How to Elope in NH
So you decided you want to elope in NH, but you don’t know where to start? This blog post is full of tips and tricks and everything you need to know about planning your New Hampshire elopement. You will read about the pros and cons of each season, the amazing locations around NH, and other helpful tips in this post!
When to elope in NH
Spring - Spring is such a beautiful time here in NH! Beautiful blooms, green starting to flood the treetops, and of course all the flowers and smells they bring! One of my favorite blooms in the spring is apple blossoms, not only are they stunning, they smell delectable! But for every beautiful bloom, there is a black fly! Black flies can be a terror in the spring, that is definitely something to be mindful about while planning your NH spring wedding. Spring is also known to be mud season here in New England. Depending on where you are planning your elopement, you may also have to plan for mud. Aside from mud, the weather can be hit or miss this time of year. Overall it is starting to warm up which is nice, however it does tend to rain often, so keeping an open mind about a rainy day adventure is key this time of year.
Summer - Ahh sweet summer time! The sun is shining, the rich green color takes over the woods, and the warm fresh air is all around us. There lakes, mountains, and the coast which are all beautiful spots to enjoy during the summer months, and can make for the perfect elopement location. The downfalls of planning a summer elopement are the hot temps and the crowds. The key to avoiding crowds in the summer is to plan a weekday elopement in a secluded area. You also have to be okay knowing it may be very hot on your day and plan accordingly by staying hydrated (Liquid IV is my favorite way to do so).
Fall - We are known for our beautiful fall foliage here in NH, and it does not disappoint! The hot temperatures are starting to cool down, the glow of colors start to take over creating a stunning sight. If you’re planning a fall wedding in NH keep in mind peak foliage is different all over the state, starting more north working its way south. Also keep in mind, foliage around bodies of water typically starts changing a little sooner than those not near water. Because we are known for our beautiful fall colors here in New England, avoiding crowds is something you will have to consider if you do not want an audience. Week day elopements are always a great idea and consideration for avoiding crowds.
Winter - If you know anything about winter in New England, you know the winters can be brutal. Winters in NH can also be absolutely gorgeous! There is something so magical about the winter glow of the sun, it's so subtle and golden. Not to mention the stunning snow fall! When a fresh coat of snow covers the trees and sparkles against the soft sunlight, it is fairy tail-esk! Obviously you need to be prepared for the extreme cold! If you are planning anything outdoors, from the ceremony to a couple quick pictures, plan to layer up! If you do not want to wear a coat for photos, plan to have one with you that you can warm up with in between. Fur or fake fur coats and shawls can be a really fun way to not only stay warm but also add texture and layer to your photos.
Places to elope in NH
Lakes region - There are so many fun and beautiful places around the lakes region to plan your special day. From downtown Meredith, to the state parks, there are so many places to explore and ways to celebrate your dream day. There is nothing like cooling off by jumping in fresh lake water, why not make that part of your day!?
White Mountains - We all know this is my all time favorite place to be, but it’s not about me, it’s all about you! The White Mountains are absolutely breathtaking! From the actual mountains, to waterfalls, conway, franconia and crawford notch, the kanc, there are soooo many adventure filled and fun areas to plan your dream elopement in the whites! Just remember to really look into the specific location, some spots in National Forest Land do require you to get a permit.
Coast - We are lucky enough to have the mountains and the coast all in one state! Not only is the sea coast all around stunning, it is full of fun activities to incorporate into your special day to make it that much more special! Imagine deep sea fishing on your elopement day!
Family property - Does your family have a beautiful piece of property somewhere? This could be a great way to stay secluded and have an in with the owners (;
Airbnb - Airbnbs are such a fun and unique alternative to a wedding venue. There are so many options when it comes to them too! You can plan to have your ceremony right on sight of most of them as long as you’re upfront with the hosts and have clear communication with them. Be sure to let the host know what your plans are and how many guests you plan on having. It is best to be upfront in these scenarios to avoid any issues that may arise. You can choose to get married right on the property or just plan to stay / get ready there while you get married close by.
Waterfalls / Woods - There are so many fun outdoor spots around NH that aren't necessarily on White Mountain National Forest land that would make perfect elopement locations. There are a handful of waterfalls around the state or just beautiful pieces of wooded land! Just be respectful and mindful about how you go about it. Make sure the land is public, state, or if it is owned personally you get permission. Either way make sure you abide by the rules for that area.
State parks - There are so many fun and beautiful state parks across the state that would make stunning locations for a NH elopement! Each state park varies on what they allow or if you need specific permits, so make sure just like most locations mentioned in this blog, you look into it and gain permissions to do so.
Tips for eloping in NH
What you need to know about getting your Marriage License in NH - Whether you are or are not a resident of NH, you can file an application at any town or city clerk's office in NH to receive your marriage license. This process takes about 30 minutes. Something to make note of are the hours of operation of the town / city clerk's office. Once you have the license, you can get married in any town or city in NH within 90 days. There is no waiting period after receiving the marriage license. Who can marry you in the state of NH? - A NH resident that obtains a status of an ordained minister is all that is required to sign a marriage certificate in NH. This is great news for some of my couples, because I am an ordained NH resident and can sign marriage licenses in this state! After your ceremony and the proper signing of the marriage license, it will need to be brought to the registrar's office by the minister / vicar within 21 days. This is needed in order to process your marriage certificate.
Hire local vendors - The benefit of hiring local vendors is, well, they’re local! They know certain locations or specifics about the area and are familiar with the state! You can go to them for advice because they have experience working here. By taking their advice to create your dream day, you also have the opportunity to work with a great fun team or vendors who may have worked together before, or simply know they work great together! Another great thing about working with me is I have a preferred vendors list for vendors all around NH that I will recommend if you are looking for a certain vendor.
How to find the perfect spot - First off, if you’re working with me you won’t have to worry about this because I will find you the best spot for you both to exchange your vows, have your ceremony, or for family photos. But even if you are working with, keep reading this could be beneficial. This is one of my personal tricks and it has been for a while! If you’re at all outdoorsy and you don’t already have it, download the app “All tails” right NOW! I am obsessed and have been using this app for years! You can search for trails / scenic drives + views in certain areas! Again if you’re working with me you won't have to worry about this, but it is a great way to find a fun adventure wherever you travel or while you’re on your honeymoon! They give great descriptions of what to expect on the trail from the traffic, to the steepness, directions, and more! I personally love reading through the comments from previous trail goes, and honestly recommend it. You can gain useful information this way from gates / roads being closed, to recent trail conditions, or where to park. This is my favorite trick for finding unpopular trails to adventure with my pups!
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