Get hitched quick: Quirky places to elope in the US

How far would you go to find the most creative place to get hitched quick? From nautical nuptials to mile-high, vertigo-inducing vows, there are tons of options for quick, quirky weddings in the U.S.

Among the offbeat places to elope are drive-thru ceremonies with heart and adrenaline-fueled locales not for the faint of heart. These surprisingly affordable and splendidly unique destinations are sure to make for a memorable ceremony for just the two of you (for some, you can even have a few loved ones tag long if you wish). All you need is a wedding license and you’re good to go.

Before you take the plunge and tie the knot, check out these unique spots to begin your happily ever after without all the (wedding) bells and whistles.

Drive-thru wedding, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

In the time it would take to order a cheeseburger value meal, you can get married at the Wedding Bell Chapel in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee; you don’t even need to leave your car. Wedding Bell Chapel offers drive-thru weddings where couples are married from the comfort of their vehicle (or, for a more formal affair, they can opt to stand outside the car). For $99, couples pull up to the chapel and a church ordained minister performs the ceremony which takes three to four minutes.

High Roller, Las Vegas, Nevada

High Roller Ferris Wheel

Take your vows to new heights (Image: brownpau, High Roller Ferris Wheel via Flickr CC BY 2.0)

In a town known for quickie weddings, take your nuptials to new heights – literally – aboard the world’s largest observation wheel. Couples can rent one cabin on the 550-foot High Roller and get hitched in a quick 30-minute ceremony that equals the time it takes the wheel to make one complete rotation. This hassle-free option in Las Vegas only requires the couple to select one of the multiple options and the staff of the High Roller coordinates the rest. Ceremonies start at $2,145 and include a ride on the High Roller, wedding coordinator, VIP entrance, pre-wedding and wedding photography, a bouquet and boutonniere, music and clergy fee. For an additional $1,000, the happy couple can toast their new life together with a bar on board their cabin.

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii

Picturesque Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park has been a hot wedding setting for years. Couples can have their ceremonies nearly anywhere in the park except Halema’uma’u Crater and the hula platform near the Kīlauea Visitor Center. Popular places include the areas that overlook the crater of Kīlauea volcano and forested areas like Kīpukapuaulu. Folks who want to elope in the park must apply for a special use permit and pay a $150 application processing fee before saying “I do.”

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Burning Man Festival, Black Rock Desert, Nevada

Many couples have begun their happily ever after with blissful weddings at the Burning Man Festival, a week-long gathering of folks who converge on the desert to create a temporary place of art and expression before it all disappears without a trace. Playa Weddings, as they are called in the temporary metropolis of Black Rock City, take only a little planning to coordinate: couples need to find an officiant and secure a Nevada marriage license, which can be done on the drive there.

Point Imperial, Grand Canyon, Arizona

Grand Canyon Wedding

Tie the knot at the Grand Canyon. (Image: Mene Tekel, FOUND: Kiss via Flickr CC BY 2.0)

For the couple wishing to elope at the Grand Canyon, there are eight outdoor spots to choose from in Grand Canyon National Park. At 8,800 feet, Point Imperial offers the highest viewpoint along the rim and has the most dramatic backdrop. Point Imperial accommodates 10 people should you wish to bring some loved ones along and boasts a nearby picnic area. Getting married at this Arizona landmark takes some advance thought but not much time: couples need to obtain an Arizona marriage license, a special use permit from Grand Canyon National Park, arrange an officiant and clean up the space afterward.

Underwater wedding, Tavernier, Florida Keys

Go under the sea for aquatic “I dos.” For more than 30 years, Captain Slate has been the “Justice of the Pisces” for underwater weddings off Key Largo. Captain Slate holds the “Guinness Book of World Records” for the largest underwater wedding with 110 divers who all donned costumes for the Halloween ceremony. But an underwater wedding works just as well (if not better!) with smaller parties. For $300, couples get a chartered boat, the ceremony officiated by Captain Slate, a marriage license and a DVD of the ceremony.

On a mountaintop, Wintergreen, Virginia

They say “Virginia is for lovers,” so why not elope there? Couples seeking an impromptu wedding can head for the hills, or a mountaintop to be more exact. The folks at the aptly named Elopement Packages Virginia specialize in spur-of-the-moment weddings. For $395, they will arrange a mountaintop wedding and also provide an officiant and photographer.

On a glacier, Juneau, Alaska

Glacier wedding

Put your wedding on ice. (Image: tata_aka_T, Wedding at Glacier, via Flickr CC BY 2.0)

Put your wedding on ice in Juneau, Alaska. For 10 years, Alaska Weddings has helped couples coordinate their special wedding on ice. There are several options, including the most popular Helicopter Glacier Wedding Package, which ranges from $2,115 to $4,635. The package includes a helicopter that will whisk the couple to a glacier at an elevation of 1,800 feet to 3,500 feet where mountain peaks and ice surround the couple as far as the eye can see. The experience includes the helicopter ride, wedding ceremony on the glacier, a champagne or sparkling cider toast, a set of embossed champagne flutes and flowers.

Roller coaster at Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio

Cedar Point amusement park offers a thrilling beginning to eloping couples who want an adrenaline-fueled ceremony. Couples choose from 17 roller coasters, tie the knot on the roller coaster platform one hour before the park opens and then coast into wedded bliss with a private ride on the coaster. The $4,500 package includes one hour on the roller coaster, on-ride photos for up to 12 guests, time to take photos in the park and park admission for up to 12 guests.


(Main Image: Cayobo, 019 via Flickr CC BY 2.0)

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