Urban Elopement Guide – How to Plan a City Elopement

urban elopement with bride and groom kissing

While I’m all about couples tying the knot out in nature, adventure doesn’t have to be about epic landscapes and getting out to the middle of nowhere! If a city elopement feels more like you, there’s plenty of gorgeous scenery to be found in town.

This guide is all about urban elopements – how to elope in the city, tips for planning a unique day, and location ideas!

Reasons to Have a City Elopement

If you’re still on the fence about where you want to elope, and whether tying the knot in an urban landscape is right for you, here are some reasons to have a city elopement! 

couple in front of sky scrappers with classic car


One of the best things about a city elopement is that it provides a location that’s usually easy to get to, without dirt roads or remote locations. This can be especially great for couples eloping with guests, who may not be down to explore the backcountry!


While trails out in nature are typically less accessible for people with disabilities, those who are older (or way younger), with a city elopement, you have more options for places to elope that are easily accessible. If the two of you want a location that you don’t have to work too hard to get to, or you want a place where you know you and your guests will have no trouble getting around, an urban elopement might be right for you!


Another great reason to elope in the city is just that you like the urban views! If you’re a fan of architecture, city skylines, and all the unique culture and scenery that the city has to offer, you’ve got plenty of options.

City Elopement Locations

One of the first decisions you’ll make to plan your elopement is which city you want to get married in. Of course, there are cities all over the world! Decide if you want your urban elopement to be close to home – in a city you already know and have explored, or if you want to travel somewhere new, or even hop on a flight abroad, maybe to Paris or Milan! 

After you’ve decided on a general spot, it’s time to figure out where your ceremony will take place. Here are some ideas for elopement locations in the city!

A Rooftop

A rooftop makes for an incredible urban elopement location – they often have some of the best views of the skyline and of the city, giving you a bird’s eye view of all the scenery. 

To find a rooftop, there are a few places you can look. Apartment buildings in downtown areas often have rooftops, so you can check out your own building, or ask a friend! Other options include restaurants, hotels, and bars – these might have rooftops, and you may be able to rent them for a private elopement!

Another unique option for a city elopement might be a parking garage. I know it may not sound too glamorous, but these tall structures sometimes have some really amazing views! They can make a great spot to drive up to (maybe in a cool vintage car?) and enjoy the sunset.

A Park

A great option for couples who want to elope in the city, but maybe want a little bit of greenery, is to find a local park! Cities nearly always have parks or gardens, which can make an amazing location for an elopement. 

City Hall

Another option for city elopements is to tie the knot in City Hall! Many cities (San Francisco, for example) have courthouses that are really well designed, with cool architecture and outdoor space. After you have your ceremony, you can go to a local park for photos, explore the city, or plan a small reception with your guests.

A Hotel

A hotel can be a great all-in-one elopement location, giving you a place to get ready, a ceremony space, and room for a small reception if you decide to invite guests! They may even have a rooftop for photos, and some amenities so that you can combine your elopement with a honeymoon.

Tips for a City Elopement 

Each elopement is unique – and deciding to tie the knot with a small ceremony is so different from planning a big wedding! To help you plan your day, here are some tips for an urban elopement.

Find a Place to Get Ready

Some city elopement locations, like a park, or city hall, may not have a place for you to get ready for the day. I always recommend finding an Airbnb or a hotel room for you to relax before the festivities! 

When you’re looking for somewhere to stay, make sure that it also makes a good place to get ready. The most important thing to consider when it comes to getting ready is lighting – look for somewhere with lots of windows and natural light. 

This will ensure that if you do makeup, you can see it in natural light – no unpleasant surprises when you leave a dimly lit room! Natural light is also super important for photos, so make sure your getting ready space is well lit, and that it’s spacious, giving you enough room to get ready without feeling cramped.

Apply for Permits or Make Reservations

Depending on your city elopement location, you may need a permit, or to reserve the space! A public space, like a park or beach, will often require a permit, while if you want to get married in a small venue, a rooftop space, or a room in a restaurant, you will usually need to reserve the space, or make a reservation. 

Once you decide where you want to elope, I’ll help you figure out all the permit info and all the requirements to have your ceremony!

Plan an Adventure

Your elopement day is a big deal – you’re getting married! Take the entire day to celebrate, and plan something unique that will truly make this an amazing day. 

After your ceremony, you can explore the city, rent a kayak at a nearby park, watch the sunset from a rooftop, have dinner with your family, celebrate with your friends… anything! Make sure the entire elopement experience is a great one.

Hire a Photographer for Your City Elopement 

You’ll need someone to document all the urban adventures, so if you’re ready to plan a city elopement, contact me!

I’ll help you find the perfect ceremony location, recommend things to do, make sure you’re in the loop on permits and marriage licenses, and I’ll have your back with everything you need to plan your unique day!


Specializing in Elopement & destination wedding photography