Eloping is a big decision and an excellent alternative for couples that love adventure and prefer to avoid the hassle of organizing a big event with many guests. After making your mind to elope, you need to decide where to go.
If you are still unsure about where to go, let me tell you all the wonders Wisconsin has for you. I know it does not sound like the most exciting place in the world, but if you look carefully, there are gems here in Wisconsin. And here is all the information you need, from the legal details to the best locations for your ceremony and ideal places to stay.
Elopements are more than just taking off and getting married in secret. It would be best if you did a little planning and, most of all, make sure you make it legal. There are two ways to go when eloping. You can get legally married in your hometown and have a symbolic ceremony at your destination or do it all in the same place. If you are planning on getting legally married in Wisconsin, this is what you need to know:
You need to obtain a marriage license. If you are Wisconsin residents, you should get it at the County you have resided for at least 30 days before making the application. If both are nonresidents, you should request your license at the County where the ceremony will be performed. You can obtain your license up to 30 days before the wedding and an extra fee one week before.
As for who can officiate your wedding, you have many options. From having an officiant, judge, clergy member, or even just the two of you. Yes, you read that right, if you want to be only the two of you, you can. There is something called Self Uniting Marriage where you can marry yourselves.
For all the other documents and paperwork needed, here is a handy checklist:
– Obtain a marriage license from the County of residence or where you will perform the ceremony if nonresident.
– Valid photo ID.
– Certified birth certificates from the County you were born.
– Proof of residency.
– Previous marriage documents (if applicable, divorce, legal annulment, death certificate).
– Date of the ceremony.
– Location of the ceremony.
– Officiant information.
– Social Security number.
– Application Fee.
*This is general information, check with you County for any additional requirement.
Wisconsin is a State with distinct four seasons if you are looking for a magnificent landscape to complement your elopement. There is no best time of the year. It will depend on what you like, from blooming greenery to orange and red changing leaves, Wisconsin has it all. You will find a forest, lakes, hills, and rivers. Here is a quick guide to our four seasons:
Starting in March, with warm days and cold nights, drizzles and rain are expected. You can find snow in the northern highlands. If you plan an outdoor elopement, I recommend avoiding March and April. May will be perfect for you with warm days and nights. With average temperatures of 70°F (21.1°C) to 48°F (8.9°C).
June brings the warmer time of the year, but also the rainiest. During June, thunderstorms are frequent. July is the hottest month for Wisconsin, perfect for outdoor activities and light clothing. August will also be warm and rainy, which translates into beautiful landscapes. Temperatures during summer range between 83°F (28.3°C) and 52°F (11.1°C).
A beautiful season for Wisconsin, with little rain and long warm days. Check the weather during September as it is tornado season. You get to enjoy the best of autumn during October as leaves start to turn into brilliant new colors. Mild weather is the norm, with warm days and cold nights. Temperature is around 74°F (23.3°C) during the day and 45°F (7.2°C) at night.
Cold temperatures arrive with November as the first snowfall. Days will become shorter and sunny days are less frequent. By December, you can expect freezing temperatures during day and night, from 34°F (1.1°C) to 6°F (-14.4°C). January is the coldest month of the year, making it difficult for outdoor activities. It is also the snowiest month of the year. If you enjoy cold and white days, this is the perfect season for you. Expect freezing temperatures of up to -30°F (-34.4°C).
Wisconsin’s largest state park, with amazing views overlooking a 360-acre lake, you can enjoy trails, sandy beaches, and the east bluffs. It is popular during the summer but also offers fantastic landscapes during the autumn and winter seasons.
About an hour away from Minneapolis, this state park characterizes by its privacy and solitude. You will have the feeling of being miles away from everything. Summer and fall are ideal for this location. You will have trees and beautiful rocks surrounding you everywhere you look.
Situated in Lake Superior, this wonderful town has many adventures for you and also cozy places to stay in. If you are an adventurous couple, here you will find sea caves and some of the best kayaking routes in the world.
If you are planning on visiting Bayfield, do not miss the opportunity of going to this island. You can get there by taking a ferry. Big Bay State Park is on the island where you can find bogs, boreal forest, barrier beach, and old-growth hemlock. Winter is not the best season to visit this site. The best time is between June and September.
Home of many state parks as Potawatomi, Whitefish Dunes, Peninsula, and Newport. Being a Peninsula, Door County offers miles and miles of land surrounded by water. Suppose you are looking for some real privacy, head to Washington Island, just a five-mile ferry ride from the peninsula. You will be just where Lake Michigan and Green Bay meet. This island offers many places to stay and eat, and there is even a famous lavender farm where you will have amazing pictures taken.
Are you looking for some natural adventure? Here you will find a wild river, rapids, and a beautiful coniferous forest. This is a perfect spot for some unique pictures.
You will find unique and unusual cabins, lodges, bed and breakfast, and hotels all around the state.
If you are heading to Bayfield, do not miss the opportunity of staying in a real treehouse. Boulder Ridge Tree House sits 12 feet off the ground, pine trees and lakes surround the area. You will have a romantic getaway without question.
Door County has The Inn at Windmill Farm. This farm has grape arbors, apple and cherry orchards, and a vegetable garden, the perfect way to escape from routine.
Were you looking to accommodate many guests? White’s Wildwood Retreat is one of the Chippewa Valley’s best-kept treasures. It is a classic wood cabin located between Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls. It accommodates up to 21 guests.
Now you have a clear view of everything Wisconsin has to offer for your elopement. You can have a summer wedding, a snowy winter one, and there are tons of options for an adventurous couple.
If you’re interested in having an elopement in Wisconsin let’s talk!