Elopement Guide for Connecticut (updated for 2023)
If you are considering eloping in Connecticut, then you have come to the right place! Connecticut is a beautiful state filled with scenic landscapes, charming towns, and picturesque venues. This elopement guide will provide you with all the information you need to plan your perfect wedding day.
Whether you are looking for a rustic barn, a beach ceremony or an intimate ceremony in a garden, Connecticut has a variety of options to choose from. Aside from the incredible landscapes, there are so many reasons to elope in the beautiful state of CT!
In this guide, we will cover everything from obtaining your marriage license to selecting the perfect venue, and everything in between. So, sit back, relax, and let's start planning your dream Connecticut elopement!
How to Elope in Connecticut
So you're ready to start planning your Connecticut elopement and you're wondering where to begin? Let's start with the logistics of getting legally married in the state of Connecticut
Marriage license: Getting the paperwork is pretty straightforward but can vary from county to county so be sure and check in with the county clerk in the location you want. Unlike most states, Connecticut enforces obtaining your marriage license in the town where you'll be having your marriage ceremony, so be sure to keep that in mind. The good news is there's no waiting period before you can have your ceremony like in some states!
Here's the basics of how to get your license:
- You must make an appointment, and both appear with all the required documentation
- A $30-50 fee is to be paid (Cash/Credit)
- Get married by a certified officiant within 65 days
- Send in the signed license and you're done!
Officiant: As long as they are properly certified, anyone can be your officiant! It can be a friend, family member, or trusted vendor (like my amazing husband who can officiate your elopement if available!) You only need to have 1 witness (which can be your photograph aka ME) but you can have more there if you'd like!
Vendors: Having an elopement means you have more freedom to decide which vendors are important to your day. That can mean booking as many or as few as you'd like to make your day the most perfect for your vision! The most common vendors to book for an elopement are:
- Makeup Artist
Permits: Depending on the location you choose for your elopement, there may be some additional paperwork needed to secure we are following the rules of the area! Don't fret though, as your experienced Connecticut elopement photographer, I'm here to answer all your questions and guide you through the process of acquiring the necessary permits!
Be sure and check out my Connecticut Elopement resource page for more info and tips for planning!
When to Elope in Connecticut
There are a couple things to consider when deciding the best time to elope. Connecticut's climate offers a range of options for eloping couples, depending on their preferences. We are lucky to get all four seasons here on the East Coast, and those seasons are all stunning! If you have a favorite season you love, it can be extra special to choose that time of year to get married. Whether that's in the warm summer, or the chilly winter!
While Connecticut is relatively quiet compared to other parts of the state, summertime brings more tourists to the area. If you want an intimate elopement without any distractions, consider tying the knot in late spring or early fall in the off-peak or shoulder seasons. I do not recommend choosing a holiday weekend, and am particularly fond of a weekday for the most privacy at an elopement!
The last thing to consider is your budget. Eloping can be cheaper than a traditional wedding, although that's not always the case. Elopements are no longer just a quick, cheap way to get it done. Rather, they are experiences customized to each couple. Could be a few hours, a whole day, heck even a whole week! There are no rules around planning an elopement. But if you are on a tight budget, there are certain times of year when traveling may be less expensive around Connecticut For example, many venues and accommodations offer discounts for weddings booked during off-peak times like mid-week or during the winter months.
Spring, from March to May, can be a popular time for elopements in Connecticut, with blooming flowers and pleasant temperatures. The landscapes start to become fully alive and lush again, and the waterfalls are flowing! However, keep in mind that the weather in Connecticut can be unpredictable, so it's important to have a backup plan in case of rain or other inclement weather. Check out my guide on what happens if it rains on your elopement day!
Summer, from June to August, is the warmest time of year in Connecticut, with temperatures averaging in the mid-80s. This time of year is perfect for couples who want to have an outdoor ceremony and enjoy the state's natural beauty. However, it's important to note that summer in Connecticut can also be humid and rainy, so couples should be prepared for inclement weather. Some popular summer activities in Connecticut include visiting the state's many beaches and enjoying outdoor concerts and festivals.
Ahh Autumn in New Englad. It's no wonder this season is a popular time for elopements in Connecticut. The mild weather and stunning foliage create a romantic and picturesque backdrop for your special day. The colors of the leaves range from bright yellow to deep red, and can provide a stunning contrast to your wedding attire. The cool temperatures also make it a comfortable time of year for outdoor ceremonies, and many venues offer cozy indoor options as well. Some popular fall activities in Connecticut include apple picking, visiting pumpkin patches, and hiking through the state's many nature trails. If you're considering a fall elopement in Connecticut, make sure to book your venue early, as this is a popular time of year for weddings and events.
Winter, from December to February, can be a magical time to elope in Connecticut. The state transforms into a winter wonderland, with snow-covered landscapes and cozy indoor venues. However, it's important to note that winters in Connecticut can be harsh, with temperatures frequently dropping below freezing and occasional snowstorms. If you are planning a winter elopement in Connecticut, make sure to select a venue with indoor ceremony and reception options, and to dress warmly for any outdoor photos. Some popular winter activities in Connecticut include skiing and snowboarding at one of the state's many ski resorts, or enjoying a cozy night in with your loved one. With its charming towns and picturesque scenery, Connecticut offers a unique and romantic backdrop for your winter elopement.
So when should you elope in Connecticut? You can honestly elope any time of the year and have the best time!
Where to Elope in Connecticut
Connecticut has so many hidden gems for adventure elopements - from the incredible mountain landscapes to the serene valleys and lakes outside of the crowded city! There are endless possibilities for an intimate and romantic ceremony. I've got a covered when it comes to the BEST elopement locations in the state of Connecticut! Here are a few of my faves:
Here's a list of my Airbnb recommendations for Connecticut! Be sure and check with the host if it's okay to have your elopement there. Unless you just plan on staying the night and having your ceremony elsewhere.
Connecticut Adventure Elopement Location Ideas
- Chatfield Hollow State Park - Killingworth, CT
- Deer Lake, Killingworth, CT
- People’s State Forest - Barkhamsted, CT
- Topsmead State Park - Litchfield, CT
- Killiam Point - Branford, CT
Elopement or Intimate Wedding Venues in Connecticut
Connecticut has no shortage of beautiful elopement and intimate wedding venues. From rustic barns to stunning mountain vistas, there's something for everyone. If having an elopement sounds like the DREAM - but you need to book a venue because of your guest count - no worries! Having an intimate wedding at a small wedding venue can be the perfect compromise. You can still find little ways to make your wedding day less-stress and incorporate personal and intentional ways that give it an elopement day feel!
Here are just a few of my favorite Connecticut elopement and intimate wedding venues:
- Eolia Mansion at Harkness Memorial Park
- The Mayflower Inn + Spa - Washington, CT
- The Lighthouse Museum - Stonington, CT
- Tamarack Lodge + Glamping Resort - Voluntown, CT
- Okay Island - CT/RI border
Eolia Mansion at Harkness Memorial Park
If you're looking for a stunning and historic venue for your Connecticut elopement, the Eolia Mansion at Harkness Memorial Park is a perfect choice. This breathtaking mansion was built in the early 20th century and sits on over 230 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens and lawns.
The Mayflower Inn + Spa - Washington, CT
If you want an intimate, luxurious, and secluded setting for your Connecticut elopement, you should definitely consider The Mayflower Inn. This elegant and historic hotel boasts a stunning and peaceful environment, nestled in the heart of the Litchfield Hills. Featuring a variety of indoor and outdoor ceremony locations, including the beautifully manicured gardens, and the cozy library.
The Lighthouse Museum - Stonington, CT
The Lighthouse Inn is a popular wedding venue in Stonington, CT because of its stunning location on the coast of Long Island Sound. The lighthouse, which dates back to the early 1900s, features beautifully landscaped grounds with sweeping ocean views, a beach, and a picturesque lighthouse.
Where to Stay in Connecticut
There are a variety of great places to stay when planning an elopement in Connecticut Here are a few of ideas of where to book your accommodation:
Inn at Ocean Ave (Harkness)
Tamarack Lodge + Glamping Resort - Voluntown, CT
This is just a short list, I have more ideas for the Best Places to Stay in Connecticut! In addition to a list of amazing Airbnbs around Connecticut I've compiled!
What to do at Connecticut Elopement
Once you've chosen the perfect spot for your adventure elopement, it's time to start planning the exciting little details to fill your day! No longer are elopements just a quick, rushed event where you say I do and are done! NOPE! Elopements can be soo much more than that. You can take your time doing whatever you want - and take as much time as you'd like doing it! Whatever type of elopement you choose, Connecticut is sure to provide memories that will last a lifetime.
Here are some ideas for what to do at your elopement in Connecticut
- Hike the Appalachian Trail, stop by a waterfall and have a picnic, elope on a vista and watch the sunset. Treat yourself to dinner.
- Have a city hall elopement and visit The Wadsworth or New Britain Museum of Art, watch a live or see a show at The Bushnell.
- Elope on the Farmington river, Go antiquing, go fly-fishing on the Farmington, visit a brewery and enjoy dinner from your local food truck
- Explore one of the many historic landmarks like Gillette Castle State Park and visit nearby Chapman Falls, one of the many waterfalls in Connecticut.
- Book an Airbnb near one of your areas of interest and plan your Connecticut all day elopement for your Connecticut elopement.
- Start your day with yoga, go tubing, or bike ride on the Farmington River rail-to-trail,
- Go horseback riding and elope at nearby Topsmead and have a picnic and watch a gorgeous sunset
- Love the beach? Pack your swimsuit and have a picnic!
- Elope at Harkness Memorial Park and tour the beautiful gardens of Eolia Mansion and watch the sunset. Go out to dinner and enjoy some local, fresh seafood!
- Connecticut is also known for its many breweries, distilleries and wineries. Book a Beer Tour and be driven safely from point-to-point.
- Book a Hot Air Balloon ride
Connecticut Elopement Photographer
I hope this guide helped answer any questions you may have on how to elope in Connecticut! As your experienced Connecticut elopement photographer - I'm here to help! Be sure and check out my Connecticut Elopement resource page for more info and tips for planning! And let's start chatting about my Connecticut All-Day Elopement Packages
Are you looking for a connecticut elopement photographer who can capture your special day? Look no further!
I’m Corey, a New England and worldwide elopement photographer. I have the knowledge and experience to help you plan an unforgettable elopement day with personalized location lists, vendor recommendations, permits, guides and much more. My goal is to put couples at ease, inspire, encourage and empower them to break away from the traditional when it comes to their elopements!
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