Because your Vermont elopement should be as unique as your love story
Can we tell you a secret? We think elopements are really, really special.
There’s something so romantic about choosing to focus on one another – and so fun about the creative ways you can celebrate (think: eloping on skis, a picnic and hike through VT’s idyllic swimming holes, cozying up in an AirBNB… you get the picture.)
If you’re looking to tie the knot, but a traditional wedding isn’t your jam: a Vermont elopement may be the perfect fit for you. You can keep things more lowkey – or plan a totally epic adventure – spend money on what matters to you most, and create memories to last a lifetime.
We’re excited AF for you to get started and honored to help along the way.
Plan Your Elopement
Reasons to love elopements
More intimate – an elopement can be a profoundly meaningful experience for you and your partner because the entire focus is on each other and your love. It’s incredibly romantic and special!
Easier to Plan – smaller celebrations tend to be faster and easier to plan. This does NOT mean you have to skip aspects of “traditional” weddings that you love! We highly recommend couples at least book a photographer to document the day, and encourage you to do whatever else makes you feel special – be it a gorgeous bouquet, a stellar wedding cake, maybe even a private firework display. You do you!
Less Expensive – because of their smaller guest list, elopements are often less expensive (providing food and drink to 100+ guests adds up) and couples have the chance to spend on the details that matter most to them (ex. Want to splurge on a killer dress? Yes!) Many Vermont venues and vendors now offer special packages for elopements and microweddings.
More personal – one of the coolest parts of eloping is that you can celebrate exactly how you want. Want to elope in the middle of a blizzard on a mountain top? Take a dip in an idyllic swimming hole? Cozy up in an AirBnb? With countless opportunities for recreation, adventure and beauty, you can plan the elopement of your dreams in Vermont.
Elopement vs Microwedding…
Which Is Right For You?
Traditionally elopements are only attended by an officiant (and usually a photographer and/or videographer) in addition to the couple. These days, we also see a lot of couples eloping with a handful of close friends at their side.
Microweddings are weddings of 10 – 50 people; they’re bigger than an elopement but still smaller than a “traditional” wedding.
Not sure which is right for you? Here’s a quick quiz for you and your partner:
1. Would you feel most comfortable being just the two of you, or would you prefer to be accompanied by family and/or friends?
2. If you want others there, who do you want to celebrate with you? (This will help you determine your ideal guest list size)
3. How do you want to celebrate your wedding? Can that be done with a group or would it be easier/better to do it alone or with just a few people? (Ex. If you’re dreaming of an adventurous mountain top ceremony, don’t invite friends who aren’t game for a hike! )
No matter the size of your wedding, remember the day is ultimately about you and your partner!
The Vermont vendor guide
Choosing vendors who align with your elopement vision is one of the most important parts of planning your elopement. That’s why we’ve curated our directory of trusted Vermont wedding professionals for you to explore. On such an intimate occasion, you’ll be spending a lot of time with your elopement team, so be sure you like both their work and personality! Check out their profiles and read our interviews to get to know them a bit more.
Where to Elope in Vermont
Vermont’s natural beauty offers so many places to elope. Think: epic mountain tops, gorgeous lakeside views, and countless beautiful wooded trails for hiking and exploring. Of course, there’s also an impressive list of wedding venues across the state – many of which offer special packages for elopements and microweddings. There are also many unique AirBnB’s, restaurants, and breweries that you can take advantage of for your celebration.
For a typical elopement, you may consider booking:
1. A photographer (some also can legally officiate your ceremony)
2. An officiant to make it legal (see FAQs below)
3. A florist (florals can really elevate the celebration and your photos)
4. A hair and makeup artist (if it helps you feel your most confident)
5. A baker (to have a sweet dessert to share)
6. A videographer (a wedding film is an amazing way to relive your celebration with your partner; some couples also share their film with their larger community as a way to bring them into their celebration post-elopement)
Thinking about skipping the engagement shoot? We highly recommend an engagement shoot with your photographer to get comfortable with them before your elopement! It will make the actual day feel so much more natural. Browse our engagement blog for inspiration for your engagement photo shoot and advice.
The elopement blog
One of our favorite resources available to you as you plan your dream day – the blog.
You can explore real Vermont elopements featuring professionals from our vendor guide, and find inspiration for your own celebration.
The Gift Guide
Over 100 curated gift ideas – all from local, Vermont businesses.
Even if you’re skipping a traditional registry, we highly suggest browsing our Gift Guide – it’s unlike any other!
We’re confident you’ll find something to give your partner, anyone who helped celebrate your elopement in a meaningful way…and lots of other ideas!
I’m like you’re virtual bridesmaid
Wondering who the girl behind the screen is?
I’m Tricia, and I celebrated my own Vermont wedding in 2018. I planned and DIYed a LOT of my wedding, and for the most part, I enjoyed it. I’ve always loved events, and I’ve even done some event planning professionally. But – if I’m being totally honest – I was surprised how stressful wedding planning was. When it was all over, I was exhausted, and I knew I didn’t want any of my friends to have to feel the same way when they got married.
My goal is for Vermont Weddings to be a resource that helps you plan your wedding with a little more ease so you can enjoy the process – and your big day – even more.
A few quick facts about me:
1️⃣ I’m “Mama” to a spirited toddler, a snuggly dog, and six chickens
2️⃣ I’ll never turn down a glass of bubbles (seltzer & champagne for ever)
3️⃣ We honeymooned in Portugal and dream of going back someday (happy to send my itinerary your way!)
4️⃣ Call me a Vermonter, but I really do think coffee tastes better sweetened with maple syrup (bonus points if you tap your own trees…which we do!)
Frequently Asked Questions about Getting Married in VermontSource: Adapted from Vermont Dept. of Health
Two people who are each at least 18 years old can obtain a civil marriage in Vermont. If you are at least 16, but under 18, you will need the written consent of a parent or guardian to obtain a marriage license. There is an affidavit on the back of the marriage license that can be used for this purpose. By Vermont law, no one under the age of 16 may marry in Vermont.
Anyone under guardianship cannot marry without the guardian’s written consent. Vermont also does not allow marriage between most close relatives. You cannot marry a parent, grandparent, sister, brother, child, grandchild, niece, nephew, aunt or uncle. You cannot marry if either of you is currently married to someone else, or if either of you is joined in a civil union to someone else. The law requires that both parties be of sound mind.
Vermont marriage licenses are issued by Vermont town clerks and cost $60. If both parties are Vermont residents, you may go to the town clerk in either of your towns of residence. If just one of you resides in a Vermont town, you must buy the license in that town. If neither party is a Vermont resident, you may get the license from any town clerk in the state. The license is valid for 60 days from the date it is issued. During that time an authorized person must perform your wedding ceremony — otherwise, the license is void. There is no waiting period in Vermont from when you get your marriage license to when you can get married.
Besides basic information about yourselves (names, towns of residence, places and dates of birth), you must also provide your parents’ names, including your mothers’ birth (maiden) names, and their places of birth. Certified copies of your birth certificates can supply most of this information. You will also be asked to provide the number of previous marriages and civil unions, and how and when they ended. This information is confidential and does not become part of the marriage certificate. Vermont law requires that both parties sign the application certifying the accuracy of the information you provided. The town clerk will review the application to confirm that the information provided does not indicate that you are prohibited from marrying in Vermont and that both of you have signed the application. The town clerk will then issue a license if at least one of you has signed the license in front of the clerk.
If your husband, wife or civil union partner has died, you are free to marry. The clerk will ask the date your spouse or civil union partner died. If you are divorced, you may remarry after the date on which your previous marriage or civil union was legally dissolved. If you are partners in an existing civil union, you are free to marry one another.
No. A marriage license cannot be issued through the mail, and you cannot be married by proxy.
With a valid Vermont license, you can be married anywhere in Vermont. Here are some recommended venues.
A Supreme Court justice, a superior court judge, a district judge, a judge of probate, an assistant judge, a justice of the peace or an ordained or licensed member of the clergy residing in Vermont can perform your wedding ceremony. A clergy person residing in an adjoining state or country can marry you if his or her church, temple, mosque, or other religious organization lies wholly or partly in Vermont. A clergy member residing in some other state or in Canada can marry you if he or she first obtains a special authorization from the probate court in the district where the marriage will take place. In addition, any person who is over the age of 18 may register with the Secretary of State to become a temporary officiant to a marriage. Visit the Secretary of State’s website to learn more or register.
Vermont law does not require witnesses, but, if you are planning a religious ceremony, check to see if the religion’s tenets require witnesses.
Here are some recommended officiants.
By law, you both must sign the license and deliver the license to the person who will conduct your wedding ceremony before the marriage can be performed. After the ceremony, the person who performs the ceremony (officiant) will complete the sections concerning the date, place and officiant information, and sign your license. At that point, the license becomes a marriage certificate. The officiant must return the certificate to the town clerk’s office where it was issued within 10 days after the wedding, so that your marriage can be officially registered. If the officiant has registered with the Secretary of State as a temporary officiant, a copy of the certificate of authorization issued by the Secretary of State should be attached to the signed certificate and returned to the clerk’s office.
At the time you buy your marriage license, you can arrange with the town clerk to mail you a certified copy of your certificate as soon as your marriage has been recorded. The cost is $10 for the certified copy along with the $60 for the license purchase ($10 + $60 = $70). Or, two weeks or more after the ceremony, you can request, in person or in writing, additional copies from the town clerk’s office where you bought your license for the same $10 fee. Or, six or more weeks after your ceremony, you may request, in person or in writing, a certified copy from the Vermont Department of Health, Vital Records Office for $10. In either case, you will receive a copy of the original certificate, embossed with the town or state seal, signed and dated by the appropriate official.
Yes! The marriage equality act, effective September 1, 2009 allows same-sex couples to marry in Vermont.
Yay! We can’t wait to see it. Visit our submissions page for guidelines.
Visit this post for the latest state guidelines.