How to Elope Without Pissing Everybody Off In 6 Easy Steps...

From the Desk of Sarah Nadler Troutdale, Oregon

Hey Beautiful Bride,  

Wedding planning can be overwhelming, stressful & leave you completely broke.  

That's why I started Bride School, and we have lots of free & low-priced resources for couples who want to skip the stress & have a good time planning their own wedding...  

BUT, for some it just makes more sense to elope.  

Now, the biggest problem with that...  

Is that most of your friends/family will miss your Big Day 😭  

So if that's holding you back from doing the "short and sweet" that you really want...  

Fear no more!  

Girl, I've got you covered 😘

How to Elope Without Pissing Everybody Off In 6 Easy Steps...


The first step is a bit unsexy, but very very important.

Please note: unless you're getting married in Vegas, it takes time to get hitched!

You have to have a Marriage License in most states, and usually it is only valid 3 days after you apply, and expires 59 days later. So the trick here is to set a date, and then go get your license between 1 week to 30 days beforehand. (Check out this helpful website on marriage laws in the US.)

You've got this!


Next, you're going to need an officiant - this is someone who is legally licensed to perform wedding ceremonies. Don't worry, we are not hard to find! 

The important thing to know is that you have several options: 

⚜️ You can get married at the courthouse by a justice-of-the-peace. This usually means standing in line or making an appointment, and be warned - there is nothing pretty or sentimental about it! Most courthouses are dirty and the staff are busy, so don't expect anything fancy.

⚜️ You can ask a clergy member to marry you. Any recognized church official can legally marry couples in a religious ceremony. The advantage of this is often they are connected with a church, which may offer a free or low-cost venue for an elopement.

⚜️ There are licensed wedding officiants who can deliver a non-religious ceremony. A good place to find such people is on Thumbtack, WeddingWire or The Knot. (Psst - if you're in Oregon, I might be available to do it! Click here to view my calendar.)

⚜️ A friend or family member can marry you. If they are excited about helping you out, a friend or family member can jump online and sign up as a "minister" to marry you. The disadvantage of this is that usually they have no prior experience & may stumble or make mistakes during the ceremony, or afterwards in filing the paperwork.

No matter who you choose, make sure they will take the obligation seriously, and are capable of performing the ceremony the way you wish, as well as filing the paperwork that ensure you are legally married to one another!

You will also want to choose a ceremony script for the officiant or minister to work from. The words you say on your wedding day are like the glue that will hold the two of you together. 

Click below to get a Free Ceremony Vision Assessment with me now.

YES, PLEASE! Call me...

LIVE Stream Your Elopement Ceremony with Sarah's Weddings!

Have friends & family who will be envious if you don't invite them? Just give them the link and let them stream it LIVE...or check out our video replay room. Included in Elopement Package.



One of the greatest advantages of an elopement is the ability to make use of free venues, saving yourself thousands of dollars! 

Most professional wedding planners & officiants have a list of free or low-cost venues around town. Ask whomever is performing your ceremony.

You can also take your pick of local parks, public property, your own home or that of a dear friend. Many churches also offer free access to their chapel or event space for elopements, so long as there is no catering involved.


Some couples elope in everyday attire, while others splurge on an actual wedding dress or tux. This is a perfect opportunity to show a unique flair with an alternative to tradition. Choose a ballgown in your favorite color (Chinese brides wear red), or even a cocktail dress! 

Avoid online wedding gowns except through a trusted seller. Often sizes & quality are hard to judge in a photo, and make sure if you do buy online, you leave ample time for fittings & adjustments!


As I said before, the biggest problem with an elopement is having to hear about it from your family & friends...because they DIDN'T get invited.

You can avoid all that by giving them an opportunity to LIVE stream your ceremony online! 

All it takes is a smartphone, a tripod or a steady hand, and your Facebook or Instagram Page.

Here at Sarah's Weddings, I offer free LIVE streaming with every Elopement Package, including 7 days of free video replay hosted on your own unique wedding website!


The last step after your ceremony is to make it official. The wedding officiant or minister fills out your paperwork, including viewing the photo ID of you & your two witnesses. 

BRIDES: Don't forget to hand your ID to someone you trust before the ceremony! Most gowns don't have pockets.

Once that paperwork is done, the officiant has five days to file it. Again, this is another reason why hiring a professional is important - you don't want a forgetful minister to omit this means you wouldn't actually be married! 😭

Over To You...

Alrighty! These are the six tips I have for you on how to skip the planning headaches and just elope.  

And because we like to walk our talk around here, look out for the next article where we’ll cover power tips on making your marriage last through thick & thin.  

I hope these tips were helpful. Don’t forget!  

‘Til the next one!  


Rev. Sarah

Are You Ready to Build Your Marriage #BeyondExpectations?

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