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HOW TO ELOPE IN VERMONT

Updated: Jul 13

ADVENTUROUS LOCATIONS + TIPS TO ELOPING IN VERMONT STATE: YOUR GUIDE TO ELOPING IN VERMONT


RAE ANN PHOTO | ELOPEMENT & WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER | NEW ENGLAND & BEYOND




For couples seeking an adrenaline-filled elopement experience, Vermont is a playground of adventure and natural wonders. From majestic mountains and roaring waterfalls to scenic hiking trails and hidden caves, the Green Mountain State offers a myriad of exciting locations that will make your elopement an unforgettable adventure. In this blog post, I will explore some of the most thrilling elopement locations in Vermont, where you can say "I do" surrounded by the beauty of nature and a sense of adventure.

  1. Smugglers' Notch: Tucked away in the heart of the Green Mountains, Smugglers' Notch is a rugged and awe-inspiring location for adventurous elopements. This narrow mountain pass offers breathtaking views, towering cliffs, and winding trails that lead to hidden waterfalls. Whether you choose to hike to Sterling Pond, explore the caves, or exchange vows on the edge of a cliff, Smugglers' Notch will provide a dramatic backdrop for your elopement.

  2. Mount Mansfield: As the highest peak in Vermont, Mount Mansfield offers a thrilling and picturesque setting for adventure-loving couples. Whether you decide to hike to the summit or take a scenic gondola ride, the panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and mountains will leave you in awe. The iconic ridgeline and stunning alpine meadows provide an unforgettable setting for an adventurous elopement ceremony.

  3. Camel's Hump State Park: This park is a free entry, underdeveloped state park and one of Vermont's only wilderness areas. Pets are welcome but must be kept on a leash. The Monroe trail on the Duxbury side is among one of the popular trails to hike to the summit. Some camping is allowed as well!

  4. Quechee Gorge: Known as the "Grand Canyon of Vermont," Quechee Gorge is a magnificent natural wonder that will take your breath away. This 165-foot-deep gorge carved by the Ottauquechee River offers a unique and adventurous backdrop for your elopement. You can exchange vows on the edge of the gorge, overlooking the rushing water below, or choose one of the nearby trails for a romantic ceremony amidst the beauty of the surrounding forest.

  5. Lake Willoughby: Nestled between towering cliffs, Lake Willoughby is a hidden gem that offers a picturesque and adventurous elopement location. Surrounded by lush forests and crystal-clear waters, this glacial lake provides a tranquil and awe-inspiring setting for your special day. Consider a lakeside ceremony, a boat elopement, or a hike to one of the nearby peaks for a truly unforgettable experience.

  6. Sterling Pond - The Sterling Pond Trail is located in the Green Mountains of Vermont, within the Mount Mansfield State Forest. It is near the town of Stowe and is part of the Smugglers' Notch State Park. The Sterling Pond Trail is approximately 1.7 miles long. It is a relatively short trail but offers a rewarding hiking experience.

  7. Bolton Falls - Also called the Bolton Potholes. Bolton Falls is situated in the town of Bolton, which is in Chittenden County, Vermont. The falls are nestled along the beautiful Joiner Brook, a tributary of the Winooski River. It is a short hike to get to the falls.

Here are some helpful facts about eloping in Vermont:

  1. Elopement-friendly State: Vermont is known for its welcoming and relaxed approach to elopements. The state has minimal legal requirements and offers a straightforward process for couples looking to tie the knot without a big wedding ceremony.

  2. Marriage Laws: To elope in Vermont, couples need to obtain a marriage license from any town clerk's office in the state. Both parties must be present, provide identification, and pay a fee. There is no waiting period, and the license is valid for 60 days.

  3. Scenic Natural Beauty: Vermont is renowned for its stunning landscapes, picturesque mountains, and charming rural settings. Whether you prefer mountain vistas, scenic lakes, or rustic countryside, the state offers a diverse range of breathtaking locations for elopements.

  4. Quaint Towns and Historic Inns: Vermont is dotted with charming towns and historic inns that provide intimate and romantic settings for elopements. Places like Stowe, Woodstock, and Shelburne offer a blend of natural beauty and New England charm, making them popular choices for couples seeking an elopement destination.

  5. Outdoor Adventure Opportunities: Vermont is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Couples can incorporate adventure activities into their elopement, such as hiking, skiing, snowboarding, kayaking, or even hot air ballooning. The state's diverse terrain and four distinct seasons provide endless opportunities for unique and adventurous elopement experiences.

  6. Vibrant Fall Foliage: Vermont is famous for its spectacular fall foliage. From mid-September to late October, the state's landscape transforms into a vibrant display of reds, oranges, and yellows. Elopements during the peak foliage season offer a stunning and romantic backdrop for exchanging vows.

  7. Culinary Delights: Vermont is celebrated for its farm-to-table cuisine and artisanal food products. Couples can indulge in delectable locally sourced dishes, craft beers, and Vermont's famous maple syrup during their elopement celebrations. Many venues and restaurants in the state offer customized menus to cater to the couple's preferences.


8+ Hours of Coverage Example: Adventure Hiking Elopement

*Coverage hours are based on a Summer sunset elopement

* Times will vary depending one season, month and day

  • 9:00 am Wakeup at Airbnb pack for hiking elopement

  • 10:00 am Breakfast at a local restaurant or cafe

  • 11:30 am Meet at Camel's Hump State Park via Monroe Trail

- 5 hours hiking to summit

  • 4:00 pm Summit Camel's Hump

- Rest time 30 minutes before photos

- Take time to change into wedding attire

  • 4:30 pm Ceremony begins

- First look

- Ceremony/Private Vows

  • 7:30pm - Sunset photos at the summit

6+ Hours of Coverage Example: Lake Willoughby


  • 9:00 am Breakfast + coffee at a local cafe

  • 10:00 am Back to Airbnb to get ready for ceremony

  • 3:00 pm Ceremony at Lake Willoughby *The Notch House is popular*

  • 3:30 pm Photos at lake

  • 4:00pm Champagne toast on the trail

  • 6:00pm Sunset photos at Chautauqua Park

  • 8:00pm Back to Airbnb for dessert and after-party

  • 9:00pm Head back out again for starry night photos



4 Hours of Coverage Example: Bolton Potholes


  • 3:00pm Meet at an Airbnb for a few getting ready photos and a first look outside

  • 4:00pm Ceremony at Falls

  • 5:00pm Toast & sunset photos on top of the rocks and at river

  • 7:00pm Done





Recommended Vendors:

Florals - Old Time Flowers, A School House Garden, Silver Spring Farm, A Clover And One Bee, Wild Lark

Hair/Makeup - Heather Garrow Studios, Library Hair Studio, Emily Tobi, Prime Salon VT

Dessert/Cake - A Goosechase Cake Design, Dream Maker Bakers

Stationary Design - Inked Page Calligraphy


Eloping in Vermont provides couples with a magical and stress-free experience surrounded by nature's beauty and New England charm. Whether you envision a serene lakeside ceremony, an adventurous mountaintop exchange of vows, or an intimate celebration in a historic inn, Vermont offers the perfect setting for a memorable elopement. From the dramatic cliffs of Smugglers' Notch to the panoramic views atop Mount Mansfield, Camel's Hump or the awe-inspiring Quechee Gorge and serene Lake Willoughby, the Green Mountain State offers a diverse range of locations that will satisfy your sense of adventure and create lasting memories. Whether you're an avid hiker, nature lover, or thrill-seeker, Vermont's venturous elopement locations will provide a breathtaking backdrop for your next adventure.


Helpful links:


https://vtstateparks.com/camelshump.html


How do we book you for photography?


Just head to my contact page and fill out a form or you can email me at raeannphoto056@gmail.com when you're ready to start planning. If you're planning for a weekday there's no rush but if you would like a weekend date, let me know ASAP!

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