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How to Elope

Eloping is a great alternative to the hassle of a big wedding. Here’s what to do.


  • Step 1: List the pros and cons Eloping is a big decision, since you might disappoint some of your nearest and dearest. Then again, the money everyone will save on a big wedding might be appreciated. Make a list of pros and cons. If you still want to elope—go for it!
  • Step 2: Decide where to elope Decide where to elope. Is the purpose just to get a quickie marriage or to have a fun romantic escapade? Is it Vegas, City Hall, or Paris? An ordained Elvis or a justice of the peace?
  • Step 3: Get a marriage license How you get the marriage license will depend on where you’re eloping. Some places require a waiting period and/or a blood test. Towns like Las Vegas require neither. Consult the county clerk’s office—either online or over the phone—where you plan to marry.
  • TIP: Eloping to Paris is not easy. It requires at least one person to reside in France for at least 40 days prior to marriage. It also requires piles of documents.
  • Step 4: Get a witness or two You’ll need to have one or two witnesses, depending on the local law. Certain wedding chapels in places like Vegas will provide their own.
  • TIP: Know who can perform your ceremony. This can vary depending on the location, from a judge to a friend who has recently been ordained on the internet.
  • Step 5: Just do it You’ve got the license, the witnesses, the 35 to 55 bucks for the ceremony. Just do it! Elope!
  • Step 6: Make the announcement Now that you’re Mr. and Mrs., it’s time to let everyone know. Prepare cards announcing your elopement—and promising everyone a party when you hit 10 years. Invest the money you saved on a wedding, and in a decade the interest alone will pay for the party! Congrats!
  • FACT: Each year 110,000 marriage licenses are issued in Las Vegas.

You Will Need

  • A partner
  • A marriage license
  • Witnesses
  • An official to preside over the ceremony
  • A place to get married
  • Some money
  • Airline tickets and hotel reservations

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