Where to Elope in South Dakota

If you’re wondering where to elope in South Dakota, I’ve created the perfect guide for you! South Dakota is one of the most underrated places to elope in the US! It’s absolutely beautiful and has so much to offer! Let’s dive right in!

A bride and groom walking across a cliff in the badlands, South Dakota

South Dakota Elopement Spots

There are so many beautiful places to elope! Here’s my top 3 favorite places to elope in South Dakota

Badlands National Park

Groom picking up his bride from below her butt as she kicks her legs up and down and her dress is flowing in the wind. The South Dakota badlands are visible around them

Known as the Land of Stone and Light – The Badlands National Park is huge and there are tons of beautiful spots to elope all over! With the dramatic landscapes of mixed rock formations and prairie grasslands where bison, bighorn sheep, prairie dogs, and black-footed ferrets live today, you will find amazing views for your elopement! You can pull off at any of the pull out spots and take absolute amazing photos! Information about permits covered below.

Custer State Park

A serene landscape photo of an icy blue lake and a hill in the background brushed with snow at Custer State Park in South Dakota. A yellow canoe lays on the shore.

Custer State Park is breathtakingly beautiful! With rolling granite peaks and clear mountain waters, it’s an absolute picturesque place to elope!

Black Hills National Forrest

A bride and groom standing in front of the helicopter ready to climb in and fly over the black hill forrest in South Dakota

The Black Hills National Forest is known for roaming elk and views of the gigantic Mount Rushmore sculpture. Nearby are the spiky Cathedral Spires rocks and Black Elk Peak, overlooking the granite cliffs of the Black Elk Wilderness. It’s an absolute huge space and there are beautiful spots to elope!

Places to Stay in South Dakota

A small town called Deadwood in South Dakota

There are many great places to stay in South Dakota! Some of the absolute best places I’d recommend are listed below:

Things to Do in South Dakota

Bride and groom kissing on a cliff in the badlands of South Dakota
  • Visit Badlands National Park and go hiking, animal viewing and/or stargazing!
  • Visit Custer State Park and canoe, fish, hike or swim!
  • Go explore a cave at Wind Cave National Park
  • Take a Helicopter Ride in the Badlands National Forrest
  • Drive through the Needles Highway
  • Visit Deadwood City in South Dakota
  • Visit Spearfish City in South Dakota

Best Time of Year to Elope in South Dakota

A groom picking up his bride from below her butt as she kicks her legs up and down in excitement. Behind them is a helicopter on the ground.
Elopement couple running down a path way in their wedding attire in the badlands national park

Late May to early September is the most popular time to visit South Dakota. Many businesses and places close down for the Winter months. However, October is also a great time to Elope in South Dakota! It will be quite cold, but if you’re looking for those freshly snowy covered mountains, I recommend trying out October! The fall colors are also beautiful during this time!

Making Your Elopement Legal in South Dakota

Bride and groom standing next to each other holding hands and facing opposite directions in between the badlands in South Dakota

To legally get married in South Dakota you have to apply for your Marriage license which costs $40. You can find the application online HERE. You need an officiant and two witnesses in order for you marriage to be legal.

Badlands National Park Permit Requirements

You will need to get a permit to elope in The Badlands National park. The cost is $100 and you can find the application online HERE. To enter The Badlands National Park, it will cost $30.

Custer State Park Permit Requirements

You will need to contact Custer State Park and fill out a form HERE to elope in Custer State Park.

If you’re looking for a photographer to capture your beautiful elopement and help you plan – please reach out HERE! I would absolutely love to connect with you!

South Dakota Elopement photographer in Custer State Park

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