Not so long after we got engaged in February 2018, we decided that since we’ve both been married previously, we wanted to elope! We wanted our wedding to be really intimate and all about us with minimal distractions. Plus we wanted to save A LOT of money and have a badass honeymoon to Paris! We have ZERO regrets about having a small ceremony and eloping. It was honestly the absolute perfect, stress-free day. Here’s how we eloped! 🙂
Decide where to get married.
Our first step was deciding where to get married – just like normal couples! We knew we wanted to get married close to home given the fact that neither of us would have extra time off since we were going to Paris. It had to be within driving distance. We considered going somewhere we had never been before, but we kept coming back to St. Louis.
As you probably know by now, St. Louis has a special place in our hearts. 🙂 We love our little getaways to St. Louis, and it’s the closest major city near us. So we chose STL, home of our beloved Cardinals!
My favorite place in St. Louis is the Grand Basin (other than Busch Stadium, of course). I’ve always loved the view down into the Grand Basin from the Art Museum, so I thought it’d be magical to get married there!!
Make sure there are no fees/permits required at your venue.
I called a few different people at Forest Park and basically, because we were eloping and didn’t set anything up (chairs, a stage, a bridal party, etc.), we didn’t need a permit or to give them any money. Yes, that’s right, our venue was FREE! (Woot woot!) We showed up and didn’t have to pay a dime.
Research marriage license requirements.
We were able to go get our marriage license the day before we got married, but other places may have other requirements. We did have certain documentation we had to bring with us. We took off work early the day before to go get our license.
We love visiting our close friends Wes & Becky that live in St. Louis, so it was a no-brainer to ask them to be our official witnesses! We love them and luckily they were available the day we picked. 😉
(You can always consider non-traditional witnesses though like your photographer or someone at your venue. You don’t have to know someone at your destination to elope!)
Find an officiant.
I hired an officiant through Weddingly Events. I spent quite some time googling officiants and emailing several different ones. We happened to pick a very popular weekend with it being Memorial Day weekend (oopsie!). Also, I was booking an officiant in March for a May wedding, so by the time I got emails sent, we really only had two options. However, Josh at Weddingly Events was freakin’ phenomenal! I couldn’t be happier that we went with them!
Find a bomb-ass photographer!
Just because you are eloping doesn’t mean you can’t have pretty pictures! I hired Kaitlyn’s Photography out of Rolla, MO because HOLY SMOKES she takes gorgeous photos. I instantly knew she was our photographer when I landed on her website.
Our photographer was my “splurge” item since we were eloping. I wanted amazing photos and, man oh man, Kaitlyn delivered!! She was absolutely amazing in person and I felt like I’d known her forever when I met her the day of our wedding! 🙂
Reserve a hotel room.
We decided since we were eloping, we wanted to stay downtown at the Westin. Neither of us had stayed there before and we just wanted a really nice hotel. We had an amazing stay, and we had Mimosas at the bar the morning of our wedding! We got quite a few looks. 😉
Find a dress, groom’s outfit & accessories.
I purchased my dress at Macy’s locally and my shoes were on clearance at our local Dillard’s. I made my bouquet and my husband’s boutonniere with faux flowers from our local floral shop.
You could always arrange to pick up fresh flowers for yourself, but I just really wanted to make mine. I actually made our arrangements before I had my dress! Our rings are from Kays. My hair piece and earrings are from Amazon.
Take an uber, if you want.
Yep, that’s right, we actually took an Uber straight to our “venue”. Parking in Forest Park is a nightmare on the weekends and since we knew it would be, we decided last minute to take an uber!
See selfie proof of this:
Get hitched and have some fun afterward!
We got married on a beautiful, toasty day and right afterward we went to The Cup to get a cupcake as our “wedding cake”!
After that, we went and changed at our hotel and celebrated into the night with our friends!!
Wes & Becky treated us a fancy dinner at Charlie Gitto’s where we had amazing Italian food and tiramisu and then went and had drinks downtown!!
Our day was so EPIC and I would so elope and do it all over again! It was honestly the best. day. ever.
Thinking of eloping? I made a printable guide and checklist of everything we did and purchased for our elopement. It was SUPER hard for me to find one, even on Pinterest, so hopefully, it helps you, fellow elopement brides. You can download it here! Be sure to let me know if it helped you. 🙂