Looking to elope in New Hampshire? Lucky for you, you’re in the right place! New Hampshire is seriously one of my favorite elopement locations that I like to recommend to my couple. This is a step by step guide complete with locations, packages, and tips & tricks!
What’s the deal with eloping in New Hampshire?
Okay… NH is actually one of the best places to elope on the East Coast. I mean, the variety of scenery is enough for any outdoorsy couple to want to tie the knot here. You’ve got beaches, mountains, waterfalls, national forests, and MORE.
If you’re an adventurous couple (AKA my kind of couple), then you’ll love all of the activities that NH has to offer for after your elopement. There are tons of historical landmarks to visit in this state, anddddd a vibrant nightlife scene if you’re into that. I’m tellin’ ya, there’s no reason not to get married here.
PS: If you’re still on the fence about eloping in general, here’s something that will help you out.
Choose when you want to elope in NH
When you elope in New Hampshire should be dependent on a few different factors. Start thinking about what activities you want to partake in and what kind of scenery you want in your photos and as your backdrop. This will help you narrow down a location, which will be the ultimate deciding factor for deciding your date! Here, we’ll be discussing what type of weather you can expect during the different seasons in NH to give you a starting point.
Elope in NH in the Spring
TBH… you could get inches of snow, or you can get clear skies and major sun! Spring here is a little unpredictable, but beautiful nonetheless.
In the early spring, the snow should be just starting to melt. In theory that sounds great, but in reality, things will most likely be brown and muddy depending on the location. Not the most ideal setting for an epic New Hampshire elopement, you feel? The plants will also not be in bloom in the early stages of spring, either.
What I’m getting at here is starting in May, the terrain is thawed out and the flowers are blooming. Perfect for a cute little spring picnic elopement if that’s your vibe!
Elope in NH in the Summer
There are a few pros and cons for eloping here in the summer. The later months (August + September) can get quite warm… like, not-fun-to-be-outside-for-an-extended-period-of-time warm. If you’re eloping outdoors or planning on doing any strenuous activities, it’s probably not the best idea to pick the late summer months. Keep in mind that summer is also tourist season! That combined with the littles being out of school, many popular locations will be filled with people. If you’re set on a summer elopement, do so in June OR plan for a sunrise or sunset timeline when you’ll have much more privacy.
Elope in NH in the fall
Not to be dramatic, but FALL IS THE BEST TIME TO ELOPE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE. The weather! The foliage! The lack of foot traffic! Basically everything you would want for your elopement, you can get in the fall. The temperatures are considerably cooler than in the summer, so it’s a great opportunity to go hiking without sweating your face off. The kiddos are back in school, butttttt some of the more popular locations could still be a little busy. Opt for a weekday elopement if you can.
Elope in NH in the winter
Did someone say snowy winter wonderland elopement? Hell yeah! The White Mountains are the best place to elope if you want to partake in activities like skiing or snowboarding. Obviously it’s going to be absolutely freezing, but as long as you’re prepared, it’ll be no biggie! The best months for a winter elopement are January or February when NH gets the most snow.
Who’s invited to the party?
Alright, before we nail down a location, it’s time to decide on who you’re inviting to your elopement (if anyone). As you can probably guess, some locations do have strict guest count restrictions to abide by. So we’ve got to figure out who’s coming before moving onto the next step! I actually have a great resource to help you with this tricky topic if you’re having trouble making those decisions.
If you end up wanting to elope JUST the two of you, don’t let anyone make you feel bad about it. I will personally advocate for you and support you in any decision that you make.
Where can I elope in New Hampshire?
Now we’re getting into the Good Stuff. There are so many epic locations to elope in New Hampshire – let’s dive in!
Best mountain elopement locations in New Hampshire
Franconia Notch State Park: This is where Alix & Josh had their fall hiking elopement! It’s located in the White Mountain National Forest and is an epic mountain pass with an extended parkway that goes all the way down to Echo Lake. There are some pretty cool hiking trails here to explore and it’s home to Cannon Mountain, a state-owned ski resort.
Pinkham Notch: Another trailhead in the White Mountain National Forest. If you’re a beginner, there are multiple <2 mile hikes along Route 16 in Pinkham Notch. See, I told you I’d find some beginner-friendly locations for you!
Mt. Washington: Oh, you know, only the highest peak in all of the Northeast. No big deal! On a clear day, you get 130 miles of visibility. You can see out to Vermont, New York, Massachusetts, Maine, Quebec, and the Atlantic Ocean. A sight you won’t want to miss if you’re up for the challenge.
Dixville Notch State Park: This 127-acre park features some pretty epic views along a scenic gorge, as well as waterfalls on two mountain brooks. The fall foliage here is OUT OF THIS WORLD, so put this location on your list if you’re planning a fall elopement in New Hampshire!
Mt. Chocorua: The mountain, the myth, the legend. This mountain is probably one of the most recognizable sites in New Hampshire… but for a good reason! Although it’s a popular site, there are plenty of less-known trails we can take for privacy.
Cathedral Ledge: Another popular place for elopements, this spot is a mile-long road that leads to the top of a 700-foot cathedral ledge with, you guessed it, epic views!
Best coastal elopement locations in New Hampshire
There are only 18 miles of shoreline in NH, but it’s got some hidden gems!
Portsmouth: A cute little coastal port city in New Hampshire! An adorable place to elope + spend a few days for a mini honeymoon. They have great craft breweries if you’re into that kinda thing. There are some beaches near the surrounding towns to enjoy during the spring and summer!
Rocky coastline: If you want the rocky coastline vibes, you won’t be disappointed! I’ll help you find the perfect little spot to elope along the coast, no problem. Rye Harbor State Park is a great place to start 😉
Sandy beaches: Hampton Beach State Park, baby! With miles of white sand beaches, you might actually forget you’re in New Hampshire and mistake it for someplace in California. You can swim, fish, picnic, and about everything else in between here at Hampton Beach.
Waterfalls & Lakes
Crawford Notch State Park: This part has it all. Over 5,000 acres of hiking trails, waterfalls, mountain views, you name it! If you want an all-inclusive elopement spot with tons of diversity, I would highly recommend this state park.
Lake Winnipesaukee: Only the largest lake in New Hampshire, so obviously I had to include it in this list. The Lake Winnipesaukee area in general is great for eloping couples who want the seclusion of nature and the option to go into town and hang out.
Squam Lake: Hear me out – rent a cabin from Rockywold Deephaven Camps for you and your people, then go out and elope on the lake. It doesn’t get much better than that??
Sabbaday Falls: Want to elope near an epic waterfall, but don’t necessarily want the epic hike to go along with it? I got you! This location in White Mountain National Forest only requires a 15 walk to get to the falls.
LaBelle Winery: This award-winning winery in Amherst, NH would be, in my opinion, a lovely little intimate wedding spot! I’m a huge fan of winery weddings, so I had to include a few on my list. You can also totally elope at one of the aforementioned locations by yourselves, and then invite your friends and fam to a winery afterwards to celebrate. Just sayin’, you’ve got options!
Seven Birches Winery: Okay okay, just one more, only because this winery is located at River Walk Resort at Loon Mountain. Sooooo it’s like getting two elopement locations in one?? AND they offer custom wedding wines for you and your partner. HOW COOL!!
Currier Museum of Art: For my artsy couples!!! Why not get hitched at an actual art museum?? You can book guided tours for you and your guests during your wedding or just wander around yourselves and enjoy all of the galleries. Whatever your plan is, I’m down for it.
Enfield Shaker Museum: Can you tell by now that I have a thing for museums and wineries? But at Enfield, you can stay overnight! Along with it being a historic site and overall pretty cool place to get married, there are 20 guest rooms so no one has to make any outside accommodations. PLUS, the property has access to onsite hiking trails so you can still enjoy the nature vibes.
What activities do you want to fill your elopement day with?
Here’s a little exercise for you: think about your absolute dream date day. If you could do anything at all with your partner, what would it be? Build your elopement day around those activities, and you’ve got yourself a starting point.
When you elope in New Hampshire, you have a ton of options. A few cool ideas could be hiking, having a picnic, skiing, snowboarding, partying with friends and fam after, or just spending the rest of the day exploring and taking photos with yours truly. If you LOVE the idea of an adventure elopement, but you’re not necessarily the world’s most avid hiker, I’ve got you. I have an entire blog post dedicated to teaching you how to have an adventure elopement with minimal hiking. I’ll help you pick out the perfect NH location that doesn’t require any strenuous activity.
Once we’ve decided on a location, the next step to planning your elopement would be to create your timeline. Your TL will determine what time we wake up, get ready, travel to your location, how much photo time we have, etcetera. But, don’t worry, we’ll iron all of that out together once you’re officially booked.
Always Leave No Trace
If you’re having any type of event outdoors, it’s always important to follow the Leave No Trace (LNT) principles. Whether you want to elope in New Hampshire or any other place, listen up! These principles were put in place to protect the land we use and preserve for hopefully years to come. I have a special responsibility as an outdoor elopement photographer to follow these principles, and I only ask all my couples to do their part in helping me abide by them! Lucky for you, I have an entire juicy LNT blog for you to study before your elopement. Until then, here are the 7 principles to follow:
1. Plan ahead & Prepare
2. Travel & Camp on durable surfaces
3. Dispose of Waste Properly
4. Leave what you Find
5. Minimize Campfire impacts
6. Respect Wildlife
7. Be Considerate of Others
What do I need to elope in New Hampshire?
It’s time to get into the legal stuff! To legally elope in New Hampshire is pretty simple. You can find a list of all the requirements for your marriage license here, but I’ll also be breaking down a few of the steps in this section of the blog.
You’ll need to get your license at any county clerk office in New Hampshire before 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. I recommend getting to NH (if you’re traveling from out of state) at least two days before your elopement and heading straight to the county clerk. Once your license is issued, you’ll have 90 days to do the damn thing! There’s no waiting period to be concerned about after you obtain it, either. The non-refundable fee for your license is $50.
Here is a list of things you need to bring/need to know when applying for your license:
- Full Name
- Date of Birth
- State of Birth
- Current address
- Social Security Number, if applicable
- Years of Education
- Certified record of date last marriage ended, if applicable
- Fathers full name and state of birth
- Mothers full maiden name and state of birth
How much does it cost to elope in New Hampshire?
Your NH elopement can be as expensive or as budget-friendly as you want. I’ve had couples go all out, and I’ve had couples who’ve kept it super simple! A few standard things you’ll need to consider when building out your budget are: permit feed, marriage license fees, elopement attire, transportation, lodging, and plane tickets if applicable.
Your list of elopement vendors can again, be as simple or as extensive as your heart desires. A photographer, videographer, elopement planner, florist, and officiant are all pretty standard vendors that most couples include. At the same time, if you’re having no guests and wanna keep things mega minimal, it can just be me, an officiant, and you two!
The standard cost for an elopement can be anywhere between $7K-$15K. I’m gonna give you a happy medium example from my $10K Wedding Budget blog for reference:
- Photographer: $5000
- Marriage license: $50
- Officiant: $200
- Location Permit: $200
- Airfare: $100-800 (Want to know how to fly cheap? Check out this post)
- Food: $300
- Dress: $2000 (Check out this shop here, I love their modern styles!)
- Suit: $400
- Veil / Shoes / Accessories: $500
- Flowers: $100
My New Hampshire elopement packages
Let’s get specific on what my New Hampshire elopement packages include! I’m based in Iowa and New England, so I love traveling all over the midwest and East Coast for elopements and small weddings. You can check out my pricing page for investment details, but for now, here are what all of my elopement packages include:
- An online gallery you can share with all of your friends + fam (so it’s like they were there but without the stress)
- Sneak peeks within 2 weeks of your session or wedding (except I never wait 2 full weeks because I’m impatient + you probably are too)
- A USB flash drive with all of your gorgeous images so that you can’t lose them (or when you do, you have a physical backup)
- All of my favorite vendor recommendations so you don’t have to complete your wedding team alone (or spiral down a Google hole)
- Timeline assistance to keep you + your party on track (and take the timing burden off your shoulders)
- Location scouting because you shouldn’t have to do the heavy lifting yourself (and TBH, I love exploring new places)
- Wedding + elopement guides to help you check everything off of your list (or outsource to someone else and go drink wine instead)
- Style guides to help you figure out what to wear (and maybe get inspired to do something a little different)
- Constant (but not annoying) communication so that you always feel supported and informed
- Candids of your family + friends (should you invite any) so you can remember your favorite day together
- Answers to quite literally any question because I’ve been there, done that (no seriously, I don’t want you to have to Google a single thing)
Sounds pretty dope, right? If you already know that you want me to be your elopement photographer, you can contact me here.
NH Elopement inspiration and ideas
Having some trouble envisioning your NH elopement or just straight up wanna see what one looks like IRL? Lucky for you, I’ve blogged Alix & Josh’s New Hampshire Hiking Elopement! They eloped in the fall (my fave season) and they brought their dog. Seems like a dream elopement? They chose to invite a few of their friends and family, and everyone had a blast.
Ready to elope in New Hampshire?
Hell yeah you are! Hit me up here if you know I’m the photographer for you. I’ll get back to you soon and we can start planning your dream NH elopement together.