Your ultimate guide to eloping in Georgia including why to elope, the best places, how much it costs, elopement packages in Georgia and more. Read below if you're thinking about eloping in Georgia!
What does elope mean?
An elopement is a wedding planned in an intentional way, putting all the focus on what is important to the couple and not including traditions or events that they don't value.
Some couples decide that they want to experience their elopement just the two of them and don’t invite any guests- while others decide to invite a small guest count (usually less than 25) to have an intimate wedding. The old idea of running away with your significant other and secretly getting married isn't the only way to elope these days.
How do you elope in Georgia?
1) Book your elopement photographers
2) Receive your location guide, custom timeline and vendor recommendations
Best Places to Elope in Georgia
Whether it's the rushing waterfalls, rolling mountains or unique beaches that call you, Georgia has something for everyone. We provide our couples with a custom location guide to make the process of choosing where to elope easy!
Here's a list of where to elope in Georgia:
Cloudland Canyon State Park
Cloudland Canyon offers a perfect mix of mountains and waterfalls for your Georgia elopement. At Cloudland Canyon you'll start at the top of the canyon with beautiful views of the mountains and have the opportunity to hike down to see multiple waterfalls. The hike to the most popular falls, Cherokee Falls and Hemlock Falls, is mostly comprised of metal stairs with around 400ft elevation gain.
Tybee Island is just outside of Savannah on the coast of Georgia and features pristine beaches, featuring a light house and pier. This is one of our favorite beaches to elope in Georgia!
Jekyll Island & St. Simons Island
We love Jekyll Island for it's unique beaches and St. Simons Island for it's trees filled with Spanish moss. A bonus is that the best locations here don't require a permit or fee to elope!
Providence Canyon State Park
If you want to elope in Georgia while looking like you're somewhere completely different, Providence Canyon is your spot! This is often called the "Little Grand Canyon" of Georgia.
Hightower Falls is a venue that features a waterfall, bridge and brick ruins. This location is great for intimate weddings or elopements.
Oakland Cemetery is a unique location to elope in Atlanta if you don't mind the tombstones! There's beautiful foliage here for spring elopements.
Montaluce Winery is a venue in North Georgia perfect for elopements and intimate weddings featuring a vineyard and Tuscan style buildings.
The best time to elope in Georgia
When to elope in Georgia
Spring and fall are the best times to elope in Georgia due to the mild weather and beautiful scenery. Spring offers lots of flowers and fresh blooms, while autumn provides fall foliage for stunning backdrops. Summers are long, hot and very humid while winters are cold and short with snow being very rare.
How to choose when to elope
When you are deciding what time of year to elope, you should consider:
1) What type of weather are you hoping for? Do you prefer the warm or cold?
2) What type of landscapes/scenery are you hoping for?
3) What type of activities do you want to do on your day?
Weekdays VS Weekends
When planning your elopement you should choose a weekday to provide you with the most intimate experience, avoiding crowds of tourists that are more prevalent on weekends. Another benefit of a weekday elopement is that more vendors will be available and some even offer special pricing. Lastly, if you end up choosing a location that requires a reservation it will be much easier to secure a reservation for a weekday.
Sunrise VS Sunet
The best lighting for photography occurs in the morning around sunrise and in the evenings around sunset, when the sun is low providing a golden glow. We recommend avoiding shooting mid-day when the sun is directly overhead, as this isn't as flattering for portraits.
Sunrise offers the best chance to have the location to yourselves, while sunset doesn't require such an early wake up. Some locations will look better in the morning while others will look better in the evening. Your photographer will provide guidance for you on which is best!
What do you need to elope in Georgia?
Your Georgia Marriage License
Where to get your marriage license
If one or both of you are residents of Georgia, you can apply for a marriage license in any county Probate Court in Georgia. However, if neither of you are Georgia residents you will have to obtain your license in the same county where the ceremony will be performed.
Get your marriage license as soon as possible
Since there's no expiration date, you can get your marriage license as far in advance of the elopement as you'd like. We'd recommend doing this as soon as possible to check it off the list. We don’t recommend doing this on your elopement day due to varying wait times at the courts. Remember, getting your marriage license gives you permission to legally get married, but doesn't mean you are married until we complete the form after the ceremony!
Hire an officiant or use our services
We are ordained and can legally marry you if you'd like! This is a complimentary service we offer to our elopement couples. This means we will sign and file your marriage license for you after you say your vows to each other.
How much does it cost to elope in Georgia?
Compared to traditional weddings, it's much more affordable to elope! While the average cost for weddings is around $30,000, most couples spend around $15,000 to elope in Georgia.
This is because eloping typically requires less vendors, For example, most of our eloping couples don't hire a planner since we offer timeline creation, vendor recommendations, location scouting and a full elopement guide. Venues are also generally more affordable, especially if you use a State or National Park, they're usually less than $500.