ULTIMATE GUIDE | UPDATED FOR 2023
A big wedding can be a great way to celebrate a couple’s new marriage, but it isn’t always for everyone. An elopement offers privacy, intimacy, and a more affordable price tag. All while keeping the focus on the most important part of the day. You and your partner! If you’re considering eloping but aren’t quite sure where to start, I’ve got you covered! Check out this guide on how to elope in Georgia. Take a look!
While elopements once came with the stigma of stealing away to rebelliously get married, that is fortunately no longer the case. Today, elopements are small, typically minimalistic weddings that are typically just between the couple and maybe up to 10 close friends and family. That doesn’t mean eloping may not still feel rebellious; in a world that glorifies big, expensive weddings, choosing to do something for yourselves may feel a tad risque.
But there is absolutely nothing wrong with deciding to keep your wedding to yourselves. After all, the heart of every wedding is the couple getting married, and what you want should be prioritized over anything - or anyone - else.
That being said, an elopement is not necessarily a courthouse wedding. Sure, getting married at a courthouse is an easy and simplistic way to tie the knot, but don’t let it stifle your creativity. You can elope practically anywhere, so let the world be your oyster. Find somewhere beautiful where you can feel connected to the person you are committed to spending the rest of your life with. Start the next chapter of your story in a gorgeous place.
This incredible city has so much to offer. Whether you want to incorporate the skyline, steal away to the Atlanta Botanical Garden, or find an intimate courtyard, there are so many special places to elope in Atlanta. Then, once you’re officially married, you can celebrate at any of Atlanta’s incredible restaurants for a romantic and intimate meal celebrating this new, exciting phase of your life together.
The Blue Ridge Mountains stretch from North Georgia to North Carolina and offer some spectacular views and adventurous sites for an elopement. Consider somewhere along the Appalachian Trail, Cloudland Canyon, or Yonah Mountain for breathtaking vistas that will provide you those on-top-of-the-world feelings.
Georgia is also home to incredible waterfalls that are perfect for an intimate elopement. Whether you’re looking for a more intensive hike or something easily accessible in heels, there is undoubtedly a waterfall that will be perfect for your elopement. Look into Cloudland Canyon, Anna Ruby Falls, or Tallulah Gorge for waterfall site inspiration.
In my opinion, the best time to get married in Georgia is either in the spring or the fall. Being a Southern state, summers in Georgia get really hot and humid, which can be gross and uncomfortable for an outdoor elopement. While winters are short and chilly, and not a terrible option (though don’t plan on snow.) Spring and fall, however, are both moderate in weather and exceptionally beautiful. Spring is often bursting with fresh growth and flowers. Meanwhile, fall boasts gorgeous autumnal colors that look like something out of a fairy tale.
Sunrise and Sunset both offer incredible golden lighting that makes for stunning photos. In fact, I recommend avoiding a midday ceremony. As the lighting overhead is usually pretty poor for photos. Catching the sunrise may mean an earlier wake-up. But it can also mean there will be fewer people around trying to take in the view. However, the spot you choose for your elopement can help determine which time of day is best for your vows. And I can assist you in figuring out the perfect timeline.
Obtaining your Georgia marriage license is easy, and it can be done at any time since they don’t expire! You’ll need to visit your county Probate Court with the necessary documents and identification to apply. If you aren’t Georgia residents, you’ll have to get your license from the same county you are getting married.
The cost of marriage licenses differs across the state, but plan on spending somewhere between $50 - $60. You’ll also want to check the website of the county Probate Court you’re planning on visiting. Especially since the required forms and identification needed can vary.
As far as timing, be sure to get your license at least a few days in advance of your elopement. While there isn’t a waiting period, you don’t want to get caught up in waiting at the Probate Court. This can be a challenging start on your special day.
Eloping usually costs less than the typical big wedding, which can average around $30,000. While cutting your guest list (sometimes completely) can be a huge cost saver, you’ll still need to account for spending money on attire, travel, permits, photography, details like florals, and your celebration. Even if it’s just a private, romantic dinner, you’ll still want to make sure you’re acknowledging and celebrating this wonderful moment in your life.
That being said, Georgia elopements typically cost around $15,000. Of course, depending on how you prioritize your budget, you can definitely spend over or under that amount. Like any wedding, decide on the things that are important to you and your partner first. Then figure out the rest of your budget from there.
Eloping is a fabulous option for any couple looking to keep things a little bit simpler, and there are so many unique opportunities to elope in Georgia. If you have any questions or need to talk through whether an elopement is right for you, reach out! I’d love to help you figure out if a Georgia elopement is the right fit for your love story.
I’ve created different packages for couples seeking elopement, intimate weddings, traditional weddings, or wedding event weekends. Investment begins at $3,000.
I’m always happy to help you with payment plans, extra hours, a second photographer, or other add-ons to enhance your wedding day!
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Some call me an old soul — maybe because I’ve shared a connection with my grandmother from an early age. I’ve carried her love of photography, florals, and family into my career as an Atlanta wedding photographer.
My passion is finding the emotion in a photo: that organic moment of surprise, delight, or pure devotion between you and your partner. Whatever your wedding day looks like, I’m here to capture it exactly as you’ve dreamed.
This guide will help you feel confident in your decision and investment when booking your dream wedding photographer by knowing what questions you should be asking to make sure your memories are beautifully preserved.