So, our family recently moved from NYC to the Poconos in East Stroudsburg PA, And I love this place. It’s so beautiful and a really interesting tale of two cities. What I love the most about the Pocono mountains is an almost magical old world feeling. Filled with these cute and super beautiful towns on the side of a mountain, like Jim Thorpe, to some grittier locations like Stroudsburg and and East Stroudsburg that have abandoned factories and abandoned hotels like the old Penn Stroud.
For as long as I can remember an elopement was a term used for people getting married in secrecy, even the city hall wedding was frowned upon in some circles, If you dont go big, its almost as if it didn’t happen. Well thank god that is over. Elopements now hold space for people not wanting to spend money, or don’t have the money to spend. too laid back couples who aren’t into big parties and are more reserved.
In PA, couples can marry themselves in a self-uniting marriage ceremony (also known as a “Quaker marriage”). Super interesting as not many states in the USA have this. And I personally think its amazing !
You can also do something more traditional and get officiated as well, in a church of your choosing, or hire a private officiant and do it pretty much any where..
I think the benefits of doing it alone is the true intimacy of the experience, honoring each other in this deep way with no distractions.
However with that being said, it’s also amazing to have close friends and family, or children present, as its often equally as meaningful for them.
Well first of all it can be better for the environment, for your pockets, and for your mental well being.
What does eloping in PA cost? Most elopements with good quality photography will run you around $1,500-$2,500 thats with officiation and an out door free venue, maybe 10 guests, a bottle or 2 of champaign and some cupcakes. Some folks splurge a little more, and will rent a small venue or an Airbnb, and then you can get up to 5-10K. Elopements in general are more affordable than traditional weddings, which often at bare minimum are around $31,000 in Pennsylvania based on The Knot’s Real Wedding Study. I’d say its a no brainer, but everyone is different and folks really need to decide whats right for them and going to mean the most.
In Pennsylvania, it’s often easiest to get a marriage license from your local courthouse (you’ll want to search “[Your City] Court of Orphans” to get started).
Typically, there will be a small fee (usually around $80 dollars or so) to file the paperwork, and you and your fiancé will need to be there to file and sign paperwork together. They will typically make you wait a few days until you can pick up your license, but once you have it in hand you can get married anywhere in PA within 60 days. It’s super simple!
Elopements range from just the couple to upwards of 25 people. The number of guests usually depends on the location I usually say a true elopement is between 10-25 guests.
Some places to Elope that are well known in The Poconos are:
Also a few other interesting venues are.
Adventurous locations can be found in county, state, and federal parks. From easy and popular hiking trails like the Hawk Falls trail in Hickory Run State Park, to more scenic opportunities like the Ricketts Glen State Park waterfall trail.
A few more
And then of course you can always just elope in your backyard, a dope scenic spot that means something to you, the facade of an old factor building, a rail road track that looks off into infinity, a mountain top, go for a hike and find something together. The mountains are vast and have so much room to play and be creative.
So, with all this being said, The Poconos are a really good option for an elopement, and can easily turn into a whole weekend getaway.