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This adventure elopement photographer has seen her share of elopement days. I’ve been witness to some of the most amazing moments, surrounded by nothing but wilderness and love. On the other hand, I’ve also seen moments interrupted by the sounds of tourists clambering to get a photo (sometimes even of the couple!). A question most people don’t realize they need to ask is: When do I NOT want to elope?

Why People Want to Have an Adventure Elopement

A lot of the reasons why people elope are because they want to get away from expectations and all the stuff that comes with it. They just want to be in their own little world and celebrate on that day. And part of how that happens, is avoiding being in an overcrowded area. Some days of the year and week make that difficult. Because if you’re eloping to a gorgeous place, there are just going to be days that are busier than others. And I can’t be the only one who doesn’t like the idea of throngs of people nudging past you when you’re trying to say your vows ( yikes).

You’re already bucking tradition by eloping (you go Glen Coco!), so this is your little reminder that you aren’t attached to specific days and times of the year either. Ultimately, you aren’t attached to anything that comes with a traditional wedding (like when guests can and can’t make it).

Those Numbers

Some people are super attached to a date, like 10/10/2020. If you’re super attached to a date then there might not be anything you can do about it. At that point it’s all about your priorities – whether you feel the date or the lack of crowds is more important. If your priority is lack of crowds, “When do I not want to elope” is a pretty important question.

Here’s what I recommend for your adventure elopement and when not to elope:

If there’s one day that you shouldn’t elope, it’s a Saturday. And that seems counter intuitive to all the popular wedding days we typically see. But here’s the thing, if you’re going to the Redwoods, or going to the Oregon Coast, somewhere on Kauai, Glacier National Park, weekends, particularly Saturdays, are going to be insane.

And it’s not just Saturdays, although they’re the worst offender.

It’s really just weekends in general that cause crowding for adventure elopements. I strongly recommend staying away from Saturdays and Sundays if at all possible. The next highest offender is Friday, because people get off work early or take long weekends.

Ultimately, Fridays through Sundays I advise against if you want to keep the traffic flow to a minimum of the public around you.

There are always outliers for adventure elopements, though. Especially in popular areas.

There have even been days, like a Monday in the middle of October in Yosemite. I went to Taft Point with a couple to do a photo shoot and there were three (yes THREE) other couples in wedding attire, on top of all the other tourists that come and visit.

When considering when not to elope,
Don’t Forget Holidays

I know it’s tempting to lump an exciting trip in when you can already get time off because of a holiday. But here’s the thing. Any national holidays, anything where people get off work, they’re going to want to go outside. Especially in the shoulder seasons and in the high season like May, June, July, and August. While that’s arguably the best weather, depending on where you go, the shoulder seasons can be just as gorgeous!

What I recommend for your adventure elopement

  • Search the off seasons for places. Hawaii’s off season is actually the shoulder seasons for the northern hemisphere. It’s still beautiful there, but way less busy.
  • Choosing a Monday-Thursday is the easiest way to avoid crowds, especially in the high season.
  • Get with (and book) an adventure elopement photographer who has location knowledge, or is known for their extensive research on locations. They’ll be able to find those little known locations that aren’t on “Tourists Most Traveled” lists.

To Recap

Eloping is a great way to do something that’s true to you, and to be in your own little world for a while. It’s a place and time to get connected with each other. The best times/days to facilitate that are Monday through Thursday. This is still true in the shoulder season, but it’s even more important in the high season, because those are going to really be your only options for less crowded days.

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