When planning your elopement one of the first decisions you’ll make is where you want to elope. Your elopement location will impact pretty much every decision you make in your planning journey. From the date you choose, through the vendors you hire to the activities you want to include on your elopement day.
Texas has A LOT to offer for your elopement day. Rivers, forests, hill country, lakes, canyons, valleys, mountains, sand dunes and the desert. With endless lists of activities, diverse landscapes and adventure, Texas has some of the most epic elopement locations to choose from.
Heyyoo! I'm Nikole, your elopement photographer, planning guide, problem solving extraordinaire and location scouting wizard. When I decided I wanted to help couples elope in Texas I knew a big factor would be finding the best elopement locations for them. So I spent a lot of time researching, driving, hiking, camping and exploring all of the unique spaces my home state has to offer. I knew that Texas was home to some awesome elopement destinations and I was determined to find them. Since then I've helped dozens of couples elope in places all over Texas!
I know being at the start of your elopement planning is super exciting and probably a little overwhelming. Where do you even start when looking for elopement locations?! Here are a few questions you can ask yourselves as you start to search for elopement locations.
What are your favorite memories? When do the two of you feel the most connection? Think about how you would spend a weekend getaway together.
Are you drawn to a specific type of landscape? The desert, mountains, pine trees or any bodies of water? Is there a unique place on your bucket list?
Are there any activities you’ve always wanted to try together? Climbing, kayaking, skydiving, making your own wine, riding horses?
Do you imagine eloping just the two of you or are there people you couldn't imagine this moment without?
How much flexibility do you have in your schedule? Are you able to take time off or do you have to fit your elopement in over a weekend trip?
What season do you want to get married in? Are you a summer lover or do you prefer the crisp fall months?
Big Bend National Park is such a diverse park and the only National Park containing an entire mountain range inside. The Chisos Mountains! Big Bend is home to Mountains, canyons, valleys, the Rio Grande River and the Chiuahuan desert. Like I said, it’s diverse as heck. Big Bend is a great park for adventure and relaxation. You can spend the morning hiking up through the lush, green mountains, take the afternoon to go walking through desert canyons surrounded by Ocotillo and then go soak your feet in the Rio Grande river in the evening. Big Bend has it all.
- Big Bend requires special use permits. These permits can take 30-50 days to be completed after they’re submitted so make sure to apply early on in the planning process.
- Big Bend is huge so plan to drive a lot. Some trailheads can be an hour drive (or more) away from the park entrance.
- The best time to visit Big Bend would be in the spring or fall. Avoid the summer months as the temperatures get in the 100s and hiking through the Big Bend terrain in the heat can be dangerous and quite the sufferfest.
- I believe in truly experiencing the place you choose to elope rather than just using it as a pretty backdrop. There are a lot of unique ways to experience Big Bend aside from hiking. Like kayaking through the Rio Grande, horseback riding, the epic 4 wheel drive roads through the park and Jeep Tours!
Marfa is a small town in the middle of the desert in West Texas. With all of the small town charm you might know and love with just enough ~hipster vibes~ and modern conveniences for foodies and glamping enthusiasts. You can stay in a retro airstream at El Cosmico or the Historic Hotel Paisano, check out the Marfa Lights just outside of town, grab a drink at the Lost Horse Saloon, have breakfast and coffee at The Sentinel and explore the vast desert landscape all around you. Don’t forget the Marfa Prada store, a Prada store art installation outside of town.
- The town is surrounded by private land so you may need to rent a venue or an Airbnb to have your elopement ceremony
- A lot of the stores are closed during the week so the weekend would be ideal if you want to shop and dine!
- The best time to visit Marfa would be October through December for crisp and cool weather or March through April for beautiful sunshine and wildflowers! The heat is pretty miserable in the summer months.
Palo Duro Canyon is the second largest canyon in the United States! It is known as “The Grand Canyon of Texas”. If you’re a fan of the desert and love the orange, red and pink rock, the crazy structures and the vast open landscape then Palo Duro may be perfect for you! It’s full of adventurous hiking trails and scenic overlooks..
- Palo Duro Canyon requires Day Use reservations which open up thirty days out so you will want to grab your day use passes as soon as they become available, they can sell out pretty quickly.
- Palo Duro Canyon offers multiple different site rentals like the Mack Dick Pavillion through the state parks website. So if you wanted to hold a ceremony with guests you could rent this out!
- I believe in truly experiencing the place you choose to elope rather than just using it as a pretty backdrop. There are a lot of unique ways to experience Palo Duro aside from hiking. Like horseback riding and Jeep Tours!
Davis Mountains State Park is a small but stunning park out in West Texas that features the Davis Mountains as well as the McDonald Observatory. Home to some of the darkest skies in Texas, this park is a beautiful place for stargazing at night and spectacular views in all directions during the day.
- Davis Mountain State Park does require day use reservations which open up thirty days out so you will want to grab your day use passes as soon as they become available, they can sell out pretty quickly.
- Because it is so remote and less traveled there aren’t as many lodging options nearby so planning early on and booking your lodging as soon as possible is a good idea. Packing in your own food is a good plan as well with the park being so remote there aren’t many food options in the area.
Guadalupe Mountains is known for many geological wonders; this national park is home to the four highest peaks in Texas, the world’s largest fossil reef, vibrant fall colors, and countless activities to do. With over 80 miles of hiking trails you’ll have endless options for adventure when you choose Guadalupe Mountain National Park.
- There aren’t any scenic drives inside the park so to get those spectacular views you’ll definitely need to hike.
- Guadalupe Mountains National Park does require special use permits which can take up 30-40 days to be accepted after they are submitted.
- This park is much more primitive and remote than other national parks so preparation before going to Guadalupe Mountains is important
- Guadalupe Mountains National Park is known for being especially beautiful in autumn; vibrant fall colors take over the park, so the best time to visit is in October or November.
Spanning throughout central Texas you’ll find the beautiful rolling hill country. Home to state parks like Pedernales Falls, Garner State Park and SO much more, the hill country has a lot to offer for your elopement. Being in Central Texas, The Hill Country is accessible from major cities like Austin, San Antonio, Dallas and more. So it’s a great option if you don’t want to travel far or can’t take much time off of work for your elopement. You can elope amongst the hills, next to a beautiful, clear spring or beside a flowing river. Central Texas is also home to a lot of limestone and pink granite, forming unique structures throughout the hill country that make for some fun landscapes to explore on your elopement day.
- A majority of the parks in the hill country are State Parks and do require day use reservations. Permit requirements vary from park to park.
- There’s a lot of beautiful private land available through rentals and campsites if you want something more unique and lesser known.
- The best time to visit the hill country is probably the spring time for the cooler weather and fields of wildflowers. Autumn in the hill country is beautiful as well and if you choose a location along a river you’ll get beautiful fall colors. Summers in central Texas are not as gnarly as West Texas but I recommend sticking to sunrise or planning to spend some time in the water if you opt for a summer elopement.
Austin is a great place for an urban elopement! You can say your vows on a rooftop in the morning, head to your fave spot for brunch and mimosas then spend your afternoon paddle boarding lady bird lake. Austin is the perfect mix of urban and natural landscapes so you don’t have to travel fall from the convenience of the city to have some fun out on the water or hiking the trails.
- Urban elopements mean eloping in a highly trafficked area, if you want more intimacy for your ceremony or vows I recommend planning them at sunrise.
- The best time to elope in Austin would be either the spring or the fall. Trees around lady bird lake change into stunning fall colors in the Autumn time and the weather is perfect.
Eloping is seriously the best way to get married and I love helping couples bring their adventure to life!