Eloping ideas: different elopement invitations and cards

Not into planning a huge wedding or prefer to keep things mellow? Eloping is a romantic way to say ”‘I do” while keeping the focus on what you and your partner want. By eloping, you don’t have to hassle with big wedding venues, endless lists of vendors, and a guest list that keeps on growing. Instead, you can shine the spotlight on your love story and get hitched the way you want. Take a look at this list of eloping ideas to get you excited about tying the knot in a special way.

9 Magically Memorable Eloping Ideas

Couple dancing on a street

If you’re not into having a big wedding but still want to do something special, think about eloping. While eloping used to mean running away to get married without telling family members or friends, now the rules are much different. Well, there really aren’t any rules here. 

Today, eloping means having a smaller wedding — with or without guests — that you and your partner plan out together. What’s different is it’s not a spur-of-the-moment thing. It’s small and intimate but intentional.

Remember, it’s your wedding and you should do it the way you want. So go ahead, keep your elopement just between the two of you, or tell your parents and invite some loved ones if you want to. Have a mini celebration after and dance the night away if that speaks to your soul.

When eloping, you can choose to say your vows in a quick ceremony at the local church or take to the skies and elope in a tropical destination. Choose an epic experience — like skydiving — or keep it simple with a woodsy elopement in the forest near your home. With dozens of eloping ideas, there’s a special way to celebrate that honors your unique love story. 

Here are some elopement ideas to get you started. And to include those who care about you — either before or after you tie the knot — you can start customizing wedding announcements to match each theme.

1. Go Natural with a National Park Elopement

Soaring Sequoias Invitation

Design: National Park Foundation

Announcement inspiration: Soaring Sequoias Invitation

If you and your partner love being surrounded by nature, elope to a national park. Colorado, Utah, and California all have incredible national parks where you can exchange your wedding vows in front of an officiant. Head to Glacier National Park or Yosemite to get married on a mountaintop, or say “I do” in the presence of giants by getting married in the redwood forests of California. 

Bring along a bottle of champagne to celebrate the special moment. If you want, you can invite a few close friends and have a first dance among stunning natural beauty.

2. Say Yes to an Adventure Elopement

Eloping ideas: Polaroid Frame Save the Date

Design: Signature Greenvelope

Announcement inspiration: Polaroid Frame Save the Date

This is one of our favorite eloping ideas. Not only do you get to marry the love of your life, but you also get to share in an unforgettable adventure to honor the special day. Choose a sport that you both love to honor your shared interests and your future of happy matrimony. Alternatively, you can choose an adventure that neither of you has tried before, but you’ve been longing to do. Things like skydiving, scuba diving, mountain biking, and sled dog racing are all great ideas.

3. Jet Set to a Destination Elopement

Eloping ideas: New York New York Invitation

Design: Signature Greenvelope

Announcement inspiration: New York, New York Invitation

Want a destination wedding, but prefer to keep it to the two of you? Splurge on a destination elopement! Pack your bags, grab your future spouse, and hit the road to commit to eternal love. Destination elopement locations to consider include Hawaii, the Maldives, and Santorini. Another great locale for an intimate elopement is Iceland — thanks to majestic waterfalls, volcanoes, and lagoons studded with diamond-like ice that make it the perfect backdrop to a marriage.

4. Cozy Up with an Airbnb Elopement

Rocky Mountain Invitation

Design: National Park Foundation

Announcement inspiration: Rocky Mountain Invitation

Among the great eloping ideas is to book a cute Airbnb to share the experience with your closest friends and family. This micro wedding is perfect for couples who want to share their nuptials but don’t want a big wedding and the hassle that comes along with it. The Airbnb can double as a place for guests to stay before the elopement day, and it can also serve as the ceremony venue. 

Consider renting a house on the beach if you love the ocean and fresh, salty air. If you prefer the mountains, look for a log cabin or snowed-in A-frame for a magical affair. You can also rent Airbnb rooms in skyscrapers and high-rises if you want to get married with a city skyline as your backdrop. Don’t forget to book a wedding photographer to snap photos of the special moment.

5. Head to City Hall

We Couldn't Wait Announcement

Design: Signature Greenvelope

Announcement inspiration: We Couldn’t Wait Announcement

When all that matters is your love, head to the courthouse or city hall to get your marriage license and complete your nuptials. This type of elopement is perfect for individuals who want to do something special on the big day but don’t want a big wedding. It’s also a great option during times of uncertainty since you won’t have to worry about cancellations or rescheduling vendors.

6. Have a First Look

Tropical Frame Save the Date

Design: Becky Nimoy Stationery

Announcement inspiration: Tropical Frame Save the Date

Another great eloping idea that will make the event memorable is to do a first look. A first look is the moment you see your spouse for the very first time on your special day. It’s a great moment for elopement photographers to capture as it’s usually full of emotion and awe. Common to traditional weddings, you can have a first look at your elopement wedding too. Get ready separately on the big day. Don your wedding dress or suit and take separate transportation to the elopement location, or get ready at the location in a secret spot. Plan a time and location so you can meet for the first look moment.

7. Go Hiking

Eloping ideas: Mountain Nuptials Invitation

Design: Robinson Creative House (photo courtesy of Julia Kinnunnen Photography)

Announcement inspiration: Mountain Nuptials Invitation

Another way to celebrate your wedding day and elopement is by doing an activity you both enjoy. Hiking is one way to elope with stunning views as a backdrop and by getting active. For this eloping idea, you can choose the first trail you ever hiked together, a favorite mountaintop, or a new trail you’ve talked about trying. Whatever you choose, you get to say “I do” at the summit with your best friend. Bring along a friend or witness who can snap some wedding photos to share in your announcement.

8. Find a Stunning Backdrop

Eloping ideas: Mountain Retreat Invitation

Design: Becky Nimoy Stationery

Announcement inspiration: Mountain Retreat Invitation

To make your elopement day special, scout out locations for a gorgeous view. You can look for ocean views at sunset or celebrate your love with a sunrise hike to a peak overlooking your favorite city or valley. Turn it into a road trip or destination elopement by visiting stunning landscapes including Sedona, Yosemite Valley, or Whistler.

9. Have a Picnic 

Eloping ideas: Forget me not Romance Save the Date

Design: Claudia Owen

Announcement inspiration: Forget Me Not Romance Save the Date

Celebrate an intimate wedding with a picnic and vow exchange in your favorite park or meadow. You can set out wine bottles with long candles to set the mood and share your favorite dishes. You can even create a natural wedding ceremony arch by planning the picnic and wedding underneath the boughs of a pine or oak tree. After the nuptials, you can dig into the wedding cake.

Have a Magical Day Your Way 

If planning a traditional wedding isn’t your thing, think about having an elopement ceremony instead. These small weddings are a great way to keep the focus on your love story without getting lost in the details of a complicated event. With these small wedding ideas and eloping ideas, you’re sure to have the perfect experience.

However you choose to celebrate, wedding planning and elopement planning doesn’t have to be stressful. Browse more online wedding invitations and marriage announcements on Greenvelope to let friends and family know about your nuptials. All of our stationery is digital so sending it is easier than ever. No running to the post office, dealing with postage, or tracking down responses. Just a few clicks and everyone will know about your wedding — whether you chose to elope incognito or are inviting them to the big day.