You’re thinking about having your small wedding or vow renewal, but unsure of when the best seasonal time to elope in Texas is where you won’t sweat your make up off?
Not to worry, our team is born and raised in all parts of Texas so we have you covered!
Did you just get engaged and decided that you want to elope right here in Texas? Well, Congratulations! Now, after you have reached out to us (click here if you haven’t yet) and ready to book, it’s time to decide when and where you want to commit your lives to one another. Our weather and heat are no joke as you will see. There are a bunch of decisions to make but we are here to make your elopement planning experience as easy as possible. In this blog we will answer that nagging questions “what is the best time of the year to elope in Texas?”.
Texas weather can be crazy and is as vast and as different as the terrain you can find in the lone star states. From blizzards, deserts, beaches, and mountains, Texas has a little bit of everything, and we are here to tell you how to successfully elope in Texas with the weather you hoped for.
Spring is one of the most popular times in the season to elope in Texas. The winter weather is calming down and all the many native plants are blooming again in most areas in Texas. The cactus in big Bend and Palo Duro start to turn from their dormant winter purple to the bold spring and summer green, and if you’re lucky you might get to start to see the gorgeous cactus blooms. If you are looking to Elope in Texas, Spring is one of the best times to do it. Here is the breakdown on weather in our favorite areas:
March and April are our favorite times to visit Big Bend. While you always run the risk of it being hot, these are the best times to visit if you want to see the plants in bloom. The temperatures are perfect for that early morning hike to the top of the chisos or for an early morning dip in the Hot Springs. Do note that March is Spring Break and can be busy in any park. Additionally, the biggest travel days for Big Bend are Friday, Saturdays and Sundays while Tuesday and Wednesday are the least busy. This is a great time in the year to take a kayak tour or Canoe down the Rio Grande as the river is flowing.
Sometimes May starts to bring the heat into triple digits and if this happens we encourage a sunrise ceremony. Do be wary that sometimes if the heat index gets too high and rangers will ask that you be off the trails by 10am.
While March and April are still great times to elope in Palo Duro, at the beginning to mid of March you can often run into snow. In 2022 we shot an elopement on March 14th that was 11 degrees and in 2021 on March 15th there was snow. If you would prefer to elope in cold weather, then March is a good option for Palo Duro Canyon. This can be a great time of year to visit but do be aware of spring break, as not only Texas is out but so is New Mexico. Because of this the park often sells out of entrance tickets and you can find yourself waiting in line to get in for up to an hour. We really advise to not pick a date around spring break times! April and May are my most favorite times to visit Palo Duro because everything is blooming and everything feels alive again! But also beware this also the start of severe weather season. April and May can bring lots of high winds, thunderstorms with hail and even tornados. While we don’t reschedule when there’s a little bit of rain, if the weather does turn dangerous we will meet with you individually to discuss postponing a day or 2 so that we can head out to the canyon in safe weather. The wind gusts can reach up to 80 mph, which can be very dangerous, especially when there is nothing blocking the wind.
If you are wanting to elope among wildflowers, hill country in the spring is your spot! The weather is going to be pretty tolerable with highs in the 70s and 80s and the weather is usually much less severe although, we do get the occasional tornado. March, April and May are beautiful months in the Hill Country, the rivers are usually full of water from the spring showers and the weather is comfortable.
As we all know, Texas summers can get HOT! We generally stay away from shooting elopements in the Texas heat, just because it can actually be dangerous. If you are dead-set on a summer date, we can make it work but be advised it will be different than spring or fall elopements. We like to head up to Alaska, Oregon, and Washington for the summer months to escape the heat so you can have an amazing experience and take some stellar photos! This can be a great option if you aren’t flexible on your date but still want to elope outdoors in the summer.
We do not shoot elopements in Big Bend in the summer season unless it’s at one of our venues we refer out. The temperatures on the floor can get well over 115º and the vastness of the park and lack of water access throughout the park can make for a pretty dangerous situation. Several people die each year out here because of the heat and we don’t want that to be you (or us)! If you are super passionate about eloping in West Texas during the Summer consider an elopement at the Gage Hotel, El Cosmic or Al Fresno in Marfa, Texas. These places will allow for a killer West Texas elopement vibe and still give you access to things like air conditioning and water.
Similar to Big Bend, Palo Duro can get sweltering in the summer with the park temperatures reaching into the 130º on the valley floor! And no, I’m not exaggerating. The sun hits the red dirt, bounces it back on you and the walls of the canyon, and turns the canyon into an oven. There are a a few more options though for eloping in Palo Duro in the summer if that is really important to you. First, we recommend renting out one of the two Pavilions inside the State Park. We have lots of couples elope in the Canyon and rent this pavilion for their celebration afterwards BUT did you know there is little patio out back that is perfect for a small ceremony? If you wanted to get married in the summer we definitely recommend this since you can slip into the air conditioning when you get a bit too hot, or one of our favorite airbnbs that allow small ceremonies.
There are lots of great rivers and waterholes that would be perfect for your Summer elopement. While we do still recommend a morning elopement, you have some flexibility the further south you go. Plus there are lots of cool airbnbs scattered throughout the Austin and Hill Country area that would make for an amazing backdrop to your elopement. If you want to get married in the summer, check out Pedernales Falls State Park, Mckinney Falls or Devil’s River. All of these places have some amazing rivers and bodies of water that you can incorporate into your day (jump into the river anyone??)
Fall is everyones favorite season to elope, especially in October. This is the season where we book out a year in advance, it’s insane. And we get it! October is a great month and it sort of officially marks fall in Texas (sorry September but we both know that you are still hot as fuck). However, I do have an insider tip for you: If you are wanting to elope in October because you want the changing leaves, you probably won’t get them. While temperatures do start to decrease in October the leaves don’t start changing, at least in Texas, until at least the middle of November. So if you are specifically wanting the changing leaves I would wait until November. Now into our Big 3!
Big Bend in the fall is one of our most favorite times to visit the park. The temperatures are very tolerable and the nights are still cool but not freezing. It’s a great time of year to explore the park all day and then wrap it up with a campfire and some stargazing. Big bend in one of the few certified dark sky places in the United States and the sky is truly unreal. You can actually see the Milky Way with your own eyes, no telescope needed. It’s incredible, especially when we are doing star shots for our couples!
The last half of September through November are the “Fall” months in Palo Duro and we are air-quoting because it damn sure doesn’t feel like it. September + October are extremely bi-polar and can’t decide what they want to do. Are they going to let us have fall temperatures or will they only have 3 day worth and then go straight into winter mode? You can have super amazing temperatures ranging from 70s-80s, or still in the 90’s, or you can have snow. One year we had snow on the week of September 17th and on 2021 it was still in the mid 80’s. October you will be looking at possibly having snow towards the end of the month with the same for November.
Hill Country in the fall is UNMATCHED to anything in Texas. Unlike the West Texas Palo Duro Canyon area, there are so many trees and the colors are beautiful. Lost Maples, Enchanted Rock, Pedernales and so many more places are so breathtaking in the fall. If you want beautiful tree colors, definitely look at eloping in the Hill Country. We know the perfect spots where you will have the most stunning backdrop of rolling hills that are filled with nothing but oranges, browns and gold!
Winter in Texas is completely different in each area since it’s such a big state (you’re not a true Texan until you remind people how big Texas is, ammiright). While you will have snow up at Palo Duro you will have the best temperatures in Hill Country. In fact, Winter is part of Big Bend’s peak-season due to it cooling the area down. Big Bend doesn’t get snow dumped the way Palo Duro Canyon does, but it does sometimes get visited by Frosty.
Believe it or not Winter can actually be the best time to Elope out in Big Bend. Especially, if you are interested in going on an overnight backpacking trip, or a longer trail winter is a great time because the temperatures stay in the 40s, 50s and 60s. While the cactus aren’t as colorful as they usually are, the desert terrain doesn’t change TOO much as winter takes hold. While other spots in Texas become obviously dead, like Hill Country, the mountains still take your breath away out at Big Bend.
Even though it’s in Texas, Palo Duro has winters unlike any other place in the state of Texas. If you are getting married in Palo Duro in the winter there is a good chance that you might experience snow + ice. It snows here several times a year and it’s unlike anything I have ever seen! It’s so beautiful and peaceful, and the fog that rolls in for sunrises can’t be beat. If you are lucky enough to experience this it will truly be an unforgettable day. If there isn’t snow, do still be prepared for it to be very cold, and I’m talking about negative 11º wind chill type cold. Especially if you plan on wearing a wedding dress, consider wearing sleeves or a coat shawl or something to wear over it. You might take it off for some photos but you will be wearing it for a lot of them, so make sure it’s something you like. In the last parts of November, December and January we had down to -11º with 60 mph winds. Winters in the upper part of Texas can be harsh and painful.
The Hill Country winter is another relatively mild winter. While a lot of the plants in the area can be dead, it can be a great time to explore other places like Enchanted Rock. Even though Port A or South Padre is not in the Hill Country, winter can be a great time to elope on the beach. If you imagine yourself saying private vows at sunset on a sailboat consider doing this in the winter time when the summer beach crowds have all gone home. It’ll be like your own private island!
So now you know all our insider tips on what the weather will be like at different times of the year! What does your heart align most with? Are you wanting a chilly winter elopement where you snuggle up with your love in the Chisos mountains? Or a stunning fall elopement surrounded by every shade of red? The possibilities are endless and completely yours.
What will you choose?
If you need more help deciding when to elope check out our blog “how to pick a date for your elopement” or reach out to us! We would love to find time to hop on a phone call and chat more about your incredible elopement. Also check out our blog on the most frequent questions asked by clicking here