Some couples just want the simplicity of eloping. Traditionally, an elopement is a couple "running away and getting married in secret." I do still keep a lot of marriages a secret! But the term "Elopement" has become synonymous with "Small Wedding." I have officiated thousands of small weddings and elopements. Each of them are as unique as the couple getting married - There is no right or wrong.
This service is an informal, small wedding, or just a party with a short ceremony performed somewhere in-between the drinks and the food. Not really a micro-wedding with all the things you would have at a wedding but on a smaller scale - More of a small wedding with the things that are most important to you.
When I say Formal Elopement I mean:
A step up from my basic civil ceremony service in my office. You can still have simple ceremony and wear whatever you want. You are choosing a different location and putting more into the planning of your wedding day vs. "just make it legal."
When I say Small, Informal Wedding I mean:
You don't have a strict timeline. I can arrive up to 15 minutes before your ceremony with no stress. You may be renting a formal venue and using the facility for your small wedding - that's OK.
You may be having a party for 150 people and all I need to do is come and perform a short ceremony in the middle of it at some point - the focus is on the party, not your wedding.
Some couples just have me come to the house on a weekend afternoon to sign the marriage license in the peace and quiet of their living room.
A casual or informal wedding means something different to everyone. You may dress up in a suit and a dress or maybe boots and jeans is dressed up to you! You may be getting married in a fancy restaurant or a BBQ in your neighborhood park. My distinction is where I fall into your wedding day and what you need me to do.
I perform a lot of Formal Elopements where the couple dressed up for a wedding - the suit, the dress, the hair, the make-up, and a great photographer. (Both things are totally not required to qualify!! Wear what you want, take pictures or not!)
It might just be the couple or the couple and a few friends or family. It may be just the ceremony or the ceremony followed by a fantastic dinner or a weekend in a downtown hotel.
Some couples have chosen to have a small, formal elopement early in the day, and then meet everyone else later for a night out on the town. Many couples are choosing a more intimate ceremony with a small group followed by pictures and a few hours later, everyone else arrives for the much bigger reception. This option can take a LOT of stress off your day.
A Formal Elopement might be a secret, legal, wedding ceremony followed by pictures that serve as an engagement photo-shoot to announce the “upcoming wedding and celebration.” Seriously… My Instagram could have so many more photo’s….
Formal elopements can take place just about anywhere. Many couples choose an outdoor location when the weather is nice, or a small venue or restaurant.
A Small Wedding is perfect for a lot of couples. Many couples choose to get married at home. In the living room, in front of the fireplace, a BBQ in the backyard. The clubhouse in your neighborhood or apartment complex. There are many community rooms available for rent at reasonable prices. Restaurants are very popular places for small weddings. Many local venues are offering reduced rates for small weddings on weekdays. Hotels have small banquet or meeting rooms that are perfect for an intimate gathering. Local parks offer picnic shelters which are great for families with a lot of kids running around! You may get married with pizza and beer or champagne and caviar (or cake). It’s all good!
Couples who have been together for a while - or have already had a formal wedding - are not always interested in a “wedding” are choosing to have great parties with a short ceremony somewhere in the middle. More and more couples are choosing to have cocktail hour first, a short wedding, then dinner - or brunch. Short ceremonies that get to the point - maybe just a simple civil ceremony or a light-hearted exchange of vows and a pronouncement. I have learned over the years that most people really just want to hear you say “I do,” exchange rings, hear you be pronounced married, and cheer when you share your first kiss!
Indiana State House. Photo by Summerly Photography
Any way YOU choose to get married is perfect! I’m just sharing my experiences with couples I’ve married to give you some ideas.
Monument Circle Elopement Photo by Summerly Photography
and Fine Print
The cost of services for Formal Elopements and Small Weddings performed in the greater Indianapolis area is $150. I will travel up to 45 minutes from zip code 46037. I guarantee to arrive 5-15 minutes early for the regular fee of $150. I may travel up to an hour depending on your location. If your location is a little further, please contact me before booking. An additional fee may be required for a longer drive. I will also need to make sure I have time in my schedule to accommodate the drive.
You must secure your own location for your ceremony. This option is not for civil ceremonies held in my office.
The price of this wedding is not based on the number of people at your wedding. It may be just the two of you or a group of people. The price is based on the time involved. If you are OK with me arriving just a few minutes early and performing a simple ceremony, this is the option for you. You can start your ceremony up to 30 minutes past the scheduled start time with this option.
If you are being married in a formal venue with a formal timeline this is NOT the option for you. Even if you only want a very short wedding ceremony. If you are having a formal wedding, I schedule to arrive before your guests are being seated. Weddings held in formal venues start at $250 to allow for more time. You want your wedding officiant to arrive before you are lining up to walk down the aisle.
Appointments may be scheduled up to one year in advance. Payment is due in full when booking. If you cancel your wedding more than 30 days before your wedding day, I will refund you $100. $50 from the $150 payment is non-refundable. This payment covers all administrative time involved in correspondence and meetings as well as saving your date and time. If you book less than 30 days before your appointment and you cancel, I will issue you a full refund.