Congrats on your Upcoming elopement!
Elopements are such a great alternative to a traditional wedding. They usually consist of 10 or fewer guests and can happen pretty much anywhere!
Depending on your preferred location, there may be rules and regulations to sift through before you can officially say “I do”. To get you started, here are the basics of pulling off an elopement in Texas.
CHOOSE A LOCATION
There are a variety of spectacular locations in Texas to elope. We have gorgeous beaches on one side of the state and canyons on the other. According to The Knot “Other legal requirements, such as whether your Texas wedding will require a permit, depend on local laws. The City of Galveston, for example, doesn’t require permits for weddings held on public beaches so long as the event doesn’t disrupt the public use of the space and doesn’t involve the use of chairs or amplifiers. Corpus Christi doesn’t require weddings in public parks to get permits, but you will have to notify the park management staff and work with them to organize your event.
To get married in one of Houston’s public parks, however, you’ll need to get a permit.
If you choose a courthouse you'll need to call ahead and make an appointment after picking up your marriage license.
Here are a handful of my favorite locations in Houston to elope:
The Oak Aetiler - https://theoakatelier.com - beautiful all white greenhouse. Great for less than 10 people and portraits after.
Harris County 1910 Courthouse
Want something a little different? send a request below with your vision and I can send over a few other location options.
LOCKING IT IN
Don't forget to apply for a marriage license. You can apply in person at your local County Clerk’s Office. There is a fee to obtain a marriage license (around $81) and you will need to check with your County Clerk’s Office on the proper personal documentation required to file. Make sure you notify your ordained minister of which county your license is from. Your ordained minister has to verify their information is on file at your marriage license’s county.
In Texas, you can apply for your marriage license at your local county and the license is valid for a wedding in any county in the state of Texas. It is important to note that the license needs to be returned to the county it was filed in. If you do not live in Texas and are eloping here, you will need to file for your marriage license in the state of Texas for your marriage to be legal in Texas.
You'll need to wait a minimum of 72 hours before eloping and will need to elope within 90 days of obtaining the license.
Make sure you bring your marriage license with you on your wedding day. Your signed and dated marriage license must be returned back to the original County Clerk’s Office. Some courthouses will take care of this part for you.
So you have chosen to elope! Now you need to decide the all-important factor of whether or not you want it to be just the two of you, or if you want to invite a small handful of the people you really couldn’t imagine saying “I do” without.
When creating your guest list and determining the number of guests you invite, consider the total number of guests allowed at your chosen venue. Some venues have restrictions on the number of total guests allowed during the ceremony, especially in light of the pandemic. The most common headcounts for elopement packages are anywhere between 15 and 20 guests max. If it’s next to impossible to narrow it down that small, then you may want to look at more traditional wedding venues or one of the many gorgeous parks in the area.
For courthouse elopements - most courthouses allow a maximum of 6 guests.
HAIR + MAKEUP
If you feel like getting a little glammed up, there’s absolutely no reason not to get your hair and makeup done. Just try to keep it as natural as possible. Fancy and intricate hairdos can sometimes look a little out of place at home or in a national park, and I love the motion that is captured with hair blowing in the wind.
If you’re partial to a bit of accessorizing and the location calls for it like this disco styled shoot, bring some jackets or hats or other potential props that reflect this time in your life. But remember to keep it real.
Authenticity is in the details.
Some of my favorite MUA's and HMUAs in Houston are:
WHAT TO EXPECT
You can expect to have a wonderful time.
Remember what all of this is about in the first place – it’s not the Instagram post, it’s not the matching outfits, and it’s not for anyone else except you. Well, and future you, too! It’s a great excuse to clock some proper quality time together, invest in your relationship, and be present for this uniquely special time in your lives.
During the after ceremony photoshoot, don’t worry if you don’t know what to do because I will direct you! Most people instinctively turn towards the camera, but you can expect me to tell you to look at each other. I want you two to be immersed in each other and to be able to settle into the time you’ve set aside to celebrate your love! I promise I’ll let you know when it’s appropriate to look at the camera. Know that there is no ‘right’ way to do things! If I tell you to hug each other, just do it in the way that you regularly do.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this guide! I imagine you’ll have a few questions bouncing around your head, so request more information below and let’s talk through all the things: Pricing, additional locations, Plan B’s, outfits, and champagne pops. Most importantly, champagne pops.