Your Ultimate Texas Elopement Planning Guide
So you’ve decided to elope in Texas? Hi there, and CONGRATULATIONS! There is so much Texas elopements have to offer. Before you start the fun of wedding planning, be sure to take an evening to celebrate yourselves. Pop some bubbly, eat a great meal, etc. While your wedding day is a celebration confirming something that’s always been true -that you found the perfect person for you- marriage is still such an important step in your lives together. I am so excited for you on this journey together. Though saying it via blog is a little impersonal, please know I am SO happy for you!
Why Elope in Texas?
Did you know recent studies show 91% of millennials are seriously considering eloping when it comes time for their wedding. Additionally, 60% of all married couples who had a ‘traditional’ wedding wish they would have eloped. With the cost of absolutely everything at an all-time high, it is no wonder that couples don’t want to start their married lives in huge debt. However, just because you don’t want to fork out 30k for a huge party doesn’t mean your marriage isn’t worthy of celebration. Elopements are becoming more and more popular every year. From the wide open skies, to our beautifully planned parks, big cities and oceanside towns, there are so many beautiful reasons to elope in Texas. So, without further ado, get read to read my ultimate guide to planning an elopement right here in Texas.
Step-by-Step Guide to Eloping in Texas
1. Pick an Elopement Location and Date
Probably the most daunting and I made it first on the list. Creating a plan for planning (funny idea, I know) is the hardest part, but once you have it everything will come so easy. For each part of your elopement, the location will affect all other circumstances. Where your ideal vendor services, what the weather looks like at your particular location during certain parts of the year, and whether it fits in your personal schedules will all depend on the location. When it comes to picking an elopement location, the sky is your limit. Seriously, you could be on a boat or in a hot air balloon, on a mountaintop or in your backyard.
How to Decide on a Texas Elopement Location
The first place I recommend starting is to have you and your partner write down your ‘ideal’ day. What does the weather look like? Are there certain activities would you like to do? What food would you like to eat? If you hate cold weather and enjoy the beach, the panhandle in February is probably not a great place for you to elope. One of the best things about Texas is the diverse landscapes that are offered. Whether you love beaches, mountains, desserts, hill country or the urban city vibes; Texas has it all.
Need some Texas elopement location ideas? Check out this article: Wacky, Weird, and Wonderful wedding venues in Austin Texas.
Should I hire a wedding planner for when I elope in Texas?
An elopement planner will help you a lot in your elopement process. Texas elopement planners know the best locations, ideal dates, how to access permits, and take a huge load off of your shoulders. I offer planning assistance to all of my couples who book elopement photography through me, but there are a bunch of Texas-based planners that can help you as well. They’re also a huge help
How to Pick an Elopement Date
Now that you have a general idea of where you want to be on your wedding day, it is time to pick a date! The best months to have your elopement in Texas are April, May, September and October. The reliable warm weather and lack of tourism during these months help you worry less about weather and crowds. Weekday elopements have become more popular over the last few years due to the reduced traffic, crowding of public spaces, and generally reduced costs of any rentals. If your schedule allows you flexibility I believe this can be a great option!
2. Hire Your Texas Elopement Vendors
Now that you know where and when you’ll be tying the knot, it is time to pick out your dream team to execute your vision. Luckily, Texas is home to a vast amount of creative vendors who can truly do anything. You can have as many or as little people involved in your day as you’d like. Here is a list of the usual vendors every couple considers:
An Officiant: You will *need* someone qualified to legalize a marriage in the state of Texas. This person must complete your ceremony and is necessary to complete your marriage license requirements. You could hire a professional to do this, or you could have a trusted friend or family member become ordained online. It only takes a few minutes!
Some couples also opt to have a legal ceremony at the courthouse and then have a separate day for the celebration so you don’t have to worry about this on the elopement day. If you host your elopement at a venue it is easier to find an officiant than say, a mountaintop. If your ceremony will be in a remote location it is usually easier to go the ordained-trusted-friend route, but once I find an officiant willing to hike a mountain with you I promise to plug them in here. At courthouse elopements, there is already someone there! Just know that you have a lot of options when it comes to picking someone to officiate your wedding.
A Photographer: You will want someone to help cover all the special moments from your elopement. I have great news- there are so many wonderful photographers in Texas! As you begin to look for the perfect person to capture your day, be sure to have an idea of what style you like. Do you like more posed photos, or do you want a candid photographer to be a fly on the wall? Are you a fan of light + bright images, super moody ones, or do you like true to life? Outside of your partner, your photographer will be the person you spend the most time with at your elopement. Be sure to pick someone you like!
Inserting a shameless plug for myself here. If you like photos that are fun + romantic, and want your photos to tell a story of your day then I may be a good fit for you guys! You’re already on my website 🙂 You can check out more of my work here.
A Florist/Wedding Florals: There is a whole list of ‘traditional’ floral pieces involved in a wedding day. The good news is, it is your day and you can do whatever you want! Prior to reaching out to a florist, I’d recommend having general inspiration photos and knowing your wedding date. There are certain florals that are only available in certain parts of the country at certain times of year. Environmental factors affect availability and price, and the vendor’s own individual availability may vary greatly as well.
Food: Ah, food! Another checkbox to add to your list. I left this broad because there are so many options, but one thing is for sure, you gotta eat! You could pack a picnic, have a meal catered in, go out to dinner or hire a private chef. Make sure you have a food plan! Nerves are high on your wedding day-it is easy to have 12 hours go by without noticing your lack of food or water. The last thing you want is to be hangry on your wedding day.
Elopement Decor: Again the sky’s the limit. Frequently couples will opt to have a fun picnic set-up, a beautiful dinner setting, or ceremony arch pieces brought in. There are a variety of companies that specialize in each of these things. You can find lots of elopement decor inspo on my pinterest board here.
3. Pick up Your Marriage License
To become legally married in Texas (or anywhere, really) you must obtain and complete a marriage license. The officiant will fill out your marriage license on your wedding day. To get your marriage license, make an appointment with the local county clerk. If getting married in Texas but live outside of Texas, you make an appointment with the county you are getting married in. Here are some answers to common questions from couples:
Q: How far in advance should I get a Texas Marriage License?
A: In the state of Texas there is a 72 hour wait period. This means you must wait 3 days between being able to have a legal ceremony. Marriage licenses are typically valid for 90 days, but may vary from county to county. It is best to check with the exact county you will eba obtaining your license in.
Q: How much do Texas marriage licenses cost?
A: The amount varies by county as well, but generally the cost is between $75-90.
Q: What do I need to bring with me to get a Texas Marriage License?
A: Both applicants must bring a valid proof of identification. You can view a list of each statute and valid legal documents to bring on the official texas capitol website here. This article is written for people who live in the United States. If you are planning an international elopement, other restrictions apply.
Q: Are there any limitations on same-sex marriages?
A: As of the time of this blog (December of 2022) same sex marriage is currently protected under U.S. federal law. This makes it protected and legal in all states.
4. Elope in Texas!
It is time to get married! *cue lets get married by Jagged Edge*. I hope you eat delicious food, smile so hard that your cheeks hurt and have the best day ever. Cheers to you 🙂
Ready to elope in Texas, but the idea of planning the elopement sound like too much? Consider Simply Eloped. I have worked for them for a few years now and adore their motto. They want to deliver complete, customizable elopement experiences to couples at an affordable price and easy planning. If you’re eloping in Austin, you can even pick me as your photographer! 😉
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