In the heart of Downtown or a cabin settled in the woods, Cincinnati is full of places to elope. From rustic, to adventurous, to bohemian and more – your elopement vision can come to life in many locations throughout Cincinnati. This Cincinnati elopement guide was created for couples who are looking to take a different path than the traditional wedding.
WHAT DO I NEED TO ELOPE IN CINCINNATI?
The process is actually pretty simple! Here is the information that I gathered from the Hamilton County Probate Court regarding obtaining your Ohio marriage license:
- The fee for the license is $75.00. Cash or credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover) are accepted. Checks are not accepted. There is an additional fee when paying with a Credit Card: See Credit Card Fees.
- Each applicant must each have a government issued photo ID (i.e., Driver’s License, State ID, passport, VISA, etc.).
- Ohio residents wanting to marry in Ohio, must apply in the county where they reside. Out of state residents getting married in Ohio, must apply in the county in which they are getting married. Ohio residents getting married in another state or country, must apply in the state or country in which they are getting married.
- The couple must get married within 60 days of our issuing the license. While there is no blood testing or waiting period, the license does expire 60 days after issuance.
- Want to do part of the process online instead? The following online Marriage License request is only intended to shorten the amount of time you have to spend in our office. Once you have completed the online request, you will be asked to submit this to our office for approval. Once we have reviewed and qualified the information we will send you a confirmation number, and any necessary instructions, via E-mail. Applicants will then need to bring this confirmation number, along with all other necessary information, to our office. Once again, both applicants will still need to appear in person. BEGIN APPLICATION
DO I NEED A WITNESS TO ELOPE IN CINCINNATI?
You don’t! In the state of Ohio, you don’t need to bring a witness to your elopement ceremony. Even though you legally don’t have to, you totally can! Your elopement day should be crafted by you and you deserve to have anyone there that means a lot to you.
WHO CAN OFFICIATE MY ELOPEMENT?
Your bestie, your family friend, your grandma or an officiate you find through the world wide web! You can honestly have whoever you want officiate your elopement but they definitely need a license first.
From the Hamilton County Probate Court: Not just anyone can perform a marriage ceremony in the state of Ohio. Marriages are to be performed by an Ordained Minister of any religious society or congregation within the state licensed to perform marriages; the Probate Court Judge or any other Judge appointed as a Probate Judge; a Judge of a Municipal Court; the Mayor of a municipal corporation in any county in which such municipal corporation wholly or partly lies, the Superintendent of the State School for the Deaf; or any religious society, in conformity with the rules and regulations of its church.
Please Note: It is the responsibility of the couple to be sure that the person officiating at the wedding ceremony is licensed in the state of Ohio. A Minister, upon producing to the Secretary of State credentials of his / her being a regularly ordained or licensed Minister of any religious society or congregation, shall be entitled to receive from the Secretary of State a license authorizing him / her to solemnize marriages in this state so long as he / she continues as a regular minister in such society or congregation. A Minister shall produce for inspection their license to solemnize marriages upon demand of any party to a marriage of which he / she proposes to officiate or upon demand of any Probate Court Judge.
WHERE ARE THE BEST CINCINNATI ELOPEMENT LOCATIONS?
Oh friend, buckle up because I have the 411 on all of the best Cincinnati elopement locations, along with other elopement locations in Ohio that are only a short drive away.
- Bender Mountain Trail
- Larz Anderson Park
- Historic White Oak Farm
- Conkle’s Hollow Nature Preserve
- Hocking Hills | Old Man’s Cave
- Red River Gorge
- Mojave East
- Eden Park
- The Factory Events
- Mt Airy Forest
- Glamping With The Pop-Up BNB
- Mount Adams
- Mt. Echo Park
- Devou Park
WHO CAN HELP ME PLAN MY CINCINNATI ELOPEMENT?
Here are all of the best Cincinnati elopement vendors who will make your day an absolute DREAM. From florists, to decor stylists and more – I got you.
ELOPEMENT DECOR DESIGNER + PLANNER:
ELOPEMENT GLAMPING SERVICE:
ELOPEMENT CAKE & DESSERTS:
ELOPEMENT HAIR STYLIST:
WHAT IS THE AVERAGE COST OF A CINCINNATI ELOPEMENT?
Elopements can cost a lot less than traditional weddings depending on your location and what all you want to include for the big day! I have photographed elopements that cost only $400 to some that are over $5,000. The average cost of an elopement is $2,000-$3,000.
WHAT DO I NEED TO PAY FOR WHEN I ELOPE?
Elopements look completely different for every couple but here are key things that you need to add to your budget!
- legal documents (e.g., marriage license)
- stationery (e.g., elopement announcements) – I highly recommend finding a template on Etsy that you could customize!
- vendors (e.g., officiant, photographer, hair and makeup artist, venue/location fees)
- elopement attire
- wedding bands
- small wedding cake or some kind of dessert
- rentals such as a wedding arch incl. floral decoration
- bubbly to celebrate with!
- brunch, lunch or dinner after the ceremony
- small, informal party after your elopement for friends and family
HOW CAN I SAVE MONEY WHILE PLANNING MY ELOPEMENT?
- Make a budget! Don’t forget to look at your money with your partner and make a plan that works best for both of you. You can still create absolute magic on any budget!
- Consider a weekday or a Friday/Sunday elopement. You would be amazed by the discounts some venues give to couples who aren’t getting married on a Saturday.
- Look into the possibility of an Airbnb where you could have a private ceremony and get a full vacation out of it (win win).
- Create an online wedding website for people to RSVP, rather than traditional invitations.
- Make your own wedding bouquet! Trader Joes and Kroger have the most amazing selections.
ARE YOU READY TO ELOPE?!
I am so excited for you, friend! Your elopement is going to be absolute magic and I can’t thank you enough for reading through my elopement guide. Remember that this day is about your love story and can look any freaking way you want it. If you need more help planning, reach out to me here and check out the following articles for more information!