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How to Elope in Texas

Despite being home to some of the country’s most populous cities, Texas still has plenty to offer an eloping couple who are looking for something small and intimate from their wedding.
Outline map of Texas

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Why is Texas great for an elopement?

They say that everything is bigger in Texas. But for those eloping couples who want a more intimate wedding, without the grand spectacle of a traditional marriage ceremony, there is still plenty on offer. With some lovely warm beaches on the Gulf of Mexico, such as Galveston, those who want to be by the sea when they say, “I do,” will love it. And though Texas may conjure up images of desserts, or bustling cities like Dallas, there are plenty of quiet, scenic parks and woodlands such as Buffalo Bayou, or Mercer Botanic Gardens, that offer plenty of lush greenery to serve as your backdrop.

Most people agree that fall is the ideal time of year for a wedding in Texas. It offers the nicest balance between milder temperatures but with enough daylight hours to make the most of an outdoor wedding.

GETTING YOUR MARRIAGE LICENSE

All states require a marriage license, so you need to ensure that you understand all of the requirements very early in the planning process. Luckily, it’s fairly straightforward in most cases as long as you meet the criteria and follow the state requirements.

Here is what you need to know about getting a marriage license in Texas.

Is Same Sex Marriage Recognized?

Yes! Same sex marriage is recognized in all states, and at a federal level, under the Respect for Marriage Act which was signed into law in December 2022.

Will I Need to take a blood test?

No. Blood tests have been abolished as part of marriage license applications in all 50 states, so don’t worry if you’re afraid of needles!

Who Issues Marriage Licenses in Texas?

Marriage licenses in Texas are issued by the County Clerk’s Office.

Do I Need to be a Resident of Texas?

Both residents and non-residents may apply for a marriage license in Texas.

Is there a waiting period to get married?

There is a waiting period of 3 days before the marriage license can be used and you hold a ceremony. This may be waived for members of the armed forces, for couples who have completed a premarital course, or at the discretion of a judge.

How long will my marriage license be valid for?

A marriage license issued in Texas expires 90 days from the date of issuance.

HOW OLD DO I NEED TO BE TO GET MARRIED IN Texas?

Couples must be aged 18 years or older to marry with no further caveats in Texas. If you’re aged 16 or 17, you must have parental or judicial consent. Those aged below 16 may apply for a marriage license with a court order.

WILL I NEED TO TAKE ID?

Valid ID is required for your application to prove your age. Valid documents include: certified copy of a birth certificate, driver’s license, passport or any other government issued ID.

HOW MUCH DOES A MARRIAGE LICENSE COST IN Texas?

Marriage license fees vary from county to county. Expect to pay anywhere from $60 to $100 for an application in Texas.

On Your Wedding Day

Once you’ve gotten the admin out of the way, you can get to the part you’ve been dreaming of: the wedding ceremony!

As you’d expect, each state has different requirements to make a marriage legal. Make sure you follow the guide below to get your marriage legally recognized.

Will i need witnesses to the marriage?

There is no requirement for witnesses to a marriage in Texas.

DOES Texas REQUIRE AN OFFICIANT FOR A WEDDING?

An officiant is required to solemnize a marriage in Texas. Eligible individuals include: ordained ministers or rabbis, justices of the peace and most judges.

Those ordained by an online ministry may perform a marriage ceremony.

SUMMARY

So that’s it, everything you need to know about eloping in Texas. And if you think that it could be the place to host your special day, why not give me a call to chat about your wedding? I’m an experienced elopement photographer, and an ordained minister, so in most cases I can be your officiant too!

Planning an Elopement?

Get my step-by-step guide and plan your dream elopement!

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