Elopements are popping up on my social media feed a lot lately, whether they be a result of the pandemic or just wanting to have a super simple wedding, I’m into it!
You might think as a photographer I’d be all about the fanfare of a wedding. However, I’m really a fan of the intimacy of an elopement. And I’d be lying if I said I haven’t thought about elopement myself! There is just something so refreshing about the focus being just on the marriage itself and not on all of the other, stressful stuff that can come along with it.
The thing about elopements, though, is that you are kind of on your own. There don’t tend to be a ton of “elopement wedding planners” for hire, and if you aren’t planning on inviting all your friends and family, they probably aren’t going to be jumping at the chance to help you plan.
To give you some support in planning your elopement, here are some key things to look into!
You still need to apply for a marriage license in Philadelphia to elope, which you can do through the City of Philadelphia Register of Wills. It’s $90 for an application, and it takes 3 days to receive (and is only valid for 60 days following!).
In Pennsylvania, you have two options: you can hire an officiant for the ceremony, or you can choose to self-unite in a Quaker wedding. To have a Quaker wedding (and no, you don’t have to convert!), no officiant is needed. Just the couple and two witnesses are needed at the ceremony. You will still need to apply for a marriage license and then a self-uniting license ($10) through the City of Philadelphia. Finally, you will need a self-uniting certificate which you can find on the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.
This is probably the best part of eloping. Because you aren’t inviting guests, or only a few, you don’t have to worry about numbers and size restrictions at venues. I recommend getting creative and thinking outside of the box when it comes to elopement venues, since you can pretty much do anything! Hike to the top of a mountain, go to city hall, get married on a train…the options are endless.
If there is anything not-so-fun about eloping, it’s this one. Family members are often disappointed with the idea of an elopement, which is why so many couples choose not to tell anyone until after the fact. While I totally respect this option, be aware that it may drive a wedge between you and your loved ones. A nice way to make people feel involved is to keep it a secret from the world, but still tell a few people close to you. Even if they aren’t there for the ceremony, they get to still feel like they are “in” on it.
Introducing my One-Stop-Shop Elopement Package! In order to help you document this important day and to share it with all your loved ones!
I’ve teamed up with MG the Venue Specialist and Stems by Meredith to create a special package to make your elopement as seamless and as beautiful as possible. MG will help you choose a venue that best fits your needs and will handle all communication with the venues. I will take the photos and can even be your officiant since I recently got ordained! And Meredith will create 2 custom floral arrangements that best fit your needs. This package starts at just $1200 and can be totally customized to best fit your elopement!
Philadelphia based wedding and family photographer
transporting you back to your most special memories.
I celebrate all kinds of love and photograph all gender identities, sexualities, races, cultures, religions, bodies, and abilities.
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