Ohio Elopement Guide 2024 – the Best Places to Elope in Ohio


February 7, 2022

If you want a peaceful, serene wedding day where you’re surrounded by nature – waterfalls, hills, forests, and lakefront views – consider tying the knot in Ohio! Located in the Midwest, the state is incredibly underrated, and when you elope in Ohio, you’ll find stunning views, secluded scenery, and a wedding day that’s authentic, intentional, and truly one of a kind.

Here’s what you’ll learn in this Ohio Elopement Guide:

Ohio Elopement Locations – The Best Places to Elope in Ohio

Choosing your elopement location is so unbelievably exciting – but whether you’re a local or you’re traveling here to tie the knot, narrowing down that perfect spot to tie the knot can be hard! There are so many options for Ohio elopement locations, but to help you get inspired for your unique day, here are the best places to elope in Ohio.

Hocking Hills State Park

One of the best places to elope in Ohio is Hocking Hills State Park, where you’ll find stunning waterfalls, mystical caves, woodsy trails, and endless adventures. You can take a walk through the park, you can exchange vows by a waterfall, and you can even zipline over the park or take a kayak in the river! There are also places to stay right in the park, including cute cabins, luxury lodges, charming bed and breakfasts, and even unique treehouses

Yellow Springs

Yellow Springs is a charming town in rural Ohio. It’s one of the best places to elope in Ohio for couples who want to experience the laid back culture, or to explore the local restaurants, the adorable shops, and the vibrant art scene. 

Nearby, you’ll also find plenty of outdoor adventures! The Clifton Gorge State Natural Preserve has some of the most stunning limestone canyons, and the Glen Helen Nature Preserve features waterfalls and wildflowers.

Marblehead Lighthouse State Park

If you want a waterfront ceremony with views of Lake Eerie, Marblehead Lighthouse State Park is one of the best places to elope in Ohio! The lighthouse is the oldest one still in operation on the Great Lakes, and you can climb to the top, or explore the rest of the park. For more woodsy trails and secluded spots, head to the nearby Lakeside Daisy State Natural Preserve, where you’ll see wildflowers, tree lined paths, and wide open fields!

Weather & Seasons – the Best Time to Elope in Ohio

Ohio’s weather changes a ton, so each season will bring a different experience. Before you decide on a date for your Ohio elopement, here’s what you can expect throughout the year!

Summer is the most popular time to visit Ohio, so there will be more people around, along with higher prices for lodging and travel. Ohio is also very hot, and very humid this time of year – so if you plan to elope outdoors, fall is much more comfortable! September and October are the best times to elope in Ohio, with warm but mild temperatures, fewer crowds, and stunning fall foliage.

Winters are very cold, so starting in November, temperatures drop dramatically – it’s the best time to elope if you want to avoid crowds, but it’s also very cold, very rainy, and often snowy!  Spring temperatures are pleasant but somewhat unpredictable, and because of the rainy weather, fall is the best time to elope in Ohio.

Along with the fun things about eloping – like adventures, scenic views, and promising to spend the rest of your lives together – there’s also some less fun stuff if you want to be legally married, which includes a little bit of paperwork! Here’s what you need to know to get legally married when you elope in Ohio. 

The first thing you need is a marriage license. You can get one at any county clerk’s office in the state of Ohio, but to get legally married, you need to visit a specific one. If you live in Ohio, you need to go to the county clerk’s office in the county where one (or both) of you lives. If you aren’t a resident, you can still get married here, but your marriage license needs to be from the county where your ceremony will actually take place! 

You’ll need to apply in person, so go to the county clerk’s office together no more than 60 days before your elopement ceremony. You’ll need your photo IDs, and there will be a fee. The fee depends on which office you go to, but it usually ranges from $40 – $75.

Once you get your marriage license, you can get married! During your elopement, you’ll need an officiant to sign the papers, but unlike most states, Ohio doesn’t require any witnesses. This makes it easy to have a private elopement ceremony if that’s what you want! 

You have a few options for your officiant – you can hire a professional to perform the ceremony, or you can ask a loved one to get ordained. It’s quick and easy, and can be a great way to personalize your ceremony!

Finding an Ohio Elopement Photographer

This isn’t me tooting my own horn, but one of the most important things you can do when you elope is find an experienced elopement photographer! As an Ohio elopement photographer, I’m passionate about making sure that your wedding day is exactly what you want. That means helping you pick the perfect place to elope, make sure you know about permits and marriage laws, and being your planning assistant and  your biggest supporter in crafting a day that perfectly reflects the two of you!

Ohio Elopement Packages

My Ohio elopement packages are designed to include everything you need for the perfect day – tips, advice, recommendations, custom location lists and elopement timelines, and of course, documenting every moment! 

Here is the breakdown:

  • A full elopement day photography coverage in Ohio
  • Unlimited access to me for any consultation
  • Customized Ohio elopement timeline based on your vision & unique personalities
  • Location scouting
  • Vendor and activity recommendations
  • Permit assistance
  • 60+ page elopement guide to help you in your planning process
  • Professional online gallery of high resolution photos within 8 weeks
  • Unlimited download of your photos
  • All travel fees are included!

To learn more about Ohio elopement packages, contact me! And if you’re ready to start your elopement journey, I’m ready to guide you through it.

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Mary Andrikus is a Kentucky & destination wedding, elopement & family photographer. Mary strives to create photography experience that you can relax into.

Mary believes that Black Lives matter and always; all bodies are beautiful; and LGBTQ+ individuals should have the right to respect and full equality. Mary does not and shall not discriminate folks of any race, body size, ability, gender identity, creed, sexual orientation, age, religions and national origin.