my journal

a place for inspiration

Kennidy Hassell

October 3, 2022

If you’re planning to elope in the winter, you’re probably wondering where you should even begin when it comes to choosing a location.

You’ve got the ring and now it’s time to plan the big day! You’ve already agreed on an elopement but now comes the question… what time of year? And where? Well, this might come as a shock but… winter actually can be a great option for your elopement. Now, you’re probably sitting there thinking I’m crazy for suggesting this, but I promise there are so many benefits to eloping in the winter time!

As a destination videographer I’ve captured weddings and elopements in all of the seasons and in my personal opinion, winter is the most beautiful time to get married. Especially if you choose one of these locations; I seriously consider these to be some of the best winter elopement destinations! 

Why You Should Plan A Winter Elopement

It’s More Cost Effective (Usually)

Planning a wedding can be stressful. Especially when you see the bill start to add up! The truth is there are a lot of details that come with a pretty high price tag in the wedding industry. But, there are ways to maneuver around this to create the wedding of your dreams within your budget. Travel in the winter-time isn’t nearly as popular as it is during the summer months. Use this to your advantage! With a winter elopement you can go to your dream location and not worry about those crazy hotel and airline fees. In fact, lots of vendors and venues offer “off-season” discounts simply because they aren’t getting as much business this time of year! 

Less Crowds

Beach weddings in Mexico sound like paradise until you find yourself accompanied on that beach by hundreds of people you don’t know. By eloping in the winter you are less-likely to have those extensive crowds. You’ll be able to gain more privacy by choosing a season when people really aren’t venturing into the outdoors as much. 

Peak Weather In The Winter

Have you noticed how a lot of people flock to the south for the winter? Well, they have good reason to! The weather is seriously perfect. Not too hot, not too cold, just right. If you’re trying to escape the cold but don’t want to be sweating on your wedding day, a winter elopement may just be perfect for you.

Slow Season = More Options!

As I mentioned, for many wedding vendors and venues the winter time is typically a bit more of a slow season. So, use that to your advantage as well! You’re more likely to get your first choice on photographers, videographers, florists and more if you’re picking a wedding date during a slower time of year. This not only means getting your dream vendors but it also means less stress!

Warm Places To Elope In The Winter In The US

For some of the US winter is an ugly and cold time of year, but not every inch of the country is that way. In fact… you don’t even need to stay state-side! You’re going to be guaranteed the best weather out west which is why I’ve chosen these four locations as my favorite warm locations to elope in the winter here in the US.

Kauai, Hawaii

Like I said, why stay state-side? Venture out to Hawaii and enjoy your elopement in actual paradise. While any island on Hawaii would be a great option there is something incredibly magical about Kauai. You can expect beautiful weather (like a comfortable 70 degrees) and beautiful scenery. Kauai isn’t as developed as The Big Island so you’ll have more natural locations to use as the backdrop to your location. Plus, you’ll be able to enjoy some amazing food!! Hawaii does have the most rainy in January.

Joshua Tree National Park, California

There’s no place quite like the desert which is why my other top locations are in desert-environments. Joshua Tree National Park is perfect for a winter elopement because it’s not only warm but an amazing escape from the real world. Due to its popularity Joshua Tree has so many unique Airbnb’s that can provide such a place to elope! Plus, the way the stars look at night out there… talk about romantic!

Arches National Park, Utah

Arches National Park in Utah is for those who are looking for a little adventure in their winter elopement. Take a breathtaking hike through the bright red-clay mountains and admire your surroundings. Plus… the park kind of has a built in wedding arch for you, it’s called Arches National Park for a reason! Win, Win!

Sedona, Arizona

If you’re not wanting to travel all the way out to the desert or to the islands of Hawaii, Sedona can offer you all the perks while still feeling like home. Sedona offers many locations for you to elope either at a venue or out in nature. Plus, you can stay in a super cute hotel and enjoy the sights Sedona has to offer without feeling completely off the grid.

Warm International Places To Elope In The Winter

Want to go all out? Let’s go international! Get your passport ready because these locations are seriously to-die-for during a US winter.

Thailand

Now, Thailand doesn’t ever really get cold per say but there is a time of year when it is the almost perfect temperature. Thailand is known for its heat and humidity but December through February you can expect things to cool down and dry out for a little bit. Thailand has so much to offer from jungles, beaches, amazing activities and delicious food, it sounds like the perfect winter destination location to me!

Mexico

If the trip to Thailand is a little too far, consider our neighbor, Mexico! The beachfront resorts have so much to offer and you could even extend your stay for a while and enjoy the warmth! Mexico is already a go-to vacation location for many Americans so why not choose it as your winter elopement location? There are so many all-inclusive elopement options that can make planning easy and fun! Just hop on the plane and get ready to say “I Do!”

New Zealand

New Zealand’s summer actually falls at the time of the US winter so you can escape the snow and enjoy summer all over again! The perfect temperature is just a (kind of long but absolutely worth it) plane ride away. Another perk? New Zealand is BEAUTIFUL. Elope cliff-side or in the city, whatever your style is New Zealand absolutely has it. Plus, who doesn’t love those accents?!

Have I convinced you yet? Winter elopements can be so amazing and I absolutely am down to travel to wherever it is that you choose. As a videographer, the location is so important but my couples being in love with their elopement destination is just as important! Being somewhere that makes you feel at ease is everything. There’s no need to stress over being too cold or too hot. Find the location that feels like you and fits your expectations. I promise, it’s out there! Don’t see it on my list? Let me know where you would choose to elope in the winter months! 

The Best Winter Elopement Destinations