Eloping in New Jersey is a popular choice for many couples. New Jersey has a history of elopements, and it's not just celebrities who have committed to each other in the Garden State. So if you're thinking about eloping, here's what you need to know:


This guide will help you choose the best elopement location, what documents and permits are required, how to choose an outfit, and other tips for your special day.

Elopement is a growing trend in the United States that involves getting married without a large, formal ceremony and reception. Eloping has many benefits, including lower costs and more flexibility than traditional ceremonies. If you're thinking about eloping but aren't sure where to start, this guide will help get you off on the right foot!


What is an Elopement?

An elopement is when two people get married without any outside parties present (no family or friends). This can happen anywhere—from a courthouse in your hometown to a tropical location halfway around the world. Eloping isn't just for couples who want something small; it's also perfect for those who want something more private or intimate than traditional ceremonies allow for. Some couples choose elopements because they feel they need their loved ones there as witnesses; however, others simply prefer not having an audience during such an important event in their lives.


How to Elope in New Jersey

The first step in eloping in NJ is to get a marriage license, which you can do at most any county clerk's office. You'll need to bring your government-issued ID, such as a driver's license or passport, and be prepared to pay the fee (which varies from county-to-county). Once you've gotten the license, it will be valid for 30 days—so make sure that if your plans change during that time period and you have a last minute wedding on another day, you'll still be able to use your existing document.

After getting your marriage license, it's time to decide where exactly you want to say "I do." There are plenty of beautiful outdoor venues across New Jersey where an intimate ceremony could take place—just keep in mind that they may require some additional planning with regards to permits and insurance requirements.

If all goes according with plan on the big day itself (and nothing ever does), then congratulations! But even if something unexpected happens along the way (like accidentally walking into another ceremony) don't worry too much about anything other than having fun because at least now there won't be any doubt about whether or not this was legally recognized by all parties involved!


Eloping in New Jersey Checklist

  • Be sure to have a photographer.
  • Get your marriage license at least 30 days before the wedding date, and bring it with you on your elopement to New Jersey.
  • You can get married by a justice of the peace in any town, county or even municipality in New Jersey.

Where to Elope in New Jersey

Choosing a location can be difficult, but it doesn't have to be. There are many factors that go into your decision. You may want to choose a location close to home so you don't have to worry about travel or lodging. Or maybe you want to elope in a place that holds special meaning for the two of you, like the place where he proposed or where your family vacationed as kids. Whatever it is, make sure it's affordable and easy for anyone who wants to attend your ceremony!


What to Wear for Your Elopement in NJ

There are many different ways to elope in New Jersey. You can get married at a beach, garden, or other outdoor venue surrounded by family and friends. Or you could have an intimate ceremony with just the two of you present. No matter which option you choose, the dress code is simple: wear whatever makes YOU feel comfortable and beautiful! If it’s more of a fun day on the town kind of feeling, try wearing jeans and heels or athletic gear like shorts and sneakers. If this is more of an intimate affair where it’s just going to be the two of you exchanging vows together then opt for something dressier like a cocktail dress or sleek pantsuit that still allows for movement through all those picturesque locations around New Jersey!


When to Elope in NJ

The first thing you should decide is when you'd like to elope. Eloping in NJ can be done at any time of year, but if you would like the ceremony to be outdoors, we recommend checking the weather forecast for your location. Make sure that it's not too hot or cold; if it's raining outside, make sure there's enough time for the rain to let up before your ceremony starts; and if there are other factors (like wind) that could negatively affect your photos or video footage, plan accordingly!

If there are any special events happening while you're getting married in NJ—like a work conference or family reunion—we advise keeping these dates in mind as well. A lot of couples choose to get married on their anniversary so they can celebrate with their loved ones later on, but this might mean having an impromptu ceremony instead of planning everything out ahead of time. If this sounds like something that would suit your style better than having a traditional wedding day where all eyes were on just two people getting married instead!


What documents are needed to get married in New Jersey?

  • One of the most important things to know about getting married in New Jersey is that you may need to bring with you certain documents when it comes time to ask for a marriage license. In fact, the state's requirements are pretty strict, and if the clerk at your local county office sees something missing or incomplete on your paperwork, he or she might not be able to issue a license right away.
  • But don't worry! We're here to help! Here are some things you will need:
  • A certified copy of your birth certificate
  • A social security card/number (one per person)
  • A driver’s license or passport (one per person)
  • Divorce decree (if applicable)


Where can you be married in NJ? What are the rules?

There's no need to travel out of state for your elopement! You can be legally married anywhere in NJ, including churches, courthouses, or any other location. To get married in New Jersey you must give 24 hours notice and submit an application to the state Division of Vital Statistics (vitalrecords@dhs.nj.gov). Once your application is approved by the NJ Vital Records office, you can go through with the ceremony at any time during business hours on the same day that it was submitted—no waiting period required!


If you'd like a judge or justice of peace to perform your wedding ceremony instead of just having friends sign off on an affidavit at city hall (which requires no witnesses), then all you have to do is call ahead and let them know when and where—they'll be happy do so for free!


Do I need a ceremony before or after getting my license?

You can get your license and then have a ceremony at the location you got your license or at a different location. If you'd like to elope and do not want an officiant present, we recommend getting your marriage license first and then having a wedding ceremony as soon as possible since this document expires 60 days after it is issued.


What are the rules for eloping in NJ?

Eloping in NJ is relatively straightforward. You just need to be 18 years of age or older and have a valid form of identification. You also must bring a witness who can attest to your identity and that you are not married, engaged, or otherwise restricted from marrying someone else at this time.

In addition to those general requirements, there are several more specific rules regarding elopements:

  • Elopements aren't allowed after sunset on Fridays and Saturdays (or before sunrise on Saturdays). This restriction only applies to non-religious ceremonies that take place outdoors, so if you'd like an evening ceremony but still want it on Friday evening instead of Saturday morning, go right ahead!
  • The ceremony must take place within New Jersey state borders—so no traveling across state lines for your big day!


Look for locations with beautiful grounds, like hotel resorts or b&bs; these places are often willing to work with couples who want something small and intimate without breaking the bank on an elaborate wedding party

If you're interested in learning more about budget-friendly options for your wedding photography, please contact us today! We'd be happy to chat with you about our packages and discounts. Thank you for reading!


Affordable Wedding photography by Fungirlwithacamera Photography.


Hope from Fungirlwithacamera Photography specializes in affordable wedding photography as well as backyard wedding photography and small intimate weddings. Currently accepting weddings in East Brunswick, Highland Park and surrounding areas in New Jersey.