bride and groom eloping in mn ice castle

Eloping in MN – Fire + Ice Stillwater Elopement

April 21, 2020


posted in:

Elopements, Wedding

How to Elope in Minnesota

Marriage License

Before eloping in MN, you’ll need a mаrriаgе liсеnѕе. These are valid for weddings anywhere in the state for 6 months.

I’d recommend grabbing your license a couple of months before you plan to elope. However, if you want to tie the knot sooner, there is no waiting period after you’ve obtained one!

You’ll need a valid driver’s license or ID card, as well as your social security number to complete the application. If you don’t live in, but plan to get married in Minnesota, no worries! You don’t have to be a resident to elope in MN.

The fee to obtain your marriage license is $115. However, this can be reduced to $40 with premarital counseling.

Although the office you’ll want to get your license from varies from county to county, you can begin your application here. This site will give you more specific instructions on what your next steps should be.


You can hire an officiant, minister, family member or anyone who is ordained for your elopement in MN. That person must be 21 and must file their official credentials in any MN county


The state of MN requires 2 witnesses, who must be over the age of 16.

For some eloping couples, this means your photographer and videographer can double as witnesses. Others prefer inviting a few close friends or family members.

If you’re not sure whether you want to invite guests or move forward with a true elopement, I recommend taking some time to talk things through. You should address what your core values are and the reasons why you’d choose to elope with or without guests.

After you’ve thought through what your day could look like from both sides, choose what is right for you – not what anyone else expects of you.

Remember, you can also do a combination of the two!

This could mean you say your vows – just the two of you. Then, meet up with a small group for dinner and cocktails afterward!

Timing (Engagement Period)

Although it hasn’t always been the case, today many elopements are well planned for and have as long of an engagement period as traditional weddings.

If you do hope to hаvе a fаѕt wedding, thеrе аrе ѕоmе locations whеrе this will be difficult. This is because some states have muсh mоrе strict mаrriаgе liсеnѕе requirements.

Chаnсеѕ are, no mаttеr whеrе уоu live in thе Unitеd Stаtеѕ, уоu’re only a state away frоm somewhere thаt dоеѕn’t hаvе such ѕtringеnt lаwѕ.

Sоmе ѕtаtеѕ, like MN, hаvе nо waiting реriоd rеgаrdlеѕѕ оf уоur rеѕidеnсу ѕtаtuѕ. Nеvаdа is another оnе оf thоѕе states. This makes Minnesota, Rеnо аnd Lаѕ Vegas some of the tор destinations fоr quickie wеddingѕ. Both states hаvе nо wаiting реriоd, blood test requirements аnd their mаrriаgе liсеnѕеѕ аrе budget friendly.

Wisconsin iѕ another grеаt location thаt has no waiting реriоd for out of ѕtаtе rеѕidеntѕ.

When to Elope in MN (Days + Time of Day)

By choosing less popular times and days of the week you can open up a lot of opportunity to utilize spaces for your MN elopement that are otherwise busy.

City, state and national parks have more traffic on the weekends. This means that Monday-Thursday elopements can give you more privacy and freedom to use different areas without disturbing the park’s other guests.

In addition, many wedding vendors will offer discounted rates for weekday elopements.

You can also choose to do an early morning or sunrise ceremony. Saying your vows outside of peak hours can create an intimate setting as well as give you the gift of golden light.

Coming from a photographer, my two favorite times of day to shoot are sunrise and sunset. If photos are important to you, this is reason enough to consider a sunrise elopement.

Maybe an outdoors elopement in Minnesota isn’t your cup of tea? You can consider using St. Paul City Hall’s lobby outside of normal hours or reserving greenhouses, museums and zoos before they open.

Where to Elope in MN

Pro Tip – The perfect elopement location is often times one that can double as your honeymoon!


There are too many outdoor elopement locations in MN to list, but here are a few to get you started!

  • Voyageurs National Park
  • Interstate State Park
  • Black Beach
  • Palisade Head
  • Mill City Ruins Park


Here are a few indoor MN elopement venues, but this is by no means an extensive list. With tiny weddings, you have the ability to get creative and utilize spaces that aren’t suitable for a big wedding.

  • St. Paul City Hall Lobby
  • Como Park Conservatory
  • Local Breweries
  • Greenhouses
  • Library
  • Landmark Center – St. Paul


Eloping couples often overlook permits. Some even think they don’t need one, since they’ll be in and out. Please, don’t be this person.

If you plan to use a public space for your ceremony, you most likely are required to have a permit.

If you go about your elopement in MN legally, it will take so much of your stress and worry away. Imagine if you were about to have your elopement and had to relocate because you didn’t have the proper permits.

If you’re planning to use an indoor elopement venue, you’ll want to coordinate with that venue and pay the proper fees.

Finally, if you’re ready to elope in MN, I’d love be a part of the process!

The best time to reach out, is before your plans are set in stone so that we can work out the best date and I can help with your elopement planning.

Click here to talk to me!

If you’re still unsure, you can read more on the benefits of eloping here!

Have your heart set on a warmer elopement? Click here to learn how to elope in Joshua Tree, CA!

Vendor List for Eloping in MN:

Photography – Breeanna Kay Photography, Venue – Stillwater, MN Ice Castles, Florist – Moody Hues Floral, Desert – Amy’s Cupcake Shoppe, Furniture Rental – Chipped & Chiseled, Bridal Shop – The White Room, Paper Goods – The Curly Quill, Hair/Makeup – Plush Beauty Lounge

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