A pregnant bride and her groom share their private vows as the sun rises over Sedona.

How to elope while Pregnant | Planning an elopement while Pregnant

(updated for 2024)

Planned or unplanned, a pregnancy definitely adds an extra layer of logistics to planning an elopement. Depending on how far along the bride is, certain activities may no longer be available. Maybe that super bumpy off-road adventure is out of the question and alcohol is a thought of the past, but these “barriers” can set the elopement planning in a different direction for creating an equally epic and memorable elopement day. At the core of what we love about elopement experiences is the raw and authentic love that a couple shares during that day. A day curated around real life passions, desires, trials, and celebrations. Pregnancy is a part of life (the literal start of it!), and this is an amazing moment in a couples lives where an adventure should not be steered away from. We’ve captured pregnant brides in the past and we have to tell you, these elopements are equally as beautiful and fulfilling as any other one and yes, the brides have a ton of fun! Here are our tips all about how to plan an elopement while pregnant!

A pregnant brides Sedona elopement story

Before we dive into our how to elope while pregnant guide, we want to share with you Alicia and Matt’s beautiful elopement day story that took place in Sedona this spring. Matt and Alicia had come to us looking to help plan their elopement. Their love story started out at one of Alicia’s favorite bars in Detroit after she had just moved to the city and she was venturing out by herself for a Moscow Mule, which happened to be the same bar Matt was at with his sister. When Alicia arrived, there were only a few people sitting at the bar and Matt says that right before Alicia got there, the bar was full, but then cleared out for her. Either way, shortly after sitting down, Matt threw out his best a pick-up line. An amoretto-7-up and a few Hop Slams later, Alicia and Matt couldn’t stop talking and Matt couldn’t stop winking. Matt and Alicia went on their first date the very next day at the Detroit Institute of Art. They have been inseparable ever since.

During the first month of their relationship, Matt had met most of Alicia’s family. The next month, they went looking for houses together and ended up taking home a stray cat. It wasn’t before too long that they were officially living together with 2 cats (Another one which Alicia brought home as a surprise) and they moved to an apartment overlooking the water in Detroit. Meanwhile, Alicia and Matt would go on adventures together like motorcycle rides, hiking Angels Landing, visit lots of live theater plays and comedy shows, go sun bathing in Jamaica, and so much more. Eventually, right before Alicia started grad school, they moved to a green little suburb where they settled in a home with their sweet pup named Teddy. Alicia and Matt are now pregnant and are so overjoyed that they are able to share their love and life with someone else.

When it came to looking into eloping while pregnant, they were enamored in choosing to further their relationship in this way because, as they said “We are both not ones for big parties, especially ones focused on us. We also wanted to do something sooner than later, with the baby on the way. We just felt like something more intimate feels more like us and what we value.” So we planned a beautiful sunrise hike, headlamps at the ready, to get married on a plateau overlooking so much of Sedona’s beautiful red rocks.

A pregnant bride and groom cheers mugs that say papa bear and mama bear

Before setting feet on the trail to start hiking, the couple shared a first look at their luxury bed and breakfast, with the moon still high in the sky, where they took a moment to soak in the approaching “I do”.  Alicia had hiked all the way up Doe Mountain, in her beautiful touch of pink ballgown dress all while pregnant. Once we reached the top, the sun was starting to peak, and they spent some time admiring the views and enjoyed a light-hearted first dance together. As we had prepared for the ceremony, a birthday celebration group cheered them on and gave them many congratulations, the birthday girl signing as one of their witnesses on their marriage certificate. They had decided to self-solemnize on the rock ledge, for a beautiful and intimate vow exchange. While self-solemnization is not officially recognized in the state of Arizona, we have tons of great information in our elopement ceremony blog that goes over how to make this type of symbolic ceremony legally binding.

After their stunning sunrise ceremony, they sat down to enjoy a breakfast picnic, complete with a one tiered cake, and Alicia’s favorite chocolates from back home. As crazy as it is, her favorite chocolate shop moved all the way across the country to the Sedona area, Gayle’s chocolates. It was a sweet surprise to find a small chocolate shop she used to work at, now local to where she had got married. Matt and Alicia had drank coffee from Matt’s grandmothers cups, and the day before their elopement, they saw a hummingbird and a butterfly and it reminded them both that their grandmothers were present with them throughout this experience. They were both so excited that their little one also got to be a part of their wedding day experience. They are so excited for this next big chapter of their lives.

A groom and his pregnant bride stand together on the edge of the Sedona Red Rocks while the sun rises over the mountains.

Tip from the bride herself when it comes to an adventure elopement while pregnant:

“I would say my tip would be if you’re hiking a mountain (or anything rigorous) do it between months 3-5. It’s now month 5 and my body is changing rapidly and I am much more sore and I can’t tolerate heat so well. Some momma’s have a rough trimester 1, so as long as they’re up for it closer to month 3, go for it! Also, about the dress, make sure it is not tight or restrictive, and opt for an empire dress, or something that hits above the baby bump. Your boobs and belly and (most likely other parts too) will grow!”

Location options to consider while Pregnant

When it comes to choosing an elopement location while pregnant, it’s important that you don’t pick a location just because it seems like the easiest choice. Stress free, relaxing, and fulfilling are much better indicators to reflect on when crafting an unforgettable elopement experience for you, your partner, and your future little one. With a little digging and communication with your elopement planning team (Meet us!) you might be surprised with how many both stunning and accessible locations there are to consider while planning an elopement while pregnant. Here are thirteen of our top recommended areas that offer a lot of options to our expecting brides:

What makes a great elopement location while pregnant?

What makes a great location for a pregnant bride to consider when planning their elopement is partly, is this accessible? You don’t want to go on an intense off road adventure while pregnant and probably want to avoid extremely long or hard hikes. Also, choosing a location where the weather will be comfortable for you while pregnant is a huge plus since comfort is a big factor we’re trying to maintain here.

It may also be important to pick a location that is not too remote from a city that has amenities depending how far along you are so that you know that you aren’t too far from a hospital. Having access to the little things during this special time in life can be a huge plus to comfort and can help to ensure that you experience an elopement day that you’ve absolutely been dreaming of.

So other than the extra element of comfort and care, the same ideas are what are important to keep in mind when planning your elopement while pregnant. What do you want to experience on that day? If you could close your eyes and be in the moment, what do you see, smell, taste, and hear? The most important thing when planning an elopement day is that you don’t compromise on your vision. It’s your special day, so be sure to lock into that belief and don’t let others convince you otherwise.

How to prepare for your adventure elopement while expecting

  • Stay Hydrated. Even before your elopement be sure you’re drinking plenty of water daily. This will help you be the most hydrated the day of.
  • Consider eloping in your second trimester if possible. During this time you will hopefully be through the morning sickness, but also wont be so far along that it would be difficult to be on your feet or enjoy the day!
  • Hike prior to the elopement. If you are planning to hike on your elopement day, try to keep this as routine during your pregnancy before the big day so your body is accustomed to it and also so you can know your limits. Also consult your doctor to make sure you are safe!
  • Book your travel to accommodate an adjustment period or time to relax between traveling and the elopement day. You want to be well rested and not stressed out so accommodating extra time is a great way to do this.
  • If you are flying or road tripping to your elopement location, consider packing these items: travel in something comfortable shoe wise and outfit wise. Have luggage that can be easily wheeled instead of carried. Have a letter from your doctor approving travel (3rd trimester). Consider ginger chews, compression socks, healthy snacks, water, and a list of local doctors to where you will be traveling.
  • Be sure when purchasing your dress that it will fit when the day arrives, you have a growing baby! This doesn’t mean you can’t get a beautiful gown, just be sure you feel good and safe moving in it and that it fits! Fitted dresses that have a loose A line and/or a ballgown may be a great fit.
  • Consider momma-to-be safe activities like picnics, hiking, swimming, and easy backpacking.
  • The day of be sure to take breaks, do not push yourself and enjoy this process. Remember your body is creating another human!
  • As always, communicate with your photographer! As an elopement photographer we don’t just snap the photos, we are planners, day of coordinators and more. It is important while helping plan and leading up to the day we know how you are doing, what you’re up for and your expectations. The day of let us know how you are doing! We want you to have the best day ever and for you to be comfortable.
a pregnant bride and groom stand together as the groom holds the brides belly and the bride holds an image of their developing child

Ideas to include your little one at the elopement

  • If no one knows you are pregnant, you can announce your pregnancy with your elopement photos/video.
  • You can reveal the gender by the dress color, the inside of the cake, or another fun and inclusive way
  • You can write letters to your baby on this day for them to open in their future and keep them somewhere safe until they are old enough to receive it.
  • Definitely take a bump photo in your dress!
  • Include your baby in your vows
  • If you have guests at your elopement tell them all in person of the exciting news!

A pregnant bride and groom stand together as the sun rises over the red rocks of Sedona Arizona.
traci and bill laughing. traci has her eyes closed and is squatting behind bill on a rock.

Your Elopement Photography Team

Hi – we are Traci and Bill! The team here at Adventure and Vow! We have had the great pleasure to capture many pregnant brides and have worked together to plan the perfect elopement day with our pregnant brides. We would love to help you plan your dream elopement out on the trails! To us, elopements are all about authenticity, experience and connection. We can’t wait to hear why you feel the same!

We’d Love To Personally Share Our Top Spots For Eloping While Pregnant!

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

A pregnant brides elopement highlight video

Check out more Elopement Planning Guides!