So you decided to elope. Yay! Now the trouble is figuring out exactly how to elope. We created this blog to help you narrow down some possibilities and make sure it's a legal ceremony. While we love elopements & weddings equally, our love for elopements & weddings in New Hampshire beats out any other wedding or elopement. New Hampshire may not always be the first place you think of when you think stunning elopements on top of a mountain, we're here to change that. Let's chat when, where, and how to elope in New Hampshire with lots of other tips & tricks along the way!
How to Legally Elope in New Hampshire
Luckily in New Hampshire it's actually super easy to legally elope! All you need is a marriage license and a licensed officiant to perform your ceremony. Which means other than those two things, you can do whatever you want for your elopement! Already sounds amazing right?
So let's start with the first thing you need, a marriage license. You can go to any town's Town Clerk office in New Hampshire, whether you're a resident or not, to get your marriage license. The process doesn't take long at all. You could go the weekday before your elopement and get the license in time! You need a few things for the appointment at the Town Clerk. It's pretty basic stuff like, documentation to prove your name, age and DOB, social security number, and a few other things. Check out the full list on the Town Clerk's website before heading out! For more information, here is everything you need to know on the NH Website.
TIP: During the busy season (June-October), Town Clerks can be a busy time for marriage licenses. You can get everything done beforehand so you don't have to stress about getting the license on time. You can always call and see if there is anything you can do to speed up the process.
When to Elope in New Hampshire
Okay in all honesty, there isn't a bad time to elope in New Hampshire. We might be a little bias, but hear us out! When it comes to the New England area, you probably think fall right? Fall is definitely the most popular time of year to elope in New Hampshire, and it is truly stunning! The foliage is like nothing you've ever seen before. BUT with that beauty comes tons of tourist from all over the world. There are ways to avoid the tourists though if you had your heart set on a September - October elopement. First off, elope on a weekday! It might not be the most convenient, but you'll get that stunning foliage with minimal tourists. Another thing is to avoid Columbus Day weekend, at all costs. If you have to do a weekend, then consider a sunrise ceremony! A sunrise ceremony on a weekday would also be recommended if you want to elope in one of the more popular areas.
Now let's chat about the other seasons. We love them just as much, but not everyone thinks of summers or winters in NH. Winter can be a bit unforgiving, but the views and photos are always absolutely gorgeous. So if you're up to brave the weather, you won't regret it! Summer is one of our favorites for adventurous couples. With warmer weather comes the ability to do more activities on your elopement day. If you want to add more adventure to your elopement timeline, (think swimming, kayaking, and camping) we'd highly recommend a summer elopement in New Hampshire!
Important Considerations to Elope in New Hampshire
Have a close friend or family member get licensed to officiate! It adds a special touch & you can force them to go on a little hike if need be.
Decide if you want family & friends involved. We see a lot of elopements that have family involved for the ceremony and then the couple splits off for some alone time & portraits.
If you decide to not have family present, have them write you letters that you can read together on your elopement day.
Gone are the days of boring elopements all about the ceremony itself. Most of our elopement couples turn their day into a full day of adventure & memory making!
Struggling to come up with a timeline for your day? We got you. Here is a very bare bones example elopement timeline to get you started!
9 AM - Getting ready at the Airbnb
11 AM - First look and a few portraits at the Airbnb
12 PM - Ceremony with family present followed by family and wedding couple portraits
1 PM - Head back to Airbnb for lunch with family
3 PM - Set off on a hike to explore waterfalls and finish with sunset portraits on a mountain top! Be sure to pack yourselves a picnic and champagne!
Where to Elope in New Hampshire
Most people out of state don't think of NH as a place to elope. We, of course, see a lot of people travel somewhere out west for their elopement. The problem is, most of those locations are going to be so heavily populated with locals & other people who had the same thought for their elopement. Let's be different and elope in New Hampshire! New Hampshire has so much variety. There are some wonderful gems in this state. A lot of locations can be pretty empty during certain time of day & time of year. So you get that gorgeous mountain view, but also a location all to yourself.
We'll go over some of our past elopements & their locations in a moment. First let's chat about some of the top destinations to elope in New Hampshire.
The White Mountain National Forest is full of waterfalls, hikes of all levels & skills and some epic swimming holes. The Seacoast, although very small, offers some wonderful gems such as Odiorne Point State Park or the Great Island Commons. New Hampshire has some stunning bed and breakfasts that offer great elopement packages! There is also a super charming, costal New England town, Portsmouth, that is the perfect for an elopement weekend getaway. They have everything you need from unique shops, amazing food, upscale hotels and inns, and tons of history to explore. Let's look at some elopement galleries from these locations & some of our other favorites!
Glen Ellis Falls
Glen Ellis Falls is such a stunning and unique area. You get a lot of background diversity & the drama of the waterfall. The waterfall is only about a 10 minute easy walk from the parking lot. So if you want stunning waterfall backdrops with as little hiking as possible. This New Hampshire elopement location is for you! For more info on Glen Ellis Falls head here.
Mount Washington is one of our absolute favorite New Hampshire elopement locations. For a full breakdown on this location and why we love it so much, head to Hannah & Marc's elopement blog!
Artist Bluff is truly stunning any time of year. We've photographed a fall elopement and a summer elopement here and could not choose a favorite! The landscape in the fall gives off those gorgeous warm tones and give the backdrop a more moody & boho vibe. In the summer, you get the lush greenery in the background and it makes for more lush, jaw dropping views. Needless to say, we love this location for those who want to elope in New Hampshire. For more information on Artist Bluff & the trails in the area, head here.
Cathedral Ledge is such a cool location that even we can't believe is in New Hampshire! The elopement we got to capture here was so sweet. They included their daughters in the ceremony and had a cute little champagne picnic after. The views are stunning, and the rocky terrain make it so unique for the area. For more information on this New Hampshire elopement location head here.
West Rattlesnake Mountain
West Rattlesnake Mountain is one of the more popular locations to elope in New Hampshire. We've photographed an elopement in the winter here, and it was stunning. The snow covered mountain made for the perfect photos, and no other people in site! This would be a location we definitely suggest an off season or a sunrise, weekday elopement to avoid the crowds. Head here to see more information on the trails here and how to get to the top!
Portsmouth is a cute, quaint, classic New England town. You'll find everything from unique shops, amazing food, upscale hotels and inns, and tons of history to explore. We are dying to shoot an elopement in Portsmouth because it's just such a beautiful town. Head here to see all that Portsmouth has to offer.
Looking for a Photographer to Elope in New Hampshire?
Hey, we're Ends of the Earth Innovations! We're a New Hampshire based photography team who specializes in all things love. We document all your candid moments with creativity and purpose. So if you're on the hunt for a New Hampshire elopement photographer, we'd love to hear from you! Head here to fill out our contact form, and tell us more about your love story. We'd be honored to capture your best day!