How Much Does It Cost to Elope in New England?

Elopement Budget Planning | New England Elopement Planning Resources | Making an Elopement Budget | New England Elopement Packages

*all images are from a lovely Boston elopement in the summer 🙂 Yes, galleries have color and black and white images! I was just really feeling lots of B&W for this post!*

If you’re considering eloping in New England, this post answers two questions:

  • How much does it cost to Elope in New England?
  • What to consider when planning your elopement budget?

First: What is an elopement today?

In 2024, elopements are no longer the exemption but rather a well known alternative to large, traditional weddings. As a New Hampshire and New England Elopement Photographer, I consider elopements a way of celebrating a marriage that is intimate, adventurous, and centered around the authentic desires of the couple. There is literally no “one way” to elope, but I think the mindset that can often help those first thinking about elopements is “what celebration genuinely feels the most reflective of the couple?’ Think:

  • Straying away from traditions that don’t serve a couple or interest them
  • Embracing activities, experiences, and locations the couple love
  • Intentionally carving out privacy and candid moments with no stress, rush, or pressure during the entire day
  • Being open to unique and adventurous experiences

How much does an average elopement cost in New England  in 2024?

There is a WIDE range in the cost of elopements, typically ranging from $2,500 to $10,000+. When compared to New England traditional wedding costs, elopement couples save thousands of dollars on average. To put into perspective, the average cost of traditional weddings is ~$45,000-65,000. Take all these numbers with a grain of salt as there is no “typical” cost of an elopement in New England, but these starting numbers should help build a frame of reference.

Things to keep in mind when calculating and comparing costs of elopements are:

  1. Location of elopement: does the location require a permit to elope there? Average elopement permit location costs in New England range from about $50-$200. What I LOVE about New England is that there are SEVERAL locations that don’t require permit costs…aka, the great outdoors 🙂 
  2. Length of elopement: how many hours of photography coverage a couple is looking for? (i.e., a $3,000 photography budget will typically limit you to under 4 hours of coverage)
  3. Elopement vendors included: is the couple looking at other vendors aside from photography?
  4. Activity costs: do the preferred activities for the day require reservations, tickets, travel costs, gear costs, rentals, etc?
  5. Lodging costs: what type and duration of stay being desired (airbnb, hotel, inn, etc.)
  6. Number of guests 

The most basic elopement packages you see online will often include:

  1. Basic photography coverage
  2. An outdoor location – usually free like a park, open view, beach, or onsite at ain airbnb or intimate inn,  etc.
  3. Around 4 hours of coverage with minimal activities / shifts in day: staying in one main area, having a ceremony and some portraits, then wrapping up 
  4. Few to no other vendors
  5. Few to no guests

Again, as you might imagine, the higher the elopement cost, the more:

  1. Photography coverage
  2. Location components (services a location may provide)
  3. Travel
  4. Lodging if planning a weekend or even week-long celebration 
  5. Other vendors
  6. Guests

What “elopement vendors” are standard?

  1. Elopement Photographer (like me!) 
  2. Any location costs (permit to photograph at a location, parking, etc)
  3. Elopement Florist
  4. Elopement glam (hair, makeup, etc)
  5. Elopement Lodging 
  6. Elopement Caterer (or restaurant with private room, private chef, unique food options, etc)
  7. Elopement Attire 

How Much Does It Cost to Elope in New England? A Guide

These estimates are based on my time in the industry and my research over the years, but they are not set statistics found on a financial report survey online! These are best estimates when combining my regional expertise with regional research. 

  1. New England Marriage License Costs: start at ~$50
  2. New England Elopement Photography Coverage: starts at $3000 (for bare minimum coverage usually)
  3. New England Elopement Videography Coverage: starts at $3000 (for bare minimum coverage usually)
  4. New England Elopement Location Permit: starts at $0 and can range to ~$250 (always check a location’s website or state park / national park contact information! Often costs are dependent on guest count size, season, location setup, etc.)
  5. New England Elopement Floral Costs: start at ~$75 for a single bouquet
  6. New England Elopement Catering / Food /  Restaurant Costs: start at ~$300 for basic catering for a private/very low guest count (unless opting for a private elopement, then really food can look like whatever you want … from gourmet chef to unique diy cooking experiences)

Things to consider when planning an elopement budget

I get it: planning an elopement budget can be HIGHLY highly stressful to think about. Elopements are a beautiful stray from tradition because they encourage people to throw out preconceived “rules” of getting married, but having NO limits can often be an overwhelming place to start planning around. My best advice for starting to plan an elopement budget is to:

spend a low key, fun night at home together and dream up your “priorities” for your elopement. Think: “what’s MOST important to us?” Some potential answers may be:

  • Spending an extended weekend in beautiful nature in your favorite region
  • Having your story told start-to-finish in beautiful photography with heirlooms to last a lifetime such as a fine art album and photography slideshows (all included in my packages)
  • Having a small circle of loved ones with you the entire time
  • Embracing nature-centered, adventurous activities
  • Gourmet food

What’s the bottom line?

While every vendor and couple are different, elopements are investments that center around your priorities. This means that each dollar you spend is directly contributing to your experience, not things you don’t care about. This mindset shift can help people stray from thinking of elopements as cheap shortcuts to marriage celebrations, because they are NOT! Couples deserve to feel just as special on an elopement day than at a 200-person wedding. 

So, for a shorter, basic, elopement with a few hours of photographer and minimal to no activities will look like ~$4,000 to start (likely excluding food and other vendors). 


No idea what an elopement budget “could” look like? Here is an example. 

Sample New England Elopement Budget 

Simple, two-person elopement package

  • Location: outdoor, free, no permit costs; $5 parking
  • Ceremony: no florals, short and sweet, complementary officiating costs if booking a photographer who offers this (like me; $0 
  • Attire: thrifted, online, or unique couture: at least $1000 total
  • Photography: 4-hour coverage, complementary officiating, all high resolution images delivered; $4000
  • Lodging: two-night minimum; at least $600 including tax and fees 
  • Food: picnic, drinks of choice, dessert; $100 minimum

4-hour, Bare-minimum total: ~$5,700 

Half Day Elopement Package (up to 20 guests) 

  • Location: mountain-side, epic views at sunrise, no permit costs; $5 parking
  • Ceremony: basic florals, simple decor, intimate ceremony symbol such as handfasting, or other tradition: $50
  • Attire: with accessories and a little more “flash” (jewelry, fun shoes/wedding–themed hiking boots, veil / bridal cape, custom suit, etc;; $5,000
  • Activities: Kayak Rental; $200 
  • Photography: $5,000-8,000
  • Lodging: two-night minimum; at least $600 including tax and fees
  • Food: private chef experience, custom and unique food options; $300-$500 (factor about $50 per dish per guest on average)

6-8 hours total: ~$10-$12,000 

Full Day to 2-day Elopement Package

Expand the photography and activities to fit into a more epic, varied experience, with more than one location and activity

10 hours to 2-day (think of day 1 as ceremony / adventure, day 2 celebrate with loved ones) total: ~15,000-$20,000

In comparison to the average New England Traditional Weddings costing ~45,000, even the grandest, two-day elopement experience is about HALF this total


Some final questions to consider:

  1. Thinking of eloping in New England?
  2. Looking for a compassionate, supportive partner to help guide you in the direction most aligned to you?
  3. Want photography that feels true to your hearts and story with a photojournalistic, nature-centered lens?
  4. (optional: have dogs you want to include in your day?! {please!!!})
  5. I’m Kayla, New Hampshire and New England Adventure Photographer and love of the White Mountains 🙂 

Happy adventuring to you all,

Kayla | Babel Photos

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Hey, I’m Kayla! I'm a White Mountain and New England elopement + intimate wedding photographer.

My passion is turning the dreams of couples in love into a day that is true to them. We leave the rest out, we partner together, and we turn your marriage beginning into an intimate, adventurous, dream experience.