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.