February 1, 2021

Why, Where & How to Elope in Guatemala

couple running towards Lake Atitlan while they elope in Guatemala

Times are changing, long gone are the days of 500-person weddings in massive hotels with a buffet and packed, maskless dancefloors. Covid has changed the wedding game for everyone on earth for the foreseeable future. Couples are having to adapt to the changes it brings to the world on an almost daily basis. It’s stressful, but luckily there are options. One of the best options for couples looking for ease and simplicity in these chaotic times is to elope. And why not pick one of the most beautiful, up-and-coming locations for destination weddings worldwide: Guatemala.

Check out our article with 15 Reasons Why You Should Get Married in Guatemala. It’s easy to see why this country has been a growing tourist destination for years. And have a look at the following slideshow for inspiration to see what your elopement in Guatemala can look like :


But Where, When & How to Elope in Guatemala? So many questions!

Elope in Guatemala

A drastically changing reality for most couples looking to get married means finding an option that suits their style and priorities for a beautiful wedding. Luckily, the wedding industry in Guatemala has your back. Not only did a wedding in Guatemala win Junebug’s Wedding of the Year in 2019, but wedding vendors have quickly adapted to the changes brought on by Coronavirus, giving couples a chance to celebrate their nuptials in a safe and beautiful way.

What does an elopement in Guatemala look like? It can vary, but picture yourself having a romantic cake cutting with volcanic views or a lakeside vow exchange or reading letters from your families and friends just before popping open a bottle of champagne. We can help you pull all of the elements together. We are connected with experts in the wedding industry in Guatemala and we are here to help you!

Elopements are amazing because you decide what happens for literally every minute of the day. There are no outside opinions of what color napkins to use or how much baby’s breath is needed for the table settings. It can be a relaxed day where you spend real quality time with each other.  You can take a coffee break (or a beer break.) There can be as many or as few photos as you want. You are given the time to explore the kind of romantic vision that you dream about, without requiring all of the energy and, yes, money.

And BTW, where is Guatemala at with COVID-19?

  • There has been a nationwide mask mandate since March
  • Required testing for all travelers entering Guatemala
  • As of January 2021, there have been just over 150k cases
  • Temperature Check and available sanitizer at every restaurant, grocery store, etc.
  • Traffic light system to base restrictions on different departments with maximum capacities for bars, restaurants, supermarkets, wedding venues, etc.
  • From a personal point of view, Guatemalans in the City and Antigua are taking restrictions seriously, and since the weather is so nice all the time there are a lot of things to be done and enjoyed while visiting.

The day of your elopement

There are so many ways to build a wedding day. It can involve as much or as little activity as you want. Let us know what you have in mind and we can help you plan and connect with the right people. Some couples spend the morning listening to music, getting ready and dancing while preparing for their afternoon vow exchange. You can follow your ceremony by popping open a bottle of champagne or going on a hike to a lookout point. It’s totally up to you!

If you are starting from zero, here are some ideas and inspiration to elope in Guatemala!

  • Do an intimate ceremony on Lake Atitlan
  • Pick a beautiful lookout to have a vow exchange at sunset
  • Have up a private picnic
  • Get a couples massage
  • Hike a volcano
  • Read letters or watch videos from loved ones
  • Have a solo dance party
  • Open a bottle of champagne
  • Go for a swim/kayak
  • Treat yourself to a spa session
  • Find a unique mode of transport
  • Have a coffee in a picturesque coffee shop
  • Have a romantic dinner

If you need some advice or recommendations for some of these activities we can help you plan a simple day or send you wedding planner recommendations. From a photographer’s perspective, elopements are a wonderful chance to get to know our couples and capture a truly intimate moment. We love spending the whole day with couples and seeing where the day takes us.  When we have time, we can truly explore options and come up with new and fun ideas for photos.

Guatemala has your back

Where to elope in Guatemala

Here are some ideas for locations for elopements in Guatemala.

Antigua, Guatemala

Antigua is possibly Guatemala’s most popular tourist destination & definitely one of the best spots to elope in Guatemala. If you spend one morning walking around this colonial town’s cobblestone streets, you’re likely to be enchanted. Colorful walls and giant antique doorways abound along the streets of Antigua, which is located just one hour from the city and the airport. Three looming volcanoes in the distance, famously delicious coffee and gorgeous open terraces make for an unforgettable elopement location.

Take your pick between a chic boutique hotel, one of many church ruins strewn about town or a finca surrounded by coffee trees, Antigua has it all! Not to mention Antigua has some of the best weather for year-round nuptials. The temperature rarely goes below 65°F/20°C during the day and bright blue skies are a regular occurrence. Add that to the famous colorful walls on every street and you have a unique backdrop around every corner.

Lake Atitlan

We are going to sound like broken record, because any time you read about Lake Atitlan, you’re likely to hear the phrase “the most beautiful lake in the world.” Those famous words are not misleading in any way, however. The three volcano peaks calmly watching over the blue mass of water before it is a sight that has inspired poetry, novels and songs alike.

There is a wide range of venues where you can have amazing views and the style that suits the mood that you’re looking to elope in Guatemala. Here is our list of the best wedding venues on Lake Atitlan. There are quiet rental homes, four-star hotels and even public parks where a vow exchange would blow anyone’s breath away.

Peten

For something completely different, head north on an hour-long flight from Guatemala City up to Peten. In Peten, you’ll be surrounded by lush jungles, huge and ancient Mayan ruins and the tropical wildlife that most people expect when they come to Central America. This is an area full of lagoons and small bodies of water where you can relax and swim with tropical birdsongs in the distance.

If you’re looking for vibrant colors to match your relaxed vibe, you’ll have a wide range of flower and décor options. You also have the added plus of being near some of the most famous Mayan ruins in the world.

Reliable Wedding Vendors

The best thing about an elopement in Guatemala is that there are tons of dedicated and trustworthy professionals who can help you with everything. Every single detail!

From the bouquet to the transport, we are here to help you and make your experience easy and fun! For instance, our list of contacts can arrange something as simple as a picnic with a gorgeous view, to a helicopter ride over a volcanic mountain range, to design a modern backdrop and bouquet for your elopement.

Our elopement packages include help to plan simple elopements & tons of recommendations for vendors. If you want something more elaborate for your wedding day or week events we can also send you a list of recommended wedding planners.

Here is a list of things you might want to consider to elope in Guatemala:

Elope in Guatemala
  • Elopement Venue
  • Photographer
  • Ceremony Attire
  • Vows
  • Letters or Videos from your loved ones
  • Hair and Makeup
  • Officiant
  • Rings
  • Wedding Planner
  • Decor/Florals
  • Food/Drink
  • Travel and Accommodations

Certainly, not all of these things are required to get married. However, it is helpful to get an idea of things you might want on the day of your wedding.

In regards to photography, we offer packages that suit needs for all kinds of elopements. Whether you want to document the whole day or just a couple of hours, we are here for however long you need us. Contact us for more information and please share your vision with us, we would love to help your plans become a reality and be your photographers!

Things to keep in mind

While normally an elopement would make you think that you are throwing all caution to the wind, there are some things to remember. First, if you want to be LEGALLY married in Guatemala, there are a few bureaucratic hoops to jump through. Hiring a planner will help rid you of many headaches in this regard. There are some couples that like to keep things simple and do the legal part at home and the ceremony abroad. This part is totally up to you!

You’ll also definitely want to announce to folks when you get married. Some couples announce just before they are about to fly out of the country, others wait until the moment actually happens. The reveal can be one of the most exciting parts of eloping, so it’s best to take some time to think about it.

The Next Step

So what’s next? Think of a date and a vision for your day, send us an email to coordinate everything and let’s go on an adventure! We are here to answer and questions and resolve any doubts. We know your wedding will be beautiful! We would love to chat more about how to elope in Guatemala.

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