We love that more and more Edmontonians are embracing stress-free, intimate weddings by planning their own Edmonton elopement. An elopement is a great way to celebrate your love and commitment without the huge price tag and hassle of a full-size wedding.

Plus in a place like Edmonton with a stunning city skyline, the mighty North Saskatchewan River snaking through, cool downtown scene and on the doorstep of so much natural beauty, it only makes sense that you’d want to elope in E-Town!

Planning an elopement in Edmonton, Alberta? We’ve got you covered. Read on to start planning your perfect Edmonton elopement!

Why plan an Edmonton elopement?

Most couples who decide to elope do so because they’d prefer an intimate celebration over a big wedding. Rather than spending months or years planning an expensive and stressful wedding, elopement couples can save money, save time and save stress by opting for a more casual wedding day.

Elopements are great for couples who don’t want to be the centre of attention and who don’t want to spend a fortune on a one day event. They’re for couples who would prefer a sweet, short and intimate moment that’s just about the two of them. Not sure if eloping is right for you? Find out!

An Edmonton elopement might be right for you for a few reasons. Perhaps you’re an Edmonton local or grew up in Edmonton, and so have a special connection to the city and your loved ones who live there. Perhaps you’re using Edmonton as a gateway to Alberta and BC’s great nature. With a few national parks within driving distance, Edmonton could be the perfect base for an adventure elopement!

Whatever the reason, we want to help you plan the best Edmonton elopement. Keep reading for our top 7 elopement tips for Edmonton couples! 

elopement couple kissing, plan your elopement in Edmonton
by Clint Bargen Photography

1. Consider the season

We don’t have to tell you that the weather in Edmonton can be challenging to put it lightly. You don’t want to be fending off mosquitoes, running from thunderstorms or getting frostbite during your outdoor elopement in Edmonton! But any season in Edmonton can be beautiful and work for your elopement, as long as you’re prepared.

In summer, prepare for larger crowds at popular outdoor spots, hot days and, unfortunately, mosquitoes. Make sure you’ve got sunscreen, bug repellant and a shady spot to rest. Luckily with Edmonton’s long summer days, you can elope earlier or later in the day and still have lots of sunlight (without the heat or crowds). We love an early morning elopement!

In winter, you’ll want to protect yourself from the harsh elements. Bundle up warm and give yourself lots of time to drive safely to your elopement location. An indoor venue is probably the best way to go for a winter Edmonton elopement. And if it’s surprisingly balmy, you can always take elopement photos outside!

2. Decide where to elope in Edmonton

There are so many incredible places to elope in Edmonton! A few awesome spots include:

  • The Foundry Room
  • River Valley Parks
  • The Prairie Creek Inn
  • University of Alberta campus
  • Muttart Conservatory
  • Citadel Theatre
  • Rainbow Road on Whyte Avenue
  • Forest Heights Park
  • Kinnaird Park
  • Skyline Lookout near Gallagher Park
  • Your favourite coffee shop, the restaurant where you had your first date or your own backyard!

Or, take your Edmonton elopement on the road and tie the knot in Banff National Park or Jasper National Park. Both are about a four hour drive from Edmonton, so you can make a wedding weekend out of it! You could also consider eloping in Banff or Jasper from Calgary.

Keep in mind that some Edmonton elopement venues will require a fee, permit or permission to use for your nuptials. While we always recommend you look into the local rules and follow them, some couples do choose to elope in public places, like parks, without permits.

Need more location inspo? Check out this post on Edmonton wedding venues! 

wildflowers in Edmonton, location for an Edmonton elopement or Edmonton wedding photos

3. Get your Alberta marriage licence

You can’t elope in Edmonton without a marriage licence – at least not if you want your elopement to be legal! Check out our guide to getting your marriage licence in Alberta for all of the details.

Only the couple getting married can apply for the marriage licence; this isn’t something your officiant, elopement planner or best friend can do for you. In Alberta, you will need to apply for the licence together at a registry agent office. You’ll provide information about yourselves and your parents, affirm affidavits, provide ID, sign and pay for your licence. The current cost for an Alberta marriage licence is a $40 government fee plus additional registry agent fees, for a total around $80.

Your licence is valid for three months from the date it’s issued and there’s no waiting time between getting your licence and getting married. We suggest getting your marriage licence 4-6 weeks in advance, just in case there are any issues. Pro tip: Put your wedding rings on top of your licence so you don’t forget it on elopement day!

4. Make sure you have everything you need to elope in Edmonton, Alberta

What else do you need to elope in Edmonton, Alberta? We’re glad you asked! To elope in Edmonton you need:

That’s it! Everything else – like rings, photography and fancy outfits – are just fun extras. If you don’t have anyone who can witness your Edmonton wedding ceremony, reach out to your officiant. At Young Hip & Married, we’re happy to provide witnesses for your elopement for an additional fee.

Young Hip & Married elopement ceremony ring exchange
by Keely Rae Photography

5. Add any extras to your elopement experience

So you’ve got the elopement essentials, but now you want to add a little extra? We get it. Just because you’re eloping doesn’t mean you can’t have some wedding day flair!

Besides the two witnesses necessary to observe your ceremony and sign your licence, you may want to invite additional guests to your Edmonton elopement. Our Intimate Elopement package allows for up to 10 guests, while our Intimate Elopement Plus package allows for up to 20. You may also want to add more vendors to your elopement day, such as a photographer, videographer, hair and makeup artist, live musician, etc.

To make your elopement feel a bit more special, consider adding a few more wedding-y touches. Many elopement couples like to dress up in fancy outfits (you don’t necessarily have to wear a white dress or black tux!), exchange rings, carry or wear florals, and write their vows in keepsake vow books. Depending on your venue, you could also set up some decor, include a champagne toast or cut a mini wedding cake post-elopement.

6. Celebrate your Edmonton elopement

Just because you’re getting married in a small ceremony doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to celebrate! You can choose to host a huge post-elopement reception with all of your friends and family, celebrate just the two of you, or do something in the middle when you share your elopement with a smaller group of loved ones.

The nice thing about an elopement is because the ceremony is so short, you can spend the rest of the day doing exactly what you want to do to mark the occasion. If you’re eloping out in nature, spend the rest of the day hiking, kayaking or taking in the view. If you’re eloping in the city, hit up your favourite museums, bookstores or see a show. Go on a photo shoot through the city, plan a staycation at nice hotel, or treat yourselves to dinner at one of Edmonton’s best restaurants, like The Butternut Tree, Sabor or Bundok.

elopement couple exchanging vows
by John Bello Photography

7. Book your Edmonton elopement today!

Our best tip for eloping in Edmonton? Booking your Edmonton elopement package with Young Hip & Married, of course! Check out our Edmonton wedding and elopement packages and meet our Edmonton wedding officiants. We can’t wait to help you get married in the best way possible in Edmonton, Alberta!