The Ultimate Elopement Checklist

The words "Let's elope!" evoke visions of throwing caution to the wind, grabbing your fiancé's hand, and riding off into the sunset together.

Stylish bride and groom crossing a city street | Elopement Checklist

Sevlynn Photography

But let's be real: Although an elopement has fewer moving parts than a large wedding, there's still some advance planning you'll want to do. Why? Because despite the simpler process, there are plenty of important things you won't want to forget!

To help get you straight to your happily-ever-after with as little stress as possible, we've put together this Elopement Checklist.


First you need to nail down the basics…and we assume you know the answers to these questions:

Elopement at New York City Hall | Elopement Checklist

Cassie Castellaw


Tying the knot at the local courthouse, Las Vegas, or some exotic locale? That is the question.

Newlyweds hold a

Megan Wilkinson Photography

Marriage License

Legal requirements for a marriage differ depending on the city, state, and country. They can include everything from a premarital blood test to a waiting period, so it's important to do your research to make sure your knot is legally tied! If you're getting married stateside, researching U.S. marriage laws is a good place to start.

Be sure to double-check the following:

Couple elope on a mountaintop | Elopement Checklist

Tim Halberg Photography

Travel + Accommodations

If you're traveling out of state—or out of the country—how are you getting where you're going?


The exchanging of wedding rings during the ceremony is optional, yet very symbolic. But you don't need to spend beaucoup bucks to incorporate this age-old tradition into your elopement.

If you're short on funds but would still like to put a ring on it, may we suggest:

Newlyweds share a kiss in front of floral hoops | Elopement Checklist

Cate Batchelor Photography

Photography + Vendors

One thing we don't recommend skimping on? Your wedding photos. You may also want to think about additional wedding services.

Couple elopes in Austin in front of

Elope in Austin

Attire + Hair/Makeup

Elopement style runs the gamut from fancy to free-spirited, and what you choose is totally and completely up to you! But if you're getting photos taken (see above), you'll want to look and feel your best.

Post-Elopement Considerations

You may say "I do" and be done, but we definitely recommend some sort of post-elopement celebration!

Cute pregnant bride eloping on the beach

Everlasting Elopements

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Some clients may have paid to be placed in our editorial and some of these links may be affiliate; however, we never include a venue, vendor, or product unless they have a proper place here. This is part of our Core Values. We create our website first and foremost to be good for the couples using it to plan their Big Day. We won't stray from that for a few advertising dollars. #scoutshonor

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