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Helpful Tips on How To Elope in D.C.


With some helpful tips, you can easily plan an elopement or micro wedding in the Washington, D.C. area! No one had anticipated that we would be starting the second year of dealing with a global pandemic. It has changed the way we think about spending time with family and friends, our daily routines with life and work, and even how we plan out weddings. When couples suddenly had to change their plans with postponing their wedding or just having a small ceremony, elopements started becoming very popular. However, even though we are still maneuvering through this pandemic, elopements and micro weddings are still on the rise for various reasons.

As all of us have noticed, inflation has increased which has made everything more expensive. In 2018, the average cost for a wedding in the United States was around $27,000. Of course, this figure represents weddings before the pandemic and doesn’t reflect the average price for a 100 guest wedding in and around Washington, D.C. Plus, when you elope or plan a micro wedding versus having a large ceremony, you have more say in what you want.

Eloping in the Washington, D.C. Area

Therefore, couples are opting more for elopements and small weddings. You can decide how small or big you want your celebration to be and how much money you want to spend based on your budget. If you are contributing your own income to your wedding, you can make decisions that are important to both of you. You might decide to only spend $300 on your dress and use faux flowers as opposed to real ones. No matter how you want to plan, I have some simple steps on how to elope in Washington, D.C.

Self-Officiating or Hiring an Officiant

First, you need to decide if you are self-officiating or hiring an officiant. Self-uniting weddings are very quick, with them lasting less than half an hour. The marriage license only costs $45. All couples need to do is show up the courthouse with government-issued identification. After couples write down some legal information, they step outside the courthouse to sign a document. Couples are not permitted to marry on courthouse grounds. Once they marry themselves, they step back inside to have the clerk sign the document as well. This article from The Washington Post shows you how easy it is to officiate your own wedding.

Applying for a Marriage License

The next thing you need to know is how to apply for a marriage license. You will need to ask your local courthouse what you are required to do. Make sure you also check your state since not all states allow you to self-officiate. Find a location that is special to you both. Not all places allow you to self-officiate either, so make sure to ask beforehand. When looking for a place to get married, choose somewhere that you both enjoy and will accommodate everything you want for the day.

Hire a Great Photographer

My last helpful tip is to make sure and hire a quality photographer. Even though you are just eloping or having a micro wedding, these moments are still important and need to be documented. Many couples regret not having beautiful photos to look back on after they get married. Your wedding day will go fast and you will want quality photos!

I would love to be the photographer for your elopement or micro wedding! Fill out my contact form to inquire about your preferred date!

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