Planning to elope in Austin? Whether you enjoy the great outdoors or the cool city vibe, Austin has it all. There are a million and one reasons why Austin might be the right place for you to elope. Here I have compiled a list of the BEST Austin elopement locations. I’ve included as much information about them as I can- addresses, permit and reservation info, etc. After photographing hundreds of elopements I decided it is finally time to share the best of the best with you all.
** Pro-Tip: If you like any of these locations, look up their location tag or #location on instagram, Pinterest, etc. You can see multiple photos as well as possibly other’s elopement photos from these areas to get a better full picture of the spaces.
Eloping at One of Austin’s Great Parks!
Permit and Reservation Info: As a part of Austin’s official parks, these are maintained by the city.All of these location follows the Austin Parks Policies. You will need to request a special event permit AND a photo permit (if you are hiring a photographer) to host an elopement in these locations. You can view all of these specific details, as well as how to contact them about reserving your date on their website here.
Zilker Botanical Garden
2220 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78746
With its picturesque landscapes, blooming flowers, and serene water features, the Zilker botanical Garden is an ideal spot for a romantic elopement. It’s a very popular spot, so prepare for crowds!
3800 Mt Bonnell Rd, Austin, Texas
This popular lookout point offers stunning views of the city skyline and the Colorado River. It’s a great spot for a sunset elopement. You will need to hike up, and it is a popular spot so prepare for crowds.
Mayfield Park (Mayfield Cottage and Gardens)
3505 W 35th St, Austin, TX 78703
Located on stunning 23 acres, this peaceful park is home to dozens of peacocks, which make for a unique and memorable backdrop for your elopement photos. The pricing for doing photos and having your elopement at a location that is not reserved is $50 per 2-hour session – book online 4 days or up to 30 days prior.
Reservation and Booking Information: https://www.austintexas.gov/page/special-events-policies-procedures
Outdoor Austin Elopement Locations
The Vineyards at Chapel Lodge
This estate offers a little bit of everything. They have beautiful open courtyards, a vineyard, a huge lake, a forest, and big open fields!
McKinney Falls State Park
This scenic park offers several beautiful spots for outdoor elopements, including a waterfall and a natural swimming hole if you’re a fan of water. They also have plenty of forested area. This park is fairly busy and always popular. Be sure to plan for crowds!
Address: 16221 Crystal Hills Dr, Austin, TX 78737
This stunning chapel is located in the Texas Hill Country, just outside of Austin. It’s a VERY popular spot for small weddings and elopements. On weekdays it is free, and on weekends they have a small fee to rent the chapel. This truthfully is one of my absolute favorite places to elope here in Austin. My absolute favorite part about this venue is that you can ring the chapel bells after you say ‘I do!”
Permit Information: This venue is free (with a deposit) Monday through Thursday, and then has a fee of $250 for a weekend reservation. Whether you do a weekday or weekend, you must make a reservation. Each reservation is 90 minutes, and includes access to their bridal and groom suite for getting ready! Book your Reservation here.
Texas State Capitol
The historic Texas State Capitol building is a grand and impressive backdrop for your elopement photos. Best of all, it’s free to take photos on the grounds.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
With over 650 species of native Texas wildflowers, this botanical garden offers a colorful and unique backdrop for your elopement.’
Read more about getting married at LBJ Wildflower Center here: https://www.wildflower.org/private-events/weddings
This is about an hour outside of Austin, so there is a little bit more travel involved. However, if you’re looking for a unique outdoor location this is the perfect place for you. Enchanted Rock is a stunning hike with a rewarding overlook at the top, perfect for sunset elopements.
I fell in love with Sekrit Theater the first time I saw a single photo. A greenhouse surrounded by lush foliage on private property? It is beautiful. This venue and its surrounding area are super funky with lots of cool things to see too! They have an old school bus, a chandelier tree, a large movie screen, and an abandoned piano. If you’re looking for a unique place that is charming and full of character, this is an amazing option for your elopement! You can view a full elopement I’ve photographed at Sekrit Theater on my blog here.
Indoor Austin Elopement Locations
Are you and your partner big fans of games? Love the glow of the neon lights? Cidercade is one of the coolest spots in Austin and lets you reserve it for elopements. Game on!
This historic estate features beautiful gardens and a Mediterranean-style villa. It’s a romantic and elegant setting for a small, intimate wedding.
Cactus Moon Lodge
5508 US-290, Dripping Springs, TX 78620
A new venue located in the Dripping Springs area of hill country. This venue is equipped with a full kitchen, getting ready suites, several beautiful ceremony options and an incredibly staff on top of it! This place can accommodate elopements with no guests and small weddings all the same. I love how versatile it is! You can check out some styled elopements we did here in the spring here: https://baremomentsphotography.com/2023/04/13/cactus-moon-lodge-wedding/
Should You Elope in Austin Texas?
While ATX may be a dream for many, it might not be right for some. Consider the pros and cons of each, as well as how time and date may affect your elopement.
Pros to Eloping in Austin:
- Natural Beauty: Austin is surrounded by stunning natural scenery, from the rolling hills of the Texas Hill Country to the sparkling waters of Lake Travis. There are plenty of outdoor locations where you can elope and take advantage of the natural beauty of the area.
- The Weather: Austin has a mild climate, which means that you can plan your elopement almost any time of year. Summers can be hot, but you can always plan an early morning or evening ceremony to avoid the heat.
- Variety: Whether you’re looking for a romantic outdoor location or a more traditional indoor venue, Austin has plenty of options. From historic mansions to rustic barns to modern event spaces, there is a venue to suit every taste and budget.
- Low cost: Eloping can be much less expensive than planning a traditional wedding, and Austin is no exception. With many affordable venues and vendors in the area, you can plan a beautiful elopement without breaking the bank.
- Fun activities: Austin is known for its vibrant music scene, delicious food, and outdoor activities. There is really never nothing going on here. You can easily plan a fun-filled elopement weekend by exploring the city’s many attractions and enjoying the local culture.
- Easy travel: Austin is conveniently located in the heart of Texas, and is easily accessible by car or plane. This makes it a great destination for elopements, especially if you have guests traveling from out of town.
Cons to Eloping in Austin:
- Limited guest list: If you’re eloping, it’s likely that you won’t be inviting many (or any) guests to your wedding. This can be a pro if you’re looking for an intimate experience, but it can also be a con if you have close friends and family members who you want to share your special day with. Keep in mind your wedding day is all about what makes you happy. Only you and your partner can determine what is right for you. If your day would be better with your loved ones there, then have them! You can still have an special intimate day with a small guest list 🙂
- Lack of traditional wedding elements: Eloping typically involves a smaller, less formal ceremony without many of the traditional elements of a larger wedding, such as a bridal party, elaborate decor, or a sit-down dinner. If you’re looking for a more traditional wedding experience, eloping may not be the best choice for you.
- Weather concerns: While Austin’s climate is generally mild, it can also be unpredictable. Rain and extreme heat are both possible, which could impact your elopement plans if you’re hoping for an outdoor ceremony. The best way to avoid this is to stay away from the hottest months of the year (July, August) and also try to avoid the rain/ice season (usually February and March).
- Planning: While eloping can be less stressful than planning a larger wedding, it still requires some planning and coordination. If you’re not familiar with the area or don’t have experience planning events, this could be a challenge. I highly recommend working with an elopement planner or elopement planning company like Simply Eloped if the idea of planning overwhelms you!
- Legal requirements: To legally elope in Texas, you’ll need to obtain a marriage license and follow the state’s marriage laws. This can involve some paperwork and may require a waiting period, which could impact your elopement plans. If you’re curious about this process, check out this blog on how to legally get married in Texas.
Overall, eloping in Austin can be a wonderful experience, with plenty of natural beauty, unique venues, and fun activities to enjoy. I hope this post helped inspire you to have the elopement of your dreams! If you’re still looking for an elopement photographer I would love to be considered. you’re already on my website, just hit the contact tab 😉 Happy planning!
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