Have you always dreamed of saying your vows among a mystical landscape of snowflakes and ice? Or are you hoping to sneak away for an adventurous elopement or wedding outside of your hometown during the holiday break? Then you’ll love to see these location ideas for a truly gorgeous winter wedding!
And if you decide that a snow-filled elopement isn’t for you but still want to get married in the winter, check out the bottom of this list for spots to elope in winter with warm weather!
Top Spots in the US for Winter Elopements in the Snow
We may be a bit biased, since our team is based here in the Rocky Mountains, but honestly there’s a reason why so many winter elopements happen here. It’s a dreamy destination for those eloping in the snow, since you can also have access to some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the country.
You also can elope in several stunning places across the state year-round, including:
Aspen + Maroon Bells (with a snowmobile)
Rocky Mountain National Park + Estes Park
Breckenridge + Lake Dillon (including the Dillon Ice Castles!)
Whether you choose a venue in the busy city, or prefer something more laid back in the upstate, the whole state of New York is a gorgeous spot for couples to elope in the winter.
Glacier National Park
Although most accommodations and roads close during the winter nearby, Glacier National Park is open year-round. You can take the Going-to-the-Sun Road from the West Glacier entrance to Lake McDonald Lodge if the road is plowed and weather permits it. A couple great nearby spots to stay during the winter is Whitefish Mountain Resort and Grouse Mountain Lodge.
The Great Lakes
Some of the most beautiful ice formations, ice caves, and frozen lakes are located in the upper midwest. If snowshoeing, ice fishing, or other winter activities are your favorite thing to do, few places in the world beat the amount of cold and snow you’ll experience in the Great Lakes region. It’s a perfect place for bundling up near a fireplace in a cute little cabin with the one you love on your wedding day.
Our personal favorite time of year to visit Alaska is during the summer, but that doesn’t mean winter in Alaska is any less epic. You’ll want to keep in mind how short the days can be this time of year, and it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. However, it can be so worth it, especially if you plan out your elopement to include some time to see the northern lights!
Washington + Oregon
The Pacific Northwest (PNW for short) is home to some truly amazing landscapes, and it’s definitely a dreamy place to be when there’s snow on the ground. Between places like Mt. Rainier and North Cascades National Park in Washington, or Crater Lake and Mt. Hood in Oregon, there is no shortage of beautiful snowy mountain ranges to explore in the Cascades. You can even head on over to our other post on best places to elope in Washington to give you more ideas!
By far one of the best places to elope in Nevada and California, Lake Tahoe is another perfect spot to elope in the winter. North Lake Tahoe is closest to Reno and Sacramento, with plenty of fun spots to stop along the Truckee river, while South Lake Tahoe has some fantastic ski resorts and other scenic spots, like Emerald Bay.
International Destinations for Snowy Winter Elopements
Whether you choose the Snow Village, the SnowCastle, or the Arctic Snow Hotel, you will be sure to experience wintery magic at any of Lapland’s wedding venues. You will definitely want to capture this majestic beauty on camera!
Alternatively, you might fall in love with the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, which has the famous glass igloos you may have seen on Youtube or Pinterest, which lets you sleep under the northern lights!
Cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages, modern shops and museums. Quebec has an eclectic mix of both old and new architectural draws to pull you in — Hotel de Glace and Sucrerie de la Montagne, just to name a few. Quebec’s beautiful landmarks look especially breathtaking when draped in blankets of sparkling white snow during the winter.
Or, for a more adventurous experience, check out Banff! These tall striking mountains are some of the most iconic peaks in the world.
If you are looking for a place that’s unlike any other for your winter wonderland wedding, this is it! Each year, this Sweden Ice Hotel is re-created into a brand new artistic masterpiece using ice from the River Torne. A guarantee that no one’s wedding photos will look like yours, and an experience like no other!
Budir Church is one of three black churches in Iceland. The churches are painted black with pitch to sustain the harsh Icelandic elements. Although located near the coast on the Snaefellsness peninsula, this intimate little church surprisingly has snowcapped mountains to satisfy the backdrop of your winter wonderland wedding.
France is a country filled with love. But what some may not know is that it is also filled with beautiful mountainous views, valleys and lakes. During the winter months, the scenic landscapes are covered in magical snow and ice.
Where to Elope in Winter with Warm Weather
If you know you want to elope between the months of December and March, but realize that the snow really isn’t for you, there are definitely some amazing locations for a warmer elopement experience. Here are our top recommendations:
Because a few of us have lived in Florida in the past, we know this state really well! It’s a very busy spot in the winter for northern “snowbirds” to visit (what locals call the seasonal tourists from up north), but it can be really worth it if you know where to avoid the busier areas. Head on over to our other post to see the best places to elope in Florida for some inspiration!
What better way to get away from the snow and ice than heading to a breezy tropical island (or two)? Hawaii has it all: lush green mountains, sandy beaches, and romantic sunsets. Not to mention all the fresh seafood. 😉
Arizona + Southern Utah
Although some days can still feel pretty chilly in January and February, overall, Arizona and Southern Utah is a beautiful region to elope in the winter. Between the tall red rock formations in places like Sedona or Zion National Park, or a hidden gem 4WD overlooking Lake Powell, there’s a lot to love about this warmer destination for your elopement.
Whether you’re seeking a warm coastal option like San Diego or Los Angeles, or you’re up for heading farther inland to a unique landscape like Joshua Tree National Park, California is a great place for elopements in the sunshine.
We absolutely LOVE Costa Rica in the winter! While the rainforest here still gets pretty wet year-round, there are fewer rainstorms and more dry weather this time of year in CR. And it’s a fantastic alternative to the more expensive destination of Hawaii, while still offering many of the same types of attractions. Read our post on the best spots to elope in Costa Rica if you’ve never been before!
If you’re up for heading really far south, you’ll quickly realize that the southern hemisphere is experiencing summer while the northern hemisphere is dealing with winter. That makes places like Patagonia and South America all the more amazing to visit if you’re trying to get away from the snow in December or January! And besides, there are few places quite as dramatic as the Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia, or the nearby countries of Chile and Argentina.
Also near the top of our bucket list: New Zealand. The islands here actually can give you a perfect mix of summertime and winter (snowy) vibes depending on the time of year you visit and if you’re willing to explore both the north and south islands.
Elopement Photography + Videography Team Ready to Capture Your Winter Elopement
Skyewater Photo + Film is an adventure elopement and destination wedding photo and video team based in Colorado. We help couples plan elopements all over the US, and offer insight for more than just photography: from planning assistance, finding and booking locations, vendor references and more! Reach out to our wedding photography and videography team today to get more info!