5 Most Extreme Places to Elope
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Eloping is on your mind, but for you and your partner, it’s not just about a destination or having an intimate wedding. I mean, sure, those things factor in, but you want adventure and someplace different to say, “I do.” Beyond beaches and mountains, some couples seek out extreme places to have an elopement. And why not? Combining the happiest day of your life with unique circumstances can make your day even more memorable.
Why consider extreme places to elope?
Many elopement destinations are once-in-a-lifetime trips, so if you want to combine your micro wedding with your honeymoon, it makes sense to head to a unique location. Plus, the word “extreme” means different things to each couple. One duo may consider the weather a factor, while another may want a varied landscape. So, chat with your partner about what extreme means to you when planning your elopement.
5 Stunning Locations for Your Extreme Elopement
When it comes to Patagonia, most people are familiar with the clothing brand. However, its namesake destination is actually a desert-like region in South America’s southern tip in Argentina and Chile. The area is peppered with fjords, mountains, and coastlines, all making a stunning background for amazing elopement photos.
Since Patagonia is in the Southern Hemisphere, its seasons are opposite from the US, so it’s a fabulous option to escape the chilly weather and plan a getaway elopement in Patagonia’s warm season. The temperatures aren’t quite tropical, but it’s a nice respite for those who want a summer wedding while the Northern Hemisphere is experiencing winter.
How to Get to Patagonia
Patagonia is a large region, so you first need to decide where you want to go before planning how to get there. Booking a flight from your destination into the Buenos Aires Ezeiza International Airport (EZE) will get you close. Still, you will need to fly from EZE into the Patagonian city closest to your destination. Another option is to fly into Chile’s Punta Arenas Airport (PUQ) and then cross the border into the Patagonian region.
If you adore the cold, you will love Svalbard, a collection of islands between Norway and the North Pole. Although many think it’s a different country, it actually is part of Norway. It’s also one of the places that make my extreme list due to the frigid weather. In summer, highs average around 40 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas winter temperatures settle around zero.
Svalbard has typical frigid-weather wildlife, such as reindeer, Arctic foxes, and polar bears—which you need to watch out for as they are both dangerous and protected. Frostbite is also a reality in the region, so be sure to choose wedding attire that will keep you warm (at least underneath it all). What the area lacks in warmth, it gains in icy beauty, which makes it both extreme and gorgeous for elopement images. Although most associate the Northern Lights with Alaska and mainland Norway, Svalbard’s extended dark season—from November through February—attracts visitors who want to catch a glimpse of the colorful skies.
How to Get to Svalbard
Choose a flight from your preferred airport that will take you and your partner to Oslo, Norway (OSL). From there, book a flight to Longyearbyen (LYR), the main airport on Svalbard.
Many people put Alaska on their bucket list, and heading to this northwestern state is a new adventure. Again, this is an extreme elopement destination for those who enjoy cold weather and nature. Bonus: I have a complete guide on getting married in Alaska!
One benefit to planning an Alaskan elopement is that couples have a variety of choices. Whether you prefer something remote or more populated—or something in between—we can find the perfect place! Parks, reindeer farms, and glaciers are prevalent, and you can even ride a dog sled in your wedding attire. How fun!
How to Get to Alaska
Heading to Alaska for your elopement is all dependent on where you want to go. Cities, such as Juneau, Anchorage, and Fairbanks, all have airports that are convenient to many beautiful places to elope in Alaska.
The Sahara is a desert in Africa, and Morocco—at the northern tip—is one of the most popular places to elope on the continent. The capital of Morocco, Marrakesh, is lovely for those who crave a unique, colorful, old-world, urban environment. However, when it comes to extreme elopements, heading to more remote locations is vital.
Eloping in the Sahara Desert affords various landscapes, such as high mountain peaks, gorgeous waterfalls, vast sand dunes, isolated valleys, and lush forests. Add-ons for Moroccan elopements can include adventures like hot air balloon rides, helicopter vantage points, and riding camels in the desert. As far as weather, the seasons are similar to those of the Northern Hemisphere. It’s also best to avoid the rainy season, which sees the most rainfall from November through January.
PRO TIP: Activities like booking a beduin camping experience or a camel ride are must-dos! And be sure to hire someone to drive you if you want to adventure long distances – it’ll be much less stress.
How to Get to the Sahara
Flying into the Manarah Airport (RAK) in Marrakesh is the easy part. From there, you can take a helicopter, bus, or car to get to more remote areas for a desert elopement in Africa, though it is recommended to hire a tour/driver for ease. Everything is book-able online before you arrive!
For couples who crave snow, icy weather, and gorgeous winter scenery, book an extreme elopement in Antarctica (and can have penguins as potential witnesses!). It’s not one of the most popular places in the world—hardly anyone lives there except scientists—and it sees less than 100,000 visitors each year. You can be one (or two, I guess!) of those who seek out adventure in one of the most remote places on earth. It’s also in the Southern Hemisphere, although the temperatures are freezing all year long.
Even the name Antarctica gives the impression of frigid weather and bundling up for warmth. It’s no wonder as the average annual temperature is fourteen degrees Fahrenheit. Brrr! Another exciting aspect about the continent is its dark/light cycle. There are six months of daylight followed by six months of darkness, making it one of the most unique places on earth in many ways. Heading there is like going to a different world.
How to Get to Antarctica
Many folks fly from South America into Williams Airport (NZWD), one of 20 tiny Antarctica airports. You can also take a boat from South America, an adventure on its own, which takes about a day and a half.
No matter what destination says “extreme elopement” to you and your partner, I am totally down for photographing your adventure. From the dry desert to icy waters, I am up for any type of experience—in fact, I crave it. I would love to document your extreme adventure elopement. It’s a day filled with special moments, and adding a unique location into the mix can reinforce that it’s the most memorable day of your life.
Interested in Svalbard/Norway, Antarctica, Patagonia or the Sahara? Special “Bucket List” collections available. Click below to reach out and inquire!