Maryland Elopement Guide

The Complete Guide to Your Maryland Elopement: Locations, Permits, Vendors & More! 

So you’re thinking about eloping in Maryland – yay! Why you should elope in Maryland- Here are all the things I love about Maryland and that make it unique and perfect for elopements- etc etc 

Maryland is home to some major cities like Baltimore, Frederick, Annapolis, and tons of amazing suburbs. All of which have really unique and beautiful locations that can be used for an intimate wedding or Maryland elopement. Having been born and raised in Maryland, I absolutely love helping couples plan their dream elopements in my hometown and I know all the good local spots so you can elope somewhere unique and tailored to you!

There is a reason that one of Maryland’s nicknames is “little America”. There is such a variety of backdrops that you can choose a location to fit almost any aesthetic! From beaches to mountains, bustling cities to historic towns there’s something for everyone here.

Elopement planning can have lots of moving parts, so I’ve compiled all the resources you’ll need when planning your Maryland elopement or intimate wedding. From your wedding license to finding the perfect elopement location and planning fun activities – keep reading for everything you need to know!

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Maryland Elopement Planning Steps

Where do you start? Here are the general steps to take for planning your Maryland elopement! 

  1. Decide when you want to elope! You can pick a date right away, or just decide on the season/month before diving into the specifics! 
  2. Hire your Maryland elopement photographer 🙂 (I’ll help you with the rest of the steps!)
  3. Choose your dream Maryland elopement location. 
  4. Book your vendors and any travel/lodging needed.
  5. Choose your activities and plan out your timeline.
  6. Apply for any permits that are needed (portraits and special use permits for ceremony)
  7. Apply for your Maryland marriage license.
  8. Have the best day ever eloping in Maryland! 
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Where to Elope in Maryland 

There are so many fantastic places to elope in Maryland, and I couldn’t possibly list them all. These are just a few of my absolute favorites! Couples that book me for their elopement day photography will also receive my help in choosing the perfect spot with a custom location guide, as well as timeline and planning assistance. 

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Maryland Elopement Locations in Nature

1. Rocks State Park:  Rocks State Park is one of my favorite spots for elopements in Maryland. The King & Queens Seat hike is fairly short and rewards you with one of the most incredible views in the state. And if you’re willing to get your feet wet (literally) Kilgore Falls is one of my favorite secluded waterfall locations. 

2. Weverton Cliffs: This spot overlooks the Potomac River on the Virginia border, and is just a few miles away from Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia. It’s the absolute perfect spot for a fall sunset elopement. 

3. Jerusalem Mill: This area in Gunpowder Falls State Park is truly unique, with historic ruins and a stunning meadow. It also offers wooded trails and a nearby creek – perfect for couples who want some variety in their photos. 

4. North Point State Park: North Point is full of beautiful beaches right on the Chesapeake Bay. This is a perfect spot for couples looking for a beach elopement who don’t want to head all the way to the Eastern shore. 

5. Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse: If you want to say your vows in the Chesapeake Bay instead of on the shore, this is the spot for you. You can take a boat out to this lighthouse for a beautiful, secluded ceremony in the bay. 

6. C&O Canal: The C&O Canal trail runs all the way from Washington, DC to Cumberland, Maryland and has tons of great spots for elopements. My favorite is the overlook at Great Falls, which has a beautiful view of the river and is less than an hour outside of DC!

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Baltimore City Elopement Locations

1. Mt. Vernon: Elopements in the Mt. Vernon neighborhood will always have my heart. From the Washington Monument to the cobblestone streets, there’s something quintessentially “Baltimore” about it. Plus, there are tons of great restaurants and attractions nearby. 

2. Fells Point: If you’re looking for a waterfront elopement without leaving the city, there’s no better spot than Fells Point. You can catch the sunrise on the pier, and then head to one of the several adorable coffee shops, or enjoy the pool at the Sagamore Pendry. 

3. Rawlings Conservatory: Are you imagining a tropical elopement, but you don’t want to leave home? The Rawlings Conservatory is full of lush plant life and stays warm year-round, making it the perfect spot for a city elopement that feels anything but. 

4. Cylburn Arboretum: This property has everything you could ask for; a historic mansion, lush gardens, and incredible towering trees. While they’re known for hosting full-sized weddings, this is also a great option for couples looking to elope. 

5. Artifact Coffee: For couples who are hoping for more of an industrial vibe on their wedding day, there’s nowhere better than Artifact Coffee. This adorable coffee shop sits between Hampden and Woodberry and has some of the best food in the city. 

6. Just about an hour outside of Baltimore City is another fantastic elopement location- Historic Annapolis! If coastal life is more your thing, Annapolis, Maryland would be a great elopement location option. With cozy little streets lined with cobblestones and an incredible waterfront, there are plenty of great spots to choose from for your elopement day. 

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Permits and Licenses for your Maryland Elopement

Of course, if you plan to elope it’s super important to make sure that it’s official! In Maryland, you’ll need to get your marriage license from the circuit court in the county where you’ll be eloping. There is a 48-hour waiting period after obtaining the license before it is valid, and then it is valid for six months. The application costs $25 and MUST be paid in cash. Maryland accepts ceremonies performed by online ordained ministers, so you can have a friend or family become certified online and officiate your elopement for you! No witnesses are needed to sign your marriage license, so you can elope in private if you wish. 

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My Favorite Maryland Elopement Activities 

One of the fun parts about an elopement is the ability to include any activities you’d like! Since you aren’t heading from your ceremony straight to a formal cocktail hour and reception, the day is yours to fill. And Maryland offers so many great options to choose from. Whether you love exploring museums or tasting new wines – there’s bound to be a perfect option for you and your partner. 

Visit a local brewery

Guinness Brewery

Union Craft Brewing

Lone Oak Brewing Co.

Book a tasting at a nearby vineyard

Old Westminster Winery

Boordy Vineyards

Rocklands Farm Winery

Tour a world-class museum

Walters Art Museum

American Visionary Art Museum

Baltimore Museum of Art

Book a sail on the inner harbor or Chesapeake Bay 

Baltimore: Boat Baltimore

Annapolis: Seas the Bay 

Stay at a luxury resort & spa

Four Seasons 

Turf Valley

Enjoy fine dining



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Maryland is a gorgeous state, with everything from beaches to mountains. Whether you’re a local or traveling here for a destination elopement, there are endless possibilities for your dream Maryland elopement.