What is Eloping in Texas?

Eloping in Texas is a common marriage ceremony practice for reasons founded on sensibility, practicality, charm, and love. Historically and the technical definition of eloping references getting married without telling anyone before the vows, and then informing others only after the small ceremony. However, eloping in Texas has evolved from its origin and today commonly refers to forgoing a formal big wedding event and holding a smaller, more intimate wedding ceremony instead.

Modern couples thinking critically about what matters to them in a celebration coupled with a more open-minded perspective on wedding ceremonies have transformed “eloping” to where it’s become the charming and if not ‘chic’ way to get married.

Today, those eloping in Texas may inform and or invite their friends and families before the wedding ceremony or perhaps may not. Either way eloping for many couples removes the stress, potential drama, and financial burden that comes with traditional big event weddings. Eloping is a sensibly small, meaningful, and authentic wedding ceremony reflecting your true relationship and where the focus of the day is really about you two, the couple. In eloping what is most important is that the couple follows their own desires and whatever path makes them happy.

Those eloping in Texas are making a choice for a more intimate and quiet wedding ceremony with a limited number of guests – or none at all (other than the wedding officiant). However no matter the size of the wedding ceremony, the classic elements can be part of the event. Eloping couples typically exchange rings and vows, may choose classic wedding-like attire, no matter how casual. Photographs, flowers, jumping the broom, or breaking of glasses, etc. it’s entirely up to the eloping couple of what classic wedding elements are brought into their wedding ceremony. Just because you’re eloping doesn’t mean you need to skimp on details and that the day isn’t special—it’s still your wedding and there is reason to be excited and celebrate.

Also though there are fewer moving parts, whether planned or spontaneous, to make eloping a beautiful and amazing experience you will need to make a few plans to ensure the ceremony is seamless and legal. Eloping in Texas may at times seem confusing, especially the logistics and legalities surrounding eloping – we’ve simplified everything for thousands of couples and provided lovely, fun, memorable, and affordable weddings in Austin.

Perhaps the first box to check for eloping in Texas is being clear of the ins and outs of getting a Texas Marriage License.

Here are the key points:

  1. In Texas, you must be at least 18 to marry without consent; persons that are over age 16, but under 18 must obtain consent to marry.
  2. Texas has no residency requirements with respect to eloping in Texas. For citizens of the state, Texas allows you to apply for a marriage license in any county and the license you receive is valid for a wedding in any county in the state of Texas. When you both (couple) appear before the clerk, you will need to meet the following requirements to get your Texas marriage license:
  3. Present valid government photo ID (e.g. driver’s license, ID card or passport) proving that you are each at least 18 years old:
    a. Fill out the application
    b. Repeat the oath listed on the application
    c. Sign the application in front of the clerk
    d. Pay the application fee
  4. Be mindful after the ceremony the license needs to be returned to the same county it originated from. If you live out-of-state and are eloping in Texas, you will need to file your marriage license in the state of Texas for your marriage to be legal in Texas.
  5. The State requires anyone eloping in Texas to wait a period of 72 hours after receiving your marriage license before you engage in your wedding ceremony. There are a few exceptions for the military – contact us for more information.
  6. Your Texas marriage license is valid for 90 days after the date of issue. We suggest you apply for a license about a month before your actual wedding date (and don’t forget to bring it to the ceremony!). Your signed and dated marriage license needs to be filed with the County Clerk’s Office of origin.
  7. Once you’re clear on obtaining a Texas marriage license the next step is to learn about our Elopement, Micro-Wedding, and Pop-Up Wedding packages by clicking here.
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