I'm Donna Marie
An inclusive adventurous destination wedding and elopement photographer livin' in upstate New York. I'm here to empower all couples to create an intentional wedding day that focuses on the experience and the feels.
So, you’ve decided to elope? Yet, you’re not exactly sure what your day would look like. BUT, you know that hiking isn’t it for you. That doesn’t mean that you can’t elope! One of the first questions I get from couples who have decided on an elopement is: can we do X activity on our day? Is that normal? Does that still count as an elopement? To which I answer: YES.
But thinking of elopement activity ideas can seem daunting. “What will we do all day?” Answer: anything and everything you want.
While some couples choose to hit the trails and explore the outdoors during their elopement, others may prefer to relax and indulge in a range of fun activities. While hiking is one of the most popular options, it’s not your only option when planning your elopement. If you’re left wondering where to start, or what to do after your ceremony that doesn’t involve hiking around New York, here are 10 fun activities you can enjoy together: (go ahead and leave those hiking boots at home!)
Scenic Drive: Take a leisurely drive through the Adirondack Mountains or the Finger Lakes region and enjoy the stunning scenery. For instance, you could take a scenic drive on the Route 73, which offers incredible views of the High Peaks, or the Route 20, which is known for its charming villages and rolling hills.
Level It Up: Rent the car of your dreams for your scenic drive!
Wine Tasting: Upstate NY is home to some of the best wineries in the country. Visit wineries such as Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery in Finger Lakes or Brotherhood Winery in Hudson Valley for a wine tasting experience you’ll never forget.
Level It Up: Hire a private charter or driver so that you don’t have to worry about how much you’ve tasted!
Visit a Brewery: Upstate NY has a thriving craft beer scene with numerous breweries that offer unique tasting experiences. For example, check out Saranac Brewery in Utica or Ommegang Brewery in Cooperstown.
Level It Up: If you and your beau aren’t opposed to crowds, and there’s a beer or food festival happening on your wedding day, check out some local flavors together!
Picnic: Pack a picnic basket with your favorite foods and drinks, and find a scenic spot to enjoy a romantic picnic together. Some of the best picnic spots in Upstate NY include Mirror Lake in Lake Placid and Frink Park in Clayton.
Level It Up: Commission a personal picnic set up from an amazing chef or caterer such as Embellished Catering in Adams Center, or Gance’s Catering in Binghamton.
Boat Ride: Rent a boat or go on a guided tour to explore the waterways of Upstate NY. For instance, you could take a scenic boat ride through the Thousand Islands region or the Finger Lakes.
Level It Up: Visit Boldt Castle in the 1000 Islands Region and learn the history behind Heart Island.
Spa Day: Treat yourselves to a day of relaxation and pampering at a local spa. In Upstate NY, check out the award-winning Mirbeau Inn & Spa in Skaneateles or the elegant Whiteface Lodge Spa in Lake Placid.
Level It Up: If you’re not sure how to involve a few friends and family in your day, this could be an option for you all to enjoy the morning together!
Visit a Museum: Upstate NY has a rich cultural heritage, and there are plenty of museums to explore. Check out the Corning Museum of Glass or the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester for an educational and fun experience.
Level It Up: Visit the museum of your choice and after head to dinner at a place that you’ve been really wanting to check out!
Stargazing: Find a secluded spot with a clear view of the night sky and spend the evening stargazing together. In Upstate NY, the Adirondack Mountains offer some of the best stargazing opportunities with minimal light pollution.
Level It Up: Truck bed stargazing is something that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetimes!
Hot Air Balloon Ride: Take a hot air balloon ride and experience the beauty of Upstate NY from above. Some of the best hot air balloon companies in Upstate NY include Adirondack Balloon Flights in Lake George and Liberty Balloon Company in Rochester.
Level It Up: Charter a private flight and exchange vows over Letchworth State Park, or Niagara Falls!
Horseback Riding: If you love animals, consider going on a horseback ride together. In Upstate NY, check out the Adirondack Horse Trail in Lake Placid or the Highland Forest in Fabius for a unique and memorable experience.
Level It Up: Stay an entire weekend at one of the many “dude ranches” offered in the Adirondacks for a full weekend experience.
Other activity ideas that may inspire you:
+ roller skating
+ bird watching
+ go for a swim
+ cook a meal together
+ enjoy a hot bath together
+ have a picnic
+ make art together
+ make music together
+ go on a helicopter ride
This list isn’t all encompassing! These are just a few ideas of things that you could potentially do on your own wedding day! There are plenty of fun elopement day activities in Upstate and Northern NY that don’t involve hiking. Whether you’re into wine tasting, spa days, or stargazing, you’re sure to find an activity that suits your interests and preferences. Remember, eloping means you’re removing ALL the boundaries that a traditional wedding has. So go ahead and plan your dream elopement, and don’t forget to make it a day to remember!