How to Elope in Texas: 5 Steps to Elope Legally in Texas

If you’re considering eloping in Texas or crafting an Adventurous Texas Elopement, we’ve put together some resources to make sure you know exactly how to elope legally in Texas. In this post you’ll find a step by step guide and helpful checklist to help you plan your Texas Elopement.

As Texas natives, we love it when a couple reaches out to plan an elopement in our home state. With its wildflowers, gorgeous landscapes, wineries, impossibly starry nights, and ridiculously good tacos, Texas is incredible for a million reasons and makes for the perfect spot for your adventurous elopement or micro wedding.

With so many couples having to reschedule their original wedding dates due to COVID-19, adventurous elopements and intimate weddings are getting a lot of attention. But here’s the thing: elopements and micro weddings have always been an incredibly intentional way to tie the knot. Want to learn more about elopements? Check out this article and see if eloping is something you vibe with: 

Texas is pretty laid back when it comes to the elopement process, but there are definitely some things you’ll want to consider and add to your to-do list if you’re considering an adventure elopement in Texas.

Real quick: If you aren’t super sure about what an elopement is, let us break it down for ya. 

For awhile eloping carried this shameful connotation as if choosing not to have a traditional wedding meant that your commitment to each other was a hasty decision or one that was made haphazardly. While it has been given that stigma in the past, elopements aren’t and never were shameful. Both sets of our parents eloped, not because they had to out of guilt or societal shame, not because they didn’t think having a wedding day was important, but because what was important to them had nothing to do with what big, traditional weddings focus on…and yeah they saved a ton of money. 

Eloping isn’t shameful, it isn’t weird and it doesn’t mean that you don’t care about how you get married. Eloping is awesome and an incredibly intentional way to celebrate the love that you have built. Here’s the thing…Big weddings and huge parties aren’t for everyone. They weren’t for us. When we sat down to plan our “small” wedding, within 10 minutes we realized that it just wasn’t for us. We didn’t care about the traditions. We didn’t care about the guest list, or the food, or the invitations. The only thing that we cared about was getting married and only focusing on each other that day. 

We didn’t want to invite family members we barely spoke to or pay a ton of money for food we’d be too busy to eat. We didn’t want to say our vows in front of a bunch of people or dance with a room full of eyes on us. If that was our wedding day, we would have been miserable. If any of that resonates with you, if there’s even a tiny piece of you that is questioning if a traditional wedding or elopement is the way you want to celebrate, then you owe it to yourself to explore some options. 

Step 1: Pick a date 

Texas is great and we absolutely love it, but there’s a reason we head north for the summer. Texas summers mean business with an average temperature of a million degrees and constant sun, we recommend choosing a date that is between late fall-early May.

If you’re thinking of eloping in Big Bend (do it), The busy season begins in October and lasts through May. Big bend is an absolute treasure of our state and is simply one of the most incredible places you could ever say your vows.

You’ll want to get an idea of the general location you’d like to elope in Texas. Are you wanting something with a funky urban feel like Austin, a vast desert ecosystem with tons of adventures to be had like Big Bend, gorgeous natural swimming pools, or maybe a mini-grand canyon? Texas has all of this to offer and more. Choosing your location will help you to know what permits you’ll need to apply for and where you can pick up your marriage license. Check this article for some locations that are perfect for your Texas elopement

Step 2: Get Your Marriage license

To get your marriage license in Texas, you’ll have to apply in person at the county clerks office. There is a 72 hour waiting period after getting your Texas marriage license and is valid for 90 days. Your license is in the entire state, but costs will vary by county. You can find more information about your Texas marriage license here:

Step 3: Elope Legally

After getting your Texas marriage license and completing the 72 hour waiting period, you’ll need to make sure you have an officiant. This can be a friend, family member, minister, photographer, etc that has been legally ordained. Because many couples elope with no one but their photographers, we are both ordained and can legally sign all of your paperwork while still giving you the freedom and intimacy of an elopement. If you have someone that you would like to perform your marriage ceremony, here’s a post that can break down the process: INSERT LINK HERE. To legally elope in Texas, you’ll also need two witnesses depending on the county you’re eloping in, one of us can always serve as a witness and there are always folks around or on the trail that are happy to serve as a witness.

Step 4: Send off your paperwork

After your elopement, you simply send your paperwork off and the two of you are officially hitched! To celebrate, we recommend dancing in the desert, eating tacos while watching the sunset, and stargazing while drinking Topo Chico’s or some killer beer from one of the ________ of breweries in the lone star state.

Step 5: Celebrate and relive your wedding day over and over

One of the cool things about eloping somewhere adventurous that you don’t get with a traditional wedding is that you can revisit where you tied the knot whenever you want. Most traditional weddings take place at expensive venues where you can only rent out a certain day/time, but where you choose to elope can be somewhere you love going. Imagine celebrating your anniversary or other big milestones somewhere gorgeous. Picture taking your family, future children, close friends to a place that holds so much meaning and power for you. 

Need more ideas on creating the most incredible wedding day ever? Check out these resources and get inspired:Link to Texas locations

Want more ideas on planning your dream elopement? Hit us up and let’s make some magic.

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TEXAS ELOPEMENT CHECKLIST 

  • Pick your date 
  • Pick a Location 
  • Find your photographers (HI!)
  • Book your travel 
  • Book any experiences (river tours, horseback riding, wine tour, etc.). More on that here: 
  • Apply for any permits you’ll need (we can help with that).
  • Get your marriage license. More info here: 
  • Complete 72 hour waiting period 
  • Get an officiant (or ask your photographers to sign): want a family member or friend to serve as your officiant? Check out the information here: 
  • Find witnesses (varies by county)
  • Get married! 
  • Send off your paperwork 
  • Celebrate 

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