Your wedding day should be a reflection of your unique style and preferences, going beyond just choosing napkin colors. If the thought of a big, traditional wedding fills you with anxiety and you want a more intimate experience, eloping might be the perfect choice for you.

But hold on a second, isn’t eloping all about running away in secret against family wishes? Not necessarily. Elopements can be whatever you want them to be—a celebration of authentic experiences between you, your partner, and your closest loved ones. Whether it’s just the two of you or a small group of guests, there’s no right or wrong way to elope.

While eloping gives you the freedom to structure your day as you wish, it can also lead to decision paralysis. If you’ve found yourself overwhelmed by countless articles and checklists, each offering different advice, it’s time to take a step back and breathe. There are a handful of “ultimate elopement checklists” out there, each one seems to say something different and none of them cover everything. So you keep searching, your browser overloaded with 67 open tabs until you’re exhausted and just don’t care anymore. I mean, aren’t elopements supposed to be easier than a full-blown 300 person wedding? In this guide, we’ll help you get back to the basics, focusing on what matters most to you. Grab a notepad and get ready to answer some questions to shape your ultimate vision for your elopement day.

If you need help planning or need ideas, feel free to reach out to us, stalk the website, or utilize our online magazine

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Step 1: Define Your Vision

Close your eyes for a moment and let go of any preconceived notions of what a Texas wedding “should” look like. Imagine that tomorrow is the last day on Earth, and you and your partner have just this one day to fulfill all your dreams together. What would that day look like? Take note of anything that comes to mind. Consider what aspects of your wedding day you’re most looking forward to and write down your top three priorities in order of importance, whether it’s photography, location, activities, or something else. These priorities will guide your budget allocation.

Step 2: Decide Who to Invite

Eloping in Texas doesn’t have to mean excluding everyone. You can choose to have just the two of you or include a select group of guests. The decision is entirely up to you. Ask yourselves a few questions to help you decide:

  • Do you prefer the intimacy of being alone or the energy of others around you?
  • Does the idea of being in the spotlight make you uncomfortable?
  • Is there someone you can’t imagine not being present on your special day?
  • How much time do you want to spend with your guests?
  • Are there individuals who drain your energy and may not contribute positively to your day?

Consider hosting a separate celebration dinner or live-streaming the ceremony to include loved ones who can’t physically be present. Remember, this is your day, and it’s important to surround yourself with people who bring joy and support.

Step 3: Choose Your Location & Date

Once you have an idea of the number of guests, it becomes easier to select a ceremony locations within Texas to elope at. Would you like an adventurous experience, such as hiking up a canyon to exchange vows with a breathtaking sunrise backdrop? Or do you envision a cozy cabin in the woods surrounded by family and enjoying a barbecue? Whether you prefer elaborate or simple, consider the following:

  • Your favorite places you’ve visited together as a couple within Texas.
  • Your openness to surprises versus a desire for a planned itinerary.
  • Your favorite season and the weather conditions in potential locations (we all know how Texas can differ in each part!).
  • Your comfort with rugged or clean and dry environments.
  • Do you have a house you love and want to elope in the backyard

Explore options like Texas wedding venues, Texas state and national parks, Airbnbs, or family properties. Don’t worry if you’re unsure about the exact location—experienced photographers can help you find the perfect spot.

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Step 4: Book Travel & Lodging

When it comes to booking flights for your Texas elopement, why not save some extra bucks without compromising convenience? Enter This brilliant platform allows you to find flights for less by utilizing clever layover options. Imagine this: you need a flight from Atlanta to DFW airport, but you find a cheaper flight from Atlanta to Denver with a layover in DFW. Simply hop off at DFW and skip the connecting flight, all while enjoying significant savings. Discover how SkipLagged can help you secure the best deals while traveling to your dream Texas elopement destination.

Step 4: Hit the Road in Style with a Unique Rental Car

Why settle for a traditional wedding car when you can make a statement with a cool rental vehicle? One of our all-time favorite rental car companies is Sixt Car Rental. Not only do they offer the best prices, but they also have a wide range of options, from a rugged Jeep Wrangler to a luxurious Mercedes-Benz. We’ve always had exceptional experiences with Sixt, receiving top-notch customer service and clean, like-new vehicles. Check their website to find a location near you and start your epic road trip in style.

For those seeking the ultimate luxury experience, consider Enterprise Exotics. Operating in 24 states across the US, including Texas, they offer an impressive selection of dream cars. Imagine cruising in an Aston Martin DB9 convertible, making your elopement adventure even more unforgettable.

Step 5: Find the Perfect Lodging for Your Escape

As you venture to your chosen Texas elopement destination, finding the right lodging is crucial for creating a comfortable and memorable experience. HomeToGo is an excellent resource that allows you to search vacation rental homes across multiple platforms like VRBO and Airbnb simultaneously. If you prefer the convenience of a hotel, consider calling the hotel directly for the best rates, as third-party sites often charge commission fees that may be passed on to you. Take advantage of the opportunity to choose accommodations that align with your style and enhance the overall ambiance of your elopement adventure.

Step 6: Selecting the Right Vendors for Your Elopement

Choosing the right Texas vendors for your elopement is a personal decision that depends on your preferences and vision. Here are some key vendors to consider:

Photography/Videography: Capturing stunning photos and videos of your elopement day is essential. Since intimate weddings often have fewer guests, investing in professional photography becomes even more important. Look for Texas elopement photographers who can also legally sign your marriage certificate if you’re planning a “just us” ceremony. Not all photographers do this, so make sure to scout each website carefully to what they can offer. We have a list of Texas elopement photographers on our website that are ordained. Videography is another popular choice to document the day’s adventure, whether through a full-day video or a highlight reel.

Officiant: Decide whether you prefer to hire an officiant to coordinate your ceremony or have your photographer sign off on the marriage license. Make sure your chosen officiant is ordained if you opt for the latter.

Hair & Makeup: Treat yourself to a pampering session on your special day by hiring a professional hair and makeup artist. This allows you to relax and feel your best. Alternatively, you can choose to do it yourself or have a trusted friend or family member help you.

Florist: While not mandatory, a beautiful bouquet adds a touch of elegance to any elopement. Consider incorporating flowers into your day, whether it’s a traditional bouquet or creative alternatives like picking wildflowers or opting for simple arrangements.

Food + Cake/Dessert: Decide on your desired level of culinary experience. You can hire a private chef to cook a meal at your Airbnb, hire a caterer, or even go for a casual and fun option like a potluck or grabbing some fast food. Get creative with dessert choices, such as mini-cakes, cupcakes, donuts, or s’mores, to add a delicious touch to your celebration.

Planner: While not always necessary for an elopement, hiring a planner or day-of coordinator can alleviate stress and allow you to fully enjoy your special day. Some experienced elopement photographers may offer planning services in their packages at no additional cost.

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Step 7: Incorporate Unique Activities and Rituals

One of the great advantages of eloping in Texas is the freedom to skip traditional rituals and create your own unique experiences. Consider these ideas:

Activities: Embrace adventure and turn your elopement into an unforgettable experience. Plan activities that align with your interests and bucket-list dreams, such as sleigh rides, skydiving, horseback riding, off-roading Jeep tours, or kayaking. The possibilities are endless!

Ceremony Unity Rituals: Symbolize your union in creative ways that hold personal meaning. Explore unique unity rituals such as lighting a unity candle, tying a knot, handfasting, pouring sand into a jar or vase, making a sandwich together, taking a shot, washing each other’s feet, or even shotgunning a beer if that suits your style.

Step 8: Attire and Rings to Reflect Your Style

Finding the perfect attire and rings is an essential part of expressing your personal style and ensuring you feel amazing on your wedding day. Consider these tips:

Attire: Determine your top wedding priorities and allocate your budget accordingly. Websites like Lulu’s, Etsy, and Azazie offer a wide range of dresses at various price points. Whether you prefer an affordable option or want to splurge on a designer gown, there are options for every budget. For suits and tuxedos, Menguin offers free online try-on for rentals, making the process convenient and stress-free.

Rings: Choose rings that symbolize your love and commitment. Explore different styles and materials that resonate with you and your partner. Whether you opt for classic wedding bands or unique custom designs, let your rings be a reflection of your individuality.

Step 9: Plan Your Adventure with a Well-Structured Timeline

Create a timeline that suits your desired elopement experience. If you’re working with an experienced elopement photographer, they can help you plan the day and ensure you make the most of your chosen locations. If you’re embarking on an adventure elopement with hiking involved, having a photographer who knows the area well is invaluable. For a more carefree and spontaneous day, you can have a loose timeline with target spots along the way. Remember, an experienced photographer can help you capture the best moments while you enjoy the journey.

Step 10: Obtain Your Marriage License and Tie the Knot

Before the big day, make sure to obtain your marriage license from the state where your ceremony will take place. Pay attention to any waiting periods or time restrictions. For example, in Texas, there is a 72-hour waiting period, which may be waived for active-duty military. Ensure that your license remains valid until your ceremony, typically within 90 days from issuance.

Finally, it’s time to say “I do” to your lifelong adventure together. Celebrate your love and commitment in a way that reflects your unique journey as a couple. Congratulations on finding your forever partner, and may your elopement be filled with love, joy, and unforgettable memories.

If you need further assistance in planning your super epic adventure wedding or finding your dream photographer, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Texas Adventure Elopements. We are here to help and share our expertise in creating the most extraordinary elopement experiences across Texas. Happy adventuring!

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