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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
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?
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.
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.
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.