Heck no! While the modern world is trending with stunning adventure and hiking elopements, you can still have a simple elopement that fits your style more uniquely. So, absolutely not – you do not have to hike for an elopement.
The key to an effortless elopement is location. Selecting where to share your vows is one of the toughest decisions, but the Black Hills has a number of great options. For example, this stunning shot of Kelsey + Ryan was just off the Needles HWY in Custer State Park.
How to Have an Elopement with Absolutely ZERO Hiking Required.
Dreaming of an elopement with awe-inspiring views minus the strenuous hikes? Follow these steps for a celebration as breathtaking as the scenery.
Strategic Venue Choice
Select a venue with panoramic views and easy access. Look for locations like cliffside overlooks, scenic gardens, lakes with parking nearby, etc. In the Black Hills Custer State Park has a variety of overlooks and lakes to choose from.
The best part is the flexibility offered within CSP. Don’t want to hike? Don’t. But…… if you are up for an adventure the park has an absolutely incredible trail system with hikes available for all abilities and levels.
Outside of CSP, you might also look at Pactola or Sheridan Lake, pullouts and overlooks in Spearfish Canyon, or anywhere along HWY 385.
Respect nature by adhering to the leave-no-trace principle. Preserve the environment for others to enjoy in the future.
Accessible Romance Spots
Discover accessible romantic spots. Look for locations that offer the views after the ceremony by car or short walks.
Celebrate Your Unique Elopement with Photos + Videos by Wandering Wilde Media
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Ensure you have the necessary permits for your chosen location. This eliminates last-minute headaches, leaving you free to enjoy the day. Depending on where you choose to have your elopement, the regulations may vary. The state park system is going to have a different permit process than the national forest or even Badlands National Park.
Perks of hiring a professional photographer and videographer: WE HELP WITH THIS PROCESS! It isn’t complex, but it can be intimidating, so let us share our expertise and help you along the way.
Weather-Wise Planning + Comfort
Even if you don’t plan to hike for an elopement, it’s incredibly important to keep the weather in mind. Check the weather forecast for your chosen date. While South Dakota is a bit unpredictable, you can check out the general temperatures and conditions for the timeframe you are thinking. Seasons with mild weather are typically early summer and early fall.
When it comes to attire, it’s equally important to consider terrain in your location scouting. Just because you are not hiking, doesn’t mean you will be on sturdy ground the whole time. Most scenic locations have rocky areas or soft ground depending on the weather conditions. You can still have the gorgeous gown, but you may want to rethink or plan your location around any stilettos. Basically, choose comfortable yet stylish attire. This ensures you both look and feel amazing without compromising on the ease of movement.