bride and groom reading their vows during their new hampshire elopement how to elope in new hampshire

Your Guide to Eloping in New Hampshire

Close your eyes and imagine your perfect day. Where would you be? Who would be there with you? What would you do? Now imagine getting married on that same day! Elopements give you the freedom to celebrate your wedding day however you want to! And New Hampshire has some incredible elopement possibilities! As a New Hampshire elopement photographer, I’ve planned and documented quiet a few elopements and understand how overhwmeling it can feel in the beginning. So I made this blog post to outline how to elope in New Hampshire to help make planning your New Hampshire elopement just a little bit easier!

bride and groom looking at each other in front of an alpine lake how to elope in new hampshire

Choose your New Hampshire Elopement Location

Choosing where to elope in New Hampshire can be overwhelming with how many incredible locations there are to choose from! The best part about eloping is the freedom to choose anywhere to have your ceremony, and the best part about eloping in New Hampshire is the huge variety of stunning locations to choose from. The downside is that sometimes it can feel like there are too many options. If you already have your elopement photographer booked, they can help you a lot with this process by providing ideas and recommendations. And if you don’t, check us out here!

Imagine yourself during your ceremony about to say your vows, where do you want to be? What scenery do you imagine surrounds you? Once you get a rough idea of your vision, it’s time to find some specific spots! Here are some of the most popular New Hampshire elopement locations.

Where to Elope in New Hampshire

  • Cathedral Ledge
  • Franconia Notch State Park
  • Mount Washington
  • Pinkham Notch
  • Lake Winnepasake
  • Kancamagus Highway
  • Crawford Notch State Park
  • White Mountain National Forest
bride smiling at groom on Mount Washington how to elope in New Hampshire

Decide on the size of your New Hampshire Elopement

Go back to that idea of your perfect day. Who do you want to be with on your wedding day? For some, it’s just you and your partner. For others that means a crowd of your friends and family. Not all elopements are the same; there isn’t a strict guideline you have to follow for what your wedding day looks like! This is something that you decide and only you, so don’t let outside pressure determine what your wedding day looks like or it won’t feel authentic to you.

“JUST US” ELOPEMENTS

An elopement with just the two of you is perfect if you’re looking for an epic adventure, or something super intimate. It gives you the freedom to go almost anywhere and do almost anything! If you imagine yourself hiking out to a remote location, this is likely the best option!

FAMILY + FRIENDS

Bringing your family and friends can also be an epic adventure! There are so many amazing elopement spots around New Hampshire that require little to no hiking and have some insane views! There are so many ways you can include guests into your elopement day. It’s important to keep in mind though that the more people invited, the more limited your location choices are.

CAN’T DECIDE? DON’T!

Want alone time with just you and your partner, but also time to celebrate with your guests? That’s totally possible too! You can easily have an intimate ceremony alone where you exchange private vows AND have a larger ceremony with your guests for your elopement. Or invite your friends and family to join after the ceremony for a fun reception and dinner!

bride and groom kissing on a mountain top in New Hampshire how to elope in New Hampshire

Permits and Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace

bride and groom in greenery new hampshire elopement photographer

Pick a Place to Stay

When picking where to stay, go back to your vision of your elopement day. Do you picture yourself hosting friends and family for a fun reception? Or do you imagine just you and your partner hanging out after your New Hampshire elopement? Find a place that can accommodate your vision. 

Try to find a place no more than 45 minutes away from your ceremony site to make travel on the day a bit easier. After a full day of wedding festivities and adventuring, you don’t want to drive too far back to your place. Airbnb or VRBO are great places to find beautiful, and often times less expensive, houses to stay in. We’ve found that when couples rent cabins or houses rather than hotel rooms, they have more freedom on their wedding day to relax and include items that make it more personal.

Tips for Finding the perfect rental to elope in New Hampshire

  • How far is it from your ceremony site?
  • Can it accommodate all of your guests after your ceremony?
  • Does it include everything you want?
  • If you’re planning on bringing your pets, is it animal-friendly?
  • What is the parking situation? Can it fit everyone’s cars?
couple standing on a mountain top kissing at sunset eloping How to elope in Maine

How to Legally Elope in New Hampshire

This is the most important aspect of eloping in New Hampshire! You don’t want to get all the way through your amazing elopement and then realize it’s not even legal. Thankfully New Hampshire makes this process pretty simple and your elopement photographer can always help you through this process in case you get confused. All you need to legally elope in New Hampshire is your marriage license and an officiant!

HOW TO GET A MARRIAGE LICENSE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE

  • Both parties must be present to complete the marriage license application unless one of the parties is in the military and is unable to make it to New Hampshire
  • Applicants must bring a document that proves their identity and age such as a driver’s license, non-driver ID, or passport

The marriage license is valid for 90 days and can only be used within the State of New Hampshire. The person performing the ceremony is responsible for filing the marriage certificate with the town office that issued the marriage license.

OFFICIANTS

The following individuals are authorized to perform marriages in New Hampshire:

  • A Justice of the Peace commissioned in the State of New Hampshire
  • Any minister of the gospel in New Hampshire who has been ordained according to the usage of his or her denomination, who resides in New Hampshire and is in regular standing with the denomination.
  • Any minister who resides outside of New Hampshire, but has a pastoral charge wholly or partly in New Hampshire, if the marriage is performed within his/her parish.
  • Any member of the clergy who is not ordained but is engaged in the services of the religious body to which he or she belongs and resides in New Hampshire, – after being licensed by the Secretary of State.
  • By any minister who resides outside of New Hampshire – after being licensed by the Secretary of State.
  • The secretary of state may issue a special license to an individual residing out of state who is authorized or licensed by law to perform marriages in such individual’s state of residence, authorizing him or her in a special case to marry a couple within the state.

Most town halls will also provide a list of trusted officiants to make finding one a bit easier.

Winter New Hampshire hiking elopement photographer

Elope in New Hampshire and Have the Best Day Ever!

Now that you know how to elope in New Hampshire, you can go through and find everything you need to make your day go smoothly! Don’t forget, this day is all about you, and you can decide to do anything you want to.

FUN THINGS TO THINK ABOUT INCLUDING in YOUR New Hampshire Elopement

  • Find vendors that support your vision for your day! (If you need assistance finding vendors ask your elopement photographer! I personally love to help couples find other vendors to make sure their day is perfect).
  • Think about what will elevate your elopement experience. A few popular vendors to include are a hair and makeup artist, florist, private chef or caterer, and a videographer. Make sure whoever you hire is 100% on board with your vision for your wedding day. Not all vendors are familiar with elopements so make sure to communicate with them beforehand and check if they are a good fit.
  • Think about your perfect day. Who would be there? What would you do? What are you and your partner’s favorite activities to do together? Think about including some super specific and personal activities on your wedding day!
Meet your photographer team

We’re Bridget & Ryan!

Adventurers turned adventure elopement photographers specializing in national park and hiking elopements! We help couples craft a wedding day that feels authentic to them in a meaningful and epic location. Life’s an adventure, let’s make your wedding one too!