How to Elope in Kansas City
Updated: Mar 25
You've decided on your person, but the wedding? If you're looking for ways to elope in Kansas City, by having a simple, stress-free, debt-free journey to legal matrimony, you're in the right place!
Now, first thing's first: what do you mean by eloping?
Are you picturing a quick trip to the courthouse, a private ceremony in your backyard under the stars, or maybe even a beautiful location with photography and a few guests? Do you imagine saying your own vows, wearing a special outfit, or walking down the aisle to special music?
There are so many ways to elope, and your style, values, and capacity for planning will determine the best route for you. Keep reading, and you'll find out how to elope in Kansas City-style.
This is the definition of no-frills, no stress, no expense... but nothing personal. A courthouse ceremony will get you legally married quickly and easily, but there's no ceremony, no vows, no exchanging of rings, just signing paperwork.
Sound like the perfect solution? Here's how you do it:
First, apply for a marriage license. You can do so by heading to any county recorder's office in Jackson County. You'll have to go together, bring photo identification for the both of you, along with a Social Security Card and the $50 fee.
Acceptable forms of ID includes:
Missouri ID or State ID
Certified copy of U.S. Birth Certificate, plus U.S. government-issued photo ID
Government ID card with government-issued ID number
Your license will be valid when issued, and remains valid for up to 30 days. In Jackson County your marriage license will be valid anywhere in the state of Missouri until the license expires. After 30 days, you will have to apply for a renewal and pay the applicable fees again.
Want to dress it up? You'll be able to wear a special outfit and carry flowers, even bring a photographer to capture the first few moments of wedded bliss. You can get married in any county, so try looking for more attractive buildings in nice areas, then enjoy the area afterward. You can celebrate at a restaurant or with cake and champagne back at home.
Alternatively, you don't have to sign the license at the courthouse! That means that if you have the time, the desire, and the resources, you can make your elopement even more magical.
Elopement Ceremony (one way)
Does the idea of no ceremony make you a little sad? The moment you become partners for life doesn't have to be a big elaborate event, but it doesn't have to be cold and administrative either. You can bring together a few key details, find a beautiful spot, and make your elopement ceremony a lot more meaningful.
Is this more your style? The essential components are an officiant, two people, two witnesses, and a cool backdrop. You'll probably want a pretty cool elopement look and a photographer as well, maybe some flowers. You can walk down the aisle, say your own vows, exchange rings, and have the heartfelt ceremony you're imagining.
There are some gorgeous spots right here in Kansas City that can provide a beautiful elopement backdrop. Whether you're looking for...
Rivers, lakes, and bluffs
Wide open landscapes
...Missouri has got you covered. Because all you need is an officiant and witnesses, you can get married just about anywhere. Depending on your plans, just be sure to make the appropriate reservations or explain your plans to the appropriate people make sure it's okay. For public grounds you will need a special event permit, so head to the City of Kansas City, Public Works Department (Permits Division) to apply. The simpler and less obtrusive, the better. If you're not sure, just ask! If you have a photographer, they'll be a great resource, especially for outdoor ceremonies.
Alternatively, you can even look into renting a small space for private use:
Authentic cabins and barns
AirBnb's, Bed and Breakfasts
Cool restaurants, coffee shops, lounges
Elopement Ceremony (another way)
photo: Chelsea Dawn Weddings
Perhaps you're not in a rush, have a strong budget, and you're willing to put some work into your celebration. You don't want a wedding, but you still want to celebrate, and you're looking for ways to celebrate both beautifully and meaningfully.
When you narrow it down, most people want to begin their married life by creating happy memories, and there's no reason your elopement shouldn't have just as many happy memories as any other marriage.
Don't be afraid to create a meaningful experience and set the ambiance, this is your wedding day no matter who you do (or don't) invite! The biggest things to keep in mind are what you want to experience and how you want to remember it.
Who is there? Is anyone standing with you at the altar?
How do you want the space to feel? Is it simple and minimalist or luxe and fully designed?
What music is playing as you walk down the aisle? Is it live or coming from a speaker?
What makes you feel incredible? What will you wear? Do you want to start the day at the salon?
You can make a vacation out of it and find an incredible AirBnb to say your vows with photography and a private chef, you can turn your home into a gorgeous ceremony space with live music, you can do whatever the hell you want as long as you celebrate wholeheartedly.
If plans start to get exhausting or difficult to manage, but you don't want to skimp on any of the details, consider working with an elopement planner.
Elope in Kansas City: Elopement Packages
photo: Kuburas Photography
Like the idea of something special, but planning starts getting overwhelming again? A package is a great way to get married in a beautiful environment in a stress-free, simple, but special way.
A Serenity Wedding is geared toward those couples who are wanting a meaningful ceremony without having to plan it all. You get everything you need AND you get to pick details from a menu. It's what I needed when I was fed up and tired (and canceled my wedding), I hope it helps!
Check out our custom Elopement Packages for Kansas City Couples
Please Note: State and county marriage license requirements often change. The above information is for guidance and should not be regarded as legal advice. If you're looking to elope in Kansas City and need assistance coordinating your wedding logistics, contact us for the most current information.
Happy eloping, lovebirds!