This New Hampshire elopement guide offers everything you need to know about having a micro wedding in this section of New England. I cover everything from the legalities, best places to elope in NH, most beautiful time of year for a New Hampshire wedding, and inspirational ideas for a magical day. New Hampshire offers incredible backdrops for a gorgeous wedding day in the great outdoors. This state gets all four seasons and has mountains, cliffs, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, wildflowers, and even beaches to showcase your love in nature.
Table of Contents
HOW TO GET MARRIED IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
- Complete a Marriage License Application with any New Hampshire City or Town Clerk regardless of your place of residence. This includes out-of-state residents as well. The fee to apply for a marriage license is $50.00. Payment can be made with cash, check, or credit card. Both individuals must appear at the same time in the Office of the City Clerk. (In the City of Manchester, Individuals may apply for a marriage license between 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.)
- Once the marriage license is issued, the couple is free to marry within any city or town in the State of New Hampshire within 90 days.
- There is no waiting period in the State of New Hampshire, but it takes around 30 minutes to process.
- Once married, wait seven (7) to ten (10) days before applying for a copy of your marriage certificate. You may either come into our office or print the Request for Marriage Certificate and send $15.00 (money order or check) to: Office of the City Clerk, One City Hall Plaza, Manchester, NH 03101
IDENTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS: (NO PHOTO OR ELECTRONIC COPIES)
- Proof of age (example – driver’s license, passport, certified birth certificate)
- Photo identification (example – driver’s license or passport)
- Certified copy of a death certificate of a former spouse, if either applicant is widowed
- Certified copy of a final divorce decree, if either applicant is divorced
- Certified copy of a civil annulment decree, if the applicant’s previous marriage was annulled (This is a court document).
Documents that are not in English must be accompanied by a translation that has been signed by the translator. A notary must witness the translator’s signature.
BEST PLACES TO ELOPE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
- Mount Washington
- Franconia Notch State Park
- Crawford Notch State Park
- Echo Lake State Park
- Seacoast NH (best for beach elopements)
- Sugar Hill NH (best for lupine elopements)
- Kancamagus Highway
- North Conway NH
- Portsmouth NH (for those looking for a city elopement that screams historic New England charm)
- The Lakes Region
In order to practice Leave No Trace protocols and avoid certain areas being overused, the list above only offers general locations. When a couple books with me I then give them specific names of summits, trails, etc.
WHERE IS NEW HAMPSHIRE?
The state of New Hampshire is located in the New England region in the Northeastern part of the United States. A haven for outdoor enthusiasts this state sees all four seasons and has a variety of landscapes from lakes, mountains, waterfalls, and even a few beaches. Home to the White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire has 48 peaks over 4,000 feet (with Mount Washington as the tallest and most iconic).
HOW FAR IS NEW HAMPSHIRE FROM BOSTON? HOW DO I GET THERE?
For example purposes we will use North Conway since that is one of the gateway towns to the White Mountain National Forest.
DRIVING TO NORTH CONWAY NH
It takes around 3 hours to drive from downtown Boston to North Conway.
TAKING A BUS TO NORTH CONWAY NH
You can book a ticket from Boston’s South Station or Local Airport to North Conway. A one-way bus ticket on this route takes 3 hours and 35 minutes and costs around $35.
TAKING A TRAIN TO NORTH CONWAY NH
There is one daily train route from Providence to North Conway, NH.
WHY YOU MAY CHOOSE TO HAVE A NH ELOPEMENT OVER HAVING A TRADITIONAL NEW HAMPSHIRE WEDDING
- You don’t like being the center of attention
- You want to have a more intimate celebration with just the two of you or a VIP group of family and friends
- You have a closer connection to nature and want to get married in the great outdoors or by a favorite mountain of yours
- You want to have a more sustainable wedding celebration
BEST PLACES TO STAY FOR YOUR NEW HAMPSHIRE ELOPEMENT
NEW HAMPSHIRE LUXURY HOTELS
BEST TIME OF YEAR TO ELOPE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
The temperatures fluctuate a bit throughout the state depending if you are in a coastal town like Rye or more north in a mountain town like North Conway. In the winter months if you are looking for snow, it’s more likely you’ll have a snowy scene if you are anywhere Franconia or North Conway, and more north to the top of the state.
Winter is a beautiful time to elope in the White Mountains if you dream of getting married in a winter wonderland. Typically the Franconia or North Conway region (and north) get snow in the winter from November-March, but the first snowfall has been later each year. North Conway averages around 90 inches of snowfall a year. The snowiest months are December, January, and February. Picture a wedding day featuring falling snow, frozen lakes & waterfalls, snowcapped mountains and toasty warm beverages.
Spring time in New Hampshire (March-May) is best for roaring waterfall elopements or ceremony sites that are accessible by a close parking lot. Since NH does have a mud season April to mid May we avoid most trails in the mountains since they are closed due to trail maintenance before the summer hiking season.
June, July, and August are glorious months to elope in New Hampshire. Flowers and trees are in full bloom, the weather is nice, and its warm enough to take a dip in one of NH’s many lakes or rivers. If you are looking to have an elopement featuring the gorgeous lupines, they bloom early to mid June in Sugar Hill, NH.
New Hampshire is famous for its vibrant fall foliage. Year after year thousands of people travel to NH to see the colors change and experience New England fall to the fullest. September and October are the two best months to elope in New Hampshire and notably always get booked up first. Picture a gorgeous fall day amongst exploding colors of red, orange, and yellow leaves when you look across a mountain valley. You celebrate with apple cider, freshly baked cider donuts, and even go apple picking at a local orchard.
Top tip: In years past the brightest fall foliage in the White Mountains National Forest region occurs October 1st-October 12th. This is the most popular two weeks out of the entire year for elopements so if you know you want a fall elopement with bright foliage reach out as soon as possible.
FOR MY BUSINESS I PHOTOGRAPH NH ELOPEMENTS JULY-DECEMBER
HIRE A NEW HAMPSHIRE ELOPEMENT PLANNER
As an elopement photographer I will be taking gorgeous images of you, giving you my NH elopement location booklet to select your ceremony spot, sending you a printed copy of my “How To Elope” guide book, and creating a timeline for you based on your chosen activities and best lighting. Since I’m not a planner I suggest you hire one of these incredible New Hampshire elopement planners for your day.
Rings & Ridges https://ringsandridges.com
THINGS TO DO DURING YOUR NH ELOPEMENT
GO SWIMMING, KAYAKING, OR PADDLE BOARDING ON LAKE WINNIPESAUKEE OR LAKE SUNAPEE
GO APPLE PICKING AT CARTER HILL ORCHARD, APPLE HILL FARM, OR APPLECREST FARMS
VISIT THE NH ICE CASTLES
HIRE A GUIDE & GO ROCK CLIMBING
GO SKIING OR SNOWBOARDING AT ONE OF NH’S RESORTS
WATERVILLE VALLEY https://www.waterville.com
BRETTON WOODS https://www.brettonwoods.com
GO HORSEBACK RIDING
TAKE A TRAIN RIDE ON THE CONWAY SCENIC RAILROAD
HAVE A CHARCUTERIE BOARD PICNIC
DO WE HAVE TO HIKE FOR OUR NEW HAMPSHIRE ELOPEMENT?
Not at all! When a couple books me I give them my New Hampshire Elopement Location booklet where they select their elopement location from 15-20 options. For some of these locations you essentially drive right up and hop out of your car. This option is definitely best if there are some older folks in your VIP group who may not be able to stand or walk for very long. For those that do want to hike a bit, the locations I list are easy to moderate hikes that get you to your ceremony location within an hour max.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO ELOPE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE?
This is just an example cost of a luxury NH elopement.
MARRIAGE LICENSE FEE: $50
COPY OF MARRIAGE LICENSE: $15
2 WEEKDAY NIGHTS AT THE OMNI MOUNT WASHINGTON VALLEY RESORT: AROUND $2,310
4 HOUR PHOTOGRAPHY COLLECTION WITH ME: $4500
BOTH HAIR & MAKEUP STYLING: $350- $700
FLORALS: $100 AND UP
BEST NEW HAMPSHIRE COFFEE SHOPS TO BEGIN YOUR WEDDING DAY
WHAT SETS ME APART FROM OTHER ELOPEMENT PHOTOGRAPHERS
- 100+ WEDDINGS PHOTOGRAPHED BIG & SMALL
- I AM A WILDERNESS FIRST RESPONDER (4X RENEWED & CPR CERTIFIED)
- I USED TO WORK AS THE SMC WILDERNESS PROGRAM’S MEDIA COORDINATOR & FOR VERMONT STATE PARKS. IT WAS MY JOB TO TAKE IMAGES HIGH IN THE MOUNTAINS OR BE ROPED OFF TAKING PHOTOS OF CLIMBERS IN ALL FOUR SEASONS.
- MY PRINTED 100 PAGE “HOW TO ELOPE” GUIDEBOOK & “HOW TO HAVE A LEAVE NO TRACE WEDDING” DIGITAL GUIDE
- I TOOK THE ADVENTURE ELOPEMENT ACADEMY WITH MADDIE MAE (AKA THE ONE WHO STARTED ADVENTURE ELOPEMENTS)
- FLAT LAY DESIGNS TO ELEVATE THE IMAGES OF YOUR MOST PRECIOUS SENTIMENTAL DETAILS
- RAINY DAY? I’VE GOT CUTE CLEAR UMBRELLAS
- WANT TO STAR GAZE? I’VE GOT CUTE LANTERNS FOR YOU TWO AT THE READY
- BRINGING YOUR FURRY FRIEND? THEY CAN DO A PAW SIGNATURE WITH MY PET-FRIENDLY INK PAD
- I DON’T PHOTOGRAPH BACK TO BACK WEDDINGS- YOU GET ME WITH FULL ENERGY
- COMPLIMENTARY PHOTOSHOP EDITING OUT DISTRACTIONS- GOODBYE ZITS AND ANY HIKERS IN THE BACKGROUND OF AN IMAGE
BOOK YOUR NEW HAMPSHIRE ELOPEMENT PHOTOGRAPHER
New Hampshire elopement collections begin at 4 hours of coverage starting at $4500. You can find more information about a NH elopement here.
I photograph New Hampshire elopements and intimate weddings (max of 20 people) Monday- Thursday only.
PLEASE NOTE: In order to give my couples those dreamy photos with the best light I only photograph ceremonies & formal couples photos during golden hour light- two hours after sunrise or two hours before sunset. The early wake-up call in the summer is totally worth having a private elopement experience.
IF YOU ARE THINKING OF HAVING A NEW HAMPSHIRE ELOPEMENT OR AN INTIMATE WEDDING THEN SHOOT ME A MESSAGE IN MY CONTACT FORM TO CHECK MY AVAILABILITY!