Best Places to Elope in Texas | nikolevelascophoto.com
Couple eloping in Big Bend National Park in Texas

One thing I am extremely passionate about is showing couples that you do not have to leave Texas to have an epic elopement. Adventure weddings and elopements are not as common here and I want to help change that! My goal is to show you how beautiful this state really is and to essentially give couples more options on their wedding day. That is why I made this list of some of the best places to elope in Texas.

In this blog I break down locations, some tips and tricks as well as permit info and unique lodging! I hope that reading this blog get’s you STOKED for your Texas elopement!

1. Downtown Austin

It’s weird, it’s Texas, the food is SO GOOD, it’s the live music capital of the world and the urban landscape complements the natural so perfectly.

Ah yes, my home town. There’s a whole lot to love about Austin! We’ve got a freakin’ huge bat colony (no joke it has at least one million bats) that flies out over Lady Bird Lake during sunset. We believe Willie Nelson is a pretty big deal. We can go kayaking in Lady Bird Lake and dancing on a rooftop all within the same hour. You can have a picnic at Zilker Park, cool off in Barton Springs, oh and chances are we’ll find a violinist on South Congress who can play you a song to have your first dance to. Not to mention the architecture of the city makes for a gorgeous backdrop to your elopement. Much like Texas, Austin has so much to offer for your elopement day. Making it one of the best locations in Texas for an urban elopement. As someone who has lived in the Austin area their entire life I am quite familiar with all there is to do and see so I’d love to help you have the Austin elopement of your dreams!

Tips and Tricks;

Austin is pretty hoppin’ on weekends especially, choose a weekday for your elopement and a sunrise ceremony for more intimacy. Double check the locations you want to explore to ensure they allow photography or see if they require permits! It’s good to have a local who can help you find those hole in the wall gems or even just the best places for parking.

Unique Stays In Austin;

Casa Cartel
Jennifer’s Gardens
Austin Proper
South Congress Hotel
Austin Motel

Take some time visiting all of the Austin Murals!
Say your vows at Ladybird Lake with the skyline as your witness!
Visit some Rooftops for some epic views of the city.

2. Texas Hill Country

Rolling hills, trees, rivers cutting through the land, native grasses and wildflowers as far as meets the eye.

Found in and around central Texas is the beautiful Texas Hill Country. This is a pretty broad location suggestion because the Hill Country covers such a large portion of the state. Tucked throughout you can find State Parks, Private Airbnbs, Intimate Venues, Ranches and so on. The Hill Country offers so many unique options for Texas elopements.

There is nothing like the beauty of Texas Hill Country. Sometimes it can feel as though you’ve left and landed on a different planet all together. Imagine arriving just before the sun and saying your vows in the golden first light of day, the grass is still dewy, the birds are singing and the land is silent. Whether you want to stay near by and drive to your ceremony location in the morning with your closest friends and family, camp out and get ready in your tent or stay in a cozy off-grid cabin on private hill country land. I have so many spaces on my elopement location list and would love to help guide you through your elopement.

Tips and Tricks;

Look for bodies of water when researching Hill Country locations! My favorite rivers like The Frio and The Blanco are some of the most gorgeous bodies of water I have ever seen and the landscape surrounding them is no different. And the fall season is exceptional in the Hill Country!! Late October through mid November is usually the best time for fall colors. The closer you get to those bodies of water the more vibrant the colors become.

Check out this fall foliage tracker map.

Explore during golden hour!
Run around through the hill country as husband and wife!
Cross rivers and streams together.

3. Big Bend National Park

Looming mountains, striking desert landscapes and a river cutting through it all. Big Bend is home to some truly remarkable land.

If you are familiar with Big Bend then you probably saw this one coming. Out in West Texas, Located in the northern end of the Chihuahuan desert is Big Bend National Park. Hike through the Chisos Mountains, soak your feet in the Rio Grande or bring your passports and cross the border into Mexico for a while. Big Bend is an obvious choice when you imagine the best places to elope in Texas.

Home to some of the darkest skies in the country and best stargazing you’ll ever experience, Big Bend National Park offers many different adventures for your elopement. You can rough it and camp in the back country or find lodging at a unique Airbnb inspired by Big Bend’s land and culture. Whichever experience you prefer you are guaranteed to have an epic elopement at Big Bend National Park. Become desert dwellers as you say your vows!

Tips and Tricks;

For Big Bend elopements I highly recommend having a four wheel drive vehicle so you can explore some of the lesser known areas of the park! I would give yourselves ample time for exploring, it is a HUGE park and a lot of the trailheads have an hour drive between each other. Avoid Big Bend in the summer time as the temperature can get up to 120 degrees and it is BRUTAL. October through April are great months for Big Bend! I’ve even gotten caught in some snow in December which was such a cool experience.

Permit Info;

Big Bend requires a special use permit for any wedding ceremonies, they may also require a photography permit. That information can be found at this link. Permits can take around thirty days to be approved so make sure you work on that asap once you decide this is where you want to elope. Having someone in your corner who has experience with these permits can be helpful! I help all of my couples with obtaining permits to make sure that all of the t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted. Permit fees are considerably less than venue fees and all go towards the beautiful land we know and love. It is a small price to pay when using this amazing place for your elopement.

Unique stays near Big Bend;

Willow House
Basecamp Terlingua
El Cosmico

This trail is only accessible through a 4×4 road so it’s quite an adventure getting there!
The desert landscape is unreal in Big Bend, you’ll want to stop and take it all in every chance you get.
This canyon right on the border of Mexico is a popular stopping point in Big Bend for good reason!
The variety in landscape and plant life in The Chiuahuan Desert is unlike anything I have ever seen.

4. Palo Duro Canyon

Palo Duro Images courtesy of Shutterstock

Deemed “The Grand Canyon of Texas”, Palo Duro Canyon State Park is the second largest canyon in the country.

Orange, yellow, red, pink and lavender layered rock complemented by the green tones of the desert grasses and juniper trees. Your wedding dress is sure to earn a custom desert ombre as you walk through this park. The canyon floor is accessible by car so that you can easily get a view of the canyon from below the rim and say your vows beside the river that is responsible for this incredible piece of landscape. Explore by foot, horseback or take to a mountain bike on the many trails Palo Duro has to offer. Lodging cabins can be found inside the park or like Big Bend you can rough it by camping in the Backcountry.

Permit Info;

Palo Duro requires a special use permit for any wedding ceremonies, they may also require a photography permit. Permits can take around thirty days to be approved so make sure you work on that asap once you decide this is where you want to elope. Having someone in your corner who has experience with these permits can be helpful! I help all of my couples with obtaining permits to make sure that all of the t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted. Permit fees are considerably less than venue fees and all go towards the beautiful land we know and love. It is a small price to pay when using this amazing place for your elopement.

Palo Duro Images courtesy of Shutterstock
Palo Duro Images courtesy of Shutterstock

5. Pedernales Falls State Park

Pedernales Falls is such a beautiful and easily accessible park so it would be perfect for anyone who wanted to elope with a few friends and family members. When the water is high the falls are a force to be reckoned with and when the water level is low you can hike up the river bed and explore all of the smaller pools of water along the way. Tucked beside the river are small pockets of almost desert-like landscape coexisting perfectly with lush green areas. It is such a diverse park! You can camp inside the park, find unique lodging near by or stay in Austin and make the hour drive. This is one of my favorite places to hike so I have become very familiar with it, I’d love to help you create the Pedernales Falls elopement of your dreams!

Tips and Tricks;

Pedernales Falls is located about two hours from Austin so you could plan an intimate ceremony at Pedernales followed by a dinner or party with friends back in Austin if that’s your jam. Keep an eye on weather, Pedernales flash floods happen so quickly and make the entire area extremely dangerous. So watch the forecast, plan ahead and have a plan B in case of flooding. All state parks in Texas require a day use reservation, these reservations become available thirty days in advance and book up SPEEDY QUICK. Especially on weekends. You can find those reservations here.

Unique stays near Pedernales;

Infinity Ranch
Gypsy Wagon
Fiddler’s Creekside

Permit Info;

Pedernales Falls requires a photography permit and may also require a special use permit. That information can be found by contacting Pedernales Falls State Park directly. Permits can take around thirty days to be approved so make sure you work on that asap once you decide this is where you want to elope. Having someone in your corner who has experience with these permits can be helpful! I help all of my couples with obtaining permits to make sure that all of the t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted. Permit fees are considerably less than venue fees and all go towards the beautiful land we know and love. It is a small price to pay when using this amazing place for your elopement.

The River carves beautiful shapes into limestone, when the water levels are low there is even more to explore!
Book an Airbnb near by so you can return for mimosas and hammock hangs.
Invite your closest friends and family to your ceremony.

I hope that reading about the best places to elope in Texas has given you more insight and opened your eyes to the beauty that Texas has to offer! I’d be honored to help you make your elopement dreams come true no matter what location you choose.

Follow along on my adventures through Instagram

Learn More about my Texas Elopement Packages HERE

If you have any questions or want to reach out about planning your own dream elopement I got you! Contact me below.

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