Including your children in your elopement is the best way to start a new life chapter, while making sure your kids know how much they matter. However, finding the best kid-friendly destination to elope certainly requires extra planning.
Although the day is about you and your future spouse, you need to consider additional factors such as “Will traveling to this destination stress us out?”, “Is it affordable for all of us?”, “Is it safe for little kids?” “Will the kids enjoy themselves?”, and “Will it still be romantic?”
We’ve divided this list into places in the USA and foreign destinations that are great for kid-friendly elopements.
The Best Kid-Friendly Places to Elope in the USA
Having an elopement ceremony in the US is the best choice for most couples because the flights are cheaper than international ones, you don’t have to travel as far and you can say “I do” over a long weekend.
Cannon Beach, Oregon
An elopement ceremony at sunrise or sunset is a truly magical way to celebrate your love in Cannon Beach. Located about an hour and a half from Portland, this coastal Oregon town is known for its expansive beaches, enveloping sea mist, and, of course, the famous Haystack Rock.
There are plenty of local inns to choose from as well as vacation rentals, which are perfect for larger families. Some family-friendly activities include having a beach bonfire, shopping downtown, flying a kite on the beach, and visiting one of the kid-friendly breweries.
Yosemite National Park, California
Miles of hiking trails, views of waterfalls cascading through glacially carved valleys, and ancient sequoias make Yosemite National Park one of the most beautiful places to elope in the USA.
However, only consider an elopement here outside of the summer months. Summers in Yosemite are gorgeous, but the park is positively packed with people and the traffic in the park is reminiscent of the lines outside of Disneyland.
We recommend eloping on a weekday in the spring or fall so you can enjoy the beautiful scenery without the crowds on your wedding day. Pro tip: If you plan to camp in the park, make sure to reserve your campsites a year in advance through the national parks website.
Known as one of the most dramatic backdrops for adventure elopements, Sedona is also a great place to elope with your kids in tow. Think red rocks against a clear desert sky with miles of hills on either side.
Some of the best elopement photographers are located in the Sedona area and offer incredible elopement packages with portfolios that will take your breath away. Hiking, biking, hot springs, jeep tours, kayaking, and great food await in this gorgeous place. Check out Cathedral Rock, Merry Go Round, and Bell Rock for elopement inspiration.
Sanibel Island, Florida
This lowkey destination is the perfect place for an elopement by the sea for couples who can’t imagine wearing a massive wedding gown or full tux. It’s the kind of place where you can exchange vows with your toes in the sand and then walk along the shell-strewn beaches with the kids.
Fun fact: Sanibel Island is known as “The Shell Capital of the World” – it’s a well-deserved title! Other activity highlights include watching the sunset on the beach, exploring Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, cycling, and eating in the cute cafes.
Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Located in scenic eastern Tennessee, Gatlinburg is known as the “Gateway to the Smoky Mountains”. Pigeon Forge is right next door and another great base for your Smokey Mountains elopement. Whether you choose to elope in the national park itself or pick a small venue in the area, Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge is the perfect choice for a weekend elopement.
One of the best kid-friendly activities is visiting the Gatlinburg Skypark where you can walk the longest sky bridge in North America, take in views of the leafy scenery and iconic peaks from the SkyDeck, and ride the SkyLift.
Santa Cruz, California
Located along scenic Highway 1, Santa Cruz is a sizable coastal town known for its surfing culture and beautiful beaches. The famous Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and the Giant Dipper, a historic wooden roller coaster built in 1924, draw families and couples from all over the country.
This iconic amusement park (or the beach in front of it) is a quirky elopement destination that’s one-of-a-kind and the kids will love it. The old-growth redwoods of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park and the rugged beaches of Coastal Dairies State Park are also great choices.
Joshua Tree National Park, California
A list of the best elopement locations would be incomplete without including the beautiful Joshua Tree. Imagine epic views of the night sky, unforgettable experiences stargazing together, and the breathtaking desert landscape.
Fortunately for us, Joshua Tree is also a great kid-friendly destination. The entire place is covered in large boulders that little kids love climbing. Older kids will enjoy the incredible views and the opportunity to try rock climbing. The best time to visit Joshua Tree is during early spring. The temperatures are bearable and you can enjoy the countless wildflowers.
“The Berkshires”, Massachusetts
Located on the East Coast, in the rolling hills of western Massachusetts, this picturesque area is synonymous with outdoor activities, fall foliage, art galleries, and delicious farm-to-table cuisine. It’s a great choice for families in the New England area who don’t want to travel far on their elopement day and for lovers of quaint country inns.
Taking train rides, exploring butterfly parks and visiting local farms are a few of the activities fun-loving couples can enjoy with their kids. If getting high-quality photographs is a must, there are a lot of excellent elopement photographers located in upstate New York, Connecticut, and the surrounding area.
Olympic National Park, Washington
This is a great place for a family elopement in nature, especially if you are located in the Pacific Northwest. From rugged mountains to alpine lakes to beaches covered in driftwood, Olympic National Park truly has it all.
Rialto Beach is a gorgeous spot for adventurous couples to get married and spend quality time with their kids. The beach itself looks like it’s decorated with large stones, and the nearby campsite has spots that overlook the sea. You can also enjoy a frosty elopement on Hurricane Ridge from late spring to fall – this location is only suitable for older kids.
Ashville, North Carolina
Another great option for a mountain elopement, Ashville has gorgeous mountain ranges and all of the amenities to make you feel completely at home. There are also a lot of event companies and elopement photographers who can help make your dream wedding day a reality.
JuneBug is our absolute favorite spot in the area. It is a two-story treehouse nestled in two old-growth red oaks that is both swoon-worthy and super fun. This venue can accommodate up to 20 people so you can also include your closest friends and family.
Side Note: You’ll notice that we haven’t included anywhere in Hawaii on our domestic list. This is because Hawaii is becoming an increasingly unaffordable destination for many families and the islands have been experiencing untenable levels of tourism.
The Best Kid-friendly Places to Elope Abroad
There are so many international elopement destinations, but many of them aren’t options for couples with kids simply because it’s too expensive to get there, too expensive to stay or the places are not child-friendly. These are a few popular elopement locations abroad that we’d feel comfortable bringing our kids.
Although Bali is one of the most popular honeymoon destinations in the world, it’s also the perfect location for an elopement that’s kid-friendly. Bali itself is larger than people think so you’ll want to choose locations based on the activities you prefer as a family.
Located on the southeastern coast of Bali, Sanur and Nusa Dua are both great options. Sanur has a large community of expats with kids and a calm beach promenade lined with restaurants. On the other hand, Nusa Dua is an upscale resort district with some of the best resorts on the island.
Australians have known for a long time that Fiji is one of the best places to elope with kids or a mixed family. Not only are the resorts gorgeous, but many offer truly elaborate kids’ clubs and trustworthy babysitting services. Whether your elopement location is a sandy beach at sunset or a shabby chic chapel by the sea, Fiji guarantees a laidback atmosphere.
In addition, you can share many awesome experiences as a family, such as snorkeling, island hopping, going bamboo rafting, swimming in waterfalls, and much more. We recommend choosing your destination based on which resort you like best and trying to stay out of the city areas.
Located in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus has long held a place in romantic history – after all it is the birthplace of the ancient Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite. It’s also a beautiful backdrop for a kid-friendly elopement with lots of fun activities.
In particular, couples with babies and toddlers feel comfortable in Cyprus. They cite the year-round good weather, golden beaches with calm water, and developed resorts with elopement spots as three primary reasons. Some of the beaches even offer wifi, which will keep the teens entertained.
Ocho Rios, Jamaica
This popular, tropical destination is a great choice for couples eloping with teens in tow. There are so many things to do it’s honestly hard to list them all and there are tons of family-friendly resort options.
Ocho Rios is also a great choice if you are looking for all-inclusive options. Swim in the Ocho Rios Blue Hole, ride a horse on the beach, cool off in natural pools in the Dunn River, hike through the rainforest, or enjoy the gorgeous beaches – there are so many options! As for the elopement ceremony, we recommend choosing a resort with a garden or beach chapel that you absolutely love.