Road Trip Elopement

So you want to get married, but you also LOVE road trips – let me introduce you to the idea of a road trip elopement! Combining your favorite activities with your marriage day is the #1 way to have the best elopement with no regrets. The start of your marriage should put your values and your story first, so have it your way and elope on a road trip. But, how? That’s where I come in! I’ve lived full time on the road for over 2 years now in a 5th wheel RV. I know the ins and outs and pitfalls of road trips, visiting national parks, and putting it all together to plan amazing offroad elopements.

Tips for Road Trip Elopements

  • You may need to book some campsites in advance near the popular parks. Glacier, Yellowstone, Tetons, Rocky Mountain, and Yosemite are the most booked up.
  • Use apps like RV Parky and iOverlander to find free or cheap spots for a night. Boondocking can be amazing, but don’t expect to have internet.
  • Plan for simplicity. Don’t overpack or overextend how much driving you need to do.
  • The day before your elopement, go on a snack run to buy each other all their favorites.

Different Ways you can plan your Road Trip Elopement

Many folks like to make a camping trip out of their elopement. If you’re already avid campers, you should consider packing up your favorite tent and going somewhere new together for your camping elopement. Alternatively, car camping may be more your style, and I love that! Being able to sleep at rest stops, truck stops, and walmart parking lots will give you more flexibility. You can also stay in hotels, airbnbs and glamping accommodations and that is still a road trip. Only you know what style suits you best. I’m here to give you an itinerary and blueprint for what your elopement road trip could look like! After booking me, I will help you plan where to go and how long to spend there, what to see and where to stay. Planning road trips is a huge part of my life, and I love it!

The Mobile Command Center parked in Central Colorado.
The Mobile Command Center parked in Central Colorado.

My life is a road trip

I live nomadically on the road in a 38′ 5th wheel camper nicknamed the Mobile Command Center. Everything is always breaking and it looks like the 90s in here. Every year I travel across the USA shooting amazing elopements along the way. In summer you can find me in California, Colorado, Oregon, Wyoming, and Montana. The desert is my winter home. Routinely servicing Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and more!

Take the camper tour:

#1 Best Road Trip Elopement Location: New Zealand

New Zealand isn’t exactly a local road trip, but hear me out! Visiting New Zealand is an unforgettable experience, and making it a road trip is the best way to see this country. Most visitors rent a campervan to see the most epic scenery. Both North Island and South Island are filled with the most spectacular scenery on earth: volcanoes, mountains, turquoise lakes, glaciers, jungles, waterfalls, fjords and more await you. Choose New Zealand if you want to make your elopement your Trip of a Lifetime. I’ve got all the insider info on making your trip to NZ as smooth as possible.

Sample New Zealand Elopement Timeline

8:00 First look at Monkey Creek
9:00 Grab coffee, pastries and savory pies at the Cafe
10:00 Morning boat cruise on Milford sound, look for penguins and get sprayed by Stirling Falls
12:00 Hike to a secluded lake surrounded by mountains to say your vows alone on the shore
1:00 Picnic lunch pies and champagne
3:00 Drive to Te Anau and take a scenic helicopter ride
5:00 Land on a glacier and explore it
6:30 Return to Te Anau
7:00 Take a rowboat out on the lake at sunset
8:00 Fancy Dinner

I have availability for New Zealand Elopements from December 1 2023 onwards.

#2 Best Road Trip Elopement Location: The Redwoods, California

The Redwoods are a spread-out National Park on the coast of Northern California, where the temperatures are mild and pleasant year round. The ancient trees are the tallest in the world, and the dense woods make you feel like there are magic fairies behind every frond. Because there is so much to see and do along this coast, it’s best visited on a road trip. Choose the Redwoods if you absolutely love the forest, lush greenery, ferns, ewoks, treehouses, and magic. Combine your elopement with the National Parks in Washington: Olympic, Mt Rainier, and North Cascades and Crater Lake for the ultimate Pacific Northwest Road Trip.

Sample Redwoods Elopement Timeline

8:00 Wake up and enjoy coffee and bagels on the deck of your airbnb overlooking the ocean.
9:00 Get ready and have a first look together on the beach. Look for otters!
10:00 Explore the Redwood treehouse suspended bridges. Read letters from loved ones along the way.
12:00 Lace up for a short hike into the tallest trees on earth to have your elopement ceremony immersed in the forest.
1:00 That’s lunch! Pack a picnic of all your favorites.
2:00 Explore Fern canyon. Get your feet wet as you explore the mossy and lush landscape.
4:00 Get local Umpqua ice cream
5:00 Take a scenic drive to Avenue of the Giants, play in the sand dunes, or have a seafood banquet in Trinidad.
8:00 Fire on the beach & smores

I have availability for 1 Redwoods Elopement from August 29th to September 5th, 2024.

#3 Best Road Trip Elopement Location: Crater Lake, Oregon

Crater Lake is a remote National park in Oregon holding the USA’s deepest lake. This is a high elevation park, and most of the rim is only open in July, August and into September. Choose Crater Lake if you love the deep blue of the lake, hiking, and unique volcanic mountains. Combine your elopement with the National Parks in Washington: Olympic, Mt Rainier, and North Cascades and the California Redwoods for the ultimate Pacific Northwest Road Trip.

Sample Crater Lake Elopement Timeline

5:00 Getting ready and traveling to the trailhead
6:25 Sunrise first look and get married with friends there to cheer you on. 
6:40 Sunrise Portraits of you 2 – just married and on cloud 9! 
7:30 Breakfast picnic set up by friends at the picnic tables.
9:30 Boat tour to Wizard Island and we’ll picnic at the top of the crater within the crater. Our minds explode with how freaking cool it is.
2:30 We’re back at Cleetwood Cove to disembark. You may want to take a cliff jump hand in hand into the crystal clear water.
3:15 Drive around the east rim, stop at any viewpoints that catch your eye.
4:00 Begin the short 2 mile RT hike to Plaikni fall where the cascades are surrounded by wildflowers.
5:30 You’re in an Airbnb and cook dinner together like you do at home. Maybe invite the friends to toast to you, or read letters to you or play video messages from loved ones who couldn’t be there. 
7:30 Sunset photos
9:30 Optional, pending exhaustion: Star photos at the rim!

I have availability for 1 more Crater Lake Elopement from August 28th to 30th, 2024.

About me – Road Trip Elopement Photographer

I’m a nomadic and colorful elopement photographer with an obsession for mountains, hiking, travel, and my cats. I actually live on the road full time, so I’ve got the inside scoop on everywhere you want to go! My photography style emphasizes the epic landscape of your dreams and the authentic moments that make you two.. well, you two! I love my job and my nature-loving clients. Maybe I’ll see you there!

#4 Best Road Trip Elopement Location: Mammoth Lakes, California

Mammoth Lakes, or simply “Mammoth” as the locals call it, is a small town at 8,000 feet in California’s high Sierra mountains. The wilderness to the west connects to Yosemite National Park. But unlike Yosemite, Mammoth is uncrowded and the access couldn’t be easier. In the summer months, most of Mammoth’s best locations are drive-right-up. That said, amazing hikes in Devil’s Postpile National Monument and the John Muir Wilderness are abundant. Choose Mammoth Lakes if you love mountains without crowds and want to jump in a natural hot spring at the end of your day. The best months for an elopement here are from June to early September. Combine your elopement with nearby Mono Lake, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, Lassen Volcanic, Sequoia & Kings Canyon, and Mt. Whitney for the ultimate Sierra Nevada Road Trip.

Sample Mammoth Lakes Elopement Timeline

5:00 Begin Sunrise hike
6:30 Change into wedding clothes
6:45 First look as dawn approaches
7:00 Exchange vows alone at sunrise at the lake
7:30 Picnic breakfast – granola parfaits and coffee
8:00 Begin hike down
9:30 Hammock naps in the shade
12:00 Five star lunch
1:30 Spa for couples massage
3:00 Swim in the lakes, hike to a waterfall or rent a canoe for an adventure
6:00 Sunset first dance at the Stone Columns
7:00 Private chef dinner with family at Airbnb

I have availability for 1 more Mammoth Lakes Elopement in early September, 2024.

#5 Best Road Trip Elopement Location: Capitol Reef National Park

This desert national park is located in the center of Utah, and makes a perfect road trip elopement location for couples doing Utah’s Mighty Five in one trip. These desert national parks are best visited in spring or fall, avoiding the sweltering summer months. The elopement rules at Capitol Reef are relaxed and easygoing. You’ll also be avoiding the crowds of Zion and Arches, with much of the same incredible desert landscapes. There are arches, hikes, offroading, slot canyons, history, orchards, bizarre bentonite hills and more! Choose Capitol Reef if you are planning a Utah Mighty Five road trip and want to avoid busy parks. Add in Snow Canyon state park for an additional side trip. For the additional thrill, try the river crossing on the way to Bentonite hills!

Sample Capitol Reef Elopement Timeline

7:00 Sunrise First Look at Panorama Point
8:00 Read letters from loved ones
9:00 Fresh fruit pie for breakfast
10:00 Hike up a canyon to a viewpoint
11:00 Have your elopement ceremony with only the birds as witnesses
12:30 Family Cookout at a picnic shelter or get Indian Pizza and ice cream in Torrey
2:00 Afternoon hike together to Hickman Arch
4:30 Dip your tired feet in Sulphur Creek

#6 Best Road Trip Elopement Location: Black Canyon of the Gunnison

This deep, narrow canyon is located in Central Colorado with the Gunnison river diving the park into the North and South rims. The steepness of the canyon means sunlight hardly reaches the bottom, hence the name Black canyon. Plan for a June through September elopement in Colorado for the best weather, wildflowers, and access. Choose Black Canyon if you are planning a Colorado national park road trip and want to avoid busy parks. Combine it with Rocky Mountain, Great Sand Dunes, and Mesa Verde National Parks, and also visit Aspen, Telluride, Ouray, Crested Butte, Mt Evans, and Garden of the Gods on your trip.

Sample Black Canyon Elopement Timeline

10:00 Sleep in and wake up in your tent together
11:00 Have breakfast together in your campsite with fresh fruit and pancakes
12:00 First look at the edge of the south rim.
1:30 Elopement ceremony with the Painted Wall in the background
2:00 Nosh on a picnic of all your favorite finger foods
3:00 Horseback ride or travel down East Portal road and dip your toes in the river
6:30 Private Chef dinner
8:00 Sunset portraits at Sunset point
9:00 Campfire, smores and star photos in your campsite

I have availability for 1 Black Canyon Elopement from September 8th to 20th, 2024.

How to plan a Road Trip Elopement

Eloping on a road trip should be simple! Sit down together and write down 15 places on your bucket list that you’ve always wanted to visit. Compare your lists and you’ll start to see some overlap! You may drive your own vehicle to your road trip elopement destination, or maybe you’ll fly somewhere a rent a car or campervan. Basically you’ll want to plan your dream road trip, but don’t book anything yet. Think about what day you’re most excited about – that’s where you should elope! Find a knowledgable elopement photographer who will guide and plan your perfect road trip elopement day with you.

Road Trip Elopement Pros:

  • You can enjoy tons of beautiful sights along the way
  • Spontaneously stopping for anything you love whenever you want gives you flexibility
  • Putting in the time to drive to remote areas will win you more privacy
  • Road trip snacks are the best, that’s a scientific fact
  • You can spend more money on activities and experiences instead of hotels

Road Trip Elopement Cons:

  • You must be willing to plan a trip, which takes time
  • Planning ahead for timed entry reservations and campsites can seem daunting at first
  • You may want to quit your job and travel full time
  • You won’t have refrigerated food

More Road Trip Destinations:

Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks
Arches & Canyonlands National Parks
Saguaro National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park
Yellowstone National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park
Great Sand Dunes National Park
Colorado National Monument

Real Road Trip Elopements:

Looking for a different kind of elopement adventure?

A colorful colorado mountain elopement on Boreas Pass in summer time.


You don’t have to be an extreme outdoors person, or a backpacker to have an incredible elopement day in the great outdoors. Most of my elopements take place on hikes less than 4 miles in length, many even with a mile or less. I’ve also got some incredible locations for those with special accessibility needs.