Saturday, August 7, 2010

Eloping in Madison: Part 1

Just for fun I'm going to elaborate on the following scenario, since I'm sure there are people out there who want ideas for eloping in this town. So, suppose you have 30 days to use your marriage certificate but you don't want a big production. In fact, you want it to be just you and your betrothed...and perhaps your parents and a few close friends. Where do we start? Let's narrow it down to the major players shall we? Ceremony location, reception/celebration, and a few last minute extras.

The obvious first choice is the courthouse. It conveniently has everything you need already inside, and if you choose one of the officiants listed on the county clerk's website he or she will pick up and deliver your marriage certificate for you. You have to know when your ceremony will take place, where (in this case..courthouse), and who will perform it before you can apply for the license. I don't know if there's an extra fee for using one of these officiants, but that's certainly something you could ask them yourself. You could also hire an outside officiant, like these guys, to marry you, but that would cost a significant amount of extra money. Their basic ceremony fee is $275, and if you're looking to elope partially for monetary reasons that's a decent chunk of change. However, it is an option if you want it. The courthouse is downtown inbetween the square and Lake Monona, so you could easily walk to any number of awesome restaurants, bars, and clubs downtown to celebrate.

You can also get married in one of Madison's many parks for next to nothing. All the information is laid out for you on the website as far as the 15 parks you have to choose from, which ones have shelters, what kind of permits you need, time restrictions, and fees for different locations. The parks department has made their website pretty much a one stop shop for all your wedding/elopement venue needs. Availability does fill up pretty quickly, so if you're planning your elopement at the last minute and you are determined to be married outdoors, it would probably help to go into reserving a park knowing that you won't get first choice of time and day. As long as you are flexible with date, time, and park choice you should hopefully be able to find something lovely.

This has been part 1 of eloping in Madison, WI. Next time let's talk about places to have your elopement/small wedding reception.

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