Eloping allows you to solidify your love with your significant other from anywhere in the world. Whether you gather a small group of your friends or go by yourselves, exploring new places after you exchange your vows is an unforgettable way to say “I do.” A destination wedding combines the ceremony with the honeymoon so you get the best of both worlds at once.
Windstar Cruise goes to many romantic destinations around the world, so you can find the perfect backdrop for your elopement. Our small, intimate ships provide the ideal venue for a lowkey gathering by yourselves or with your closest loved ones. Learn more about the 16 best places to elope in Europe and beyond.
In This Article
- San Francisco, California
- New Zealand
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Moab, Utah
- Santorini, Greece
- Phuket, Thailand
- Bali, Indonesia
- Bora Bora, French Polynesia
- The Bahamas
- Elope With Your Special Someone on a Windstar Cruise
1. San Francisco, California
Consider an upscale courthouse wedding in San Francisco, California, on the United States’ West Coast. San Francisco City Hall features a beautiful Beaux Arts-style building with gilded architectural features, a stunning entrance, a grand marble and sandstone staircase and a rotunda. This picturesque location is a coveted elopement destination for couples everywhere.
Mendocino is another elopement location in the area. This seaside village, about three hours north of San Francisco, features awe-inspiring ocean views and New England-style Victorian homes, the perfect location for reciting your vows. The Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens has a wide variety of plants and flowers, canyons, a pine forest, wetlands and coastal bluffs. There are also wineries, beaches, redwoods and gourmet restaurants nearby.
2. New Zealand
The beautiful country of New Zealand features two distinct islands — the tropical North Island and the mountainous South Island. The choice depends on what weather you prefer to have as your backdrop. Either way, New Zealand is an excellent place for you to profess your love to one another and go on an adventurous vacation after you’ve tied the knot.
The North Island provides colorful, tropical landscapes, golden beaches and warmer climates. As the filming location of the “Lord of the Rings” series, you can find plenty of fantastical elements to explore during your elopement vacation. Plus, you can go dolphin watching at the Bay of Islands.
The South Island is the perfect elopement destination if you desire snow-capped rugged mountains, glaciers and more adventurous locations to get married. After your ceremony, consider going hiking or even bungee jumping to celebrate your marriage.
3. Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas may have a reputation as the place for a quick marriage after a night on the town, but it has beautiful locations to get married aside from the Strip, with outdoorsy activities, stunning views and top-notch dining options to match.
Besides the famous gambling sites and restaurants, there’s also a vast portion of desert in the state of Nevada, including natural springs, mountains and Aztec rock formations. The Valley of Fire features tens of thousands of acres of red sandstone mountains and limestone rock formations.
Consider a picturesque spot outdoors to tie the knot in Last Vegas.
The remote northern European island of Iceland is a world of its own, providing many stunning locations for a ceremony with your future spouse. Profess your love for one another amidst black sand beaches, iconic volcanoes, breathtaking waterfalls, glaciers and hot springs and rolling hills. There are plenty of places in Iceland to get married, including Church Mountain and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, where you can experience age-old glaciers and gorgeous views from mountaintops.
After you’ve shared your vows amid the fantastical scenery, enjoy a candlelit dinner for two with a menu of authentic, freshly caught seafood fare.
5. Moab, Utah
Moab, Utah, is a small city near a piece of desert land, Dead Horse Point State Park, known for its unique desert woodland, rock formations and deep canyons. There are also two other national parks in the area — Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park. After a hike filled with the best views of massive rock formations and arches, make your love for one another official in a ceremony like no other.
If you’re an adventurous, active couple, spend the time after your wedding rock climbing, mountain biking or river rafting. Take lots of pictures to remember your special day in this idyllic location.
6. Santorini, Greece
Santorini is famous for its picture-perfect sunsets, blue-domed churches, sapphire sea, whitewashed homes and ancient volcanic crater, making it an excellent place to elope. Notable figures from far and wide frequent this location, so you’ll feel like royalty as you commit to your loved one in an intimate ceremony.
As one of the most visited islands in Greece, Santorini has some of the best beaches in the world with white, black and red sand. Share your love for one another with the colorful sunset over the Aegean Sea as your backdrop, then stay at an elegant hotel and explore the local wineries.
7. Phuket, Thailand
This beautiful Thai island boasts dozens of beachfront resorts and villas that serve as the perfect location for a romantic, private ceremony with your future spouse. As Thailand’s largest and most popular island, Phuket has breathtaking scenery and exciting nightlife, giving you the best of both worlds to celebrate your love together.
Even though it’s popular for tourists, Phuket features are plenty of hidden gems that serve as avenues for a private escape with your partner. The island is also an excellent starting point if you want to explore Thailand’s other islands.
Most travelers like to visit Phuket Island from November through February, when the weather is most pleasant, to get a nice break from the cold winter months back home.
Ireland is a gorgeous country, boasting green pastures and rolling hills that give you a peaceful place to celebrate your love with your significant other.
There are so many places in Ireland to elope, but in particular, Dingle has an artistic feel with interesting shops and famous pubs. Get a panoramic view of historic sites and windswept beaches, where you’ll find the perfect scenery for photos, including castle ruins and charming country houses.
Besides Dingle, there’s also Dunluce Castle, an ancient castle that has a medieval feel for your elopement ceremony. Have your happily ever after with ancient castle ruins, rolling green hills and rocky cliffs in the background.
When you elope in Ireland, you get an eclectic blend of adventure and serenity.
The beautiful nation of Italy is known as the land of romance, especially those who want to elope.
Civita di Bagnoregio in Umbria is a medieval town nestled between Todi and Villa Tre Grazie. Traverse over a pedestrian bridge up to the top of a hill to the edge of a cliff, where you’ll find expansive views of vast valleys over the area. Besides Bagnoregio, you can also elope in the Dolomites, a mountainous northern region that’s slightly off the beaten path. This area boasts the Lago di Braies, which features snow-capped peaks and beautiful lakes in one view.
No matter where you go in Italy, be sure to try some delicious authentic Italian food during your stay.
10. Bali, Indonesia
Bali, Indonesia, in the South Pacific Ocean features many awe-inspiring places to tie the knot, surrounded by turquoise warm waters and pristine white sand. If you travel a bit inland, you’ll find lush rainforest landscapes and a tropical warmth that helps you relax and celebrate love.
There are many venues where you can profess your feelings to one another, including Benoa Beach. This picturesque setting is just one of the many places in Bali that offers a romantic backdrop and a private, intimate place for the two of you to say your vows. Run through the waves and enjoy the one-of-a-kind beauty that comes from this Indonesian island.
Mexico is a country in Central America with rich culture and old-world, colorful architecture.
San José del Cabo is a romantic place to get married, with botanical gardens, chapels and a beach to share your vows. Alternatively, you may want to get married in Mexico City. Xochimilco features colorful flat-bottomed wooden boats that take you and your sweetheart up and down the canal. Mexico City also boasts famous restaurants and idyllic architecture as the perfect place to celebrate after you’ve professed your love to one another.
Whether you’re a fan of centuries-old architecture or natural beauty, you’ll find the perfect atmosphere for your wedding day as you soak up the sun and explore your surroundings.
Like the rest of northern Europe, Germany is rich in history and culture, with architecture that dates back centuries.
The Neuschwanstein Castle features Romanesque Revival-style architecture from the 19th century and is one of the most visually appealing castles in Germany. Anyone looking for a romantic, fairy-tale wedding ceremony spot will enjoy the castle, as it overlooks the mountains and reveals magnificent sunsets. This castle may have been the inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty castle at Disneyland and the Cinderella castle at Disney World.
After your elopement ceremony, take an intimate carriage ride through the valley and enjoy a candlelit dinner.
13. Bora Bora, French Polynesia
French Polynesia is a remote island deep in the South Pacific that has been a popular honeymoon spot for ages. Bora Bora is known for its overwater bungalows and white sand beaches amidst the clear blue waters. Disembark from your cruise ship and say your vows right on the beach. After your ceremony, you can go snorkeling and diving in the coral reefs that are home to a wide variety of tropical fish.
14. The Bahamas
The Caribbean is known as a romantic place for any couple to relax and celebrate their love together, and it’s an excellent place for you to elope. Harbour Island in the Bahamas boasts a crystal clear, brilliant blue sea and a beautiful pink sand beach.
As you walk along this 3-mile-long shoreline, you’ll feel like it’s just the two of you amidst the crowd. After the ceremony, go snorkeling, diving and swimming in the shallow waters if you’re looking for something adventurous to do as a couple. Then, spend the night in a honeymoon cottage for a retreat away from everyone else.
Another fantastical place to elope with the love of your life is at the Isle of Skye in Scotland. This northern European country is famous for its magnificent scenery and historic architecture, but the Isle of Skye takes this reputation to the next level.
Unique rock formations accent the lush green mountains, and the northern peninsula of Trotternish sits underneath it with basalt rock that reveals a wide selection of iconic rock formations like the Old Man of Storr. Consider this breathtakingly beautiful island to have your fairytale-style elopement with cascading waterfalls over a turquoise sea, cerulean-colored fairy pools and beaches lined with colorful seashells.
Alaska provides a gorgeous setting to tie the knot with your sweetheart, with towering glacier formations and exotic wildlife. Couples enjoy this popular wedding destination because it feels unrestrained and wild.
Take a ski plane or helicopter to the Chugach Mountains and disembark on a glacier where you’ll have a front-row seat to all the stunning views that Alaska has to offer. Since glaciers form differently every season, what you see will be a brand-new experience you and your significant other will enjoy together. The uniqueness of this mountainous region symbolizes the one-of-a-kind love you two have for each other.
Besides the Chugach Mountains and other breathtakingly beautiful areas of Alaska, you may also want to consider eloping near Alaska’s capital, Juneau. This town is nestled in southeast Alaska between Mount Juneau, the Gatineau Channel and Mount Roberts. For a private spot, get married on Mendenhall Glacier, a major glacier you can only access by plane or boat. This is one of 38 glaciers from the Juneau Icefield, and it has plenty of activities available, including hiking, whale watching and viewing wildlife.
Elope With Your Special Someone on a Windstar Cruise
No matter where you choose to elope with the love of your life, make sure it’s romantic and just as special as your commitment to one another. An intimate Windstar cruise gives you access to most coastal places around the world that larger cruise lines can’t reach.
Profess your love for one another in the destination of your choice, and spend the next few days cruising across the water. For more information on how we can help you plan your romantic elopement, reach out to us online to speak with one of our representatives.