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Now more than ever, couples are getting creative when it comes to saying “I do,” whether it's with a city hall ceremony or a small backyard celebration. Another special, intimate way to celebrate your love? By taking advantage of the elopement packages many hotels and wedding venues offer.
But elopement packages have always been a fabulous, jetsetter-approved way to tie the knot, with wanderlusters opting to elope in far-flung locations in lieu of dealing with all the exasperations and expenses that planning a traditional wedding often bring. So, what are the best elopement packages, you ask? Here’s a comprehensive list we put together.
The 9 Best Elopement Packages of 2020
- The Resort at Paws Up: Best Overall
- Ventana Big Sur: Best Luxury Venue
- Wild Dunes: Best Beach Venue
- Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia: Best Desert Venue
- The Cedars Ranch: Best Ranch Venue
- Red Mountain Resort: Best Unique Offerings
- French Quarter Wedding Chapel: Best City Venue
- Inn at Perry Cabin: Best East Coast Venue
- The William Vale: Best Overnight Experience
The Resort at Paws Up: Best Overall
Let your love reach new heights with mountainside nuptials in Greenough, Montana. There, you’ll find The Resort at Paws Up. With more than 37,000 acres of wilderness framed by a sprawling mountain range, it’s trademarked as having all the adventure of a national park, with added, exclusive retreats and top-notch service.
From tricked-out tree houses and glamping tents to secluded cabins, the accommodations here are private and decadent. And, with activities like hiking (there are more than 100 miles of trails on the property), horseback riding, stargazing, white water rafting, snowmobiling, and even helicopter tours, guests can take advantage of the lush landscape—which also makes for a beautiful backdrop for an elopement.
Clocking in at about $10,300, the resort’s “Montana-Style Elopement Package” allows you to wed in the wilderness, beside a river’s lapping waters, or in one of the property’s private indoor rooms. Included is a ceremony, wildflower bouquet(s) and/or boutonnière(s), a wedding cake, a private dinner complete with champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries, and a relaxing couples spa treatment.
You’ll also get to—literally—ride off into the sunset with a romantic horseback or carriage ride, and spend four nights in a luxury cabin or glamping tent. An elopement and mini-moon in one? Where do we sign up?
Ventana Big Sur: Best Luxury Venue
With oceanside cliffs, towering trees, and gorgeous vistas, breathtaking Big Sur makes for a dreamy destination to say your vows. Off the winding roads of Highway 1 lies the sprawling Ventana Big Sur, a luxury resort that hosts suites, a spa, restaurant, glamping, and weddings.
Ventana’s “Micro Wedding” package is fit for elopements and intimate gatherings for up to 30 guests, and pretty much has it all (and then some). Included is a one-hour ceremony overlooking the Pacific coast, ceremony refreshments, a private three-course plated dinner on a glass-enclosed terrace, linens and china, banquet tables and chairs, a wedding cake, and three hours' worth of house wines and beverages.
Plus, the entire experience will be expertly executed by the property’s professional concierge team, meaning you can forget about absolutely everything with the exception of your vows. Of course, such oceanside opulence comes with a price tag to match: Ventana’s “Micro Wedding” package clocks in at about $20,000. But it still costs less than the average traditional wedding, may we remind you.
Wild Dunes: Best Beach Venue
If it’s a seaside ceremony that you’ve been dreaming of, Wild Dunes in Isle of Palms, South Carolina, has two stellar (and sandy) possibilities for your elopement.
This relaxed beach resort has an equally as easy-going elopement package for a nautical, nuptial celebration. For about $2,500, couples can exchange vows with their toes in the sand at a beach ceremony with music, chairs, and bridal bouquet(s) and/or boutonnières all included. You can even invite up to eight guests at an additional $50 per person.
Alternatively, if you have the means to splurge a little, we’re also fans of the property’s micro-wedding package. For about $8,750, couples and/or up-to 20 guests will experience a beach ceremony with all the trimmings, including ceremony coordination and setup, music, a three-course plated dinner, champagne toast, up to five reception floral arrangements, a tiered wedding cake, and a two-hour open bar.
Newlyweds will also score a complimentary suite upgrade, in-room sparkling wine, and chocolate-covered strawberries to celebrate their wedding night. Consider us sold.
Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia: Best Desert Venue
In sunshine-filled Arizona is the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia: a five-star resort that offers weddings and elopements to match. The property sprawls across a palm-tree-dotted desert landscape and is outfitted in a Mediterranean aesthetic that’ll have you convinced you’ve been whisked away to another continent. It’s as close as you’ll come to an international destination wedding without a passport.
The Omni Scottsdale offers an “Enchanting Elopement Package” that touts everything a couple needs to celebrate in swanky, sunny style. With an outdoor ceremony, a two-hour hors d’oeuvres reception for up to 25 guests (if you fancy inviting any), wedding cake, sparkling wine and sangria, staffing, and chairs, linens, and tables all covered, all you have to do is say “I do.” After tying the knot, you can retire to your wedding night resort accommodations, which are also included in the elopement package’s price tag of roughly $3,750.
Consider celebrating your newly minted married status all weekend long by adding the resort's “Wedding Weekend Experience” to your itinerary. You can bask in that newlywed glow with a pair of 50-minute massages, use of a poolside cabana, and snag a roughly $100 food and beverage credit. Did we mention the Spanish-inspired menu is to die for?
The Cedars Ranch: Best Ranch Venue
If you prefer the sound of nature calling and birds singing to traditional wedding bells ringing, consider The Cedars Ranch in Wimberley Texas. Just 45 minutes southwest of Austin, this event space is just like stepping into a scene straight out of The Notebook, with its acres of oak and cedar trees, dripping with vines.
You can share your first wedded kiss beneath the green leaves, or within the property’s indoor wedding space that boasts beautiful exposed wooden beams. But our favorite feature of The Cedars Ranch has to be its luxury eco yurt. This freestanding, in-nature retreat has everything you need for a luxurious glamping experience (there’s even a full bathtub and kitchen inside) and a uniquely romantic wedding night.
And The Cedars Ranch’s elopement package includes all of the trimmings. Couples can have their ceremony in their location of choice, get ready in a yurt bridal suite, and use the in-house furniture and bistro lighting, as well as the property’s many perks such as the cozy firepit. Oh, and you get a complimentary one-night honeymoon stay in that lavish yurt.
All of that has to cost a bundle right? Nope. This elopement package clocks in at roughly $2,900.
Red Mountain Resort: Best Unique Offerings
Adventure, stunning landscapes, and a uniquely spiritual elopement experience awaits within the red rocks and canyons of Utah at the Red Mountain Resort. In addition to plenty of peaceful suites and villas, this luxury resort boasts wellness-focused features like exhilarating hiking, workshops that include pottery and meditation, spa services, and rejuvenating retreats.
Similar to its other hotel offerings, the elopement package at Red Mountain Resort focuses on the mind, body, and spirit. For about $500, couples can have a private ceremony with a provided officiant and receive bridal bouquet(s) and/or boutonnières.
Of course, you can go further than just the bridal basics here: There are plenty of other wedding details you can add à la carte, such as photography, a wedding cake, dinner, and even an Ayni Despacho Ceremony (a tradition of the Andes mountain region that offers prayers and thanks to nature and the universe).
For adventurous couples searching for an out-of-box, spiritual elopement experience, you’ve found it.
French Quarter Wedding Chapel: Best City Venue
Nestled in the historical French Quarter of New Orleans, you’ll find the French Quarter Wedding Chapel. Here, weddings are pretty much on-demand. It’s operational a full 24/7, allowing you to book your ceremony on the fly.
The venue itself has all the vibes of a lush, jazz nightclub. Dripping with chandeliers, illuminated by Tiffany-style lamps, and glittering with stained glass, the brick walls of the chapel hold space for up to roughly 50 guests. If you had your heart set on saying “I do” in an outdoor location around the French Quarter though, the wedding coordinators here can make it happen.
Among the various intimate wedding package offerings (yes, there’s more than just one), is the classic elopement package that’ll allow you and your partner to laissez les bons temps rouler. It offers an hour-long ceremony in the chapel, an officiant, a photographer, florals, cake, champagne, and even a violinist. The standout here, though, is the romantic carriage ride that newlyweds can take around the French Quarter after tying the knot.
Plus, it has a budget-friendly price tag of about $1,700. Eloping has never been easier in The Big Easy.
Inn at Perry Cabin: Best East Coast Venue
You may recognize this Maryland seaside venue from the 2005 film Wedding Crashers. Now, it is the perfect waterfront resort for a quintessential East Coast nuptials.
Riddle with classic American charm, the venue sits along Chesapeake Bay in St. Michaels, Maryland and boasts 25 acres of waterfront lawns and gardens. Our favorite elopement package doesn't occur on land however, but at sea. Set sail on the Inn’s 55-foot luxury Hinckley yacht The Five Star while friends and family watch from vintage pristine sailboats as you say "I do." During the ceremony, couples will literally tie the knot—a wedding tradition at the Inn—to symbolize the start of a new life together.
Of course, the venue offers options for couples who prefer to say on land throughout the big day. After, newlyweds are invited to an intimate reception at the property's new secluded venue with waterfront views, romantic lighting and a fresh sea-to-table meal.
Another bonus? Choosing to elope here means you won't have to leave for your honeymoon. Relax at the spa, kayak in the Bay or just enjoy your time inside the luxury guest suites. What's not to like?
The William Vale: Best Overnight Experience
In New York, few experiences beat The William Vale hotel. Located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn the hotel recently launched "The Guestlist" package to help couples celebrate special moments—a.k.a. weddings!
Starting at $6,000, you'll stay in the venue's luxury penthouse suite, Vale Garden Residence. The two-story duplex features private outdoor patios, exquisite art and one-of-a-kind views. Invite up to 15 of your closest friends and family to witness a wedding ceremony on the top floor with the New York skyline as your backdrop. The package also includes catering from NoHo Hospitality and a two-person overnight stay.
How We Chose the Best Elopement Packages
For the purposes of this list, we narrowed our search to the best elopement packages offered specifically by venues. And while there are of course elopement packages offered in gorgeous locations all over the world, we limited our list to the continental United States. Then, we scoured reviews and recommendations from brides and grooms like you to get insider, first-person insight. We also considered factors such as affordability (we wanted these to be suitable for a wide range of budgets) and the venues’ unique offerings (they should include more than just the bridal basics) to bring you the best elopement packages that we would personally say “I do” to.
For our best overall pick, we chose The Resort at Paws Up for its gorgeous and romantic wilderness setting and overall value. The French Quarter Wedding Chapel was our top pick for a city venue because it was budget-friendly, captured the essence of New Orleans, and allowed the bride and groom to have a small gathering if they so desired. The Red Mountain Resort stood out as the most unique option because couples could involve a spiritual element to their nuptials.
What Are Elopement Packages?
Elopement packages are your one-stop-shop for tying the knot. Most often offered by wedding venues and hotels, they include everything you need for an intimate wedding for just you and your spouse, along with a witness or two, or a small handful of friends and family members. Highlights may include an elopement ceremony with a provided officiant, accommodations for the newlyweds, photography, and a bouquet (although these details vary from location to location).
Some wedding planners offer elopement options too, taking charge planning every last detail, such as securing a space and officiant—just like you’d expect them to do for a classic big bash. Basically, elopement packages make this whole wedding planning thing a total breeze, so all you need to say “I do” are some cool clothes and the love of your life.
Who Should Get an Elopement Package?
Elopement packages appeal to jetsetting couples, as well as those who would rather forgo the stress and expense that planning a traditional wedding brings.
Ultimately though, elopement packages are tailor-made for couples who are in search of a more intimate way to tie the knot, whether due to pandemic-related safety regulations or just because you never really wanted all of your second and third cousins flashing their iPhones as you’re saying your vows—your wedding is about you and your spouse, after all,
How Much Do Elopement Packages Cost?
Cost varies greatly from location to location, but the grand total is often far less than the price tag of your average, more traditional wedding. For reference, the options that made the cut on our list of the best elopement packages range between roughly $500 and $20,000.