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how to elope in the twin cities


How to Elope in the Twin Cities

June 3, 2022

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Maybe you’ve been considering a Courthouse wedding to avoid the stress that can accompany wedding planning, or maybe you’re looking to have an intimate celebration and just aren’t sure what options you have. Let me show you how to elope in the Twin Cities!


An Urban Elopement in the Twin Cities is right for you if you’re looking for a celebration with 20 or fewer guests, and are looking for the courthouse wedding chill without the courthouse. Don’t get me wrong, I love courthouse weddings! AND they aren’t the only option for intimate weddings!


Contrary to popular belief, elopements are not runaway marriages. They also don’t need to just be the two of you. Instead, we can think of them as intimate wedding celebrations where you, the couple, have the freedom to have the celebration that represents you best. 

There is no pressure to perform. Your budget can go toward high quality vs. high quantity. You will have time to relax and enjoy your guests. You can have a more sustainable celebration. And yes, leave the stress behind! Whoever says weddings are stressful and go by in the blink of an eye never considered this type of celebration! 

Invite who you want. Eat what you want. Celebrate YOUR marriage your way.


Well, you’re looking for

  • a small, intimate wedding in or near the city
  • an elegant wedding that represents you
  • your wedding budget to go to a high quality celebration v. high quantity celebration
  • a wedding experience, versus a wedding with all the things
  • a totally unique, and out-of-the-box wedding
  • ways to minimize the environmental impact of your wedding

20 guests not quite enough? I’ve got a blog coming soon for under 100 guests! Stay tuned!

What are some examples of an Urban Elopement in the Twin Cities?

There are tons of options, and there is DEFINITELY one out there to fit your vibe! Take a look below for several options based on location and interest!

Here it is: How to Elope in the Twin Cities!

For Lovers of Minneapolis

Get ready at Hotel Emery in downtown Minneapolis

First look and photos at the Lyndale Peace Gardens in Minneapolis

Ceremony and guest photos at The Blaisdell in Minneapolis

Celebrate at The Blaisdell, catered by Fork & Flair Catering with drinks provided by Liquid Motion

Emily & Josh’s Blaisdell Wedding

For Lovers of Saint Paul

Get ready at this cozy AirBnb on Summit Ave

First look and photos at your AirBnb

Ceremony and guest photos at the Como Sunken Gardens

Celebrate in the backyard of your AirBnb with a private chef from Farm to Fork and a DJ from Instant Request!

Emma & Nathan at their Como Sunken Gardens wedding.

For the Art Lovers

Get ready at Canopy by Hilton in the Mill District

First look and photos at The Minneapolis Institute of Art

Ceremony and guest photos at MIA Target Park

Celebrate at MIA — Second Floor Corridor with Regis Fountain Court and Bruce B. Dayton Rotunda

Carolina & Ed’s Wedding at MIA

For the Garden Lovers

Get ready at this awesome AirBnb in Excelsior

First look and photos at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Ceremony and guest photos at Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Celebrate at Cast and Cru

Sarah & Brendan’s engagement session at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

For the Food Lovers

Get ready at Royal Sonesta in downtown Minneapolis

First look and photos at Saint Anthony Main

Ceremony and guest photos at Red Stag Supper Club in Minneapolis

Celebrate at Red Stag Supper Club with a custom menu for you and your guests!

Elana & Joe in Mill Ruins Park on their wedding day


What vendors should we include?

This is totally up to you! Of course, at a minimum, you should have an officiant, a photographer, and a venue. I would definitely recommend reserving your ceremony and celebration location(s), especially if they are in public spaces. This way, you are not surprised if someone else had the same idea as you! Eloping should be as stress-free as possible, so the more you plan, the better!

Flowers? That’s totally up to you, but I’ll tell you now they certainly elevate the experience and photos (and give you something to hold with your hands when you’re not holding each other).

Depending on your vibe and the guests you are inviting, you can also spring for some excellent catering and a DJ to maintain the mood! For my 10 year wedding anniversary celebration, we only had 26 guests and a DJ and I loved it!

How much time should our elopement take? Do we even need a timeline?

You can have an elopement that spans anywhere from a few hours to all day! Remember, just because you are having a small celebration doesn’t mean that your day isn’t as important or meaningful as a traditional wedding day. You deserve to have documentation of your full celebration and people there who will support you.

That being said, I would highly recommend a timeline! You can build this with your photographer, who can help make sure you have time to get photo coverage of everything you need and want, as well as keeping the timeline for you come the day!

Having a timeline will also make your guests know where to be and when for each part of your day. In my experience, guests just want to be told where to be and they’ll do it!

Does our Urban Elopement have to be on a weekend?

Heck no! I am currently helping plan a Monday elopement in the Twin Cities! That’s right. A MONDAY.

One of the benefits of fewer guests is the ability to work with them to find a day (Mon-Thur included) that can work for everyone. If there is a particular date that means something to you and it falls on a weekday, whatevs! Go for it!

Eloping on a weekday can also have the benefit of slightly reduced costs from vendors. Typically, we expect to only be able to take jobs on the weekends, so weekday jobs are a bonus! In particular, if you are looking to buyout a restaurant for your celebration, their weekday buyouts are most likely less than their weekend buyouts! Good for us is good for you! 😀

We love this idea, but want to make a schedule that fits us better — can you help?

Absolutely, all day, every day! I have helped several other couples go through this process and would be ecstatic to help you as well! Whatever your interests and personality, I can help create the perfect experience for you!

I know you are a photographer, but can you help us plan and carry out our Urban Elopement plans?

Consistent with the answer above, absolutely! I will not only help you choose where to elope and where to celebrate, but I will also give trusted vendor recommendations and tips on best practices to make sure that your celebration is exactly what you need.

Beyond that, of course I’ll be there for your day! I’ll capture all the moments we talked about and more, and deliver you timeless images to relive your elopement over and over again through the years!

Sound good? Let’s get started!

What do your urban elopement photography packages look like?

Packages include planning and advice, and engagement/honeymoon session, as well as photography coverage, a full, edited photo gallery, and sustainability support.

On peak pricing starts at $2200 for 4 hours.

Off peak pricing starts at $1800 for 4 hours.

Follow up answer for a question you may have: Yes, 4 hours is the minimum! This is based on my experience with my past elopement clients. In order for you to have your wedding day documented in full and no rushing between events, 4 hours is the sweet spot! Hey, why elope if it’s just going to be rushed like a big wedding? Let’s relax and celebrate you!

So what are you waiting for?

Don’t let anyone tell you how to have your own wedding. If an urban elopement with your very closest family and friends is for you, do it!

Looking for help planning and someone to document your one-of-a-kind day in timeless images? Reach out here and let’s do it!

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It's Jess!

Passionate about celebrating relationships between partners and between us and our home, Earth.

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