Weddings taking place in a courthouse or city hall are not what they used to be 30 years ago! Today, courthouses are fun, unique and romantic…perfect for elopements. Many city halls and courthouse buildings around the country (and even the world) can be beautiful and historical. These historic architectural masterpieces can speak to a variety of styles and wedding dreams!
1. Algiers Courthouse in New Orleans, Louisiana
Getting its start in 1896, this building became the essential heart of the government services in Algiers. The building stands as a revered monument and a central feature of the town of Algiers. While still serving as an active government building, this historic building was created with a Roman style, giving it a sophisticated style and beauty. As one of the oldest continuously used courthouses in Louisiana, this building can make its mark on your memorable day. A great venue to provide both class and a simple option for getting hitched! See more photos of Algiers Courthouse HERE
2. San Francisco City Hall in San Francisco, California
San Francisco is a city for adventure and one of its grand features is the San Francisco City Hall. While the original City Hall was destroyed in the 1906 San Francisco earthquakes, the people of the city decided that the new City Hall would be even grander. Construction began in 1913 after years of planning and completed in 1915. This stately neoclassical building has been the scene of many moments in San Francisco, California, and United States history. This amazing building has a variety of options as a wedding venue and is settled in a city with a multitude of lodging options and eateries. No need to leave your heart in San Francisco!
3. DeKalb Courthouse in Decatur, Georgia
This historic Courthouse in Decatur, Georgia had humble beginnings in 1823 when it was first created, but grew to its current grandeur over the course of a century. By 1918, this building of Alabama marble was the center of the civic life in this part of Georgia. The courthouse was in use until 1967, when the mayor thought it should be demolished. However, the DeKalb History Center came to the rescue, and continue to operate the building as a museum and an event center. This beautiful space is on the National Register of Historic Places since 1971. It is a magical place harkening back to the times of long gowns and horse carriages. If you have a fondness for period dramas, this might just be the place to make your own history!
4. Beverly Hills Courthouse in Beverly Hills, California
Looking for something a little more modern? Check out the Beverly Hills Courthouse in sunny southern California. Opening in 1932, this building was central to the civic life of Beverly Hills and has become a beloved landmark in the area. Marble walls, intricate ceiling designs, and other little details adorn this building that was recently renovated in 2008. Like many classic buildings in the area, the style is a mix between Spanish, American, and other local influences. It has a taste of Hollywood class and can be an adventure for your wedding. A great location for other sightseeing adventures, and a taste of history.
Weddings can create a lot of stress between couples and their families. That’s why we suggest opting out of the whole situation, and eloping. To make sure this is the right option for you and your spouse-to-be, here are some comments about why eloping is and isn’t a good choice.
Why is Eloping Bad?
Now, let’s look on the flipside. Eloping can be a magical experience if you want to start your marriage right away. Here are a few reasons to convince you.
We want to make sure your elopement runs smoothly, so here are the best ideas we have to create the simple ceremony you’ve always wanted.
Why Choose to Elope?
By Best Elope Ideas
If you’re reading this, chances are you’re thinking about getting married soon. Congratulations! It’s hard to find the love of your life and even harder to make that big leap into such a huge commitment for the rest of your life. A huge celebration is in order! Right?
We’ve all dreamed about our wedding day(s) since we were young. Some of us pictured the priest, the chapel, flowers. Some of us wanted princess gowns and horse-drawn carriages. Still others had binders with every single detail mapped out in excruciating detail (okay, you caught me).
The problem is that over time, the wedding became more about this grand event, and less about what it was supposed to be about. It’s a ceremony celebrating the love between two people (who, by the way, are no longer even necessarily a “bride” and a “groom”). Nothing more, nothing less.
With times changing, finances being rough for many, people struggling to do this whole “adulting” thing, it’s no wonder why people are choosing elopement more than ever before!
Here are some of the top reasons you might choose to elope:
1. Money, Money, Money, Money. Money! — The most popular and most unsurprising reason why people elope is because of budgetary reasons. Why spend thousands (or hundreds of thousands of dollars) on a wedding when you have bills to pay? If it’s going to leave you struggling to pay your mortgage or utility bills next month, are you really living happily ever after? Elopements have less pomp and circumstance, less food, less people, and are overall much, much cheaper.
2. Who ARE These People? — Speaking of money, a top complaint from brides with large weddings is that they feel like they didn’t get to meet and greet all of their guests, and sometimes brides and grooms didn’t even know all of the attendees at their wedding because of dates (not to mention even the possibility of wedding crashers). If you’re paying $50 a person, you really should at least know a person’s first name, don’t you think?
3. It’s All About Priorities! — Let’s go back to that list from when you were a kid. Maybe flowers are extremely important to you. Maybe your Grandmother who’s no longer with you loved roses but hated carnations. Roses are expensive and not always possible if you have a 300 person guest list. By eloping, you’re able to simplify the entire process and focus on the few things that are absolutely make or break for your big day.
4. Elopements Can Actually Be More “Grand” — I had a friend recently who was married in a hot air balloon, hundreds of feet in the air. I know someone who was married on horseback. These days, you can have an underwater submarine wedding, a cruise ship wedding, or even a wedding on top of a unique national like the Eiffel Tower, but that’s not possible when you have a huge wedding party. With elopements you are free to do some wild and crazy things that might really appeal to you or describe your relationship perfectly.
5. Location is Everything — With that said, elopements make it possible to have a destination wedding. You can fly to Vegas and get married by Elvis. You can come to New Orleans, and have an amazing Carnival celebration. We can absolutely help you with that at BestElopeIdeas as we’re part of the Be NolaWed network. The point is that the fewer the people, the easier and more affordable it is to make travel accommodations.
We also have some amazing locations in New Orleans that are picture perfect but not accessible for a large wedding party. The Grand Victorian Bed and Breakfast has some beautiful locations and rooms but they won’t fit more than 20 people. Tableau, a restaurant owned by the Brennan Family, has some amazing balconies that overlook the St. Louis Cathedral and the entire French Quarter, but more than 4-6 people on the balcony and you’re not going to be able to make it work. Elopements and smaller parties just make the impossible possible.
6. The Timing Is Right — With elopements, you aren’t restricted to scheduling. There are brides and grooms who have to wait 18 months to get married before they can find an available Saturday in their church. Not only do you have flexibility in terms of available dates because the venues may not get as many requests, but you also have flexibility in terms of the people who need to be there. You, your love, a few of your closest friends and family members, the officiant, photographer, wedding planner(s). That’s it. It makes it a lot easier to get married on a Wednesday afternoon or a Thursday morning. This makes it not only even more affordable, but also enables you to get married on a special date like an anniversary, or on a romantic date like Valentine’s day.
7. Secrets are More Romantic — Speaking of romance, did anyone watch “The Office”? Jim and Pam had the most adorable relationship ever, and one of the best things ever was when the audience found out (spoiler alert) that that had secretly eloped at Niagara Falls before their “big” wedding. This made it much more easy to bear when everything started to go wrong on their big day. They were already married, they had an intimate ceremony, and everything went perfectly. Above all, how romantic is it to have a secret wedding date? Elopements enable you to surprise people later with the news of what happened and that you’re finally hitched!
If you can’t tell already, we love all things wedding, and elopements are our specialty! If you need additional help or advice on your big day, don’t hesitate to contact us!
Recently gotten engaged and looking for the best elopement ideas? Sometimes finding that special place to marry can be the biggest challenge and is often one of the most important. After all, this is your one day that you will be remembering forever. It’s the place where your marriage will begin. It will be the place that you will want to come back to for anniversaries and special occasions because of the significance and memories you share. Marriage is an adventure and where you get married can be too! Your elopement doesn’t have to break the bank by going to some exotic locale in another country! Here are five unique elopement places in the United States!
1. Watch Hill in Rhode Island
This venue by the shore is straight out of a novel. With the ocean nearby and the elegance of gardens and blue skies, it just breathes romance! This historic locale offers options of getting married in nature with the backdrop of a historic building. A timeless place that speaks of beauty and love. A classic option for a wedding.
2. Mendocino, CA
There’s just something about California. After all, it’s a place full of stories from Hollywood to the Golden Gate. Tucked away on the northern coast of California, Mendocino offers options that only a place like California could provide. From the open plains to the ocean tides there are options to capture who you are as a couple and the adventurous life you will have? Best part, California is home to hundreds of wineries to provide you with a unique toast to your new life.
3. Tree House Point in Issaquah, Washington
Treehouses aren’t just for children, they can also be a charming location to get married. Nearby exciting Seattle, Treehouse Point is a hidden spot in a Pacific Northwest forest filled with character and greenery. Nature is as inspiring as your vow. Not only is it a great venue to get married in, but it also has overnight accommodations. Not only do you get to get married in a treehouse, you can also spend the first night of your marriage in one!
4. Barrett Gardens in Sonora, CA
Tucked away in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, Sonora is the heart of California wine country and the gateway to the amazing wilderness adventures of Yosemite National Park and Lake Tahoe. At the Barrett Gardens you can have an elopement thru an arch of roses. Rustic refinement to outdoor adventures is all available within a day’s trip!
5. Rim Rock Ranch in Pioneertown, CA
While many of the locations on this list have been forests, there is also a place for those who love the desert. On the arid edge of the desert surrounded by the famous Joshua Trees is the Rim Rock Ranch straight out Hollywood of the 1940s! It was built to house the stars and directors of cowboy movies made in the era. If you’re a fan of Westerns or really just a lover of desert the Rim Rock Ranch is for you.
No matter what sort of destination you are looking for there is a creative option for your elopement. What is your dream? What do you envision while saying your “I Do’s?” There’s a place to make it happen, right here in the US…. we promise you!
7 Secrets for the Best Elopement Ever
Getting married is the biggest, most exciting day of your life, and this applies whether it’s a 500 person event in your hometown church or a Destination Elopement. In fact, because most of the elopements we see at Best Elope Ideas happen within a quicker time frame, it becomes even more important to have everything together.
Here are our Top 7 Secrets for the Best Elopement Ever:
1) Choose Experts that are Locals - Destination wedding photographers who travel the world to photograph weddings, while very talented experts with the very best of equipment, do not know the local area like a resident would. Residents typically know hidden venues that you can't find doing a "Google Search”, and they usually have connections to make the impossible, possible.
2) Always have a Weather Plan - . You never know if it will rain on your wedding day. Many of the hotels or B&B's you will be staying at will have private indoor rentable space. We suggest making the call when you book the hotel so that a plan is in place. Many elopement photographers will simply wait out the weather and continue on with the ceremony once the rain has passed.
3) Make Sure to Know the Legalities that Apply - 2 weeks prior to your arrival, connect with your officiant for updates to marriage license requirements. Municipalities in each city require different documentation and it's important to be sure you are up to date with their rules and laws imposed by their state. Your officiant will assist in this process.
4) Listen to Your Photographer - Get a nice dress hanger. Personalized or silk wedding hangers make all the difference and look leaps and bounds better in photographs than the hangers provided by most hotels. Your photographer may also suggest shooting at a different time of day, using a different part of town, or bringing certain props to the shoot. Obviously you’re the customer and know what you want, but everyone can save a lot of time and trouble if you default to your photographer in areas where she may have more experience.
5) It’s all in the Details — Your ceremony is one of the biggest events of your entire life, so leave no stone unturned. Make sure to pick amazing ceremony music and bring your iPod, iPhone, or anything else that can play “your song” as you walk down the aisle and have our first dance. Music is also one of the single most important (and cost effective) things that can be used to set a romantic mood at an intimate elopement. If you have a slightly higher budget, you may even want to spring for a solo violinist or guitarist for a truly magical setting.
6) Personalize, Personalize, Personalize. - Your special day is your day, and it’s special because of all of the details that apply to you. Don’t try to please everyone else, you are who matters. If you have a favorite color, add it everywhere, or wear a wedding dress in that shade. If you’re a die hard fan of a certain sports team, incorporate team colors or little footballs into your bouquet or cake. If there’s a place where you met your honey that you’d like to be featured — this is the time for you to let your personalities shine through. No one will judge you for having monogrammed everything on your wedding day, trust me. If there are children involved, you can also involve them by adding them into the ceremony or by having them write a sweet framed message to their new step parent to be displayed on your after-ceremony dinner table.
7) Themes - Your special day is a celebration, and there’s no better party than a themed party. It doesn’t have to be wild and over the top (unless you want it to be) but you can definitely have a theme whether it’s carnival or shabby chic. Above all, if you’re having a destination elopement, make sure to take advantage of the location you’re in — you picked it for a reason. Try horseback photos in Louisville or Carnival masks/Second-line dancing in New Orleans.
If you enjoyed these tips or learned something from this blog, please like and share it. We also love feedback, so welcome any questions, comments, or suggestions you have for us. If you have any questions or would like to read our other pieces, you can visit us at http://www.bestelopeideas.com
Hаvе you соnѕіdеrеd еlоріng?
Here аrе ѕоmе of the аdvаntаgеѕ оf eloping оvеr the traditional wеddіng! While you're mаkіng рlаnѕ to ѕреnd the rest of уоur lives tоgеthеr, dоn't let thе stress of a wеddіng gеt іn the wау.
Thеrе іѕ absolutely nо ѕhаmе іn еlоріng, or еvеn thіnkіng аbоut eloping! Cоuрlеѕ tоdау are іnсrеdіblу іndереndеnt. In mаnу wауѕ, couples аrе looking for a non-traditional wау tо marry. Nо lоngеr tied to mаnу of thе trаdіtіоnѕ thаt are outdated, еlоріng hаѕ become оnе оf the mоѕt рорulаr wауѕ tо tie thе knot. Thе аdvаntаgеѕ of choosing tо еlоре оvеr a trаdіtіоnаl wedding аrе mаnу.
Elоріng is аn adventure, whereas trаdіtіоnаl wеddіngs can quickly bесоmе a ѕtrеѕѕ fіllеd, оut оf соntrоl event. Elоріng саn bе a spontaneous, vеrу rоmаntіс dесіѕіоn. Think of thе tіmе and stress уоu'll ѕаvе уоurѕеlf when you wоn't need mоnthѕ оf planning. Thеrе are many ѕеrvісеѕ that ѕресіаlіzе іn еlореmеntѕ and small weddings set іn thе mоѕt beautiful оf locations. Also, thіnk about hоw you can combine a wеddіng, a hоnеуmооn, and a fаbulоuѕ vасаtіоn аll аt оnсе.
Plаnnіng an еlореmеnt саn bе really very ѕіmрlе, уоu need аn оffісіаnt, hе or ѕhе іѕ a реrѕоn аllоwеd bу law to mаrrу уоu. A marriage lісеnѕе аnd uѕuаllу a witness – or two. Mаnу еlореmеnt packages саn рrоvіdе thе little extras - ѕuсh as flоwеr реtаlѕ for thе sand if уоu сhооѕе tо hаvе a beach wedding, a bridal bouquet, a cake and photography.
Couples tоdау can see that choosing an all-inclusive еlореmеnt package makes complete ѕеnѕе to thеm. A lіttlе more fаnсу than a соurt hоuѕе (although have you seen some amazing courthouses that even celebrities marry at? Gorgeous!), wіthоut thе cost... іt makes grеаt fіnаnсіаl ѕеnѕе. Wіth the current economy, many couples орt оut оf the traditional wedding аnd thе dеbt thеу mау bе ѕаddlеd with fоr years.
Many оf thе еlореmеnt расkаgеѕ can bе рurсhаѕеd for thе price of a nісе wеddіng gоwn оr thе аmоunt thаt you mіght ѕреnd оn flоrаl аrrаngеmеntѕ fоr a church. If уоu еlоре, juѕt thіnk about whаt you саn do wіth thе money you have lеft оvеr - рurсhаѕе a nісе car, a fancy honeymoon оr mауbе a down рауmеnt on уоur first hоmе tоgеthеr!
Sо оnсе уоu'vе mаdе the decision tо tіе thе knоt… consider еlоріng, іt'ѕ rеаllу an amazingly fun, romantic and lоw-ѕtrеѕѕ аltеrnаtіvе.
How to Elope on a Budget
Back in the day, an elopement was all about running away from home to get married in a more casual setting than the fancy venues that were more traditional. They were spur of the moment, ‘Hey, let’s get married’ decisions. And they can certainly still be that today! However, today we have more ability than ever to include the people we want at our special days, and not with any of the fuss and expense of a traditional wedding.
That fuss can get expensive! An elopement wedding can be affordable and still full of all the magic and love that makes all weddings happen. It just takes a little more planning, something a wedding planner can help with!
After all, an elopement doesn’t have to miss out on the fun that you want. If you’ve always dreamed of a big cake? That can happen. Especially if you want to combine it with that trip to a national park you’ve always dreamed about. There isn’t anything better than enjoying a dream pastry on a mountain top. Or an art gallery. Or a city park. Really, anywhere you want to say “I Do Take You!”. You can be as creative as you want for your elopement!
One of the coolest things about modern elopements, is that they can involve the people you want. You can invite a favorite cousin, your best friend, you grandmother... really, the sky is the limit! Or you can invite just a few and then go somewhere fun where everyone can attend! If you choose a venue where there is already an event, like a concert or theater show, you don’t even have to plan anything! Everyone can be there having fun, celebrate you and your spouse, and you didn’t have to spend any extra on catering for fifty people. In many locations, you can see about group packages for attendance... that can create even more savings and less fuss!
Planning your elopement can be complex or simple. Did you always imagine flowers at your wedding? Find a field of wildflowers and tie them up with a gorgeous sash, ribbon or special lace to carry down the aisle. When you make creative choices for your elopement you can drastically reduce wedding costs and have a unique adventure!
Take the part of the weddings that are most important to you and mash them together in a new way, and create a space that is unique for you and the one you love. Not only does it make it more affordable, it makes out of the box memories that are priceless. That dough you saved on venue, catering, and other frills of a traditional wedding can help get professional photos or other ways to capture those moments forever!