Congratulations on deciding to take the next BIG step with your partner, and welcome to your complete guide to eloping in Texas! From the wide open skies, to our beautiful parks, big cities and oceanside towns, there are so many beautiful places to elope in Texas. Before you start reading this article, be sure to take at least an evening to celebrate yourselves! While your marriage is only a celebration confirming something that’s always been true -that you found the perfect person for you- it is still such an important step. I am so excited for you to begin this journey together and though saying it via blog may seem a little impersonal, please know I am SO happy for you both. Now, for what you came for:
The Step-by-Step Guide to Eloping in Texas
1. Pick an elopement location
Probably the most daunting and we made it first on the list. Creating a plan for planning an entire event 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 vendors service, 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. You can get married in most places (no seriously, you could be on a boat or in a hot air balloon, on a mountaintop or in your backyard) which can cause decision fatigue;
What location is right for you? What is the right choice?
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 diversity that is offered here. Whether you love beaches, mountains, desserts, hill country or the urban city vibes; Texas has it all.
1.5 Hire a Planner
I am biased, but an elopement planner can help a lot in your elopement process. Texas elopement planners are your guides to everything. They know the best locations, ideal dates, how to access permits, and take a huge load off of your shoulders. I love helping couples create the day of their dreams! With every full-day photography coverage I offer complete planning assistance + coordination! I believe that just because you decided a big wedding wasn’t for you doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be just as celebrated.
2. Pick a date based on the location
Now that you have a general idea of where you want to be on your wedding day, it is time to pick a date! Based on personal experience I believe the best times of year to get married 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!
3. 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 to 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 so you don’t have to worry about this on the elopement day. If your ceremony will be in a remote location it is usually easier to go the ordained trusted friend route, but every couple’s needs are different. Just know that you have a lot of options when it comes to picking a wedding officiant!
- A Florist/Wedding Florals: The typical order for a wedding is bouquets for dresses and boutonnieres for suits. The good news is, it is your day and you can do whatever you want! Before 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, as well as
- Food: 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.
- Decor: Again the sky is the limit. Frequently couples will opt to have a fun picnic set-up, a beautiful dinner setting, or ceremony pieces brought in. There are a variety of companies that specialize in each of these things.
4. Obtain a Marriage License
To marry in Texas (or anywhere, really) you must obtain a marriage license. The marriage license will be filled out on your wedding day by the officiant. To get your marriage license, make an appointment with the local county clerk. If you are coming to Texas to get married from another state, you will need to make an appointment with whichever county you are getting married in. 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. Both applicants must bring a valid proof of identification. You can view a list of each statute and valid legal documents here.
Same sex marriage is currently protected under U.S. federal law. I proudly serve, support, and celebrate members of the LGBTQ+ community. I will continue to support and serve these marriages regardless of any future changes to the law regarding these marriages.
All that you need to do now is get married. Congratulations! Enjoy your celebration, eat delicious food and have the best day ever. Cheers to you 🙂
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