how to elope in 

Table of Contents

  • How much does a Texas Elopement Cost?
  • East Texas
  • Big Bend National Park
  • Palo Duro Canyon State Park
  • Gulf Coast Beaches
  • Texas Hill Country
  • Marfa
  • San Antonio Riverwalk
  • Monahans Sandhills State Park
  • Dallas
  • 9 Best Places to Elope in Texas
  • How to a get marriage licence in Texas
  • Do I need an Officiant and Witnesses?
  • FREE Guide Download
  • Best time of year to Elope in Texas?
  • Timeline Examples
  • Elopement Checklist
  • Elopement Packages

If Texas isn't on your list of potential places to elope, I promise it will be after you read this guide.

Most people may think of Texas as a vast landscape of ranches and oil derrick's. Where everyone wears a ten-gallon hat and chews tobacco, but we Texan's know better.  One cool thing about Texas is the diversity of its landscapes! We have beautiful pine forests, beaches, rivers, waterfalls, desert AND mountains!! 

So, whether you're a cowboy at heart, a lover of natural beauty, or just want an unforgettable elopement experience, Texas has got a star-studded canvas waiting for your love story. It's more than just a state – it's a feeling, an experience, and a memory you'll treasure for a lifetime. Happy trails, partner!  

This guide includes everything you need to know about how to elope in Texas, including how to get a marriage license, the best places to elope in Texas, the best places to stay, and even Texas elopement packages. 

9 Best places to elope in Texas

Texas is a land as vast as your love, and there are plenty of enchanting spots to make your elopement truly special. Here are nine of the best places to consider tying the knot in the Lone Star State:

Big Bend
National Park

Eloping in Big Bend National Park is like stepping into a captivating desert dreamscape, where the rugged beauty of the American Southwest sets the stage for an intimate and unforgettable wedding experience.
Big Bend is renowned for its diverse landscapes, from towering canyons and sweeping desert vistas to serene riverbanks and star-studded night skies. The park's grandeur provides a striking backdrop for your elopement, making every moment feel like a scene from a cinematic masterpiece.

Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Also known as The Grand Canyon of Texas, Palo Duro is the second largest canyon in the country. Palo Duro is 120 miles long, has a width of 6 to 20 miles and a depth of 850 to 1000 feet. Certainly not a small hole! There are so many fun trails to hike and explore on foot, bike or even horseback. The sunsets can be absolutely unreal out here. As the sun sets and the stars start to peek out at you, the cries of coyotes can be heard off in the distance. Talk about pure peace!   

Gulf Coast Beaches

Whether you're dreaming of a barefoot ceremony with the sand between your toes or a more elegant affair with the Gulf as your backdrop, the Gulf Coast beaches of Texas offer a versatile and picturesque setting for your elopement. When you choose to elope on the Gulf Coast, you're choosing to exchange vows with the sound of waves crashing and a gentle sea breeze caressing your skin. The endless horizon stretches out before you, creating a serene and picturesque backdrop that's both soothing and invigorating.

Texas Hill Country

There are SO many little hidden gems for elopements/weddings in the Hill Country! Austin, Fredricksburg, Pedernales Falls State Park, McKinney Falls and last but not least Enchanted Rock. These are just a few of my favorites in the Hill Country area! There are a TON of amazing Air-BNB's  around the Hill Country. Which also means there are a ton of things to do! The Hill Country is also well known for its Wineries. How romantic would it be to get married at one of these locations, go explore a winery together and then come back to relax at your gorgeous Air-BNB?   


Looking for a super fun quirky spot to elope? Look no further than Marfa. Its more than just a place, its a state of mind. It seriously has some of the coolest vibes around! They have live music, art galleries, star gazing, yoga, mystery lights and great food. Marfa is great for those looking to get away and relax but not have to spend all day hiking. If you want a seriously amazing place to stay check out El Cosmico! There is the most adorable little chapel within a 10 minute drive to say your I DO's before setting off for an adventure around the town. Then sit down for a tasty dinner at one their amazing restaurants before heading back for cake and a first dance as the stars begin to shine.   

San Antonio Riverwalk

The San Antonio River Walk, or Paseo del Rio, winds through the heart of the city, offering a picturesque and romantic setting for your elopement. As you stroll along the tranquil waters, you'll be surrounded by lush greenery, charming bridges, and the soothing sound of the flowing river.

San Antonio's history and culture are woven into the fabric of the River Walk. You can incorporate local traditions, music, and even a touch of Tex-Mex cuisine into your elopement, making it uniquely San Antonio.   

Monahans Sandhills State Park

The Monahans Sandhills offer a distinct desert landscape that adds another layer of diversity to Texas's elopement options. The endless dunes create an otherworldly backdrop that's perfect for couples seeking an unforgettable desert elopement. 

Beyond the ceremony, you can embark on sand dune adventures. Slide down the slopes, leave your footprints in the sand, and let the desert landscape ignite your sense of exploration and wonder.


Dallas boasts a stunning cityscape with modern architecture and iconic landmarks. If you're looking for an urban elopement, you can exchange vows against the backdrop of towering skyscrapers and sleek city streets.

Some of our favorite Dallas spots are the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens and Oakmeadow Ranch!

East Texas

East Texas offers lush forests, wetlands, and wildlife reserves. Consider eloping in a natural setting like a wildlife refuge or a scenic park for a touch of wilderness and tranquility.

The region is dotted with small towns that offer a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Elopements in these towns provide an intimate and close-knit experience, with friendly locals adding to the charm.

Some of our favorite places include Martin Dies Jr. State Park, Boykin SpringsLake Sam Rayburn, and Lake Livingston State Park

Getting a marriage license in Texas involves a few steps. Please note that the process may vary slightly by county, so it's recommended to check with the county clerk's office where you intend to apply. Here's a general overview of how to obtain a marriage license in Texas:

Both you and your partner need to visit the county clerk's office together. Some counties might allow you to start the application process online and then complete it in person.

10. Return the License:

In Texas, there's a 72-hour waiting period from the time the marriage license is issued to when it becomes valid. This waiting period can be waived under certain circumstances. This is definately something you need to know if coming from out of state to allow adequate time for your travels.  

3. Visit the County Clerk's Office:

Decide on the county in Texas where you want to apply for the marriage license. Typically, you'll need to apply in the county where you plan to have your ceremony, but some counties allow you to apply anywhere in the state.

2. Choose a County:

How to a get marriage licence in Texas

1. Check Eligibility:

Make sure you and your partner meet the eligibility requirements, such as being of legal age (18 years or older) or having the required parental consent if you're younger.

4. Bring ID and documents:

You'll need to bring valid identification documents, such as a driver's license, passport, or birth certificate. You might also need to provide your Social Security numbers and other relevant information.

5. Pay the fee:

There is a fee for obtaining a marriage license, and the cost varies by county. Be prepared to pay the fee at the time of application. Some counties accept cash only, while others may accept credit cards. The fee is typically around $60 to $85, but it may be more or less depending on the county in which you apply.

6. Complete the Application:

After the ceremony, the officiant will sign and complete the marriage license. You'll need to return the signed license to the county clerk's office where you obtained it. The county will then record the marriage and issue a certified copy of the marriage certificate.

7. Wait for the Waiting Period:

Fill out the marriage license application form provided by the county clerk. You'll need to provide basic information about yourselves and your intended spouse.

8. Pick up the Marriage License:

Once the waiting period is over, return to the county clerk's office to pick up your marriage license. The license is typically valid for 90 days from the date of issuance.

9. Officiate the Ceremony:

Your marriage license will need to be signed by an authorized officiant, such as a judge, justice of the peace, minister, or religious leader. As an ordained Minister, this is a service I provide my couples complimentary with all elopement packages!  Make sure to have your ceremony within the validity period of the license.

If you want to have a friend or family member officiate for you they can  get ordained for free online through the Universal Life Church.

In most cases, you need at least one witness to be present and sign the marriage license. The witness is there to confirm that the ceremony took place and that the couple willingly entered into marriage.

Most counties I have served so far do not require a witness signature other than the officiant but in the case that they do it is very easy to find someone on the trail we are hiking to sign as witness or if you have a videographer or any family in attendance they can sign.  


Do I need an Officiant and Witnesses?


You must have a legally recognized officiant to perform your marriage ceremony. This could be a religious leader, a judge, a justice of the peace, or someone else authorized by law to solemnize marriages. The officiant will lead the ceremony, pronounce you married, and sign the marriage license.  I am legally ordained to provide this service for my couples, it makes it extremely easy when were going out into the wilderness for me to sign your certificate.  

In Texas, you generally do need an officiant and at least one witness to get legally married. Here's the scoop:

Keep in mind that the specific requirements can vary slightly by county and jurisdiction within Texas. It's a good idea to check with the county clerk's office where you plan to obtain your marriage license to get accurate and up-to-date information on their specific rules regarding officiants and witnesses.

Winter in Texas is mild compared to many other states, making it a viable option for elopements. The Gulf Coast and South Texas remain relatively warm, while the Hill Country might offer a bit of a chill. If you're after a unique touch, consider eloping in places like the Big Bend region or even some of the state's urban centers.

Winter (December to February):

When is the best time of year to Elope in Texas?

Spring (March to May):

Spring is a popular time for elopements in Texas due to its pleasant weather and blooming wildflowers. Bluebonnets, Indian paintbrushes, and other wildflowers create a stunning backdrop for photos. The Hill Country and East Texas are especially beautiful during this time.  If your Eloping out in the desert in Big Bend the cactuses are just starting to put on flowers and the desert is teeming with blooms! 

Ultimately, the best time to elope in Texas depends on your preferences and the type of scenery you're seeking. Keep in mind that weather can be unpredictable, so having a backup plan for outdoor elopements is always a smart move. Whether it's a wildflower-strewn spring ceremony or a cozy winter elopement, Texas's diverse landscapes and climates offer options for every season of love!

Summer (June to August):

Summers in Texas can be quite BRUTAL, but if you're willing to embrace the heat, you can find beautiful options. Consider eloping along the Gulf Coast, where the ocean breeze provides relief from the heat. Remember to plan your ceremony for cooler parts of the day, like early morning or late afternoon. 

Fall (September to November):

Fall is another fantastic time for elopements in Texas. The weather starts to cool down, and the fall foliage adds a touch of beauty to the landscapes. The Hill Country, East Texas, and even urban settings like Dallas can offer stunning backdrops for your elopement.

Y'all are in for a treat, as Texas offers a variety of climates and landscapes that make elopement possible year-round. Here's a breakdown of the best times to elope based on different regions and seasons:

How much does a Texas Elopement Cost?

Remember, these figures are just estimates and can vary greatly based on individual choices and circumstances. The key is to set a budget that's comfortable for you and prioritize the elements that matter most to you and your partner. Y'all are the stars of the show, and whether you're keeping it simple or going all out, your Texas elopement is bound to be a true Lone Star adventure!

The cost of a Texas elopement can vary widely based on your preferences, location, guest count, and the level of extravagance you desire. Here's a rough breakdown of potential expenses you might incur when planning a Texas elopement:

  • $600 – plane tickets
  • $60 – marriage license
  • $100 – location permit
  • $2,000 – three nights at a luxury resort
  • $6,000 – photographer
  • $700 – florist for bouquet and decor
  • $3,000 – dress, accessories, and shoes
  • $400 – hair and makeup
  • $800 – suit, accessories, and shoes
  • $1,000 – offroading tour
  • $500 – private chef
         TOTAL: $15,160

High-End Texas

  • $600 – plane tickets 
  • $60 – marriage license
  • $100 – location permit
  • $500 – three nights at a simple hotel/airbnb
  • $1,600 – photographer
  • $200 – florist for bouquet
  • $700 – dress, accessories, and shoes
  • $100 – hair and makeup (or free if done yourself)
  • $300 – suit (rented)
        TOTAL: $4,160

Low-End Texas

Mid-End Texas

  • $600 – plane tickets
  • $60 – marriage license
  • $100 – location permit
  • $1,000 – three nights at a 3-star hotel
  • $4,000 – photographer
  • $400 – florist for bouquet and light decor
  • $1,500 – dress, accessories, and shoes
  • $200 – hair and makeup
  • $500 – suit, accessories, and shoes
  • $600 – wildlife excursion
         TOTAL: $8,960

Timeline Examples

Are you curious as to how much coverage you need for your elopement? Check out a few of these timeline ideas to get some inspiration. In a place like Texas, I recommend booking no less than 6 hours. This will allow you to truly take everything in and enjoy your special day without feeling rushed.

  • 6:00am - Wake up at air-bnb and have coffee and breakfast together
  • 8:00am - Get dressed for horseback riding tour
  • 8:30am - leave for stables
  • 9:00am - arrive at stables and have an epic adventure riding horses together
  • 10:00am - finish horseback riding and head back to air-bnb for a nap
  • 2:00pm – getting ready pictures in your fabulous desert Air-BNB
  • 3:00pm – first look outside the air-bnb
  • 3:15pm – head to Big Bend N.P. to trailhead 
  • 4:15pm – arrive at Lost Mines Trailhead and start hike
  • 6:15pm – reach the top of the trail
  • 6:30pm – begin epic ceremony
  • 7:00pm – ceremony ends and couples portraits begin
  • 7:30pm – cake cutting and couples toast overlooking the mountains
  • 7:45pm – first dance as husband and wife as the sun sets for the evening
  • 8:00pm – play with lanterns and take blue hour portraits
  • 8:30pm - snuggle up to read some well wishes letters together from friends and family, enjoy a picnic dinner
  • 9:30pm - take some star photos together
  • 10:00pm - coverage ends, hike back down to parking lot and head to your air-bnb to start a fire and enjoy some music and smores

12 Hour Elopement Timeline

4 Hour Elopement Timeline

  • 4:00pm – getting ready pictures in Air-BnB
  • 5:00pm – leave for Martin Dies Jr. State Park to get some epic portraits and do a first look
  • 6:00pm – begin epic ceremony
  • 6:30pm – ceremony ends and couples portraits begin
  • 7:00pm – head to canoe dock to canoe around the lake until sunset and get epic photos 
  • 8:00pm – Jessica leaves, couples heads to town for dinner at restaurant of choosing.

6 Hour Elopement Timeline

  • 2:00pm – getting ready pictures in your fabulous desert Air-BNB
  • 3:00pm – first look outside the air-bnb
  • 3:15pm – head to Big Bend N.P. to trailhead 
  • 4:15pm – arrive at Lost Mines Trailhead and start hike
  • 6:15pm – reach the top of the trail
  • 6:30pm – begin epic ceremony
  • 7:00pm – ceremony ends and couples portraits begin
  • 7:30pm – cake cutting and couples toast overlooking the mountains
  • 7:45pm – first dance as husband and wife as the sun sets for the evening
  • 8:00pm – coverage ends, start the hike back to the parking lot

Texas Elopement Checklist

Are you curious as to how much coverage you need for your elopement? Check out a few of these timeline ideas to get some inspiration. In a place like Texas, I recommend booking no less than 6 hours. This will allow you to truly take everything in and enjoy your special day without feeling rushed.

5. Get Married and Celebrate

Ah, the moment you've eagerly anticipated has finally arrived. With the day upon us, it's time to revel in the joy! Pause for a heartbeat and let the magic of the surroundings sink in. 

1. Book Your Vendors

Picture this: You're probably sitting there, pondering, "Where do I even begin?" Well, hold onto your adventurer's hat, because the first step in your epic Texas elopement journey is to snag those vendors – and guess what? The superstar you should lock in first is your Texas elopement photographer. Yep, just like a compass points you true north, these photography wizards offer complete Texas elopement packages that are pure gold. Think location scouting, permit wizardry, vendor secrets, and a treasure trove of other perks that'll have you doing a happy dance. So, before you dive into the whirlwind of planning, plant that flag with your photographer, and watch the rest fall into place. After all, your  elopement tale deserves nothing less than a wild and wonderful beginning.

2. Choose Your Elopement Location

Hold the reins before you leap into anything else – start by handpicking your location. The quicker you lock in that spot, the faster you can set the wheels in motion for booking your accommodations, flights, and all the good stuff. If you're stuck on choosing the perfect spot, why not rope in your photographer? Check if they offer location scouting in their packages. They might just have a treasure trove of wild ideas up their sleeve to guide you on your way.

3. Book Your Lodging, Flights, and Activities

If you're Texas-bound, chances are you'll be making your way to cities like Dallas, Austin, Houston, or San Antonio. My wise suggestion? Get those flights, accommodations, and activities sorted out sooner rather than later, especially when the Lone Star State is sizzling with action. Waiting until the last minute might not be your best move – you could end up with limited options and inflated costs. So, buckle up and secure those bookings to ensure your Texas escapade unfolds without a hitch.

4. Get Your Marriage License and Permits

Ahead of your momentous day, it's essential to tick off a couple of crucial boxes: securing your marriage license and obtaining any required permits for your marriage ceremony. Delve into the detailed section of this article that delves into all the ins and outs of getting a marriage license in Texas. And remember, if you're planning to exchange vows in a national or state park, don't skip the step of obtaining necessary permits. Trust me, overlooking this could lead to the unfortunate scenario of your wedding being called off and facing some hefty fines. So, be a savvy planner and make sure you've got all your paperwork ducks in a row.

If eloping in Texas is calling your name, go ahead and.....

  • Travel fees to anywhere in Texas included
Starting at $4,000

Is the idea of eloping in Texas sparking your interest? If it is, dive into the Texas elopement package outlined below. It offers a sneak peek into what I weave into all my elopement packages. As a photographer specializing in the Texan landscape, I guide couples from all corners of the world in crafting remarkable elopements throughout the United States. To explore more package options, or if you're considering locations beyond Texas, hop on over to my pricing page!

say yes to adventure!

Texas Elopement Packages

download our Free elopement guide


"Jessica was nothing short of amazing!  We hired her for our elopement in Marfa, TX and she made the day absolutely magical, stress-free and fit us perfectly.  If you are considering an elopement, she excellently tailors your wedding adventure to whatever you need or can dream up.  We had never been to Marfa, and she scoped out everything we needed for the perfect destination elopement experience.  Not only did her photography capture the moments perfectly, knowing all the details were squared away helped us relax and savor the moments she helped create.  She was worth every penny (and more!) for an unforgettable wedding.  The bouquet was perfect, cake was delicious, the itenerary was tailored for our needs, and the the extra details she included blew us away! Would highly recommend her services to any other couple. " 



So one of the reasons I choose to go to Jessica outside of her AMAZING and UNBELIEVABLE photos that I saw, was just the glowing reviews she had. So I thought, even if I don’t like how they came out it sounds like I’ll have a lot of fun with her doing it anyways! And let me say, I was not disappointed! She is such an awesome person to work with! She made it fun and just a great time and in result it showed in the photos. Once she did our engagement photos I knew I was in good hands and choose the right photographer. She also saved the day when we lost our vintage get away car by providing her own beauty T-Bird. It was all just so awesome. Even my mother in law raved how much she enjoyed Jessica and Sandy as our photographers. She really enjoyed how friendly they were to our friends and family. You won’t make a mistake going with Shutterenvy. Because they will indeed have other bride’s envious they didn’t choose her themselves. Thank you Jessica! For your patience, awesome talent, and beautiful personality! We had a blast.



With just a quick glance at her portfolio it's easy to tell that Jessica is an amazing photographer. What we loved about working with her is what you don't get see until you meet her. She has an amazingly FUN personality and projects a feeling of calmness and reassurance that made us feel relaxed and comfortable even on the most stressful and exciting day of our lives. She really listened to what we wanted for our wedding which was to capture the moments between us, and our loved ones and she didn't let us down. She is also ready to roll with your crazy ideas and themes if you have them. From our half Star Wars, half Alice in Wonderland engagement shoot, to getting down on the dance floor with us at our wedding, we couldn't have imagined having anyone else, but Jessica. If you're looking for someone who can perfectly balance professionalism, artistic styling, and someone who will direct even the most awkward and unphotogenic couple, she's the one or you. We really feel like we had so much more than just a great photographer and couldn't recommend her more. We're so grateful for all of her hard work and amazing talent.



I cannot begin to express how wonderful it was to work with Jessica and her second photographer, Nicole! Right off the bat she made us feel very comfortable and made it easy for us to pose. During our engagement shoot she gave us some suggestions but let us do our thing and she caught some great candid's. She even went with my usual request to take pictures at our workplace in scrubs (we met working together in ICU). During our wedding, she took every photo we wanted and more. She's very flexible and fun! Her style uses darker tones but the pictures still come across airy and natural. She's easy to communicate with and we got our pictures back a little less than 2 weeks after our wedding. Highly recommend Jessica and her team!



Jessica shot adventure engagement photos for us in Colorado! She was so fun and easy to work with. We are not naturally very photogenic and felt kind of awkward going in front of the camera, but she gave us such great directions/tips and kept us laughing the whole time, it made the whole experience so enjoyable. She has such a great eye for angles and is willing to go the extra mile for a good shot. You can tell she really loves what she does. She got us our photos super quick as well! You won't regret hiring her!



If I wasn't marrying my husband that day I would have married Jessica! Haha, her pictures were completely gorgeous and she did a free engagement shoot with us before the wedding that was so romantic and artsy and fit perfectly what I wanted. I knew without a doubt when I saw them I had made the right choice for the wedding day and she and her second photographer absolutely delivered. I'm so happy to have such beautiful photos to remember the whirlwind of a day by and to look back on forever, not to mention the price was worth every penny and the printing rights were included in the package so we are able to print them in the future as we like which is amazing.



Jessica is super talented and does beautiful work. I love the dark and moody editing, and she captured us wonderfully. She's also a super cool person in general to hang out with. We used her for some fun photos outside of the wedding as well and everything always comes out great.



Jessica was an absolute blast to work with! My husband and I are big Star Wars nerds. When we told Jessica that we were going to have some Star Wars decor at our wedding, she jumped right in and got the most CREATIVE and AMAZING shots! I highly recommend hiring Shutterenvy. It was so affordable (for a teacher and social worker) and we got so many terrific candid pictures that perfectly captured our day.



I can’t explain enough how amazing Jessica was! I have horrible picture anxiety and she was so patient and understanding with me. My photos are amazing and she’s so creative!

I HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED this amazing, talented woman!



Jessica is the photographer you want at your wedding! She was so kind and fun to work with and she was patient with my overzealous family. Our pictures are gorgeous and guided us into beautiful poses. Our experience was absolutely 10/10 highly recommend!