So you think you want to elope in Texas.
You say, “We’re thinking of eloping.”
Your parents hear, “I’m running away in the middle of the night to get married in Vegas and you’ll never see me again.”
But that isn’t what it means anymore.
You’re not Romeo and Juliet (thank God, they both end up dead). Gone are the days of secret weddings performed by monks.
More and more couples are choosing against a traditional wedding and opting to elope instead.
These days an elopement is an intentionally small and intimate wedding. They buck tradition so that couples can have the wedding of their dreams.
Traditional weddings aren’t for everyone.
With an elopement you can pick and choose what is meaningful to you and get married the way you’ve always envisioned. If you want to sit around with friends and family, if you want to hike to the top of Enchanted rock, if you want to be alone with your fiancé to avoid family drama, if you want to read each other poems and listen to your favorite records, you can do that.
All the planning involved in getting married sometimes robs couples of what should be a joyful event. A wedding shouldn’t be about stressing out and planning a wedding can feel like a full time job.
There can be a lot of pressures and expectations around large scale traditional weddings. Seating charts. Timelines. Wedding colors. Bridesmaids dresses. Floral arrangements. If reading those words made you a little uneasy, an elopement may be for you. Wedding days are meant to be enjoyed and an elopement may help you to relax and enjoy your wedding day.
A common reason couples opt to elope is the lower cost.
There’s two ways an elopement may lower the cost of your wedding.
One is that you have less things. No need for floral centerpieces, or hair and make-up for bridesmaids, or a big venue to host a lot of people.
The other is that you can make the budget you do have go further. You could take 20 people to the nicest restaurant in Houston for the same price to feed 250 people dry chicken. You can have the designer dress of your dreams if you’re not renting chairs and tables for a larger wedding.
The bottom line is that eloping is about doing your wedding however you want.
Because elopements are all about doing things your way, they can take countless forms. But they can be grouped into a few popular trends.
An adventure elopement may be what you envision when you hear the word elopement.
These are for couples who love being outdoors and want to exchange vows somewhere with a breathtaking landscape.
An adventure elopement is a wedding created around the experience of being outdoors. So the options are limitless. Mountains, forests, waterfalls, desserts, beaches, campsites, caves, glaciers, and anything else you can think of. Find a place meaningful to you as a couple. Do what you want through the day, and exchange vows and sign your marriage license to make it official.
Another option for adventurous couples is a destination elopement. If you love to travel, then a destination elopement might be right for you.
Since elopements are typically only the two of you (they don’t have to be, more on that later) you can go anywhere in the world to tie the knot. You can go crazy and get married on the black sands of Reynisfjara in Iceland. Or go to New Zealand and get married in the Shire. You could also elope at a resort in Cabo or private villa in Italy.
Do you want to walk down the aisle, have a reception dinner, first dances, and all the other wedding traditions, but you don’t want to have a bunch of guests? Then consider a micro-wedding.
A micro-wedding is exactly what it sounds like: a smaller version of a traditional wedding. Micro-weddings are intimate weddings with your closest family and friends in attendance.
A micro-wedding is amazing because you can spend more meaningful time with each guest. Set up one long table and have a family style dinner, take a photo with everyone in attendance, and write each guest a hand written note.
A backyard wedding is a micro-wedding, but we love them so much that we’re including it as its own category.
You can host your wedding at your childhood home. You could do it on the property the two of you are building your new home on. Hell, you can ask a friend who has a dope backyard.
Typically people’s homes can’t accommodate as many people as a wedding venue (but more power to you if it can!), so these end up being micro-weddings.
Set up a white tent in the backyard, cater your favorite restaurant (or bring in some food trucks), and party into the night.
One note, since these usually take place completely outside, we don’t recommend backyard weddings in Houston summers.
A courthouse wedding is when a couple has a Justice of the Peace perform a non-religious civil ceremony to legally marry them.
These are closest to what people traditionally think of as an elopement because they don’t require as much planning and the MAXIMUM number of attendees in Harris County is six people.
In Harris County you can’t schedule your date until AFTER you’ve obtained a marriage license, so you’ll have much less control over your date.
You can schedule your wedding ceremony in a Harris County Municipal Court on this website.
But a courthouse wedding doesn’t mean your wedding can’t still be amazing. Get married in private and then invite your closest friends and family for a private dinner at one of Houston’s nicest restaurants.
You don’t have to go far to elope. There’s beautiful locales or intimate venues right here in H-Town.
The most beautiful place in Houston if you’re wanting that boho outdoors look .
Make your elopement incredibly intimate and host in your home or backyard. Feel relaxed and carefree as you get ready in your own house and do things on your time .
Lots of Houston venues have options elopement packages, usually on weekdays, see a list of our favorite wedding venues in Houston.
Beautiful grasslands and secluded beaches. Stay in a rented beach house for the weekend and enjoy Galveston
Beautiful and classic architecture make every photo taken here dreamy and romantic
These are beautiful kept gardens in the heart of the museum district. Hotels, easy parking, and some of the best restaurants in Houston are all right by
This historic courthouse takes an entire city block downtown and easily the most beautiful courthouse in Houston.
As any Texas can (and will proudly) tell you, Texas is the largest of the lower 48 states. Because it’s so huge it has a variety of landscapes.
From the forests of East Texas, to the beaches on the coast, to the Hill Country, mountains in the west, and plains in the panhandle, there are many beautiful locations in Texas. Here are a few of our the most popular spots to elope in Texas.
This is the second largest canyon in America (guess what the first one is) and is out in the Texas Panhandle, which is close to our hearts.
Its famous for its red slopes and Lighthouse Rock.
The canyons cut by the Rio Grande make this one of the most breathtaking places in all of Texas
This is a small, but famous, city in the West Texas desserts. Known as an art hub, there is a lot of cool places to visit here, like the famous Prada installment. It’s also a dessert, so a very Texan look for your elopement.
This, to us, is quintessential Texas. Float the river, eat some BBQ, enjoy Texas.
Just 100 miles outside Austin, you can spend the weekend in the city and get married in the afternoon.
3,840 acres of Sand Dunes in west Texas will make your elopement seem otherworldly
Texas has 89 state parks covering 640,000 acres of land. Any one of these would be a great place for your Texas elopement. Permits are likely required.
You can use this state park map to find the park that suits you best.
An elopement doesn’t mean less important. Your wedding deserves to be celebrated!
While elopements by their very nature take less planning, there’s still going to be moving parts to handle. And since they’re untraditional you may not find answers on your own as easily as you’d expect. One of the primary benefits of an elopement is the low stress, so hiring a planner to make sure its stress free is a no brainer.
An experienced wedding planner can help you with permits, transportation, and budget. Micro-weddings especially benefit from a planner.
Elopements are meaningful and intimate events. Because of this, they are beautiful days full of emotions. You’ll want to make sure that you have a photographer to capture the day so you can remember how beautiful it was forever. If you choose to elope privately, its even more important to hire a photographer. You’ll want great photos to share the day with others who couldn’t be there.
There may not be a lot of people there, but you’ll still have the most important person in the world there. And since you hired a photographer you’ll be sharing these photos with everyone. Unless you’re hiking 6 hours before you get married, professional hair and make up is a great idea.
You don’t need a floral arch or centerpieces, but a bridal bouquet and a boutonnière are great additions to your elopement photos.
If you don’t opt to have friend or family member officiate your wedding, you’ll have to hire an officiant to elope in Texas. Having a qualified officiant is a legal requirement.
Our Houston elopement packages begin at $2500. We have custom Texas Elopement packages and beyond. Contact us for a full quote.
There’s no law requiring witnesses for elopements in Texas, so you can have it be only the two of you and an officiant. (And your photographer).
But you can invite as many or as few people as you want. Elopements are all about having your wedding the way you want it, so invite whomever you want.
While instagram and “the aesthetic” might make you feel this way, the answer is no.
You can elope in your backyard, in a courthouse, or in a place that LOOKS like you hiked to it but you actuallydrove.
Whatever you want.
You can wash each others feet, you can dance under the stars, you can make s’mores by a campfire.
The only requirement in Texas is that you have an officiant marry you, so you’ll need to have some sort of ceremony.
You can elope anywhere.
We’ve photographed elopements in driveways, in living rooms, in the dessert, and even at wedding venues.
If you’re looking for the best places to elope in Texas or Houston, check out our list. .
You’ll need a marriage license and an officiant.
You can get a marriage license at any county clerk’s office. There is a 72 hour waiting period and your license is good for 90 days after its issued. You can get married in any county, but the license must be returned to the county you received it in.
You don’t need to be a Texas resident to get a marriage license in Texas. But you will need a valid ID (drivers license, passport, birth certificate) and a social security number (but not the physical card).
A marriage license costs $70-$85 dollars depending on the county.
An ordained minister, even ones that got ordained online, can perform the ceremony. So you could have a friend or family member officiate your elopement.
The complete list of requirements can be found on the Attorney Generals website.
As much or as little as you want.
You could do it with just the money spent on a marriage license.
But if you want to make an event of it you can spend more. Typically elopements cost about 50% of a larger scale wedding.
Once you’ve decided to elope or have a micro-wedding the next step is to begin planning your dream elopement.