Eloping in New Mexico: The Ultimate Guide for 2024

Megan Goetz


May 6, 2024

New Mexico is a place not many people think of when they are trying to decide where to elope. BUT, it has so much beauty and culture to offer. It is an absolutely breathtaking place to elope and I’m going to tell you all about it! So stick around to learn all about eloping in New Mexico from the best locations to the best places to stay!

new mexico elopement flatlay

Table of Contents

Why You Need to Consider Eloping in New Mexico

There are so many different places in the world to elope, so why New Mexico? Well, let me tell you:

Breathtaking Landscapes

From vast desert landscapes to white sand dunes, to lush mountains, and small historic towns, New Mexico has so many unique locations for you to choose from. 

Unique Cultural Experience

The state has a rich blend of Native American, Spanish, and Mexican heritage, providing a distinctive cultural setting. You can incorporate elements of local traditions into your ceremony or enjoy the unique architecture and art that New Mexico is known for.

Tons of Adventurous Activities 

New Mexico is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. You can combine your elopement with adventure activities like hot air balloon rides, hiking, or exploring New Mexico on horseback. 

It’s a Less Popular Destination

Because New Mexico isn’t as popular of an elopement location it is actually much more affordable. And there are far fewer tourists so you can have your ceremony in a truly epic location and know that there aren’t going to be tons of people all around you. 

Where to Elope in New Mexico

New Mexico is known for its diverse landscapes, from miles of desert to lush mountains. Here are some of the best places to hold your elopement ceremony:

  • The Desert Compass: This is a super unique boutique hotel located in the heart of old town Albuquerque. It has 6 boutique vacation rentals all with unique furnishings and artwork. When I say every single room in this hotel is photoshoot-ready, I mean it. It’s perfect for an elopement or micro wedding that is unique but also super easy and accessible. 
  • Santa Fe: The capital city offers a unique blend of Native American and Spanish colonial heritage. Consider eloping at the historic Loretto Chapel with its famous Miraculous Staircase or at Canyon Road among art galleries and adobe architecture.
  • White Sands National Park: Imagine saying your vows on glistening white dunes that stretch as far as the eye can see. It’s a surreal and breathtaking setting for an elopement. The photos here would be absolutely magical. 
  • Taos: This artsy town is surrounded by stunning mountain scenery. The iconic San Francisco de Asís Mission Church is a picturesque and historic location for an elopement.
  • Carlsbad Caverns: For a truly unique elopement, consider exchanging vows in the underground beauty of Carlsbad Caverns. You’ll need to coordinate with park officials for permission, but the experience is unforgettable.
  • Tent Rocks National Monument: These cone-shaped rock formations create a dramatic backdrop for an intimate ceremony. The hike to the top provides stunning panoramic views.
couples eloping in New Mexico

Best Time of the Year to Elope in New Mexico

As I’m sure you know, New Mexico gets VERY hot during the summer months so I would definitely recommend avoiding those times especially if you want to hike and do lots of outdoor activities. March to May generally has some of the best weather with temperatures ranging from the 60s to 80s. The flowers are blooming, the greenery is lush and it is one of the best times of the year to enjoy outdoor activities.

The Fall months are also a great time of year to elope in New Mexico. The fall foliage is beautiful and the temperatures have cooled down ranging from the 60s to 80s.

Lastly, the winter months in New Mexico definitely get chilly with temperatures ranging from the 30s to the 60s. If you want a snowy backdrop for your elopement, then December to January is a stunning time to visit. 

Best Activities to do in New Mexico

New Mexico offers a wide range of activities for couples, from outdoor adventures to cultural experiences:

  • Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride
  • Visit Bandelier National Monument: Explore ancient cliff dwellings and hike through scenic canyons.
  • Relax at Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs: Unwind at one of the oldest natural health resorts in the U.S., with multiple mineral-rich soaking pools.
  • Kayak or paddle board in the local lakes or rivers
  • Take some time at night to go star-gazing
  • Enjoy a day relaxing at a natural hot spring
  • Go sand sledding in the Sand Dunes

Best Places to Stay in New Mexico

Hotels/ Resorts:


New Mexico Marriage Laws & Legalities

Before you elope in New Mexico, make sure you understand the marriage laws and requirements. Whether you are from New Mexico or visiting from out of state, you will need to obtain a New Mexico marriage license. 

  • Marriage License: You can obtain a marriage license from any New Mexico county clerk’s office. Both parties must be present, and you need to bring a valid ID, such as a driver’s license or passport.
  • Waiting Period and Expiration: New Mexico has no waiting period for marriage licenses, and they are valid for one year from the date of issuance.
  • Witnesses and Officiants: You need at least one witness at your ceremony. 

The Process of Getting Your New Mexico Marriage License:

  • 1. You and your partner must visit a New Mexico county clerk’s office.
  • 2. Both applicants are required to provide two current official forms of government-issued identification.
  • 3. The marriage license filing fee of $25 must be paid at the time of the application. 

Meet Your New Mexico Elopement Photographer

Hi there, I’m Meg, your New Mexico Elopement Photographer!

I’ve always wanted to be a photographer and to be able to call this my full-time job is an absolute dream come true. Creating captivating, authentic images just sets my soul on fire and I have so much gratitude for this art. I love capturing moments. I’m the girl who takes my film camera everywhere I go because I just want to look back and remember what I was feeling at that moment. I love being able to look at a photo and travel back in time.

Being a photographer has allowed me to find the moments of beauty in everyday life and there is nothing I love more than allowing people to see themselves as a piece of art.



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