What are some destinations with a tradition of elopement?

Gretna Green is a good example of this - it used to be the go-to destination for elopers in the UK, because laws in Scotland were less strict than those in England and Wales, and it was the first town over the border. It's mentioned in Pride and Prejudice along with other novels. Weddings were often done by blacksmiths rather than priests, and many weddings are still done over an anvil.

An equivalent in the United States is Las Vegas, often performed by an Elvis impersonator.

However, I'm not limiting myself to western countries. I'd be interested not only in specific towns associated with elopements, but also cultures where elopement has some tradition associated with it, so long as they are open to tourists doing such elopements.

In my case, it'd be an opposite-sex elopement, not a same-sex elopement.

Related question: Can you get married while traveling?

Background In case anyone's wondering, I'm not trying to get married without the knowledge of my parents. I'm wanting to know because weddings are getting too big and expensive nowadays.

  • Does it have to be a church-led ceremony and in that case what religion? I'm thinking there might be something for you in the way of civil weddings.
    – Alendri
    Oct 10, 2012 at 10:09
  • No religious requirements. Also, I'm an Australian citizen.
    – Golden Cuy
    Oct 10, 2012 at 11:26
  • So it's not an actual problem you're facing right now? faq
    – Mark Mayo
    Oct 10, 2012 at 14:30
  • 2
    Voted to close, seems too open ended to me.
    – Stuart
    Oct 10, 2012 at 16:01
  • 2
    IMHO, you could edit this question to be more specific. There can be hundreds of places, depending, where you want to elope from.
    – Tschareck
    Oct 10, 2012 at 17:47

1 Answer 1


Have you considered Indonesia? Bali is a popular tourist destination for Australasians and is also has a reputation for couples looking to have a smaller, less expensive wedding. I'm not sure whether that means that Indonesia would be considered a common place for elopement, but given your background comment, it would appear that you are more interested in limiting costs.

Regarding the legalities of getting married in Indonesia, this site has some information. I can't attest to its veracity in this regard.

An alternative is Rarotonga. Friends of mine (New Zealand residents) got married there fairly recently. A brief internet search offers this as an example site giving the fine print regarding getting married in Rarotonga.

Note that I have no connection with these or any other commercial site dealing with travel, weddings, or the legalities of marrying overseas.

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