The ultimate how to elope in Portugal guide

The ultimate guide for your elopement in Portugal


Portugal is a small country bordering Spain on the Iberian Peninsula – but don’t let its size fool you! This European country packs some big scenery, with white sand beaches, picture perfect cities, and stunning mountains. It’s the perfect destination for adventurous couples who want to tie the knot their own way – so if you’re thinking a big wedding might not be for you, why not elope in Portugal?!

This guide will tell you everything you need to know about how to elope in Portugal, so that planning your adventure is a breeze!

Let’s dive in…

First, let’s be sure we’re talking about the same thing:

What is an elopement?

Before we start planning your Portugal elopement, let’s talk about what it actually means to elope! Eloping isn’t what it used to be – it’s an intentional, brave decision to get married in a way that actually reflects the two of you.

When you elope, you can do anything you want – and I really mean anything! It can be a hike, a day on the beach, a celebration with family, a totally private experience, or anything and everything in between. It’s all about making sure that your wedding day is right for you!

Welcome to the Adventure of a Lifetime

amber, elopement photographer

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.” 

How to elope in Portugal - the guide

How to elope in Portugal legally

Getting legally married in Portugal is a pretty time consuming process – and a lot of couples who elope abroad actually choose to do the paperwork at home! It might be easier to get legally married where you live, and that way, your elopement can be all about the fun stuff, like adventuring. Don’t worry – paperwork isn’t what makes you married, and this won’t make your elopement any less special! If you do decide to get legally married in Portugal, you’ll need to get a marriage license from the Civil Registry Office in Portugal – you can do this in person, assign a representative power of attorney, or have a priest do this if you’re having a Catholic ceremony. Do this at least 6 weeks before your ceremony. To apply, you’ll need a passport (or National Identity Document if you live in the EU), a birth certificate, and a Certificate of No Impediment. All documents will need to be translated into Portuguese, if they aren’t already.

For couples from the US:

In certain states, you can ask your county clerk the authorization to sign your wedding license abroad. If they agree, as a registered minister, my team and I will be able to legally marry you without the hassle of a legal wedding ceremony in Portugal.

Why you should plan an elopement in Portugal

Gorgeous Beaches

Portugal’s beaches are gorgeous, with rocky cliffs, turquoise waters, and white sands! Though the water is cold, the sun shines for most of the year, which means it’s the perfect destination for couples who want to relax on the beach, or those who want to step off the shore and explore the water.

The Weather

One of the best reasons to elope in Portugal is that the weather is amazing year round! The climate is mild, so temperatures rarely drop too low – and the sun shines nearly every day.

Reasonable Prices

Europe is known for being very expensive for travelers – but Portugal is less developed, so it’s much more budget friendly. If you want to see more and spend less, this country is the perfect place to elope!

Top 5 spots to elope in Portugal

There are countless stunning places to elope in Portugal – but here are just a few ideas!

Where to elope in Portugal - Praia de Falésia

Praia de Falésia

This spot on the coast of Portugal offers some of the most incredible scenery, and it’s right next to a famous resort. Here, you can walk on the beach next to the clear blue water, or stand at the top of the rocky cliff and peer over the ocean from above!

Peneda Geres National Park

One of the best places to elope in Portugal if you love nature is the Peneda Geres National Park. With hiking trails, waterfalls, swimming holes, and stunning places to kayak, you could spend days here! If you want to tie the knot somewhere private and serene, this is the place for you.

Where to elope in Portugal - Peneda Geres National Park
Where to elope in Portugal - Arrabida National Park

Arrabida National Park

Arrabida is another national park in Portugal, but this one has beaches and ocean views! This is a great place to elope whether you want to hike, or relax on the beach. It’s also not too far from the town of Lisbon, so it’s a convenient place to tie the knot!

Ponta de Piedade

Ponta de Piedade is a really unique spot. There are stairs carved into the rock, which you’ll take down to the foot of the cliffs. The rocky formations and sandy cliffs poke through the water, making for an incredible view of the sea!

Where to elope in Portugal - Ponta de Piedade
Where to elope in Portugal - Sete Cidades

Sete Cidades

One of the best places to elope in Portugal for mountain views is Sete Cidades, a stunning volcano that towers over the landscape. There are two lakes – one a turquoise blue and the other a vibrant green –  at the center, and it’s an incredible place to hike!

Pro tip:

There are TONS of amazing, beautiful and inspiring places to elope in Portugal.
I have a long list of other places you might consider for your elopement in Portugal!

When to elope in Portugal

The best time for an elopement in Portugal


Winter is a little cooler, with more rain than the rest of the year, but there are less crowds! This means winter is a great time to elope, as the weather is still pretty mild and you won’t run into as many people. Many villages are also decorated for Christmas, which makes it a unique time to visit!


Spring is gorgeous in Portugal, and as it warms up from the winter, things come to life again! This is a good time to see the flowers bloom, and a great time for hiking.


Summer is the busiest time in Portugal, and the warmest! The beaches are crowded this time of year, and inland areas get pretty hot. It can be a good time to visit if you like swimming or want to hop in the water, but expect to see more people out and about!


Fall is one of the best times to elope in Portugal, because the summer crowds have left, the weather is warm without being too hot, and you can hike, hit the beach, and more! This is the best time for wine lovers as well, because the grape harvest is in full swing at Portugal’s wineries.

Example budget of an elopement in Portugal

When it comes to elopement budgets, I understand the challenges of providing a precise estimate for vendors outside of my own expertise. The cost can greatly vary depending on your chosen destination and the quality of vendors you desire.

Elopement expenses are significantly influenced by factors like your chosen location. Rather than providing generic budget estimates for vendors I don’t work with, I recommend exploring my elopement packages. They include all-inclusive options, giving you a clearer view of your budget and costs.

What to wear for your elopement in Portugal

What to Wear to Elope in Portugal

Portugal’s weather is mild, but it can get chilly by the ocean – and there are a few more considerations when it comes to what to wear for an elopement!

The Dress

The most important thing with elopement attire is comfort – your dress needs to allow you to move easily and comfortably, since you’ll likely be hiking, kayaking, or adventuring in other ways! Don’t underestimate the breeze that happens when you’re by the water, too. If you’re by the beach, layer up with a shawl, cape, or jacket.

The Shoes

There’s nothing worse than uncomfortable shoes! If you’re hiking, I definitely recommend hiking boots – but if you’re on the beach, going barefoot can be amazing. Think about what you;ll be doing on your elopement day, and what kind of footwear would work best for you! If you get new shoes, be sure to break them in before the big day.

The Suit

Elopement suits are easy to layer, so your jacket should help keep you warm! Be sure to find a comfortable suit, that you can easily move, bend, hike, and raise your arms in. Comfort is essential!

Typical food and dishes from Portugal

You might want to integrate into your elopement day

Portugal traditional dish for an elopement - Bacalhau


Bacalhau, a staple of Portuguese cuisine, is a culinary marvel that transforms salted cod into a symphony of flavors. Whether baked, grilled, or simmered in a savory stew, Bacalhau’s tender flakes and rich taste captivate the senses, offering a delicious homage to Portugal’s seafaring traditions.

Pastel de Nata

Pastel de nata, a Portuguese custard tart, unveils a decadent marriage of velvety custard and flaky pastry that melts in the mouth with every blissful bite. Its golden, caramelized surface conceals a creamy center, harmonizing sweetness and delicate textures in a perfect balance, leaving an indelible impression of Portugal’s delectable culinary heritage.

Portugal traditional dish for an elopement - Pastel de Nata
Portugal traditional dish for an elopement - Polvo a Lagareiro

Polvo a lagareiro

Polvo a lagareiro, a Portuguese delight, showcases the ocean’s bounty through tender octopus cooked to perfection. Served with a drizzle of olive oil, garlic, and roasted potatoes, it unveils a harmonious blend of flavors and textures that celebrate the coastal traditions and culinary mastery of Portugal.

Eloping in Portugal – your checklist

Choose a Location

This is the best part (in my humble opinion)! Choosing that perfect spot, where you’ll tie the knot and marry your best friend. Part of my job as your elopement photographer is to help couples find the perfect place to tie the knot and say their vows. As a travel planner, I’m always exploring to find the best secret spots! Once you’ve decided to elope in Portugal, don’t hesitate to get in touch for planning assistance.

Pick a date

Do a little bit of research on weather, crowds, and your own needs, and decide on a date for your adventure elopement!

Learn About Travel Visas

Most people will not need a visa to travel to Portugal – unless you plan to stay for more than 90 days.

Book Flights and Accommodation

I always recommend booking your flights and where you’ll stay early, especially if you elope in the summer, when Portugal is busiest. This ensures you get a spot close to your elopement location, and you get the best deal!

Book Your Vendors

Elopement vendors book out quickly, so do this as soon as possible! I can help you find the best Portugal elopement vendors to complete your one of a kind elopement experience.

Elope in Your Dream Location!

This is it! You’ll adventure, exchange vows, and marry the love of your life in an epic spot.


How to plan your peaceful elopement in PORTUGAL with me

Process-how to plan an elopement

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.


Discover here the latest elopements in Portugal I had the chance of planning and photographing.

Ready to plan your elopement in Portugal?

Let’s chat!

Are you eager to start planning your elopement in Portugal? I’m here to help you envision, plan and immortalize this beautiful adventure! Contact me now for a free consultation!

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