Where to elope in Missouri | Top locations to elope in Missouri 2024

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So you’re a badass that decided to elope (in Missouri) 😉

Hi, my name is Salima and I am a Missouri based destination elopement + micro wedding photographer ready to guide you with how to elope in Missouri (or wherever your love takes you!) I want to take a second to pause and to CONGRATULATE you!!!!! You’re getting married to the freaking love of your life, and you two decided to ELOPE! Your love should be celebrated on your terms, and I’m here to empower you to stay authentic to yourselves. Let’s get this party started! 🍾🎉🍾

Your beginners guide to where to elope in Missouri

In this blog post we will go over location ideas to help you kickstart your elopement planning process. Let’s get started!

Choosing an elopement location in Missouri

Missouri is a wonderful state to elope in. From rolling hills to city skyscrapers, you get a diverse amount of locations to choose from. Choosing the perfect location to elope in Missouri is all about tailoring the experience to your unique desires. Not sure where or when to elope? My expertise as a Missouri elopement photographer is to bring your vision to life, with my process I’ll guide you to a location that is truly authentic to you. Keep scrolling to find out my favorite nature locations to elope in!

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Places to elope in Missouri

Below you’ll find my top favorite nature location picks for a truly beautiful and one of a kind experience. Enjoy!

Outdoor scenic locations for a Missouri elopement

  1. Ha Ha Tonka State Park
  2. Elephant Rocks State Park
  3. Dogwood Canyon Nature Park
  4. Taum Sauk Mountain State Park
  5. Rocky Fall Shut-ins
  6. Ozark National Scenic Riverways Park
  7. Bridal Cave
  8. Bell Mountain Wilderness
  9. Millstream Gardens Conservation Area

Eloping in Ha Ha Tonka

From dark caves to backcountry hiking trails to castle ruins perched on a cliff, Ha Ha Tonka State Park offers the perfect setting for adventurous couples looking to elope. This geological wonderland features sinkholes, caves, a huge natural bridge, soaring bluffs, and Missouri’s 12th largest spring.

With over 15 miles of trails, the park invites you to explore its spectacular scenery and natural wonders, including the famous castle ruins. Accessible, paved walkways and rugged, rocky trails offer a range of hiking experiences, from casual boardwalk strolls to overnight backpacking trips.

Dominating the landscape is the ruin of a turn-of-the-century stone castle, built by a wealthy businessman. This imposing structure overlooks Ha Ha Tonka Spring and the Lake of the Ozarks from a 250-foot bluff, providing a dramatic and romantic backdrop for your ceremony.

The Ha Ha Tonka Woodland preserves a pristine example of presettlement landscape, featuring scattered oaks, prairie grasses, wildflowers, rocky glades, and valley woodlands. A seven-mile backpack trail winds through this area, allowing you to fully immerse yourselves in the natural beauty.

With rugged terrain, beautiful bluffs, dark caves, and a castle on a cliff, Ha Ha Tonka State Park offers countless opportunities for stunning elopement or micro wedding photos.

Accessibility is also well-considered, with designated handicapped-accessible parking spaces at the visitor center and various key locations throughout the park. The visitor center features a covered outdoor exhibit and wheelchair-accessible restrooms. Wheelchair-accessible picnic tables, vault toilets, a playground, and a horseshoe pit are available at multiple day-use areas, ensuring a comfortable experience for all your guests.

Celebrate your love with an unforgettable adventure at Ha Ha Tonka State Park, a place where nature’s beauty and historic ruins create the perfect setting for your elopement.

Eloping in Elephant Rocks State Park

Imagine exchanging your vows amidst giant granite rocks standing end-to-end like a train of circus elephants. That’s the unique backdrop waiting for you at Elephant Rocks State Park. Formed about 1.5 billion years ago, hot magma cooled to create the coarsely crystalline red granite, which weathered into the huge, rounded boulders you see today. Standing atop a granite outcrop, one of the largest elephant rocks, Dumbo, weighs an impressive 680 tons!

Elephant Rocks State Park offers a picturesque setting perfect for an intimate elopement. The one-mile Braille Trail provides easy access to the stunning granite boulders, accommodating all visitors, including those with visual or physical disabilities. As you wander the trail, you’ll pass by a serene quarry pond, now teeming with wildlife, and take a short spur to the top of the granite outcrop, where you can explore the enchanting maze of giant elephant rocks.

Another trail spur leads to a scenic overlook of an old quarry site, where the red granite was first commercially quarried in the late 1800s. This granite has been used in historic buildings and paving blocks for the St. Louis levee and downtown streets. Additionally, a trail extension off the Braille Trail brings you to the ruins of an old railroad engine house, adding a touch of history to your special day.

After your ceremony, enjoy a peaceful picnic at one of the thirty available sites, perfect for a celebratory drink among the stone pachyderms. The park also provides restrooms and a playground, ensuring a comfortable visit for you and your loved ones.

Experience the unforgettable beauty of Elephant Rocks State Park for your elopement and create memories that will last a lifetime!

Eloping in Dogwood Canyon Nature Park

Eloping in Taum Sauk Mountain State Park

Make your great escape to Missouri’s wilderness and elope at Taum Sauk Mountain State Park. With 7,501 acres of unspoiled land, this park offers a rare quality of solitude, perfect for couples seeking a serene and intimate setting.

Located in the St. Francois Mountains, one of Missouri’s most rugged and scenic regions, Taum Sauk Mountain State Park is a geological marvel. Nearly 1.5 billion years ago, volcanic eruptions of hot ash settled and cooled to form rhyolite. Today, erosion has sculpted these mountains into a landscape dotted with oak-hickory forests and rocky glades.

Taum Sauk Mountain, the highest point in Missouri at 1,772 feet, offers breathtaking views and a unique spot for exchanging vows. An easy walk leads you to the summit, where the moderately rugged three-mile Mina Sauk Falls Trail continues to the state’s tallest wet-weather waterfall. Mina Sauk Falls cascades 132 feet over rocky ledges, providing a stunning backdrop for your wedding photos. Part of this trail is also included in the Taum Sauk Section of the Ozark Trail. Along the trail, you’ll encounter Devil’s Tollgate, an eight-foot-wide passage through 30-foot-tall volcanic rhyolite, adding a touch of adventure to your special day.

For those looking to extend their adventure, the Ozark Trail continues for 14.4 miles to the Highway N trailhead at Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park.

Taum Sauk Mountain State Park features a campground with 12 basic campsites, complete with drinking water and a vault toilet nearby. A special-use area is available for non-profit youth organizations, ensuring a peaceful and exclusive experience. After a day of exploring, relax and enjoy a picnic in the shaded picnic area.

Celebrate your love in the heart of nature at Taum Sauk Mountain State Park, where the beauty and tranquility of Missouri’s wilderness will make your elopement truly unforgettable.

Eloping in Rocky Fall Shut-Ins

Discover a hidden gem near Winona, Missouri, perfect for an intimate elopement. This 0.1-mile out-and-back trail offers an easy, serene walk, taking just about 2 minutes to complete. Ideal for a quiet, romantic stroll, this trail is a peaceful escape where you’re unlikely to encounter many others, ensuring a private moment for your vows.

Open year-round, the trail’s natural beauty makes it a stunning location to visit at any time. Bring your furry friend along to share in your special day, as dogs are welcome on a leash.

Create a magical elopement experience in this tranquil and picturesque setting.

Eloping in Ozark National Scenic Riverway

Ready for an unforgettable elopement adventure? Explore the stunning Ozark National Scenic Riverways, featuring 15 easy hiking trails perfect for all ages. Whether you’re planning a relaxed walk with your loved one or seeking a more challenging hike, the trails here range from 3 to 3,228 feet in elevation gain, offering something for everyone.

Ozark National Scenic Riverways, the first national park area dedicated to protecting a river system, boasts the pristine Current and Jacks Fork Rivers. These spring-fed, cold, and clear rivers are perfect for canoeing, swimming, boating, or fishing, providing a picturesque backdrop for your special day. Beyond the rivers, the park is home to hundreds of freshwater springs, enchanting caves, scenic trails, and historic sites such as Alley Mill.

Whatever your plans, you’ll find the perfect trail and setting for your elopement at Ozark National Scenic Riverways, where nature’s beauty and tranquility create an unforgettable experience.

Eloping in Bridal Cave

Capture the beauty and uniqueness of your wedding day with photographs set against the backdrop of Bridal Cave’s natural beauty. The cave’s timeless elegance provides a stunning setting for your wedding photos. Pricing starts at $795 + tax. For more information contact Lindsey Webster Dillon, the wedding and event manager at Bridal Cave that is dedicated to making your wedding at Bridal Cave as perfect as your love story. Reach out to Lindsey at lindsey@bridalcave.com or call (573) 286-4561 to start planning your dream cave wedding.

Eloping in Bell Mountain Wilderness

Bell Mountain Wilderness offers a variety of trails with elevation gains ranging from 508 to 5,036 feet, catering to every level of hiker and biker. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a challenging trek, you’ll find the perfect trail to suit your plans.

Set in the picturesque Bell Mountain Wilderness, these trails promise breathtaking views and serene landscapes, creating an ideal backdrop for your special day. Whatever you envision for your elopement, Bell Mountain Wilderness provides the perfect setting for an unforgettable experience.

Eloping in Millstream Gardens Conservation Area

Millstream Gardens Conservation Area offers a variety of trails to suit your needs. Enjoy a gentle stroll on one of the easy hiking trails, ideal for a relaxed day with family. For those seeking more of a challenge, the trails range from 144 to 656 feet in elevation gain, ensuring a route that fits your desired level of exertion.

Millstream Gardens Conservation Area is a beautiful setting for your special day, with scenic paths and serene surroundings. Whether you want a leisurely walk or a more strenuous hike, you’ll find the perfect trail to create lasting memories.

Things to Consider at any of
the Best Nature Places to Elope in Missouri

Ok so you’ve now seen my list of Top Places to Elope in Missouri. So here are some things for you to think about and compare with some of your favorite found locations…

– What Time Of Year Should You Elope?

No matter where you are planning to elope you need to consider the time of year. Many of those places listed above only look best for photos during summer and fall. Expect less foliage during the winter season.

– What Time of Day Should You Elope?

This really is dependent on the location. Some spots listed above will be good at either sunrise or sunset. Some will be more ideal at one or the other. I try and recommend times where the sun will be behind you when you are eloping so you aren’t squinting in all of your photos or if you have sensitive eyes you aren’t being blasted by direct sunlight the whole time.

– Guests

Speaking of your guests or witnesses… How many of them if any are you planning to bring along to your elopement or micro wedding? Not all outdoor locations can be a host to a lot of people. Or even sometimes a heavy handful of people. It is best to keep your elopement to a minimum amount of guests unless you are renting a spot that is ideal for a micro wedding. So we have to take into consideration the amount of people you are wanting before deciding on a location.

I truly hope this guide to The Best Places to Elope in Missouri has helped you in your search for that perfect spot to say your vows.

Ready for a stress free elopement experience?

Get in touch with me now and let’s craft an elopement photography experience you’ll never forget – > Contact Today