Luxury Elopements | Your Ultimate How-To & Location Guide

Elopements, Featured


Your Luxury Elopement

The Ultimate How-To & Location Guide

including the 5 steps on how to plan, romantic locations, and which vendors to hire

First–a few luxury elopement myths to burst to set a great foundation.

Luxury elopements vs. …the other kind.



Eloping is for if you want to marry in secret or

are super outdoorsy.



Luxury elopements are for folks like you who believe your wedding experience

should bring you peace while you enjoy experiences and the people that make you feel at home.



Eloping is for trying to save money on your wedding.



Luxury elopements are for folks like you who understand the value of allocating resources to what truly matters to you-be it quality time with your boo or experiences that make you feel alive & away from the mundane.



Eloping is for you if you want something simple, easy, and fast.



Luxury elopements are for folks like you who care about details, customization, and an elopement experience that reflects who you are as a couple.

A luxury elopement is the key to your

wedding experience full of joy, peacefulness, & excitement.


Luxury elopement planning overview


Now–with all that out of the way!  Hi!  We’re Des & Dan, Montana elopement photographers hoping to showcase exactly how to plan your luxury elopement from dreaming up your vision all the way down to living it out on the day.


How to plan your luxury elopement

  1. Brainstorm your unique luxury elopement vision

  2. Hire supportive professionals proven vital to the experience you’re hoping for

  3. Choose the best luxury elopement location for your specific needs as a couple

  4. Finalize details to support the broader scope

  5. Live out your day(s) to its fullest potential


We’ll also cover some hot topics such as fun luxury elopement ideas to personalize your experience, the most romantic luxury elopement locations, and finally we’ll hit all your faq’s you’ve been wondering about.

Let’s dive deep into those


Step 1: Envision your luxury elopement.

Forget what you’ve seen on pinterest, instagram, blogs.  Bring it back to who you are.  Envision the day in its purest form.


Are you on top of a mountain with wind raging about you while you snuggle in together to keep warm?

Are you seated amidst a candlelight dinner at a private resort with your most beloved guests under the stars?

Are you exploring a city’s finest cultural experiences dancing to local music and indulging in cuisine?

Are you enjoying a scenic helicopter tour before you find just the right glacier on which to present your vows to one another?


All of these & more are possible for your luxury elopement as you begin the process of digging deep to see which type of day makes you feel comfy & alive all at the same time.

Sneak a peek into

outdoor luxury elopement locations.


The Different Types of Luxury Elopement Settings

For the most part, there are 3 settings for luxury elopements: luxury hotels, luxury venues, and nature inspired settings.  Think from the Ritz Carlton all the way down to a gritty national park.


Only you will know which of these luxury elopement settings will you serve you (and any potential guests) beautifully though having vendors in your pocket to give extra insights is always helpful.  Remember–your luxury elopement experience is for you and no one else.  Don’t allow yourselves to be influenced by others’ opinions, trends, you name it.


Contact us for support on choosing your best luxury elopement setting!


Once you have narrowed down which type of experience is advantageous for you, you’ll need to work on assembling the team that will support you throughout the entire process as well as long after your luxury elopement experience is finished, which brings us to step 2 in a moment… but before.

Keep scrolling to see exactly how we help you find your perfect luxury elopement location by customizing you location selection options.


your Personalized Elopement

Location Guide will Include:


  • Location selection strategies
  • Applicable national park and forest rules
  • Location logistic tips
  • Personalized location notes
  • How to form an elopement concept
  • Potential ceremony location options
  • Easily paired experiences
  • Potential adventure locations
  • Final implementations tips

A quick word

About our photography service:

“Not only are Des and Dan skilled in photography, but they also offer packages that assist in destination planning, vendors, location scouting, timelines, and packing lists. Having someone in your arsenal that serves a major purpose AND has endless knowledge of your event is priceless.” -M+B

Step 2: Hire your luxury elopement vendor team.

Let me start by saying–hiring the correct vendor team can make or break your experience.  You’ll want to vet all professionals you’re considering by reading through their website, checking out their recent work, and looking at their reviews.


On top of that, you’ll want to speak personally with them (maybe even multiple times) to ensure they not only are amazing at their craft but that they have a heart for service towards their clients.


What vendors are required for a luxury elopement?

For a luxury elopement there are typically a minimum of five vendors.


Luxury elopements usually include:

  • A photographer

  • A planner and/or event designer (sometimes both)

  • An event coordinator

  • A floral designer

  • A private chef and/or caterer

Let’s hear it again!

Here’s what eloping folks are saying about hiring us:


“Hands down, an AMAZING experience! Love the Des & Dan husband and wife team, working together to get the most perfect photos of us (and letting us sneak a couple looks at the photos in the middle of the shoot).

During our elopement adventure, the weather was rainy, windy, and cold; of course out of everyone’s control. But, from the photos we received, you would have never guessed we all went through all those weather conditions! Des & Dan gave us advice, kept it fun and motivated us, and the results of our photos are STUNNING! I’m so proud of our unique wedding, and it created so many wonderful memories for my new hubby & I. We will always cherish these photos and our adventurous wedding!

Des & Dan are very knowledgeable, honest, kind, and are easy to work with. Their creativity and talents are remarkable. Thank you both so much!”


-Brooke & Steven

These foundational five luxury elopement vendors are a great place to start to ensure that your vision is discovered and carried out to your preferences!


Photographers + Planners

Our best tip is to start with consulting with photographers and planners as they will have the most experience in planning and executing different types of luxury elopements.  These two vendors should be at the top of your list to contact, and likely–each one will have recommendations for the other.  They will also book the furthest out so getting on your dream photographer or planner’s calendar may need to be done on average a year out from your luxury elopement date.


Event Coordinators, Floral Designers, + Food

Now–onto the others!  An event coordinator is great for luxury elopements as they work alongside the designer and/or planner so that the day of comes together seamlessly.  They’ll also keep tabs on the timeline you’ve coordinated on with your photographers over the course of your planning period to keep things according to schedule.


Florals and food are two massive elements of an elopement day where you can also bring in even more customization.  Giving your vision to your floral designer and food vendors will help bring everything full circle and ensure all the details of your luxury elopement reflect you.


Now, we would be remiss to miss an opportunity here!  We are a wife & husband photography team passionate about helping couples plan and live out their luxury elopements… so continue to keep learning how to plan yours or contact us to start chatting your vision.

No need to be scared.

We’re chill folks just like you.

and we have a passion for serving folks just like you two.

Glacier national park elopement commute times
Glacier national park elopement commute times

Step 3: Choose the best luxury elopement location for your specific needs

You know we’re all about customization so your perfect luxury elopement location will var greatly based on what you need to emphasize.  Some couples need more privacy.  That may be you if you feel like saying your vows in front of a crowded room makes you feel sick.


Some couples need raw wilderness and adventure so the day is focused on doing what they love.  That may be you if you find yourselves trying to escape the mundane of everyday life by getting outdoors and being physically active.


And truthfully–luxury elopements are for some couples who know they could have a bland traditional wedding with their current budget.  Or they could BLOW. IT. OUT. for a luxury elopement using those same funds.


We’re here to support all those folks–yourselves included–with these perfect luxury elopement locations!


The top luxury elopement location recommendations:

-The Montana Rockies

-The Alaskan Frontier

-High End Desert Retreats

-Our Wild Card: New Orleans Culture

Let’s take a deep dive into

the most romantic luxury elopement locations.

What are the most romantic luxury elopement locations?


The Montana Rockies

If you’ve watched Yellowstone you’ve already been tempted to run away to Montana!  And here’s the perfect place to escape to for your luxury elopement.  Montana, in our opinion, is the top luxury elopement location for folks like you hoping to get out and see some of the most beautiful landscapes in the lower 48.  Montana houses Glacier National Park with over 700+ miles of hiking trails as well as the infamous Going to the Sun Road you’ll no doubt get to explore during your time here!


Montana’s high end ski towns are perfect for hosting your luxury elopement as the experiences such as dining, excursions, etc. are all set up beautifully for you to enjoy solo or with any anticipated guests.

Montana also has stunning mountain venues that are elopement friendly and bring your luxury mountain elopement dreams to life!  Here’s one of our favorites for example!  Imagine the stillness and peacefulness you feel in the mountains and pair that with marrying your boo.  It doesn’t get any better!

Check out K+T’s 2 day

luxury elopement in those Montana Rockies.


The Alaskan Frontier

Speaking of mountains… HOLY ALASKA! 


Alaska is on our list of the  most romantic luxury elopement destinations because of how unique your vision can come to life here.  If you have your luxury elopement in Alaska plan to make a private helicopter tour or a float plane tour part of your day as you explore the vast wilderness with no hope of a road or another person in sight.


You can enjoy the luxury of amenities such as resorts, spas, etc., and then casually hop into your own helicopter to peruse glaciers, exchange vows, and add on every new adventure you’re hoping for along the way.


Of course we’ll be capturing every splendid moment along the way!  


This luxury elopement location is pristine for couples hoping to have a “just us” experience as Alaska is not as guest friendly as other locations on our list.


Nevertheless–don’t let this deter you.  Alaska should be high on your favorites list if you want gorgeously long days, icy views, and wildlife sightings that make your heart skip as you commit yourselves to one another.


Desert Retreats

If lush mountains, flowing falls, and glaciers don’t set your soul on fire then let us present the idea of a desert luxury elopement!  The desert gets a bad rap sometimes for its temperatures and seclusion, but man on man at the right time of year the desert comes alive as the perfect luxury elopement location!


Sunsets get wild, the colors explode, and the simplicity of the hued landscape makes the perfect backdrop for your wedding!  Add in the opportunity for stargazing with no light pollution, and this quickly heads to the top of your location list to consider!


The desert is also one of our favorite spots to recommend to you if you’re bringing guests along to your luxury elopement because of the ease of travel and ease getting around the landscape.  The desert is built to support groups beautifully, especially at private venues with views that rival national parks!

Check out air favorite luxury Utah venue here and our favorite New Mexico venue here!  Both of these are situated near pristine desert landscapes you can later explore by a 4×4 or with a little bit of hiking to get those gorgeous photos you’re hoping for as well!

These outdoorsy locations not hitting it for you?

Welcome to our luxury elopement wild card.

New Orleans, baby.


Glacier national park elopement commute times
Glacier national park elopement commute times

New Orleans Culture

If the Great Outdoors truthfully aren’t your thing either, but you’re a big fan of unique dining experiences, culture, and history then look no further than the beauty that is New Orleans!  As you walk down the street you’ll hear jazz, you’ll see art, and you’ll feel the southern hospitality wrap you up as you hold hands with your partner exploring the city!


The culture (namely the food, music, architecture, and overall vibe) is truly the pull for folks like you needing a city destination with modern amenities such as nearby airports, restaurants, nightlife, and ample leisurely activities to be had during the day.  Not to mention, everyone needs to experience Bourbon Street at least once. 🙂

For a New Orleans luxury elopement, we’d recommend a private venue experience!  These New Orleans venues may be a great fit for you if you want to tap into the authenticity of New Orleans and enclose yourselves in the romantic atmosphere that is almost tangible here.  This New Orleans Venue is perfect for bringing along guests and experiencing the city!

Step 5: Finalize details to support the broader vision

Now you’ve got your brainstorming completed, the vendors hired, the location found, and we get to work on the details!


Here is where you’ll work hand in hand with your photographer and any planning team you’ve hired to get specific on your vision.  From florals to food all the way down to color palette and guest gifts, your luxury elopement deserves the finest of attention to detail that we as vendors can offer.


Watch as your event comes together seamlessly to execute your vision and your luxury elopement begins to reflect who you are as a couple.


At this point in planning we’ll craft your customized timeline to reflect all your needs–perhaps you need a unique cultural experience, time dedicated to privacy, your adventurous excursion.  Here is where we’ll organize that and put it into place leaving no detail overlooked.  You may also want to give attention to the tinier details–or leave that to your team so you can simply show up trusting your luxury elopement will serve you guys and any potential guests beautifully.

Check out this real

2 Day Luxury Elopement Timeline

to see how all the details can come together.

Glacier national park elopement timeline
2 day glacier national park elopement timeline

Luxury elopement details to finalize

You’ll of course have your timeline in place as well as be in communication with any planner or coordinator to ensure all of the last minute details are taken care of and delivered.


Our hottest tip for this step of your luxury elopement is to personally confirm with each vendor you’ve hired two weeks prior to your date to ensure their services or goods are indeed ready to go for your date!

Luxury elopement trend tips

Luxury elopements lend themselves to being more customized than other forms of weddings anyway.  However, when it comes to deciding which luxury elopement trends to follow (or even set yourself) our advice is to reflect inward for your vision and style.  Trends and the time they are trendy varies greatly so you may want to consider a more classic and timeless style.  You may also fall in love with trends as they come and want to utilize those.  You get to decide how your vision plays out when it comes to trends, so don’t let others determine the look and overall vibe of your luxury elopement.


That being said, here are a few spectrums of trends on which you’ll need to decide where you both fall

  1. Minimalist vs. Maximalist Elopement Design
  2. Elevated Classic vs. Modern or Bohemian 
  3. Tradition Emphasis vs. Relationship Emphasis 


We firmly believe luxury elopements are best when they are most customized to you, so you can fall anywhere on these 3 trend spectrums and still have the luxury elopement that feels best.  Your day shouldn’t only be about photos (which believe me–the bangers will happen), your day should be about connection with one another and an experience you can remember.

The good news is overwhelm is avoidable.  

Your luxury elopement will be 1000% customized.  

The best time of year, the best time of day, and your timeline will fit your needs no matter what the average couple does.

You’re not the average couple.

Your day belongs to YOU.

alternative couple hugs while eloping
bride and groom look out at leigh lake montana

Maybe planning your luxury elopement still feels a little over your head.


We know the feeling, and we won’t let you drown in it.

Here’s exactly how we get started helping you so those feelings of angst, confusion, or blank slate syndrome are gone!

Check out our freebie resource below to plan in a FUN way! 


your elopement brainstorming

master Guide will Include:


  • Setting the foundation for nailing your elopement vision
  • An introduction into 4 crucial decisions you must make when eloping or having a destination wedding
  • Tips on knowing who to bring along
  • Location logistics to consider when choosing your general wedding location
  • A breakdown of how to budget for your wedding experience
  • Final action steps to bring your newly discovered vision to life

And this is only the beginning to all the excitement, resources, and support you’ll receive from us.

Check this cool shiz out.

Here’s what eloping folks are saying about hiring us:


From the first conversation I had with Des I was at ease! When we began planning our intimate wedding, we were both lost on next steps and knew more about what we didn’t want than what we did. Des guided us through the whole planning process, and shared her expertise on picking the perfect location, creating a detailed timeline, and directing us to reliable and proven vendors. She made sure to understand what was important to us and help us incorporate our priorities into every part of the day. Most importantly, Des and Dan took incredible photos that captured every detail while hyping us up and making us feel comfortable the whole time. With Des you get a photographer, wedding planner, and someone who is willing to go to extreme lengths to make your vision a reality.

-Erin & Jake


You have a lingering q:

How can this luxury elopement experience be yours?


Additional Resources for Eloping Couples:

Hey. We’re real folks. Who really love to serve our clients (and even not our clients) really well by providing free planning help! So if you missed any links above, we’re including them here so you can keep reading, keep dreaming, and keep creating your dream elopement! <3 And as always, feel free to reach out about any questions you have. We’d love to hear from you!

Eloping in Montana | The Ultimate How To and Location Guide in case you’re open to other locations options in Montana

How to Elope | So you can have a checklist to reference when planning your elopement

How to Get Married in Montana | So we’re sure we have all the legal and logistical bases covered!

Airbnb Elopement | In case you want a venue feel while you escape to Glacier National Park!

Hope these help! Let us know which ones are most helpful by leaving a comment or two on your favorites, and we’ll chat with you soon!

Hey, it’s us!

We’re Des & Dan! Husband & wife elopement photographers, planners, and officiants! We help couples like you create elopement days full of meaningful details, authentic moments, and creative experiences because we believe you deserve a wedding day where you are truly heard—a wedding day you can truly remember.

We’d love to help in any way you can, so check out our other free planning resources or send us an email by hitting contact! We’d love to hop on the phone and see what you’re envisioning for your elopement day.

You deserve this.

Des & Dan


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