The ultimate guide to eloping in the Philippines
TIPS. VENUES & LOCATION IDEAS
for an adventure elopement in the Philippines
The Philippines is an archipelago that lies off the coast of Southeast Asia. This country is an absolutely incredible tropical destination, with some of the most stunning beaches, dense jungles and forests, breathtaking waterfalls, and more. A lot of the country is off the beaten path and remote, which is a huge part of what makes it so beautiful, and what makes eloping in the Philippines the perfect choice for adventurous couples who want to get married in their own unique way!
In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about eloping in the Philippines, and how to plan your one of a kind wedding day.
Let’s dive in…
Welcome to the Adventure of a Lifetime
Hey there, I’m Amber! I’m your elopement photographer and planner – your one-stop-shop for absolutely everything you need for a magical, incredible elopement day.
I offer all-inclusive elopement packages for couples who want to relax and let me handle absolutely everything, as well as options for couples who like a little bit of DIY! I’ll find the perfect place for you to exchange vows, recommend vendors, help you figure out travel and lodging, make a timeline, and more – personalizing each part of your elopement day to perfectly suit the two of you. And of course, I’ll be there to take the photos and document this once in a lifetime adventure.
You aren’t like every other couple, and your wedding day shouldn’t be either! I’ll help you craft a day that’s true to you, authentic, and real, allowing you to immerse yourselves in the experience as you say your “I dos.”
Hey! I’m Amber.
Your Philippines elopement photographer + planner
Eloping in the Philippines is so unbelievably exciting, and I can help you plan your day! As an elopement photographer, and an experienced travel planner, I help all of my couples craft the perfect day for them. Everything will be custom tailored to you, including personalized location recommendations, tips and advice, vendor and lodging suggestions, a custom timeline, and more!
If you’re ready to elope in the Philippines, or you want to learn more about my elopement packages in the Philippines, contact me!
First, let’s be sure we’re talking about the same thing:
What is an elopement?
Before I give you my tips for eloping in the Philippines, let’s make sure we’re on the same page! An elopement isn’t about keeping secrets or rushing your wedding day – the modern definition of an elopement is a day that’s intentional, and created just for the two of you! It allows you to get married in a way that actually reflects who you are, and ensures that the focus is on you and what you want.
How to Get to the Philippines for Your Elopement
The Philippines are an archipelago – a collection of islands – so to get there for your elopement, you’ll need to either take a plane or a boat. The Philippines are pretty easy to get to, and most visitors won’t need a visa unless you plan to stay over 30 days.
Get to the Philippines by Plane
The first, and most popular, way to get to the Philippines is to travel by plane. The biggest airport in the Philippines is located in Manila, and you’ll most likely land here when you arrive for your elopement. Since this is the capital city, it’s big and well-connected, which makes it the ideal place to begin your adventure.
There is also the Mactan-Cebu International Airport in Cebu City, so you may be able to find a flight here or take a connecting flight from Manila.
Get to the Philippines by Cruise
An alternative to flying to the Philippines is to take a cruise! This can be a really fun way to extend your elopement adventure and to visit a few other destinations. With so many islands, the Philippines have several ports where you can dock to enjoy the beaches, immerse yourself in the culture, and explore the amazing scenery. Whether you stop in the Philippines for a day or two on your cruise, or you hop off the boat to stay a while in this incredible country, arriving by cruise can be a fun, unique experience!
Getting Around the Philippines During Your Elopement
Once you arrive in the Philippines, you’ll need a way to get around to all your elopement adventures.
A car is usually the most convenient way to reach more remote destinations, so you can rent one to explore by car. But, it’s important to know that driving in the Philippines can be a bit of a challenge as a foreigner! Manila and other major cities are known for intense traffic, but once you reach the more rural areas it’s not so bad. The Philippines also have a reputation for drivers swerving and changing lanes suddenly, and it can be difficult for travelers to navigate this if they aren’t used to defensive driving. If you feel apprehensive about the thought of driving in the Philippines, you can also hire a driver – this way you get the convenience of having a car, and the peace of mind that comes from having a local driver who knows the country well.
In the cities, it’s really common for people to ride bicycles and tricycles to get around. You can rent one for yourself, but there are also tricycle drivers who have side cars for up to four passengers, and they act as a taxi. Another way to get around the cities is with a jeepney – which is a unique form of transportation, basically a minibus that you can flag down to get to your destination in town!
The Philippines have a pretty easy to navigate bus system, with hundreds of routes that depart from major cities and travel to more rural areas. Bus travel is usually pretty slow, but if you’re leaving the city to get to your final destination it can be an easy way to get from point A to point B.
Overall, while you’re in the city, it’s easy to get around with public transportation. But, I recommend renting a car when you want to travel to more remote areas!
How to Legally Elope in the Philippines
The process of getting legally married in the Philippines is pretty difficult – there are some unique requirements, and while you can get legally married abroad, some couples decide to complete their paperwork at home to allow them to focus on the fun stuff on their elopement today instead of worrying about legalities!
If you do decide to get legally married when eloping in the Philippines, here’s what you need to know.
A unique thing about getting married in the Philippines is that if you are between the ages of 18 and 21, you need written parental consent to get legally married. And if you are between the ages of 21 and 25, you need a sworn statement signed by your parents that states that you’ve gotten their advice and blessing to get married. If your parents aren’t attending your elopement ceremony, you can get a legal affidavit with their signatures and the signatures of two witnesses.
To get the marriage license, you’ll need to show your original birth certificates, a passport, and a certificate that states you are legally able to get married. You’ll notify the civil registrar that you plan to get married, and then there’s a waiting period of 10 days before you can get the marriage license.
Once you get the marriage license, an officiant and two witnesses are required to sign it!
Why Elope in the Philippines
One of the most incredible things about eloping in the Philippines is the beaches you’ll find. White sand beaches with turquoise blue water make for a really stunning elopement backdrop, a place to relax on the shore, and if you want to get in the water, there’s incredible snorkeling and scuba diving in the Philippines where you can see friendly sharks and marine life!
The locals in the Philippines are known for being welcoming and kind, and you can often get some great recommendations for places to see and things to do from cab drivers and people you meet. Experiencing the culture of the Philippines is a great reason to elope here, and you can make new friends!
The Philippines are the perfect place to elope for couples who love outdoor adventure. You can hike to volcanoes, explore hidden caves, and embark on epic journeys in the wilderness of the Philippines. There’s so much natural beauty to be found on each island, and you’ll love exploring it all!
Top 5 spots to Elope in the Philippines
Choosing your perfect elopement location is such an exciting part of your day – and when it comes to eloping in the Philippines, there’s no shortage of beautiful views and jaw-dropping places to tie the knot! Here are a few of the best places to elope in the Philippines.
In Puerto Princesa, you’ll find the Philippines’ hidden paradise. The rock islands and caves make for an incredible view, and the water is an otherworldly blue color. The Subterranean River National Park is an incredible place to visit, with an underground river that flows through caverns and out to the sea. You can take a boat through this place, see wildlife, and explore the amazing coastal rainforest.
The island of Cebu offers an incredible jungle adventure. With gorgeous white sand beaches on the coast, and lush forests, rivers, and waterfalls inland, it’s full of adventures! It’s also home to some of the best diving and snorkeling, for those who want to explore underwater too.
For a truly remote and one of a kind experience, you can visit the off the beaten path region tucked in the Cordillera Mountains. The mountains offer adventurous trails and amazing views of the peaks, and there are several sites and hidden local gems to explore. A guide is recommended if you’re visiting some parts of Sagada, as this is tribal land that doesn’t see a ton of visitors!
The landscape of Apo Island is protected, so it’s an amazing place for stunning outdoor adventures. You can swim with sea turtles, hike through beautiful forest and trails, and enjoy some of the best beaches in the country!
The island of Coron also has several smaller islands off of its coast that are uninhabited and absolutely incredible! These remote spots offer stunning scenery, with mountains surrounding the lagoons and incredible turquoise beaches dotted with rocky formations. It’s an amazing spot to dive and snorkel, or to hike in the mountains.
When to Elope in the Philippines
The Philippines are known for pretty idyllic weather, if your idea of idyllic includes sunshine and warm temperatures! With over 7000 islands, even when it rains, there’s likely a spot where the sun is still out. Here’s what you need to know about weather in the Philippines throughout the year!
WINTER IN THE PHILIPPINES
Winter – December through February – is the most popular time to travel to the Philippines. This is the least rainy season, with the sun shining all day and warm temperatures. You’re likely to see a lot of people out and about, and travel costs can be pretty high. This is the “coldest” season in the Philippines, but with average temperatures of 25°C (77°F), this weather is pretty perfect for outdoor adventures and exploring!
SPRING IN THE PHILIPPINES
In March, temperatures start to rise pretty fast. Spring is the warmest season, and it can be a little too hot for exploring in the city or going for a hike. But, if you want to lounge on the beach or hang out by the water, it’s a great time to elope in the Philippines! There are fewer visitors around, but it’s still pretty busy.
SUMMER IN THE PHILIPPINES
In the summer, it’s really rainy in the Philippines – so if you want to tie the knot during this time of year, you’ll need lots of waterproof gear on your adventures. It’s still warm, and you can usually get a little break of sunshine in between rain showers. There aren’t as many visitors, so it’s easier to find some privacy!
FALL IN THE PHILIPPINES
Fall, though less rainy than the summer, is still pretty wet. It rains often, but temperatures slowly fall to more comfortable levels. This can be a good time for eloping in the Philippines if your goal is to avoid the crowds, but be prepared with waterproof boots and jackets!
Lodging for Your Elopement in the Philippines
When you’re eloping in the Philippines, you’ll need a place to sleep! From luxurious resorts to laid-back accommodations, you have plenty of places to stay. Here are some options for lodging during your elopement in the Philippines!
Resorts in the Philippines
The first option is to stay in a resort. The Philippines are absolutely gorgeous, and there are lots of beachfront resorts that give you a luxurious experience where you can relax by the beach or enjoy pools and spas! Check out the Shangri-La Boracay Resort and Spa for rooms with views of the ocean, incredible sunsets, and opportunities for adventures.
Airbnbs in the Philippines
You can always search Airbnb for private accommodations and unique stays. The Philippines has everything you need, and you can find some really unique accommodations throughout the islands. Stay in an A-frame cabin, a glass treehouse in the forest, or a rustic bungalow by the river!
Unique Things to Do When You Elope in the Philippines
When you’re planning your unique wedding day, think about what would make this truly the best day of your life! Elopements are so customizable, which means you can do absolutely anything. The Philippines offers some incredible adventures and some unique things to do, so here are some ideas!
Snorkel or Scuba Dive
One of the most popular activities in the Philippines is snorkeling and scuba diving. The clear blue waters give you incredible visibility, and you can see sea turtles, lots of fish, stingrays, and even whale sharks! If you have a scuba certification you can dive in the Philippines, but snorkeling doesn’t require any experience and is just as incredible. Taking a guided tour is the best way to find the best spots and see marine life!
Hiking is a really popular elopement day activity for outdoorsy couples, and there are plenty of trails in the Philippines! You can hike to volcanoes, summit mountains, and see gorgeous waterfalls tucked in forested jungles. There’s a hike for everyone in the Philippines, so whether you want an easy trail or a strenuous trek, you’ll find the perfect one!
Kayak Through Sea Caves
A great way to explore the water is in a kayak or a paddle boat. The best place for this is the Subterranean River National Park, where you can take a boat through the incredible turquoise blue river and explore the caves and rock formations.
Example budget of an elopement in the Philippines
All-inclusive, 7-day ELOPEMENT
6 nights in accommodation (3* or more)
Elopement photographer for 3 days
All meals for the 7 days
4-5 beautiful, natural and raw ceremony location options
Custom timeline of the day
Hair and makeup
TOTAL FOR An all-inclusive ELOPEMENT IN the Philippines:
Award-winning elopement photographer for 12 hours
4-5 beautiful, natural and raw ceremony location options
Custom timeline of the day
TOTAL FOR A 12-hour ELOPEMENT IN the Philippines:
What to Wear to Elope in the Philippines
When you choose your attire for your elopement in the Philippines keep these things in mind!
Weather in the Philippines is pretty warm year-round, so it’s best to choose lightweight dresses that will help you stay cool. For any elopement, remember that you’ll be moving around a lot – so opt for loose, flowy skirts that allow you to walk easily and be comfortable!
Shoes are a really important part of your elopement attire, and when eloping in the Philippines, waterproof shoes are a must! If you’re hiking, the trails are often muddy (especially right after the summer rainy season), so you’ll want shoes with good traction. If you don’t plan to hike, it’s still important to find comfortable shoes, and if you get new ones, break them in before the big day!
When eloping in the Philippines, you may want to opt for something more casual than a three-piece suit – dress pants and a button up shirt will look nice, without being too warm. Make sure everything fits well and that you can move freely, and choose lightweight fabrics that will keep you cool in the hot weather!
Elope in the Philippines – Your Checklist
Choose a Location
I’ll help you by providing personalized location recommendations, so all you have to do is choose the best one! Once you’ve decided that eloping in the Philippines is right for you, don’t hesitate to get in touch for planning assistance.
Pick a date
Think about weather, crowds, and travel prices, and decide on a date for your elopement!
Find more information about travel visas and wedding documentation
Visa requirements can depend on where you’re traveling from, but most couples eloping in the Philippines will not need a travel visa – unless you plan to stay for more than 30 days.
Book your flights and accommodation
Make sure to book flights and lodging as early as possible, to ensure that you get the best rates and that you can stay close to your elopement location.
Book your vendors
Your vendors will be a huge help in planning your elopement in the Philippines, and making your dream wedding day come together! Reach out early to work with your faves, and book vendors that will take the stress off of you.
Live your dream elopement
The last step in planning your elopement in the Philippines – is eloping in the Philippines! All that planning and dreaming comes to life, and you get to adventure and explore in an incredible location with the love of your life.
You’ll get married, have the best day of your life, and then get to relive it all through your photos. If you’re ready to tie the knot in the Philippines, contact me to learn more about elopement packages!
DO THE PHILIPPINES SOUND LIKE YOUR DREAM?
How it works to plan your elopement in the Philippines
Let’s dive in, so you can start your journey right away!
Imagine a wedding where you can be you. Breathe. Bask in each other’s love.
Experience a place close to your hearts, or a bucket-list dream.
Are you eager to start planning your elopement in the Philippines? I’m here to help you envision, plan and immortalize this beautiful adventure! Contact me now for a free consultation!