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.
“WOW! We could not recommend Gianna enough as a wedding photographer. The day of Gianna was fun, professional, and helped us make the most of every shot. She seems to have an eye for finding the perfect shot wherever we went throughout Brooklyn and knew where to take us to find interesting street art and views. She brought a positive vibe and great energy throughout. If you are looking for fun and unique shots, look no further!”Gabby & Tom
“Gianna is a master of her craft & an all around incredible person who we are *so* grateful to have gotten to work with. Planning to have a tiny wedding ceremony in 2020 was a rollercoaster, but the stars really aligned when we found Gianna. Her photojournalistic style is so special; she captured us, our day, and the neighborhood we love so beautifully. Our wedding was very intimate, and Gianna fit right in & made us all feel at ease. It was a privilege to work with such a passionate and talented artist whose unique vision we could trust implicitly. If you’re looking for a photographer who will capture your day in a way you will treasure forever – seriously look no further! Each image is such a gift. We can’t thank you enough, Gianna!”Dylan & Jordan
“Gianna was such an amazing part of our wedding. She was so flexible, accommodating, and friendly. Everyone loved her work. She first shot an engagement shoot with us and after that we knew we wanted her for the wedding. Those photos were a hit and everyone wanted to know who shot us. She was attentive when taking shots guiding us to get the most flattering ones and patient when we needed breaks or weren’t feeling the shots. She’s super down to earth and intuitive. We have her bookmarked for any future events and gave her info out to guests as well.”Mischa & Samir
“I cannot say enough good things about Gianna. Her documentary-style vibe was the perfect fit for our more laid-back elopement + party. We never wanted anything to feel forced or cheesy. She has genuinely mastered the art of taking authentic and real pictures that are still so beautiful.
Not only is her work amazing, but she made everything feel so comfortable and easy. We all genuinely had a blast running around all over NEPA taking photos. It was a truly magical day and Gianna played a huge role in that!”
“Gianna was brilliant I’m so happy we chose her to photograph our wedding. She was very flexible with timings (even last minute changes on the morning of) and made us feel relaxed and ourselves. My favorite thing is that she shot on film and digital, so special to have both mediums. She’s truly a master of her craft and a wonderful human. Thanks Gianna for giving us the best memories to keep forever”Olivia & David
“So when you elope from Tennessee to have your wedding in NYC you want the best of everything; the best location, the ceremony, and the best photographer, and that is what we had! Gianna made our wedding a true fairytale! Gianna brought the city to us! Our photos were so unique and creative. We had so much fun traveling around the city that she knows so well. She captured the brilliance and magic of her New York and shared it with us, making our day so very special. The photos bring back the feel of day to us each time we see them.”Lucy & Gary
“Gianna was an absolute pleasure to work with. Her passion, charisma, and energy really shines in her elopement photography. Her attention to detail and professionalism really blew us away. We couldn’t have asked for a better photographer for our New York City wedding. Gianna has a strong knowledge of the city and knew all of the best places to take stunning photos. Our family and friends could not get over how well our photos turned out and thought they should be featured in magazines! We will always have such vivid memories from our special day whenever we look at Gianna’s photos. Thank you for everything Gianna!”Chris & Gillian
“Sometimes thank you doesn’t seem enough. You amazed us. When we first booked our wedding we had our fingers crossed we’d get to have you as our photographer and we can’t tell you how happy we were when we got you! Your passion and love for what you do shines through. It’s so lovely to watch someone who has truly found their unique talent in this world. We know every photo you took could not have been taken by anyone else. Our photos are beautiful, you’ve captured our happiest moments and turned them into something so special for us and our family. Thank you for everything – you are one of a kind. “Jemma & Matt