigger cities you can usually get by with English, but in smaller and more rural areas, having a translator will be super helpful.
- Tipping is customary in Morocco – so make sure you tip service providers such as taxis, servers, etc.
- Ask before you take photos of other people – locals don’t like it, so be sure to ask for permission if you want to take photos of anybody.
- Buy a SIM card at an official agency – not a street vendor!
Can you tell that I'm completely in love with Morocco yet?? I hope this guide has been super helpful in planning your Morocco elopement, and if you're on the hunt for the perfect photographer to document it all, I would LOVE to be there for you! You can take a look a my Morocco elopement packages and pricing below, and reach out to me here - let's start dreaming up your epic Moroccan adventure!
Elopement Packages and Pricing for Morocco
- Full day of elopement photography coverage anywhere in Morocco
- 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 Morocco
Starting at $10,000
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If you know you want to elope outside of the U.S. but you’re not sure where yet, look no further – I’ve got elopement guides to even more of my favorite international elopement destinations below!
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.