26: How to Plan an Elopement in 15 Minutes

SCOTUS Ruling Got You Plotting Your Gay Elopement?

We’ve got you covered. With the overturning of Roe v. Wade, many of us queers are deeply concerned that marriage equality and other LGBTQ+ rights are next on the chopping block. If you, like Cindy, have swiftly moved up the timeline for getting hitched, here’s how to do it very quickly.

So, what do you actually need to elope?

Someone to marry. Choose wisely.

A Wedding Date. Lots of folks pick a day that’s meaningful to their relationship (dating or first kiss anniversary) or a day with numbers that feel lucky (like 2/2/22.) If you don’t have a particular date in mind, you might want to first find your photographer and then choose a date based on their availability. (Need a photographer? Find Amanda here.)

A place to get married. For true elopements (i.e. no guests beyond your witnesses), this can be very easy! Most of the time, you can roll into your favorite park, ask your neighborhood restaurant to use their private dining room, or just step into your backyard and you won’t need to spend much/any money or even get a permit. (Do check though, as some parks – including most National Parks – require permits regardless of the size of your gathering.) Need help with a location? Ask your photographer for ideas.

An officiant and witnesses. Most states require a judge, minister, or friend ordained on the internet (technically also a “minister”) in order to make your marriage legally binding. Many also require a witness or two. A few states and Washington, D.C. allow you to self-officiate, meaning it literally can be just the two of you, no officiant or witnesses required. Check with the county you plan to marry in to find out what the rules are. (Need an officiant in the Pacific Northwest? Find Cindy here.)

A marriage license. Another thing to check with the county for! It should come up easily if you google “marriage license” plus your intended elopement location. Marriage licenses typically cost somewhere between $10-$150, may have a waiting period of up to three days, and will usually be valid for 30-60 days after that.

And what might you want that you don’t actually legally need?

A Photographer. Most people who get married want it documented! And there are many photographers who specialize in elopements who are well-versed in the other things you’ll need (location, officiant, witnesses) and can likely help you source them.

Special Outfits. You absolutely don’t have to get something new to wear for this special occasion, but many people do!

A Live Stream of Your Wedding. If part of your reason for eloping is avoiding large gatherings while COVID rages on, a live stream can be a great way to include your loved ones without the risk of your wedding becoming a super-spreader event. Listen to the episode to hear about one option, Love Stream, that Cindy has worked with before. They offer live, remote production (just like TV news or those live musicals) with multiple camera angles, the option for pre-recorded music, slide shows, and messages, and even broadcasting a live message from you to your guests, if you wish. This isn’t a pitch, we just think it’s really cool and we also wanna hook you up with a 10% discount! Click here to view Love Stream packages and enter the code CINDY10 to save those dollars.

What’s Next on Super Gay Wedding?

This season, we’re trying something new: we’re going to walk you, step by step, through planning a wedding. We’re going to do our best to keep our episodes short so you aren’t overwhelmed. Tune in to our next episode when we’ll start with your wedding vision!

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