If you’re thinking about a Kentucky elopement, you’re not alone! So many couples these days give this serious consideration! While some consider destination elopements, some might find it easier to just elope at home (or maybe you don’t live in Kentucky but giving this wonderful state some serious thought!) I don’t think elopements are what people used to think of them as – I think they used to be associated with just randomly deciding to get married! Not anymore – you can plan your elopement and just have fun with it!
Before we get started, I’m Kate – the photographer of Kate Legters Photography. I photograph weddings in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. While most of my clients are couples planning big weddings, I love working with couples who are planning an elopement and will offer a customized package price if that sounds like you! More information about my wedding experience can be found here: https://katelegtersphotography.com/experience.
Here are some things to consider when planning a Kentucky Elopement! The pictures below were photographed at a small elopement/micro-wedding in Northern Kentucky.
Some people might be surprised you’re doing an elopement. And that’s ok! But you should think through if there is anyone particularly important to you that want to be in attendance. For instance, some couples determine that they still want their parents involved, or their siblings, or even a best friend or two. And yes, people are now planning elopements with a small guest list! If that doesn’t sound like something you’re interested in, that’s completely fine – remember to do what you two want! I’ve also seen couples plan and enjoy their elopement and then plan a larger party/reception at a later date.
There are so many places to think about while planning an elopement. There are already many websites and blogs pointing out interesting locations to think about. Do you want something adventurous? I’d consider Red River Gorge in KY, Hocking Hills in OH, or the Smokey Mountains in TN. Would you prefer something more low key? Consider your local park, your backyard (or your parents!), or something with meaning to you! And lastly, if you’re thinking more urban, there’s still the option of a courthouse wedding, and then doing fun photos in the downtown areas of Lexington, Louisville, Cincinnati, or Indianapolis. Additionally, many wedding venues offer what are called “micro-wedding” options, so you can always ask!
When thinking about a location, it will be important to look up any special rules or permits needed. Sometimes these websites can be hard to navigate, but just google searching for the location plus wedding rules, photography rules, or permit for an event can be very helpful when looking to plan a Kentucky elopement. Your photographer or officiant may be able to help answer questions too!
It will still be important to select a date for your Kentucky elopement! When trying to think of a date, I would consider two things: how soon are you looking to get married? And what season would you like? Kentucky brings a wide variety of weather options. Think about a cozy winter vibes, summer glow, bright and colorful fall, or spring flowers.
Dress: Even with an elopement, you may decide on some vendors to assist you. First off, you’ll likely still want a dress. Whether you’re thinking about low-key, or still fancy and elegant, you’ll want to find a vendor who can assist you. For low-key events, where you just want a simple dress, you can visit your favorite clothes store. For more elaborate gowns, there are some places that offer rentals or you can still use a bridal store. I’ve seen brides who want to do more of a hiking elopement, wear a beautiful gown with hiking boots underneath! Point is, you’ll still want to look your best for photos!
Suit: For your guy, you’ll want to find something that he’s comfortable in. Many places these days are offering suits that are fit well and come in a wide variety of colors. Have fun with it!
Flowers: Florals still make photos look so amazing. And because you’re not planning a big event, you can go all out on your bouquet. You can look for a local florist that is willing to accommodate you and if you struggle in finding something, reach out to some of your other vendors.
Photographer: For a Kentucky elopement, I very much hope to hear from you! But you do need to find a photographer that matches the style you’re looking for. I describe my style as light, colorful, and vibrant. You may have a different vibe in mind and that’s ok – just take the time to write down a few words of the style of photos you’re looking for. Then, start searching away (I recommend using Instagram or Google). When you’re inquiring, be sure to explain that you’re looking for an elopement. A photographer may not have elopements listed as an option on their page, and that’s ok, I would still reach out!
My contact page can be found here!
Hair & Makeup: You’ll still want to look your best! And since there’s no bridal party you can go all out!
Food and Dessert: Sometimes couples still want to incorporate something fun into their photos! Stop by your favorite brewery, get your favorite bottle of wine, your favorite fast food, or favorite ice cream. I can’t emphasize enough to just have fun with it! If you’re planning a meal for a small group of people, that will be something to think through, but many places are willing to work with small groups!
Rings: Find your local jeweler or favorite store and still get the ring of your dreams!
Officiant: Whether it’s a friend or a professional, find someone you trust to marry you! Just be sure they know it’s for an elopement and there’s adventure ahead!
There can be other things to think through when planning a Kentucky elopement.
Marriage License: Don’t forget to get a marriage license! Once you get one (as of the writing of this article) you have 30 days to get married. You’ll go through your local county clerk office! Here is a link to search for your local office.
Send out an Invite: if you’re planning on having people attend your elopement, be sure to send out invitations. You can now create them on Canva!
Plan a Timeline: What time of day do you want to get married? A photographer will tell you the best light for photos is the 2 hours before sunset, or the 2 hours after sunrise. But other factors may have to be factored in here – if you’re in a gorge, I would do more in the middle of the day (lighting gets dim!). If you’re in a downtown area, some of the city buildings block the sun. You also have to think of planning time for hair and makeup, and getting ready!
Write your Vows: Because your ceremony might be fairly private, you’ll have the ability to write and exchange vows with each other in a fairly private space.
Have fun! Getting married, no matter the venue, is an amazing experience. Have fun with it and enjoy the time together!
Here are the rest of the photos from this small elopement/micro wedding in Northern Kentucky! The couple planned on a reception later on (hence the invitation) and the bride still chose to get ready with her mom:
I hope you enjoyed this blog and found it helpful! Open to eloping in Ohio? Check out this blog here: https://katelegtersphotography.com/photo-tips-for-your-ohio-elopement/