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For couples who would rather spend their money seeing a cool new place than on an elaborate wedding, eloping is a reasonable—not to mention, romantic, adventurous, and fun—option. But figuring out the logistics of running off and getting married can be a slog. That’s why we reached out to an expert to give us tips on making getting hitched hassle-free.

“When couples looking to eloping, it's usually because they want to avoid the stress of planning a big wedding,” Adrianne Miller of tells Travel + Leisure. “But cutting out all of the frills is only part of eloping. There is still some things that need to be done before you can tie the knot, like getting your marriage license.”

Tips For Getting Your Marriage License

  • If you planning to get married anywhere in the U.S., make sure you check out This site will tell you the requirements for getting a marriage license, by state.
  • Unless you are planning to have a courthouse wedding, you should pick up your marriage license a day or a week before your ceremony. Also, take a day to get all of your paper work in order.
  • Carry cash! There are still places (in the U.S.) where you can only pay for your marriage license with cash.
  • Make sure your identification is up to date before applying for your marriage license.
Beautiful romantic couple in Paris near the river Seine
Credit: Ekaterina Pokrovsky

Tips For Eloping Abroad

  • Do your research and set a budget. It's important to know what you want and how much you could end up spending.
  • When eloping abroad, research the marriage license requirement for the place(s) you're planning to elope to before making the trip.
  • If you can, find an elopement planning service. There are planning services that work with couples to make sure all the nitty-gritty requirements (and some of the fun stuff, too) are squared away.
  • If you can't find an elopement planning service, look into packages offered by local hotels or bed and breakfasts.
  • Give yourself time to plan and make sure you have all paperwork, identification, and guest arrangements are done before you leave.

Things You Will Need

  • No matter where you are planning to elope, make sure you and your partner have valid identification (state i.d., drivers license, and/or passport).
  • Cash is also important to have on you if you are planning to elope, regardless of the location.
By Jordi Lippe and Jordi Lippe-McGraw