When thinking of elopement locations, Albuquerque New Mexico is a destination that often gets overlooked. BUT, let me tell you, it is one of the most beautiful desert landscapes with such rich culture and beautiful architecture. There are plenty of different elopement location options from more adventurous hikes to unique boutique hotels in the heart of Albuquerque. In this guide, I share tons of information on everything from where to elope, how to elope, and the best places to stay. Trust me, you’re going to want to keep reading!!
Albuquerque is the largest city in the state of New Mexico. It is located in the central part of the state, in Bernalillo County. With it being the largest city in New Mexico, there are so many great restaurants, places to stay, and amazing wedding vendors!
While Albuquerque itself is not home to any national parks, there are several national parks and national monuments located near the city that offer breathtaking natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities. Here are some notable national parks and monuments near Albuquerque:
Since Albuquerque is the largest city in New Mexico, it is a rather easy place to make travel accommodations. The best airport to fly into is the Albuquerque International Airport.
Whenever visiting a new city, especially for an elopement, I always recommend renting a car if you can. This gives you the freedom to go wherever you want whenever you want. And it makes National and State parks outside of major cities much more accessible.
Because Albuquerque is a major city in New Mexico, it has great public transportation. For more information on Albuquerque’s public transit, you can visit their website here.
And if you don’t want to rent a car or use public transportation, there is always the option to use Uber or Lyft. If you are wanting to go pretty far outside of the city, then know that the prices can get pretty high. This is a great option if you are staying in downtown Albuquerque and don’t plan to go places that are too far.
Albuquerque, New Mexico is a culturally rich and vibrant city with so much history and uniqueness and it may be the perfect elopement location for you if:
Albuquerque experiences a mild climate, but the best times to elope are during the spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) when the temperatures are pleasant, and the landscape is beautiful. If you don’t mind the heat and are planning a more low-key elopement, then the summer is beautiful as well and I definitely recommend staying at a place with a pool!
Albuquerque, New Mexico has soo many amazing elopement locations from unique venues to scenic hikes with the most epic views. Here are a few of my favorite venues and locations to help you plan your dreamy Albuquerque elopement!
I recently co-hosted a retreat at The Desert Compass and it was the most amazing boutique hotel and venue. This is a super unique venue that mainly caters to elopements and micro-weddings of up to 40 people. It has 6 suites on the property all with their own character and charm which makes every room the perfect backdrop for photos. They really knew what they were doing when they designed this place.
It has some amazing amenities which include a hot tub, cowboy pool, fire pit, private patios, beautiful gardens, and tons of outdoor games. Located across the street from Old Town it is in the heart of everything including the best restaurants, museums, and nightlife!
The Sandia Peak tram is one of the best things to do in Albuquerque. With just a quick 15-minute ride to the top, you will get the most breathtaking views of the mountains which is a beautiful backdrop for your elopement. The ride is $25 a person which isn’t too bad for the beautiful views you will get to see. It’s also such a fun experience to take photos on the tram, at the top of the mountains, and even enjoy some food and drinks at Ten 3 at the top! I would definitely recommend avoiding this in the winter months as the snow makes it very hard to walk around and explore. Spring, summer, and fall are all great as it is usually 20-30 degrees cooler at the top.
If you’re wanting to experience an epic sunset view with the quintessential New Mexico desert landscape for your elopement, then the Sandia Foothills is perfect. The Sandia Foothills are right outside of the city, but make you feel like you are so secluded from everything which provides for a more intimate setting.
A little over an hour outside of Albuquerque is the El Malpais National Monument. This location offers beautiful volcanic landscapes, hiking trails, and caves which are great backdrops for an elopement. This is a great elopement location if you are down to spend the day hiking and you’re not afraid to get a little dirt on your dress!
To elope at El Malpais National Monument, you will need to obtain a special use permit which you can find here. In order to apply for the permit, you must pay a non-refundable fee of $100 and you need to apply for it at least 2 months in advance.
Albuquerque is known for its Hot Air Balloon Festival so why not elope in one? This is truly a one-of-a-kind elopement experience hovering above the beautiful landscapes of New Mexico.
One of the most important steps in planning your Albuquerque elopement is to make sure you get your New Mexico marriage license. Whether you live in the state or are visiting for your elopement you will need to get a New Mexico marriage license.
Luckily, getting married in New Mexico doesn’t require a waiting period. So as soon as you get your license from a county clerk’s office, you can get married. In order to get your marriage license, both of you will need to be there with two forms of official government IDs and pay a $25 fee. When it’s time to officially get married, you will need to witnesses to sign off on the license.
From boutique hotels to unique Adobe-style Airbnbs, there are so many amazing places to stay while you visit Albuquerque for your elopement. Here are some places that I have come across that are great:
Hi, I’m Devin – your New Mexico Elopement Photographer! As a lover of anything and everything that involves nature and adventure, I’m here to support you in planning your perfect elopement.
My New Mexico wedding and elopement packages are specially curated for you to help make your wedding day go smoothly – from permit processes to making a timeline, you can count on me to make your elopement a breeze!
What’s included in my New Mexico Elopement Photography Packages?
ME AS A FULL RESOURCE, Photographer + New friend! I’ll be there for you for all the planning stages, to create an amazing experience + photograph you in a way that feels so YOU.
> Elopement Guide
> Starting at 4 Hours
> Timeline Planning, Location Scouting, Checklists
> Vendor Recommendations
> Complete help during Elopement day for posing, family photos + all the things.
> High Resolution Edited Images
> Online Gallery + Download Rights
> 25 4×6 Matte Prints + Wooden USB
> Sneak Peaks
> Photographers Travel Included
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