Plan an Adventurous Rappel Elopement

The day you get married should be a reflection of you and your love story – and eloping allows you to ditch tradition and embrace freedom instead. Freedom to have any adventure you can imagine, freedom to get married your way, and freedom to dream big. In this guide we’ll talk about how to plan a rappel elopement, and ways to incorporate your adventurous hobbies into your wedding day!

What’s in This Rappel Elopement Guide

Here’s what you’ll learn in this guide:

  • What is a rappel elopement?
  • How to stay safe, and whether you should hire a guide
  • Ideas for elopement locations
  • What to wear to stay comfortable on your elopement day
  • How to make your elopement your own

What is a Rappel Elopement?

Rappelling means lowering yourself down a rope while maintaining control. It can be used for rock climbing, canyoneering, and other adventures! And of course, descending down a cliff face can be its own adventure as well.

There are a few ways to incorporate rappelling into your elopement day. You might descend down to your ceremony location, where you’ll exchange vows. Or, if you’re having family or friends at your elopement, maybe you’ll have your ceremony and celebrate with them, then take some time for yourselves and have an adventure, just the two of you.

Rappelling is definitely an adrenaline rush – and if you want a bit more edge and excitement for your elopement day, it’s the perfect adventure! 

A couple rappelling down Artist's Bluff on their elopement day, standing side by side on the side of the cliff.

Safety for a Rappel Elopement

Of course, if you’re hanging on the side of a mountain or a cliff face, you’ll definitely want to keep some safety info in mind. 

Make sure you have some experience with rappelling if you’re going to do it on your wedding day. Choose a location that you’re comfortable with and feel confident rappelling down – even if it’s somewhere you’ve never been, check in with yourself and each other to make sure you have the skills, experience, and confidence to safely rappel down and to have a good time!

That being said, there’s also nothing wrong with trying out a new adventure on your elopement day! It can be super fun to make new memories and try something new together. If you don’t have a lot of (or any) experience, hire a guide! Rappelling with a guide to give you instructions ensures that you’re safe and that it’s a good experience all around. 

A couple rappelling down Artist's Bluff on their elopement day, standing side by side on the side of the cliff.

Where Can You Rappel?

The location is an important part of any elopement day, and if you want to incorporate rappelling, you’ll need to find a location where you can do that! The White Mountains that span New Hampshire and Maine offer some incredible locations – so here are some ideas in the area.

Artist’s Bluff

There’s a 1.5 mile loop hike that takes you to Artist’s Bluff, with gorgeous views of the mountains and Echo Lake. At Artist’s Bluff, you can rappel down the rocky cliffside, enjoying the adrenaline rush and the views around you.

Ripley Falls

Rappelling down a waterfall is a whole new level of adventure – with the mist all around you, and the sound of the rushing water, as you lower yourself down. Ripley Falls is a waterfall in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and at over 100 feet tall, it’s an incredible rappelling adventure! There’s a short hike, a scramble to the top, and then you rappel back down.  

Finding Rappel Elopement Locations

There are so many incredible places to rappel, and as an elopement photographer, part of my job is helping you find the perfect elopement location, and to plan your unique adventure. If you’re dreaming of rappelling down a cliff face, or a waterfall, you don’t have to have it all figured out – bring me your ideas and your dreams, and I’ll give you recommendations. 

A bride getting ready for her rappel elopement, putting the harness on under her dress.

What to Wear for a Rappel Elopement (& Other Adventures)

Elopements aren’t the same as traditional weddings – and that’s kind of the whole point! When choosing your attire, there are some more considerations, like being able to move and enjoy all of your adventures. Here are some tips for what to wear for rappelling, but these tips apply to most adventure elopements!

Elopement Dresses

The most important thing is being able to move. Mermaid style dresses, though gorgeous, just aren’t going to cut it. Look for a dress with a loose, flowy skirt. This will allow you to hike, walk, and not be restricted when you move. A little bit of train is great, but make sure the skirt isn’t too bulky.

Rappelling also has the unique consideration of needing to wear a harness, so a skirt with a slit is ideal! This way, instead of your dress being bunched up at the front, the skirt can hang over the harness and rope a lot better. You’ll also want to wear shorts or leggings under the dress!

Elopement Suits

The considerations for suits aren’t too different from dresses. Make sure that the pants are loose and stretchy enough that you can move! When you’re trying on your suit, do some squats, some high kicks, and make sure that you’ll be comfortable rappelling down.

How to Incorporate Adventure Into Your Elopement Day

Elopements are all about what matters to you – there are no rules, no limits to what you can do. And it’s not just about a ceremony and some photos, your day should be an experience. 

Think about the two of you and your relationship. What hobbies do you share? What do you like to do? What would make this the best day ever? The day you get married is the beginning of the rest of your lives together – so how do you truly want to spend it? 

The possibilities truly are endless, but here are a few ideas for things to do and ways to incorporate adventure into your elopement day:

  • Kayaking
  • White water rafting
  • Helicopter tour
  • Hiking
  • Zip lining
  • Mountain biking
  • Skiing
  • Camping

Remember that whether it’s just the two of you, or you’re inviting some guests, you can absolutely have an adventure! Even if it’s not something your loved ones can join you for, it’s nice to take some time to yourselves and enjoy doing something together. You can even do a two day elopement – one day for loved ones, one for adventure.

If you want to incorporate adventure in your elopement day, hire an adventure elopement photographer! Along with documenting your day, I’m also your teammate and planning buddy, helping you craft a personalized, unique adventure. I’ll get to know you and what you want for the day you get married, and I’ll pour my heart into creating your dream day. If you’re ready to elope, contact me here!

For some elopement inspiration, check out this rappel elopement in the White Mountains of New Hampshire! This couple hiked to their ceremony spot at Artist’s Bluff with a few loved ones, and rappelled down on the rocky cliff side.



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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.