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Dallas Venues, Weddings

Where to Elope in Dallas

where to elope in dallas

Where to elope in Dallas?? A question I’m getting more this year than any other! Elopements are truly having their moment in 2020! (And not just because of covid.) Lots of couples are realizing that eloping isn’t just running off to Vegas to hide your marriage from your family– that’s your parents kind of elopement. 2020 elopements are all about intentionality and creating an authentic and special experience just for the couple. Maybe you’re looking to elope because there is tension with your family, maybe your family is so big that it will either be super expensive to have everyone or awkward to shrink your guest count, maybe you don’t want the traditional church wedding and want something outdoors and laid back!

Whatever your reasons are for eloping, they are valid!

Weddings have become a massive industry, machine. There is so much pressure to have the perfect day- in the eyes of your family, instagram followers, and society. But that’s not how it should be! Weddings should be a celebration of you and your partner and your commitment to each other. They should be fun, they should be (relatively) stress-free, they should be exciting! I see so many couples getting into the wedding planning process and dreading their upcoming day. They’re worried about overbearing mothers, family members that don’t get along, the weather, the seating charts… And they lose sight of their day. They want to just get it over with. If any of this is resonating with you, maybe you should consider eloping! And if you’ve already made that decision but don’t know where to go next, I’ve got you!

Here are my top suggestions for where to elope in Dallas

Firstly, a few boring legalities that are still super important! In order for your marriage to be legal in the state of Texas you need 1) a marriage license. You can apply in any county (needs to be at least 72 hours before your ceremony) and returned to the county you’re getting married in. And 2) to be married by a licensed or ordained minister, priest, rabbi. Or a an active or retired judge/justice of the peace. Note: it is free and relatively easy to become a licensed officiant, so a family or friend can officiate!

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens

The Arboretum is my top recommendation for where to elope in Dallas. It’s a relatively easy and cost effective location and absolutely gorgeous! There are loads of different spots throughout the garden which allows for multiple ceremonies throughout the day. Here are some of my favorite locations. (Not all photos are from actual elopements, but I think you’ll get the idea of what your elopement would look like at each spot!)

Peak months with increased costs for the Arboretum:

  • March–June
  • September–December

Off season months with discounted prices for the Arboretum:

  • January–February
  • July–August

You book a 2 hour time slot which reserves the space solely for you and includes the set up and tear down time.

  • 9–11am
  • 12–2pm
  • 3–5pm

The Poetry Garden

The details: 10 person capacity, one hour, standing room only

Peak: $550 | Non-Peak: $400

Why I love it: I love the Poetry Garden because of it’s gorgeous white, walls. Each season looks completely different here. But it’s always lush with gorgeous flowers and colors. It feels very secluded and private, since you are literally walled in on all sides.

Some downsides: There is no overhead shade, which can make this spot super hot in the summers and with direct sun. If you’re set on the Poetry Garden I highly recommend the earliest morning slot in the summer or latest evening slot in the winter. The garden has standing room only, but does have 2 iron benches, so if you have up to 4 guests they will be able to sit.

The Pecan Parterre

The details: 10 person capacity, one hour, standing room only

Peak: $550 | Non-Peak: $400

Why I love it: The Pecan Parterre has lots of shade and features a massive pecan tree in the center. It is directly next to the Poetry Garden, which means you get the exterior of the gorgeous walls plus the benefit of shade.

Some downsides: The space is a little awkward, it’s a circular space which makes it tricky for guests. If you’re planning on using the section in front of the Poetry Garden there might be another ceremony happening right there as well. Something I would definitely check on before booking this space!

Above image from Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Gardens

Orchid Hollow

The details: 10 person capacity, one hour, standing room only

Peak: $550 | Non-Peak: $400

Why I love it: This spot is probably the most secluded and private of all the locations. It also has plenty of shade- making it probably my favorite of all the locations!

Some downsides: There aren’t near as many flowers and colors as the previous spots. Sometimes the waterfall is running and other times it’s not.

Above image from Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Gardens

Take a Virtual Tour of the Orchid Hollow

Larger Elopement Spots at the Arboretum

Karen’s Gazebo

The Details: 25 person capacity, two hours, chairs included

Peak: $850 | Non-Peak: $600

The Lowdown: Not very secluded but a great spot if you want a shaded location with slightly larger occupancy.

Take a Virtual Tour of Karen’s Gazebo

Nancy’s Garden

The Details: 50 person capacity, two hours, chairs included

Peak: $1200 | Non-Peak: $900

The Lowdown: Very secluded, lots of shade and gorgeous flowers. The most expensive of all the smaller, elopement spots.

Take a Virtual Tour of Nancy’s Garden

Fort Worth Botanical Gardens

My other top suggestion for where to elope in Dallas is the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens. This spot also has several spots that you can choose from depending on the number of your guests and general vibe you’re aiming for.

Pricing varies quite a bit depending on the season and availability so you can call 817-392-5464 for their current rate.

The Japanese Garden

The details: 15-30 person capacity depending on if you choose the enclosed Lake Arbor or larger open Mikoshi deck, $450 for two hours, chairs can be rented for $5/chair, bridal suite can be added on for $50/hr.

Why I love it: This garden has lots of shade and visual interest. There are so many cool spots throughout the garden that you can choose as your backdrop. And the colors are absolutely gorgeous! If you’re wanting something unique, this is a great choice!

Some downsides: The locations aren’t as private as some of the Arboretum locations, but not many downsides!

Rose Garden

The details: 75-100 person capacity depending on if you choose the enclosed Shelter House or larger lower lawn, $450 for two hours, chairs can be rented for $5/chair, bridal suite can be added on for $50/hr.

Why I love it: The garden views are gorgeous and it’s a large amount of space, so it feels private. A great affordable option for a larger group of people.

Some downsides: There isn’t at much variety in this garden, so your photos will have similar style backdrops. If you’re planning on a super small elopement, the space might seem overwhelming.

Courthouse Wedding

For some, a traditional courthouse wedding might be the best fit! One thing I love about courthouse weddings is how lowkey and easy they are. You don’t have to worry about going anywhere to file your license or looking for an officiant. You also then get the flexibility of choosing a completely unique and different photo location for your wedding photos afterwards.

I’ve only photographed one courthouse near the Arboretum, but after lots of research the most photogenic courthouse seems to be Tarrant County Courthouse! It looks to have lots of natural light and really great exterior architecture. It costs $100 for an appointment.

If you have any questions about where to elope in Dallas or planning your upcoming Dallas elopement, I’d love to chat with you! You can send me a message here!

If you liked this post on where to elope in Dallas, why don’t you check out some of these other posts you might like:

15 Questions to Ask Your Potential Wedding Photographer

Bridal Photos at the Space on Southside

What to Wear for your Engagement Photos