Connecticut Elopement Guide (2024 Update)


Despite it's small size, Connecticut packs a punch when it comes to elopement possibilities... and if you're here, that means you're already considering eloping in the state. So while I take a brief moment to sell you on the "why" you should choose to elope here, I'm also going to go a little more in depth on the "how" in this blog....

Hey! I'm Krista. I'm a central Connecticut based elopement photographer and specialist, and I'm here to make planning for your special day as easy and exciting as possible.


From the historic sites and buildings, miles of hiking trails with insanely beautiful scenery, gorgeous New England coastline, and quaint towns in every single direction - there is literally something here for every type of elopement. No matter what season you're planning for your special day - there's going to be somewhere perfect here for you. A Winter elopement in the historic Heavitree B& B, Spring in the Elizabeth Park Rose Garden, Summer hiking in the Peoples State Forest, or Autumn in front of The Lighthouse Museum.... there's something for every single season. Not sure about your location - there's a blog coming soon that has a list of some of my favorite places in Connecticut - so you can start thinking about the perfect backdrop for your big day.


For now though - let's talk about the "hows" ... keep reading below for what's required for an elopement, and how to begin to plan to elope in Connecticut

The "How-To" | what you need

The Legal Bits


Before the fun decisions, let's chat about the legal logistics of getting married here in Connecticut. It's important you decide on the "where" before you can apply for your marriage license, as Connecticut requires that you obtain your marriage license in the town you plan to get married in. You're going to want to make an appointment with the county clerk/vital records office, and both of you must go together to apply. You'll need documentation - so be sure to check with the vital records office of the town you're going to, so that you arrive with the right paperwork. There will be a minimal fee (typically between $30-50 depending on location) - I highly recommend taking cash with you for this, as a lot of county and town offices require cash (some will allow you to pay with a credit card). From there you'll just need your officiant (keep reading to see who is qualified), have your legal marriage within 65 days of applying, and then be sure to send in your signed documents!

To sum up:

Where: Town Clerk / Vital Records Office of the town you plan to marry in

Cost: Typically $30-50, I recommend bringing cash

When: No more than 65 days prior to your wedding, and submit/mail in your signed paperwork right away

Who: Your chosen officiant (see below for who can be an officiant)

  • Judges or retired judges, including federal judges and judges of other states;
  • Family support magistrates, family support referees, state referees and justices of the peace who are appointed in Connecticut; and
  • Ordained or licensed members of the clergy, including persons who have been ordained through online ministries and who are given the authority to officiate marriages through such ministries. 


You won't need a witness, so it can be just you and your officiant if you want to keep it simple - and as an elopement specialist I am able to offer officiant services during your vow exchange (I am ordained through the ULC and happy to provide non-religious services!).


Choose your vendors


Next up, things get a little more fun! You'll choose the vendors that can bring your elopement vision to life.... you can have as few or as little as you want. Since your vendors may be the only people who spend your wedding day with you, it's important to find people who not only provide you services you love, but also people who you vibe with! Get people on zoom or on the phone, and talk to them for a bit - ask to see reviews and portfolios - chit chat, and make sure you like the people you're going to be working with. So... who should you hire? Some of the vendors you may want to consider are

  1. Photographer (this is important and if you're going to have one, should be one of the first vendors you find... they'll be able to help a lot)
  2. Videographer (quickly gaining popularity, something like a Super 8 option that is more personal is a fun way to document your day)
  3. Elopement Designer/Planner (not a necessity, but if you want to be more hands off and have less to do, this is a vendor who is going to be important!)
  4. Hairstylist/Makeup Artist (if you can't book a trial, make sure you find someone you like, who has a strong portfolio, and will zoom with you in advance)
  5. Florist (you may need to research if you can bring flowers into the area you're eloping - some places do not allow flowers into the environment, and your elopement specialist can guide you on this)
  6. Cake/Caterer (are you wanting a sweet to share after? Or maybe a private chef to cook you a private dinner at the place you're staying?)
  7. Lodging (if you're traveling or want to stay somewhere special, arranging a B&B or short-term vacation rental can be important to work out)
  8. Stationer (sending out elopement announcements after the fact, or finding a digital creator to make you a fun graphic to text - this is a neat detail add on!)


Additional details


There are a few extra things to consider. Some parks or places require permits or fees - we're happy to help you navigate what can sometimes be confusing as you lock in your location. We'll assist you in ensuring all the paperwork is turned in. Additionally, if you're considering a small indoor venue, you may need to consider if they have vendor requirements or minimums - and we're happy to chat about how to navigate that for you as your specialist!

Last but not least - don't forget your clothing... don't be afraid to be unique and really think outside the box when you're choosing your wedding day clothing. From fun colors, to patterns, vintage wear, or bespoke - nothing will display your personality more than the clothing you choose to wear. We can't wait to photograph you in whatever clothing you choose!

Where to Elope (in Connecticut)

By the ocean

The Atlantic Ocean is a classic backdrop for an elopement - from sandy beaches, to boardwalks and rocky shorelines - you can't really go wrong! Here's some of my favorites:

in the woods

What is more fairytale than being out in the woods, surrounded by trees? Soft sunlight through the trees or misty encompassing fog, there's something that still resonates with the magic in our souls when it comes to forests... check out these location ideas:

gardens

Maybe less wilderness is up your alley - and Connecticut has no shortage of breathtaking gardens to choose from. Whether Italian inspired, or roses in every direction - here's a list of just a few of the stunning gardens you can find in the Nutmeg State:

indoors

If outside isn't your style - Connecticut has no shortage of stunning indoor venues - from offbeat to historic buildings, the sky really is the limit.

Somewhere Unique

Elopements are the best time to think outside of the box! Maybe there's a place or activity that is special to you and your fiancé - here's just a few unique elopement ideas:

Your backyard

While I can't link you to your backyard, don't discount the intimacy of having an elopement at your own special place. As someone who had an elopement in my yard, I can say with absolute surety, it was one of the most beautiful and best decisions I made! A small table and arch dripping with hundreds fairytale flowers just for me and my spouse, and our closest family... sheer perfection.

bonus location: Okay Island- Sterling

A dream venue for the creative and unusual - this old rodeo horse farm is a fourteen acre dreamland of meadows and forests, that's working on sustainability and creativity that is in sync with the natural surroundings. They book limited events each year, so inquire early!

One to watch: Lost Fox Inn

If their flagship location in the Catskills is any indication of what's coming to Litchfield, Connecticut - this is a venue you'll want to keep your eye on. Sister property to Foxfire Mountain House, this old inn is currently under renovation, and sure to be a showstopper when it opens! Follow on Instagram to keep an eye out for when they open for reservations!

Where to Stay

This is a very short list of possible places you can stay during your elopement in Connecticut. If you need lodging or accomodations, this list is a great starting place when looking for spots. I've put together a short list of Inns, B&Bs, and AirBnB's for you to take a look at!

Bed & Breakfasts


Historical rooms, an inviting breakfast, and beautiful properties that will make you feel as though luxury was your first priority for your wedding day.... check out these stunning Connecticut based Bed & Breakfasts


Inns & resorts


Cozy and romantic - these inns and resorts are some of Connecticut's loveliest places to stay and get ready for your elopement day!


Airbnb


If you're looking for a place that is a little more private and want more than just a room - an AirBnB or VRBO is a great option. I've put together a list of highly rated (and beautiful) AirBnB options for you to check out - please note: these are lodging recommendations and not venue/ceremony suggestions


CONNECTICUT AIRBNB

What To Do | Activities In Connecticut

Maybe you want something fun to do during your elopement, or maybe you're trying to figure out how to fill the rest of your day. Either way, here's a list of just a few of the fun things you can do in this state!

What To Do | Activities In Connecticut

Maybe you want something fun to do during your elopement, or maybe you're trying to figure out how to fill the rest of your day. Either way, here's a list of just a few of the fun things you can do in this state!

  1. Did you know you can get married in a hot air balloon? Thanks to CT Ballooning you can take a private ride and say your vows in the sky, or reserve a hot air balloon for you and your partner as newlyweds!
  2. Into the mysterious and dark historical? Visit the Skull and Bones Tomb and have your portraits taken in front of one of America's most famed Secret Societies
  3. Maybe the open seas are calling... or you love all things nautical. Either way - Mystic Seaport Museum is a must see with it's 19th century village and wooden whaling ship
  4. Hike the trails at Lovers Leap State Park - get outstanding views of the Housatonic River and see the 1895 Berlin Iron Bridge
  5. Fancy some romance under the heavens - consider going Stargazing on a clear night at White Memorial Conservation Center
  6. See the famous Appalachian Trail by hiking a part of the 50+ miles that run through the state of Connecticut


As you can see - there's no shortage of things to do in Connecticut, and it's easy to plan an eventful and purposefully you elopement day!


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