The ultimate guide to elope in Spain – tips and ideas for an adventure elopement in Spain
From coastilines with crystal clear blue waters to the towering Pyrenees mountains, Spain is the perfect getaway for any couple who wants to elope amongst the gorgeous natural scenery. You can enjoy the romantic architecture and vibrant nightlife of Barcelona, stay in a villa on the coast, or embark on a backpacking journey through the mountains (why not do all three? Your elopement experience should be an epic adventure!).
This guide will tell you everything you need to know about how to elope in Spain, with information about marriage laws, the best locations, and more. Keep reading, and you’ll be an expert in no time!
First, let’s be sure we’re talking about the same thing:
1) What is an elopement?
What comes to mind when you think of the word “elope?” Images of a couple running off in secret? Shameful, rushed ceremonies in rhinestone studded chapels? Drunken decisions made in Vegas?
Maybe that’s what elopements used to be, but no more! The meaning of elopements has changed so much, and now an elopement is a way for couples like you to focus on what really matters. Elopements are intentional and meaningful, and they give couples the opportunity to have a wedding experience that actually makes them happy. Elopements are whatever you want them to be! Whether that’s saying your vows on a mountain top or tying the knot with your closest friends around.
2) How to Legally Elope in Spain
While paperwork and legalities may not be the most exciting part of your day, it’s important that you’re aware of everything you need to make sure your marriage is legal and official!
To get married in Spain, at least one of the parties needs to be a legal resident of Spain, and needs to have been a resident for at least two years.
But, don’t worry if you’re traveling internationally to elope in Spain! You can still elope in this beautiful country, and sign the papers at home before or after your ceremony. That way, your elopement day can be all about the important stuff – saying your vows, having an adventure, and spending the day together – and you won’t have to worry about the legal part.
3) Why Elope in Spain?
From the dramatic, towering mountains to the countless beaches that dot its coastlines, Spain is a country full of natural beauty and inspiring landscapes. When you elope here, you’ll have no shortage of gorgeous places to choose from. You can elope at a villa overlooking the beach, then take off on an adventure through the Pyrenees mountain range.
For many people, one of the highlights of Spain is, of course, the amazing food. From five star restaurants to tapa bars to cozy cafes, Spanish cuisine is famous for being delicious and flavorful. Imagine ending your elopement after a day of hiking by enjoying some amazing tapas!
In the hillsides of Andalucía and throughout Southern Spain, the hillsides are dotted with quaint, whitewashed houses that sit on cobblestone streets. These charming villas are a popular attraction, and would make the perfect home base for your elopement in Spain.
4) Where to Elope in Spain
Did you know that you can take a trip through the desert in Spain? Southeast of the city of Navarre, you will find a desert landscape carved and eroded by wind and water. The most photographed and most popular spot in this vast landscape is the Cabezo de Castildetierra, which draws visitors from all over the world.
Cuevas del Drach
Cuevas translates to caves – and that’s exactly what you’ll find on the island of Mallorca. These four caves were formed by the filtration of seawater, and you can take a boat ride through the underground lakes and enjoy the stalactites and unique cavern formations around you.
Lagos de Covadonga
This is the perfect hiking destination, with a series of glacial lakes surrounded by picturesque mountains. At Lagos de Covadonga, you’ll find alpine cattle grazing amidst the landscape. Lake Enol and Lake Ercina are the most picturesque lakes, and the most frequently visited.
Playas de la Catedrales
One of Spain’s main attractions is its crystal clear blue waters. At Las Catedrales Beach, you can see the striking view of the water amongst the stone arches, carved and eroded by the water. The arches resemble buttresses of a cathedral, giving this stunning beach its name.
Parque Natural de Somiedo
In the Cantabrian Mountains lies this park, a stunning glacial landscape. The deep valleys, glacial lakes, and high peaks offer tons of hiking trails. You can find trails of every length and level of difficulty, and you might even spot a brown bear!
5) When to Elope in Spain
Spain has such a variety of landscapes that throughout the country, you can find many different climates. As a result, the best time to elope will depend a lot on where you’re eloping, and what you want to do!
Spring in Spain is too cold for swimming, but it is perfect if you want to spend some time outside and enjoy the sunshine. In March and April, the north of Spain gets rainy, but by May you will be greeted with sunny skies. The southern parts of Spain are usually warmer than the north, and in the springtime temperatures are usually in the 70s. Spring is perfect for eloping in the desert of Spain, or for spending some time in the city.
Summertime in Spain can be very hot, so if you want to elope in the summertime, make sure to go to one of the beaches or to elope in the mountains! Because high altitude locations tend to stay snow covered until June or July, summer is the ideal time to elope in Spain if you want to add a hiking trip to your itinerary.
Spain gets the most rainfall in October and November, but it also offers gorgeous fall colors as the leaves change. Eloping amongst the fall foliage can be a unique and beautiful experience, and if you prefer chillier weather, eloping in the fall in Spain is perfect for you.
Compared to most of Europe, winters in Spain are fairly mild. The southern parts of the country stay sunny year round, but if you want to experience winter weather, you can elope in the mountains of Spain and go skiing through the alpine.
6) How Much Does it Cost to Elope in Spain?
Travel to and from Spain: $1.000
Marriage license: $175
Five nights in high-end accommodation: $2.500
Elopement photographer: $7.000
Private chef or full board: $1.000
Wedding dress and accessories: $4.000
Suit and accessories: $1.000
Total for a high-end elopement in Spain: $19.675
Travel to and from Spain: $1.000
Marriage license: $175
Five nights in an Airbnb: $1.000
Elopement photographer: $7.000
Wedding dress and accessories: $2.000
Suit and accessories: $400
Total for a budget elopement in Spain: $12.675
Avoid the stress, family drama and financial chaos that comes with traditional weddings. Surrender to a “just us” adventure elopement instead.
Hi! I’m Amber, your elopement photographer, planner and guide.
Together we plan your dream elopement itinerary in Spain over 1, 3, 7 or 12 days.
Let’s plan your all-inclusive adventure elopement in Spain
7) What to Wear
Feeling your best on your wedding day is important, even if you’re eloping! You’ll be cutting costs when it comes to centerpieces and food for your guests, so invest that money in some amazing elopement attire! Here’s a quick guide to choosing the best thing to wear for your elopement.
It’s important to keep in mind that you’ll be moving around a lot on your elopement day! Make sure you choose a dress style that you can walk, sit, and move around in. Mermaid style dresses may not be the best choice, while light, flowy styles will be better suited for the adventure. Light, layered dresses will also keep you cool in hot weather, and fabrics such as tulle and chiffon flow beautifully in the wind, which makes for some epic photos!
A three piece tuxedo might be too toasty, but you can still be elegant and classy! Short sleeves with linen pants are always a good choice, or a nice button up shirt paired with some dress pants. Think about your elopement location, and how much hiking you’ll be doing, as well as the weather.
With an adventure elopement, high heels or uncomfortable dress shoes may not be the best move. But, there’s something very badass about pairing a wedding dress with hiking boots! Just like the rest of your attire, make sure your shoes are comfortable enough to walk around in.
8) Elope in Spain – Your Checklist
Choose a Location
Spain has a huge variety of landscapes and gorgeous views. Start by figuring out where you’d like to say your vows – what kind of scenery do you want? Would you like to hike up a mountain, wander through the desert, or swim in the ocean? Dream big!
As an elopement photographer who specializes in elopements, a big part of my job is to help couples find the perfect place to say their vows. As a travel planner, I’m ready to go with all the best secret spots! Once you’ve decided to elope in Spain, don’t hesitate to get in touch for planning assistance.
Pick a date
Make sure to consider the weather in your chosen elopement location, and then pick a date! It’s best to elope on a weekday, as there will be significantly less crowds and tourists around. Weekends draw out more visitors to Spain’s gorgeous landscapes, and eloping on a weekday ensures that you’ll have much more privacy to say your vows.
Learn about travel visas
If you are travelling internationally to elope in Spain, make sure that your passport is up to date, and that you have all the necessary paperwork to travel to Spain.
Book flights and accommodation
Once you have your date and elopement location, start looking at flights and accommodation! You can stay in the luxury villas of Spain, or check Airbnb if you’re hoping to find less expensive lodging.
Book Your Vendors
Many wedding and elopement vendors fill their schedules as far as a year or two out! So, it’s never too early to book your favorites. Inquire as soon as possible to ensure they have room for you on their schedule!
Elope in Your Dream Location!
Relax, and spend the day adventuring and exploring around Spain with your love!
Interested in adventuring with me as your Spain elopement photographer?
Fill out the form to get started!
12) Spain Elopement Galleries
- Marine & Etienne – An overnight post-wedding session near Lyon
- Kristina & Tyler – A chateau Challain elopement followed by a 10-days honeymoon in France and Italy
- Imogen & Paul – An overnight mountain elopement near Switzerland
- Elodie & Dean – A post-wedding session in Scotland
- Laura & Ben – A forest elopement in the Highlands
- Misha & Chris – A 5-days elopement in the Japanese forests
How I Can Help Plan Your Peaceful Elopement in Spain
Schedule a Consultation
I hate sales calls, and I’m sure you do too. That’s why I refuse to do them, and when we chat it’ll be to talk about your vision, your dream day, and to see if we’re a match!
Book your date
Once we settle on a date, I’ll send you an invoice and a contract, and then you’re officially booked!
I’ll plan your dream elopement
From location recommendations, to vendor recommendations, to putting together an itinerary, I’m here to plan your elopement, every step of the way.
Live your adventure
Now you get to elope and have the peaceful, meaningful wedding day that was custom crafted, just for you.
Relive this day forever
I’ll send you your photos, and then you get to look at them and remember the best day of your life, forever.
Let’s plan your peaceful elopement
Where you can be you. Feel. Breathe in each other’s love.
Experience a place close to your hearts, or a bucket list dream.
Need more inspiration for your elopement?
Check out this brand new article about the best places to elope IN THE WORLD
Have I won you over with Spain yet?
Spain is such an amazing destination for an adventure elopement!
As an elopement photographer, planner and guide, I offer a range of option that all include planning and photography, from 5 hours all the way to your ultimate 14-day elopement and honeymoon gateway in Spain. As part of my photography service, I will help you choose and plan the perfect elopement day(s) from crafting the whole day program to helping you choose amazing vendors and book your accomodation and flights.
Contact me now to get started!