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7 Ideas for an Adventure Elopement (That Aren’t Hiking)

 head due north

Adventure Elopement Ideas for Non-Hikers 

Usually, when couples think of an adventure elopement, their minds immediately flash to a grueling trail, an epic viewpoint, and a stunning backdrop for their elopement ceremony. 

These thoughts definitely aren’t bad–especially if hiking is your jam. But what comes as a surprise to most couples I talk with is that hiking isn’t the focal point of an adventure elopement–it’s the two people getting married

Yep, I said it–and I’ll say it louder for the people in the back, too. Adventure elopements are about two people getting married and their definition of adventure. 

You know what that means, right? If hiking isn’t your thing (but appreciating and exploring beautiful places is), an outdoor adventure elopement can 100% be the perfect route for you and your soon-to-be spouse! 

A couple embarks on their hiking trail during their epic hiking elopement in Colorado.

You’d be surprised how many couples think that they have to hike to adventure elope, have a meaningful day, and find some solace in nature. 


Trust me; this couldn’t be further from the truth. 


The amazing thing about adventuring is that there are endless definitions of what that means–and it’s totally up to you. 

Every adventure, just like every person’s reason for wanting to elope, is different. If you and your partner love to backpack, that counts as an adventure elopement. If you and your love are off-road people who love tackling dirt roads in a vehicle, adventure elopements are for you. If you’re simply someone who adores a gorgeous outdoor picnic where you can soak in the scenery of a beautiful place, then guess what? Adventure elopements are for you, too.

It’s like I always tell couples I work with–this is your elopement day. There are no rules, no hiking pre-reqs, and no must-travel distance in order to have an adventure elopement day. 

Your day means you get to choose your own adventure–and to me, that’s what makes adventure elopements so perfect to begin with. 

With full transparency, I’m happy to openly tell you that I totally understand why couples come to me thinking that hiking is a major part of adventure eloping. I’m a big fan of hiking elopements because, honestly, they’re amazing. 

A couple hikes with their packs up to a gorgeous elopement ceremony spot.


Hiking on your elopement day can take you to some incredible spots, help you find privacy in a beautiful place, and be a fun adventure for the two of you to experience together.

But if you two aren’t people who enjoy hiking, why the heck would you ever hike on a day meant to be the best day of your lives? 

Seriously–no shade to those who love hiking whatsoever. But if you and your partner just don’t have fun hiking, there’s absolutely no reason to include this on your wedding day. 

Take it from me, you can still get to those epic viewpoints, you can still experience a wild adventure, and you can still experience those intimate, private moments on your elopement day without ever turning down a hiking trailhead. 

If you’re struggling to look past elopement day hiking, that’s OK–I’ve got tons of great ideas to help get your creative juices flowing! And remember, these are just meant for inspiration–there are hundreds of other routes you and your partner can take on your elopement day. 


Take a 4×4 Vehicle Off-Road 

The biggest argument for hiking as the go-to adventure elopement activity is that it can get you to stunning, remote places that you’d never be able to get to otherwise. I won’t argue with that. Hiking on your own two feet can take you places you otherwise couldn’t see. 

But you know what else can make that happen? Off-roading. 

A 4×4 vehicle can take you down dusty forest roads, bumpy dirt trails, and even tough offroad lines to take you to places no one else would possibly be. The United States has an ever-expanding network of 4×4 roads–and Colorado has some of the absolute best (in my opinion). 

If hiking isn’t your thing, but you still want to find a remote, hard-to-get-to spot where you know you’ll be the only two people in a beautiful place, offroading is the perfect option. 

Want to know a great hack for this route if you’re not an experienced off-road driver (and have no interest in becoming one?) There are tons of amazing 4×4 guides out there for hire. They can tackle the driving on your elopement day (no matter where you want to go!), and you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride of your life. 

A couple sits in the back of their off-road vehicle, taking a break from their 4x4 wedding.

A bride and groom are shown in the rearview mirror of their 4x4 adventure vehicle wedding.


Drive Up to a Great Picnic Spot 

Adventure looks and feels different for everyone. Some folks love the thrill and adrenaline of tackling an epic hiking trail or bumping down a 4×4 road in an off-road vehicle. Other people love savoring each and every calm moment of a gorgeous sunrise, sipping their coffee calmly as they watch the alpenglow softly lift. 

Do you know what these two scenarios have in common? They’re both adventures. Do you know what else they have in common? They’re both great ways to get married.

Tell me–where is it written that your elopement adventure needs to be wild, unhinged, and dotted with adrenaline? If you and your partner are the kinds of people who love a slow morning, soaking in a beautiful view and taking in each moment while enjoying your favorite foods and beverages, why wouldn’t you do this on your elopement day? 

There are endless little spots all over Colorado (and the world, for that matter) where you can drive up, set up a great picnic, and enjoy your day your way. No hiking, offroading, or wildness required.   

(P.S. even if you do want something a little more thrill-seeking, adding in a picnic in an amazing spot is always a plus for any adventure elopement). 


Explore on a Canoe, Kayak, Paddleboard, or Raft  

Take things to the water! Maybe hiking isn’t your jam, but if watercraft exploration is, why wouldn’t you include this on your wedding day?

I can’t tell you how many couples have chosen to adventure on their wedding day in a canoe, kayak, paddleboard, or raft–all because it’s something they love doing together in their free time. 

Forget hiking up a mountain–raft down a gorgeous river, paddle to your favorite spots, or leisurely float in a breathtaking alpine lake.  

A bride and groom celebrate their elopement during their rafting elopement ceremony.

A couple explores the grand tetons in a kayak as part of their adventure elopement.


Bike Around Your Favorite Mountain Town 

Road bikes or mountain bikes–whatever you fancy, biking is a fabulous elopement day activity. You can cover all kinds of ground, avoid hiking, and bike yourself to amazing places–whether that’s through your favorite little mountain town or up a gorgeous mountain vista. 

Want to know a bonus of bikes on your elopement day? They make for amazing photos (but that’s just the photographer in me showing her true colors). 


Skiing, Snowboarding, Snowshoeing, & Beyond 

A lot of couples are under the impression that a big part of an adventure elopement is getting somewhere. But what if the thing you loved most didn’t require you to get there at all? 

If you and your partner adore the snow and can’t get enough of your favorite snow sports, a winter wedding at your favorite resort or snowy spot is a fabulous option. 

Skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing elopements are less about getting to your destination and more about enjoying the adventure while you’re in it. If you adore your snow sports, this is a must-consider for your elopement day adventure.  

A couple enjoys their snowboarding and skiing elopement at their favorite mountain resort.


Get a Bird’s Eye View on a Helicopter Tours

Do you really want some privacy in a remote location? Are you really eager to avoid hiking up to a stunning spot? Consider a helicopter tour the ultimate adventure elopement hack. 

If you and your partner choose to splurge on a helicopter tour, you’ll be able to seek so many more sights, check out tons of unique places, and never have to deal with the things you might not enjoy about hiking. 

A bird’s eye view of the world is incredible (and not to mention romantic!). Plus, your guide can likely drop you off in the perfect ceremony spot, allow you to explore around to your heart’s content, and then pick you back up–often to take you to another amazing spot to do it all over again. 


Horseback Riding in a Beautiful Area 

Maybe you don’t love the idea of hiking, but you do love the idea of covering some ground. Let’s say there’s a stunning spot out in the wilderness that’s the elopement ceremony location of your dreams. It’s a long hike, impossible to drive to, and a helicopter tour is out. 

Sounds like your dream spot is off-limits, right? Wrong! Tons of places–especially near national parks or bountiful outdoor recreation–offer horseback riding tours. Think about it–you and your partner could be traversing a gorgeous landscape on horseback on your way to the elopement destination of your dreams. Sounds pretty picturesque and adventurous, doesn’t it? 


Your Definition of Adventure is Up to You–Let’s Plan Your Dream Elopement 

At the end of the day, what matters the absolute most is that you and your partner are having the elopement of your dreams. 

Whether that includes hiking, driving, or simply soaking in quiet moments at your favorite lake, you deserve the day that makes you the happiest. 

If you’re ready to plan your elopement day (and capture it as authentically as possible), I’m your girl. Reach out to me ASAP to start chatting about the elopement day of your dreams. 


Join the Facebook Community, Mindful Elopements, filled with free resources, free videos, engaging conversations and questions, and other couples that are exactly like you, in the same place, trying to book an adventure elopement and intimate wedding photographer.



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Alex, Coastal Elopement

"We loved our experience having Marcela as our elopement day photographer.

What was even more special about our experience was her ability to set us at ease months before our day. Through constant communication leading up to, and during, the day we got eloped. Her personality is that, in just four days time, we felt as if we've known her for years. 

Ah, but you're wondering about her photos. We loved every thing about them especially the raw emotion captured in many of the shots."

Caitlin, Alpine Lake Elopement

"My husband and I have been trying to put into words how simply amazing working with Marcela was.

From the start we could tell she truly cared about us, our relationship, and our story. She asked us so many questions, valued what we wanted, and kept up with the ever changing plans that came along with planning a wedding.

She made us feel so comfortable, made us laugh till we cried, and captured our true wholesome love for each other."

"We loved every moment of the day she helped create. Marcela was the perfect photographer for our adventure elopement! She worked tirelessly to make our adventure into marriage happen after our first options were snowed in! Great Sand Dunes felt like the perfect unique place for two Floridians who met in the mountains.

She made us comfortable to be ourselves throughout the whole day while making her job look effortless and fun. Our cheeks hurt from smiling, laughing and a few tears.

Marcela captured every precious moment! Her photography is absolutely stunning every way! I highly recommend Marcela for your elopement or wedding!"

Lauren, Sand Dunes Elopement

Amy, Forest Elopement

"Instead of telling us how to pose or interact with each other, Marcela gave us prompts that seemed simple but made a huge difference.

She asked us to talk about our first date. We discussed the weirdest things we loved about each other (which made us laugh) and how we could fulfill each other’s love languages. Amy and I played games with each other and Marcela captured the energy that happened naturally between us.

I love this shoot because it perfectly captures the love we share. It’s incredible to see that love and admiration encapsulated in a photo! Thank you for this!"

Chris, Anniversary Session

"The photos we just got back from Marcela are giving me CHILLS!! They are absolutely stunning!!!

She did SO MUCH more than just photograph us — she created special moments that I’ll cherish forever. She encouraged Con & I to genuinely interact & share intimate moments together. She prompted us to tell each other things that we love about one other, ways that the other person inspires us, & how being together has positively changed us.

It was more than just a beach shoot. We ended up giving each other precious, heart melting encouragement & that makes these photos all the more treasured to me."

Andrea, Red Rocks Elopement

"We had a pre-meet with her before the big day which definitely helped me feel more relaxed going into the wedding day. She gave us great suggestions and things to think about to be ready with on the wedding. On the day of she showed up early to help scope out the venue. She was creative to try and pull extra joy into our photographs.

When I look at these photos I see more than just beautiful images. I feel the moments that Marcela helped us experience and the connection we had.

I can't thank Marcela enough! We will treasure these moments forever!"

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A couple holds each other close during their winter elopement in Breckenridge.


7 Ideas for an Adventure Elopement (That Aren’t Hiking)