25+ Fun Ideas for How To Make Your Elopement Special & Magical

When couples come to us wanting to elope, the biggest concern they have is how to make their elopement special out of a fear that they may regret eloping. They also often wonder what to do on their elopement day. We here at Celebrate Again exist to help you realize that eloping is a celebration more magical than you could ever imagine because the possibilities are almost limitless. This is why we’re so excited to bring you this list of 25+ fun ideas for how to make your elopement special and magical!

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Couple sitting my edge of a lake embracing their unique and special elopement day in the Colorado mountains

Most couples eloping only think about exchanging vows and maybe dinner after, but what if your elopement wedding day was more about creating the most epic day of your marriage and less about the formalities of getting married? What if the day or even the days surrounding your ceremony were full of all your favorite things, having the time of your life, setting the tone for the beginning of your marriage together? 

I’m not going to lie here, I wish my husband and I would have done this a decade ago. Hey, Emmy here, the CEO behind Celebrate Again. I believe that wedding days should be about couples, their stories and loves, not just saying, “I do” and signing a marriage license, but about setting the tone for the rest of your lives together. So, why not start off with an epic adventure? Wondering what else you could do? Keep reading–I’m so excited to share ALL the ideas I have for you two!

Go on Adventures

Eloping couples like yourself seem to be living life a bit differently, wanting to really experience the most out of life which is why we encourage all of our couples to think about some of their bucket lists and tackle a few items there to celebrate their wedding day!

Ever wanted to hot air balloon ride? Why not exchange your vows floating in the sky?

Ever wanted to go snowmobiling through the backcountry of a mountainous landscape? Find a secluded spot to dive into another world exploring someplace you may never have known existed.

Hike through a forest or stunning trail. Maybe one that ends with a beach view and waterfall?

Visit a stunning vista that will make your jaw drop.

For more ideas visit our elopement timeline activities suggestions!

Pro tip: Take some time together to create an ultimate bucket list together and see where it may lead you. Save your bucket list for unique was to celebrate your anniversary or for your anniversary trip in the future!

Go for a Dip

couple swimming on their elopement day in Maui
couple swimming on their elopement day in Maui making their elopement special

Water or mountains, it’s always a topic of conversation around here. Many couples struggle to decide between the two: a beach location for their elopement, or a mountain location (Which is why we love serving Colorado, Oregon and Hawaii, where either of these are options are accessible within the same day!) But what if you enjoyed some swimming on your wedding day, hitting up a hot spring or rowing out to a gorgeous view, or just getting on the water?

Pro tip: Don’t want to get wet on your wedding day? Who said your wedding had to be a one-day thing? We love to Celebrate Again around here so why not make your elopement also your honeymoon and continue your adventures the day before or after!

Create a Playlist

Considering all your five senses on your wedding day experience can truly make it magical. Take some time to create a playlist for your day that you can return to as you look back on the day. Because isn’t most music we love tied to an amazing memory we have listening to it? Most couples only think about music for a first dance, but since you’re doing things differently, why not make it more epic by making the whole day full of music you love?

Pro tip: Create a Spotify playlist, download it ahead of time in case your on adventures include no cell service, and make sure to bring a charger or portable speaker!

Include Cultural Traditions

While you may be breaking the cultural norm, that doesn’t mean you can’t borrow traditions you particularly love to craft a day that’s uniquely you. Are you drawn to Turkish culture? Create a Sofreh Aghd (a gathering of items that represent an element of the couple’s new life and marriage together which could include items from family or friends too). Consider planting a time capsule together, literally tying the knot, or practice handfasting, a tradition from the Scottish. Dive into any heritage you want to find traditions that fit you.

Craft a Unique Ceremony

For more unique ceremony ideas check out our elopement timeline with elopement ceremony ideas.

Include traditions from different cultures or make your ceremony as special as you want it!

Travel Some Place Unique

While you certainly can get married at home or in your home state, it is also crazy fun to travel someplace unique to make your elopement special. We particularly love these locations in the U.S. because of their unique landscapes that are accessible by most people, especially if you’ve got a small crew eloping with you.

Oregon

couple on a cliff edge with the mountains and beach behind them

You can skip Iceland and just come here instead. Oregon has breathtaking waterfalls, mountainous beaches like the famous cannon beach, alpine lakes, rivers, mountains, green forests, and so much more.

Colorado

couple in Colorado on top of a moutain near an alpine lake with stunning views all around them

Known for its winter wonderland and world-renowned skiing (especially in Telluride), Colorado also has alpine lakes, sweeping mountain views like Rocky Mountain National Park, and spots like Buena Vista, a true hidden gem with its own modest waterfalls. Check out our best places to elope in Colorado guide for some ideas!

New Mexico

couple eloping in New Mexico exploring volcanos

The forgotten state by most Americans who think Texas and Arizona touch. It’s called the Land of Enchantment for a reason with its stunning white sands, alpine lakes (if you know where to look), Sandia Mountains in Albuquerque, dormant volcanos (see this desert elopement), ancient ruins, and uncrowded desert vibes. It’s one very unique place to go, full of rich history too.

For more check out our best places to elope guide!

Practice Yoga or Meditate

couple holding hands doing yoga for self care as female places hand on her heart while they are on the beach

Do you practice yoga or meditate daily? Why not include your sacred practices into your wedding day experience? And get this friend, I’m a yoga teacher too. So if you’re looking for a custom-made yoga class to connect you two on your elopement wedding day I can do just that for you! Learn more about our Celebrate Again yoga to get a taste!

Read Letters from Loved Ones

a letter from a loved one on an elopement day helping a couple make their elopement special

If your family or bestie cannot attend, have them write you a handwritten letter you open on your wedding day. Make sure to have your photographer document you opening your letters so they can see your reactions–I’m sure they’ll appreciate being able to see your reaction later!

Not close to anyone who’s not already coming? Write each other a letter. Most vows are promises, but what if you started your day reading a letter to your beloved before you saw each other in person? Not sure what to write? Check out our love quotes for her guide to help you get started!

Have A First Look

Include first looks with your partner seeing each other for the first time after you’ve gotten ready separately or include a first look with a beloved parent. Father-daughter first looks are always so adorable!

Get Ready Together

If you don’t want to do a first look together, consider helping each other get ready, zipping up each other’s dresses or buttons. It can be a really sweet intimate time!

Invite Someone You Love

bride and her best friends at her elopement having them come to make her elopement feel special

Including a few special people is one of the biggest pieces of advice I get from couples who eloped in a more old fashioned way, such as at a courthouse with only a judge and one witness present. In many places, you’ll need at least two witnesses, so why not include two close friends, family, or a small crew to celebrate your beautiful day. Why not also include your pups?

Pro tip: Did you know in the state of Colorado your dogs can be your witnesses and sign your marriage license with their paw prints? Say what?! Yep, you don’t need witnesses in Colorado you can self solemnize (aka no officiant or witnesses needed) so your dogs can sign just for fun! Check out our How To Elope In Colorado guide for more info!

Create a Custom Scent

While we’re getting sound covered with creating a playlist, we cannot forget that sense of smell, which could be filled with the amazing natural smells of the day and rain, especially if you decided to elope in Oregon, but you could also wear a special scent. While I’ll be the first to advocate for being all-natural and non-toxic when it comes to colognes or perfumes, getting a special blend of essential oils made just for your wedding day, diffusing while you drive or get ready could create something magical for your experience. So next time you go to celebrate your anniversary, you could pull out your special scent and remember the day more vividly!
essential oil blends by Etsy Artist HowerSageApothecary
essential oil blends by Etsy Artist HowerSageApothecary

Start a Tradition

Starting your own tradition is a great way to give your elopement a  special touch. At some point on your wedding day, start a tradition of your own. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Maybe create a jar that every year you’ll add one thing to it that symbolized your year together. Collecting something sustainable on your wedding day like a rock.

Leave No Trace Warning: Don’t pick wildflowers on your wedding day unless you are on your own private property. Most take decades to grow back.

  • Take a photo holding your parent’s wedding photo or your baby picture, then the next year hold your wedding day photo and keep adding on each year.
  • Start an adventure journal together. Each year add a photo from the year along with an expert. Yep, you can totally create your own “Up” adventure book.
couple's leather bound adventure book that is helping them start a tradition and making their elopement day special

Find Your Adventure Book: We love these adventure books on Etsy! This Leather bound book or this like the movie “Up”

Our adventure book by etsy artist Janneyleather
Our adventure book by etsy artist Janneyleather
Our adventure book by etsy artist LiveonLoveStudio
Our adventure book by etsy artist LiveonLoveStudio

Create a Secert Handshake

I know this sounds SO elementary but how fun would it be during your ceremony to include a secret handshake.

Ok ok, I know maybe I watched “The Parent Trap” a few too many times growing up, but I think partners are also best friends, and best friends should have their own secret handshake.

Find a Special Beverage

couple enjoying a nice glass of wine to make their elopement feel special

Do you love wine, scotch, beer, or even sparkling water? Maybe you could splurge a little to buy your favorite, try that brand you’ve had your eye on but just couldn’t justify the price before, and let it be a part of making your elopement special.

Leave No Trace Pro Tip: We know how big those champagne popping photos are, so please be mindful of leaving champagne on trails or outdoors were it can attract wild life to the trails and endanger everyone. Instead opt for spraying carbonated water and drink your champagne.

Include Meals

Leave No Trace Pro Tip: We know how big those champagne popping photos are, so please be mindful of leaving champagne on trails or outdoors were it can attract wild life to the trails and endanger everyone. Instead opt for spraying carbonated water and drink your champagne.

Eat Dessert

Whatever dessert you love, include it on your elopement wedding day: cupcakes, ice cream, cookies, pie, brownies, pineapple. Enjoy indulging your favorite treats, because why not?

P.S. Some of these photos are recipes over on our yoga site if you have a hankering. Click the photo to get the recipe.

Storytime: My husband and I personally didn’t like cake, so we had cookies at our wedding, to which I’m ashamed to say no one ate because we didn’t “cut the cookies.” So after our wedding I then proceeded to eat 6 gallon-sized bags of cookies over the next three months single-handedly. Hi, my name is Emmy and I’ve had a cookie problem since age 3. 😉

I even hear out in Portland, Oregon there is a new restaurant in town called The Yard (originally from Alabama) that makes milkshakes with brownies on top. Talk about a special treat for your elopement day!

Decorate Your Spaces

While you may not want to decorate the beautiful outdoor location you chose to elope at, you may want to decorate where you have a mini dinner or reception after with family or friends. Include a centerpiece from a florist, or go a little crazy with balloons, streamers, twinkle lights, or laser star lights.

You could even include “just married” tags hanging off a hiking backpack, your car, or any other fun places!

We love this wood sign from this Etsy artist!
Just married wood sign by Etsy artist RandADesignCompany
Just married wood sign by Etsy artist RandADesignCompany

Want to decorate but not sure where to start? Consider hiring a stylist to help you create a unique picnic or reception space just for the two of you or your small crew!

Include Unique Elopement Day Activities

Do you love backyard movies? Why not rent a projector and screen your favorite movie as a part of your reception.

  • Do you love picnics? Why not picnic for lunch or dinner on your elopement day? Bring in some flowers, your favorite books, pillows, and make it magical!
  • Buy some yard games and play with your family and friends.
  • Start a fire and roast some s’mores. Maybe bring your guitar to play and sing along or hire a local musician to serenade you!
  • Visit a local food truck for one of your meals.
  • Commission a local artist to paint or draw a scene from your day.
  • Go on a tandem bike ride.
  • Ride the train or bus in your wedding clothes, enjoy all the congratulations.
  • Play with nature confetti, grabbing dried leaves and throwing them up in the air (biodegradable confetti is important, especially to leave no trace)
  • Ditch your phones and bring a disposable camera to document the day from your own point of view as well as hiring a professional.
  • Play your favorite board game.

Ask your local vendors about unique things to do in the area that you could include on your wedding day.

Pro tip: All of our couples get handpicked activity recommendations from us from our years of exploring and living in all the places we serve!

Have A First Dance

But instead of having to be the center of attention in a large crowd, enjoy dancing under the stars or in the comfort of your hotel or romantic stay! Don’t forget a Bluetooth speaker and portable charger to make it feel more special! Downloading your song ahead of time can also make sure you can play your song if you decide to dance in the middle of nowhere adventuring!

Chill Out

The best thing my husband and I do anytime we go on a trip just the two of us is to plan for some good old fashioned chill time. While having a day packed full of adventures is crazy fun, it goes by so fast. While it’s hard to want to slow down on your wedding day, remember taking time to soak it all up will make it that much better.

couple star gazing on their elopement day to make it special

Here are some chill ideas for your elopement:

  • Enjoy some hammock time together
  • Take a mid-day nap (if you need help falling asleep try my free yoga Nidra for sleep guide to help you drift off fast!)
  • Read your favorite books
  • Read through our romantic love quotes list
  • Soak up the scenery
  • Sit by a fire
  • Sit on a patio or deck
  • Get in a hot tub or hot spring
  • Take a bubble bath together
  • Hangout in bed surrounded by candles or flower petals
  • Get a couples massage
  • Do a puzzle together
  • Cook together
  • Write down your favorite moments from the day together
  • Stargaze
  • Practice yoga or meditation

Plan A Surprise

male playing guitar to make female feel special on elopement day
Plan out a surprise for your partner! Think about something they absolutely love and find a way to surprise them with it on the wedding day.
  • Do you love to sing? Write or sing them a song!
  • Do they have something they are collecting a lot of? Gift them with something on your wedding day.
  • Do they have a favorite candy? Write them a candy note card using the candy as the words to write a silly phrase. Just search candy cards for a list of ideas!
  • Write them sticky notes and have them left everywhere after they got to sleep so they can see them when they get up to get ready.

Let your creativity run wild to make the day extra special for your beloved.

Ride in Style

Consider renting a fun car to get to different locations. Rent a jeep for more adventures or a convertible or even hire a private limousine. Heck, you could literally ride a horse if you love horses too! Or consider hiring a private charter to take you to a remote location you can only get to buy a private flight, hot hair, or prop plane will do!

Pro tip: We are excited to partner with Native Jeeps to help our Colorado couples arrive at remote locations outside of Idaho Springs where they’ll guide you and you get to drive your own 4×4 jeep on trails that fit your comfortability levels!

Wear Fabulous Clothes

couple wearing nice wedding clothes while outside in the snow

Since you’re not splurging on guest gifts or catering for 400 why not feel fabulous in what you wear or include two outfits! We have a great elopement wedding dress guide that can help you navigate what to wear!

Consider what activities you may be doing throughout the day. If you’re hiking or adventuring consider what type of dress you can move well in or if you’re wanting to do that in another part of the day consider two outfits. You could even have a wedding day swimsuit for when you get in that hot spring or hot tub later!

Wear Shoes You Love

couple wearing shoes they love to make elopement special
While you should totally grab those wedding shoes you love you also need to remember the activities you want to do too.
Pro tip: Don’t forget your shoes! We love Tom shoes too because they’re sustainable and give back to those in need. Make sure to wear shoes appropriate for your activity. Throw those heels in your bag if you are hiking some. No one wants a twisted ankle from trying to get to someplace epic in high heels.

Stay Some Place Cool

Consider renting a really badass rental property for your elopement and crew. Check out our VRBO Colorado wedding venue guide for ideas in Colorado!

Many of our couples like to make their elopement special by turning their elopement into their honeymoon also and enjoying a luxury stay someplace!

Love all these ideas but not sure where to start? Check out our guides to help you get started!

Schedule Your Free Elopement Consult

We would adore coming alongside you to help you navigate all the rules, permits and locations around your wedding experience as your guides and photographers.

Brittany and Emmy, Colorado and oregon elopement photographers in a beautiful location

We believe that your wedding day is meant to be cherished as an experience and not just an event. We’d love to help guide you in crafting a wedding day experience that you’ll never forget. Learn more about hiring us as your Oregon elopement photographers,  Colorado elopement photographers or Albuquerque New Mexico elopement photographers!

NEED HELP PLANNING YOUR ELOPEMENT?

Free Elopement Wedding Checklist PDF Download

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Ready to make wedding planning easier? Download our free elopement checklist PDF!

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"elopement ideas 25 fun ideas for how to make your elopement special" couples standing on top of a mountain at sunset
"25 fun elopements ideas" two photos one of couple holding an adventure book and second of a couple swimming

Need some self care?

Here at Celebrate Again we’re on a mission to cultivate a lifestyle of celebration. But we know that first begins with ourselves. We must first care well for ourselves so we can show up with 110% for everything else in life.

Not sure where to start? Join Emmy as she uses the tools of yoga and meditation to help you along in your self love yoga, and self care journey.

Try out our Celebrate Again Yoga membership for free today!

COMMENTS

7 Responses

  1. Pingback: Is Eloping Selfish for Christians? How The Truth May Surprise You
  2. Pingback: Elopement Checklist PDF For Adventurous Hearts + Free Download!
  3. Pingback: How to Elope in Colorado: 5 Easy Joyful Steps | Celebrate Again
  4. Pingback: Should I Elope? Top 10 Daring Reasons You Should Elope
  5. Omg WOW so many fun elopement ideas to make the day special! I love all this useful information SO MUCH! And your photos are incredible!

  6. Pingback: 30+ Best Airbnb Wedding Venues in Oregon For a Unique Wedding
  7. Pingback: 4x4 Wedding Adventurous Jeep Wranger Wedding in Jaw Dropping Colorado | Celebrate Again

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About the Author

emmy on mountain to laughing
Hey, I’m Emmy, the main voice behind Celebrate Again. Here you’ll find ways to live the Celebrate Again lifestyle. I want to help you to embody the joy of life by learning to Celebrate Again in everything from the practice of intentional breath to taking on major life events. I believe your life should be full and be what you make it. Whether you’re joining me to plan your wedding, celebrate an anniversary, adventure around the USA, stay connected to your beloved, practice yoga or whip up a plant-based recipe, I’ve got you covered, friend.

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