Eloping in Wisconsin can be a charming and intimate way to celebrate your love. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to elope in Wisconsin:
1. Obtain a Wisconsin Marriage License:
- To legally marry in Wisconsin, you’ll need to obtain a marriage license from any county clerk’s office within the state. Both you and your partner must appear in person to apply. You may need to provide identification and pay a fee, which varies by county. There’s typically a waiting period (often five days), so plan accordingly. The license is valid for 30 days.
2. Choose a Location:
- Wisconsin offers a variety of picturesque locations for elopements, including lakeside venues, rustic barns, scenic parks, and charming historic sites. Whether you prefer a rural setting or an urban backdrop in cities like Milwaukee or Madison, you’ll find many options.
3. Decide on an Officiant:
- Select an officiant to perform your wedding ceremony. You can choose a judge, justice of the peace, a religious leader, or a friend/family member who has been legally appointed as a Temporary Officiant. Ensure that your chosen officiant is authorized to officiate weddings in Wisconsin.
4. Plan Your Ceremony:
- Personalize your elopement ceremony to make it meaningful to you and your partner. Write your own vows, include readings, or incorporate any traditions or rituals that are significant to you.
5. Acquire a Marriage Certificate:
- After the ceremony, your officiant will sign your marriage license. You must return the signed license to the county clerk’s office where you obtained it for it to be legally recorded. This step is crucial to make your marriage official.
6. Arrange Photography:
- Capture the special moments of your elopement by hiring a professional photographer. Wisconsin’s scenic landscapes and charming settings offer great opportunities for beautiful wedding photos.
7. Secure Accommodations:
- Plan accommodations for your stay in Wisconsin. Depending on your elopement location, you can choose from cozy cabins, boutique hotels, lakeside resorts, or even historic inns.
- Arrange transportation to and from your chosen elopement location, especially if it’s a remote or outdoor venue.
9. Permits and Permissions:
- If you plan to elope in a public park or nature reserve, check for any required permits or permissions for weddings. Some locations may have restrictions or require reservations.
10. Notify Close Friends and Family: – If you’re eloping without guests, inform your nearest and dearest about your plans. They may want to send their best wishes or celebrate with you before or after your elopement.
11. Enjoy Your Special Day: – On the day of your elopement, cherish the moment and the unique beauty of your chosen Wisconsin location. Take time to savor the intimate moments with your partner.
12. Celebrate Afterwards: – After the ceremony, consider having a special meal at a local restaurant, exploring the area, or simply enjoying each other’s company.
Wisconsin’s diverse landscapes, from the shores of Lake Michigan to the scenic Door County Peninsula, provide numerous options for a memorable elopement. Whether you choose a natural outdoor setting or a cozy indoor venue, your Wisconsin elopement will be a celebration of your love and commitment.