Cover image: Hermann Park’s Celebration Garden. Photo by Scott Kelley Photography.
Sure, you could get hitched at city hall, but when it comes to eloping, your options are limitless.
Whether you want a modern location, an all-inclusive venue, or a spot that is more secluded—perfect for avoiding any unwanted guests—Houston has it all.
Blisswood Bed and Breakfast
Here you find a beautiful bed and breakfast that sits on a 350-acre ranch just an hour west of Houston—a perfect weekend getaway. With the No Frills Elopement Package, it costs $500 to tie the knot in the countryside ranch’s fairytale Gazebo at Enchanted Lake—that price includes the officiant and a champagne toast. If you are looking to splurge a bit, upgrade to the “Just the Two of Us” package, which starts at $800 and also includes a petite wedding cake, cake knife, and server.
“We just make it easy for them,” owner Carol Davis says. “All they have to show up with is the marriage license.”
If you choose to elope here, you can get your photos taken by Skeeter Hagler, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, at an added cost of only $550. Considering the average wedding photographer cost is about $3,000, this is a steal.
The Oak Atelier
The Oak Atelier has four different spaces available, each with its own aesthetic. For a moody feel, pick the Elm room, which has an antique claw foot tub and an aged blue brick wall, plus if you walk through the French doors, you’ll find a dark floral mural on a concrete textured wall.
Or, for a more glass-palace feel, book The Willow, which has 17 foot ceilings, marble floors, and chandeliers. “The Willow, our glass greenhouse, makes for such a unique place to elope while still being close to the Houston area and easily accessible,” owner Leighanne Herr says.
While the individual room rates can vary, if you book all four—the full studio—it costs $250 per hour.
At the Gardens in southeast Houston, have your elopement ceremony in the beautiful, Italian-style chapel with just you and your future spouse in attendance. Make sure to have your officiant ready, and if you want to capture the memories—perhaps in front of the show-stopping, 12-foot-tall fountain—bring a photographer. After all, you’ll want to look back on this day 50 years from now.
Plan a date Monday through Thursday, and expect your wedding to cost $295. Start to finish, you’ll have an hour, which we are sure will fly by.
Celebration Garden at Hermann Park Conservancy
Tie the knot in the heart of the Museum District. Expect tall hedges and enchanting landscaping during your private ceremony in Hermann Park’s Celebration Garden.
The Express Wedding costs $500 during the peak season (March, April, May, and October) and $250 during the off season. “It was really important to the Conservancy when we were building the McGovern Centennial Garden, that we offer something affordable for Houstonians,” says Gretchen Bock, the venue manager.
The Hermann Park Conservancy is a non-profit, so after you say “I do,” the two of you can walk away knowing every penny spent will go to maintaining the beauty of the park for future generations.
Walk Up Weddings
If you feel like a honky tonk is more your aesthetic than a large, expensive wedding downtown, this is the spot for you. Walk Up Weddings offers low-budget ceremonies (from $205), so you can save for an extravagant honeymoon laying out on the sandy beaches in Hawaii or wandering the streets of Paris.
Walk-up Weddings will officiate your ceremony at North Houston dive bar and dancehall Westwind Club Monday through Friday. You can also have your elopement ceremony at the location of your choice as long as it is within 30 miles of the Westwind Club.
The first thing Elizabeth Slack, ElopeInTexas’s photographer and owner, does is hop on a call with the couple to make sure each of their needs is met for their special day. While ElopeInTexas helps couples book their elopements in Houston (local spots include Brenner’s on the Bayou, Houston Warehouse Studios, and Agave Estates), the company also has partnerships with venues and planners in the Hill Country and in Mexico.
ElopeInTexas offers two wedding packages—“Just the Two of Us” starts at $1,200 and “Mini-Wedding,” which accommodates up to 50 guests, starts at $3,250—including photos, location booking, bouquets, and more.
“The thing I love most about elopements and mini weddings is that it seems to focus more on the couple and their exact wishes, rather than the thought of pleasing everyone with a large wedding,” says Slack.