Although small in size, Vermont is aplenty with beauty. With the stunning Green Mountains cutting through the center of the state, and one of the largest fresh-water bodies of water in the United States in Lake Champlain, there is no shortage of beautiful locations to plan your perfect Vermont elopement. Additionally, any questions you may have about tying the knot in Vermont can be easily accessed online so you can avoid unneeded confusion and ensure the legalities of the elopement process go smoothly. So, what should you know about eloping in Vermont? Read on to find out and as always feel free to contact me with any questions about my Vermont Elopement Packages!
Vermont Marriage Laws
Any two people over the age of 16 may obtain a civil marriage in the state of Vermont, however, if you are above 16 but below 18 years of age, written consent of a parent or guardian is required. With a valid Vermont wedding license, you can get married anywhere in the state of Vermont. A Supreme Court justice, a superior court judge, a district judge, a judge of probate, an assistant judge, a justice of the peace, or an ordained or licensed member of the clergy can be your wedding officiant. Any person over the age of 18 may pay a fee of $100 to register to become a temporary officiant for a marriage. That means it is very easy for a friend or family member to marry you at your elopement in Vermont, which can be a great option if you’re having a few guests.
You have to sign and deliver the license to the officiant before the marriage is performed, and after the ceremony, the officiant should fill out and sign the marriage license and return the certificate to the town clerk’s office where it was issued within 10 days of the wedding. If you are going to use a temporary officiant, include a copy of their certificate of authorization when returning the signed wedding certificate.
Getting Your Marriage License
Getting a marriage license isn’t included in my Vermont elopement packages but it is a fairly straightforward process. Vermont residents need to apply in their current town of residence. Couples from out of the state may apply in any town in Vermont. A wedding license costs $60 and is valid for 60 days after it is issued.
Basic information about yourself is necessary, most of which can be certified by a copy of your birth certificate. Additionally, you may have to answer questions about previous civil unions and marriages if needed and ensure that you are married after the date a previous marriage of civil union is legally dissolved. If you would like a copy of your signed and finished marriage certificate, you can get copies for $10.
When to Elope in Vermont
When is the best time to elope in Vermont? It all depends on you! Fall time is a phenomenal time for choosing Vermont elopement packages as trees turn all shades of red, yellow, and orange. Daytime temperatures are still comfortably warm, though it does cool off at night. In later fall, you may be able to catch some frost in the morning hours to make for some stunning photos, though you may need to dress warmly, as early snowstorms are not uncommon, especially in the higher elevations of the mountains.
Winter is another beautiful time to visit Vermont. Though some extra preparation needs to be made due to the frigid temperatures, which often average in the single digits. Wind can make those frigid temperatures feel even colder! This being said, if you do decide to brave the elements, you will be rewarded with nearly immaculate mountain and forest views often untouched by anyone but you!
If you prefer warmer weather, spring or summer elopement may be for you. Starting in April, the weather starts to warm and snowfall turns to rain as the colder weather begins to recede, leaving behind rivers and lakes full of water. However, beware of mud, but especially the black flies, which, depending on the year, can last until late spring and can leave a painful welt after they bite. Summer is warm, sometimes with highs into the 90’s in lower elevations, while many mountains maintain more pleasant weather, perfect for hiking, biking, boating, fishing, and camping, among other things. A late summer date could be the perfect season for Vermont elopement packages at a lake, as the weather is warm and the sun is out, making that water look a bit more tempting than usual.
Locations for Vermont Elopement Packages
Vermont offers a wide variety of beautiful settings for your elopement. The Green Mountains sport the highest peak in the state, Mount Mansfield, along with the famous Camel’s Hump. Both of these make for popular mountain Vermont elopement packages locations. Crisp streams and lakes are abundant here, as well as a variety of flora and fauna. The town of Stowe, a beautiful summer or winter destination, lies in the Green Mountains, and rightfully calls itself the ski capital of the east. To the west, in the fertile Champlain Valley lies the gorgeous Lake Champlain, and along its shores, Vermont’s largest city, Burlington.
Located in central Vermont, in a State Park it can be accessed by a difficult, medium to long hike, depending on the trail you decide to take. The Burrows Trail is the shortest and easiest approach, however, if you are feeling more adventurous, the Dean trail takes you on a challenging hike with lots of rock scrambling and high exposure. The views from the top of the mountain are quite stunning. On a clear day, you can see Lake Champlain, the Adirondacks, and even mountains as far away as New Hampshire and Canada. A hiking elopement can make for a great adventure on your wedding day!
If an arduous trek up isn’t for you, perhaps a gondola up the tallest peak in the state is more your speed. Stowe is known as the ski capital of the east but is a fantastic place to visit year-round. From hiking to skiing to ziplining, choosing a Stowe Vermont elopement packages would have something for everyone.
If you are planning a winter elopement, Stowe may be an ideal location to tie the knot. Snow covered peaks surround you, offering breathtaking views. Riding the famous Gondola SkyRide will take you to the top of Mount Mansfield and will reward you with gorgeous views of the Green Mountains as the perfect backdrop to your elopement in Vermont.
Mount Mansfield is named after its resemblance to a man’s face looking into the sky. The Gondola SkyRide is open year-round offering a trip up through the forest canopy to the peak. In warmer weather, you can take the 4.5 mile, unpaved Auto Toll Road. Mount Mansfield can also be hiked on a variety of trails presenting close-up views of the forest, wildflowers, and a variety of wildlife.
Located in Smugglers’ Notch State Park and near the town of Stowe, the Sterling Pond Trail is steep and somewhat difficult at points but is only 2.3 miles long. This rocky trail weaves through the forest and near trickling water to the tranquil Sterling Pond. This trail is also dog-friendly, but is often heavily trafficked, so picking sunrise Vermont elopement packages may be ideal for this location to avoid crowds and enjoy some more peace and quiet.
Vermont isn’t typically what you think of when you think of a beach elopement, but this is one of the many things Lake Champlain has to offer. A variety of short hikes can take you to scenic overlooks, or take a boat out onto the lake for a more relaxing, but still special day. The city of Burlington, situated on the shores of Lake Champlain also offers a variety of great breweries and restaurants to hit up after your elopement in Vermont.
Lake Willoughby is a natural glacial lake located in the northeast corner of Vermont. It is one of the largest lakes in New England and offers hiking, beaches, and even diving for those seeking more adventure! Hikes up the Mount Pisgah trail are medium length and rated as moderate, but beautiful lake and mountain vistas await at the lookouts at the summit of the trail. Lake Willoughby make a great location for all Vermont elopement packages because it is often less trafficked than other lakes in the area, which can add to the intimacy of your elopement day.
Niquette Bay is located just north of Burlington on Lake Champlain. An easy half-mile hike will take you to a small beach on the shores of Malletts Bay. Multiple easy and moderate trails will take you up small ridgelines for views of the Green Mountains and Adirondacks. The trails are well-maintained and even open for winter snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
Warren Falls is a popular swimming hole on the Mad River, near Warren in the center of Vermont. It is easily accessible by trail from a parking area off of Route 100. The water varies in depth from wading depth to depths deep enough to go cliff diving! The water can be quite chilly, but is crystal clear. The smooth sandstone and gushing water offers a large variety of stunning photography locations and plenty of fun too! Crowds can be a problem and I recommend that you plan your Vermont elopement packages on a weekday if you want to elope at this location.
Moss Glen Falls is a 125 foot tall waterfall located near Stowe and offers a short hike to the falls. The trail can be a little muddy, but is quite easy. Hiking through wetlands and along Moss Glen Brook, you will shortly see and hear Moss Glen Falls. The base of the falls can be reached by walking through the brook and over some slippery rocks. This is another popular location, so I recommend earlier in the morning or later in the evening for the most privacy.
Of course, these are only a few of the great Vermont elopement packages locations in Vermont. As your elopement photographer, I have additional beautiful locations that I know of, so don’t be afraid to ask!
Unique Places to Stay in Vermont
Looking for a place to stay while you’re having your Vermont elopement? In such a beautiful place, there is certainly no shortage of unique places to stay. From mountain resorts to cabins in the woods, there will certainly be something to suit everyone’s needs. Staying in a nice place for your elopement means you can have somewhere to get great getting ready photos, portraits, and a first look, along with providing you a romantic getaway after your elopement. Some of these places will even offer specials for Vermont elopement packages!
The Moose Meadow Lodge and Treehouse is located near Stowe, and is a great place to stay, whether it is summer or winter. Each room features a private bath, comfy log-lined walls, and a private porch, among other things. Depending on the Vermont elopement package, breakfast is available, and relaxed service is always available, making you feel right at home. Renting all four rooms at the lodge is also available for small groups.
You can also stay at one of the more special locations in Vermont at the Moose Meadow Treehouse. This beautiful 2 story tree house is supported by 2 large pines and sports 31 widows and a wrap around deck, providing you with no shortage of views. And it is just such a cool place to stay! It is the only treehouse in Vermont that is fully licensed as a bed and breakfast.
Grunberg Haus Inn and Cabins is described as an eclectic Austrain Chalet built from imagination in 1972. Each room is totally unique with private bathrooms and breakfast served. Renting the whole Haus is available and well behaved dogs are welcome. For a little more privacy, cabins are available. Set back in the Vermont woods, these cozy cabins each have a front porch, fireplace, and even records and a record player!
From studio cabins to a 7 bedroom house, Sterling Ridge Resort has options for groups of all sizes. The one bedroom cabins are a favorite of couples, and each cabin comes equipped with a wood stove or fireplace, a fully equipped kitchen, and your own porch, grill, and fire pit. Surrounding the resort are many hiking trails and within walking distance is Brewster River Park, with its many great summertime swimming holes. This is a great place to catch fall foliage as it turns red, orange, and golden in the surrounding forest.
Built in the 19th century as a summer getaway by Lila Vanderbilt Webb, this stately, brick mansion with bay windows on the shores of Lake Champlain has 24 rooms and four cottages that are available from May to October. Many include original furniture and decoration like poster beds; gilt, marble-topped tables; vanities; and floral wallpaper. Lake swimming, tennis, canoeing, and croquet are available as are guided tours of the 1,400-acre property laid out by Central Park designer Frederick Law Olmsted. The acclaimed ground-floor restaurant sources many of its ingredients from the on-site organic farm.
Conveniently located just minutes away from the center of Stowe, Vermont, Stowe Mountain Resort and other area attractions. With eight Manor House Rooms and fifteen Guest House Rooms, you’ll enjoy the best of both worlds – modern convenience combined with a sophisticated nod to the past – as you relax in elegant comfort. They may offer special room rates for those booking Vermont elopement packages.
Vermont may not be the first place that comes to your mind when you’re thinking of locations for your elopement. There are so many beautiful hidden gems here in the northeast. If you’re thinking of eloping in Vermont, contact me and I’d be happy to help in planning your Vermont elopement!
Hey, I’m Evangeline an adventurous Vermont elopement and intimate wedding photographer helping couples craft a meaningful experience for their wedding day in nature. I focus on capturing the vibe of your day with all of the little moments that you may not remember are happening and the epic landscape views all over the country and the world! Contact me to discuss some Vermont elopement packages!