Elope in St Louis

The word elope USED to mean "to run away with a lover, with the intention of getting married".
Today it means a small, quick, intimate ceremony without the stigma of running away or keeping it a secret.
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Elope and Social Media

Social media makes eloping a hot trend!

On Facebook, 210 friends “liked” the wedding announcement of Zita+Jeremy. Almost immediately, the good wishes began pouring in.

"Congratz!"  "Good Looking couple!"  "Wowowow!"

But offline, no one attended the ceremony. Unless you count the handful of customers getting their early morning caffeine fix at the Kaldi's Coffee Shop.

Kaldi's Coffee Roasting Company Elopement

The couple picked up the papers from the courthouse, and left to see Carolyn Burke with Elope in St Louis. They found two witnesses and a quiet nook. Carolyn performed a 3-minute meaningful ceremony, and the marriage license was signed.

“We didn’t want to make a big deal out of it. It was nice,” Zita says. “A little bit romantic even.”

Instead of a bouquet, the bride carried a tall latte out of the crowded coffee shop. Rushing to make a 10 a.m. meeting at work. Carolyn snapped a quick iPhone picture to document the momentous occasion.

Went to Courthouse This Morning and Became Husband and Wife This Afternoon

And 24 hours later, the photo made its way – where else? – Facebook. Zita, holding a sign that says, "We Eloped in St Louis" beaming in a yellow sun dress beside her new husband. The caption: “Went to the courthouse this morning and became husband and wife this afternoon."

And that was that. Oh, except, several months later, the pair hosted a three-day garden after-party – complete with wedding gifts – in a St Charles County winery, with 65 guests. Still, the total cost of all the festivities was less than $6,000.

“Everything we did, we did ourselves,” Zita says. “There wasn’t any fanfare to it.”

Forget wedding fanfare: the $45,000 blowout, the extravagant white dress and the 200-plus-person guest list. More and more couples, particularly pragmatic millennials, are kissing tradition goodbye and saying “I do” to elopements, courthouse nuptials and intimate small-scale weddings.

But don’t worry, friends and family. You still get to join in the festivities – sort of. In the era of sharing, these modern couples are taking to the web to broadcast their oh-so-low-key nuptials to the world through Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Some couples may go a step further and, thanks to services like Periscope and Skype, live-stream their ceremony virtually to “guests” wherever they may be.

Maybe you weren’t there to offer a champagne toast in person. No problem: You can hail the happy couple with likes, comments and reactions instead. Although, turns out you may still be liable for a gift, too.

So what’s behind the new embrace of nuptial simplicity?

For the newlyweds, it’s simple. Think of it as Romeo and Juliet 2.0. No guests = no planning, no politics, no pressure. Plus a whole lot less expense, of course. The average cost of a wedding in the United States is $29,858, according to the consumer finance website ValuePenguin.

Who can afford it while shouldering massive student-loan debt, even years out of college? Couple these expenses with rising housing costs, along with car payments, and it’s easy to slip into significant debt. And even if the couple's parents are willing to chip in, many are simply unable to fully bankroll that pricey an undertaking.

So a frugal, less-formal ceremony is a win-win all around.

And really, who needs a big wedding in today’s ultra-connected world when you can track a couple’s relationship all the way from “Friend added” to “Facebook official”? Fifty years ago, sure, a large wedding made sense – a lot of guests were meeting the couple for the first time. But nowadays, you’ve had the blow-by-blow of a couple’s courtship long before they get formally hitched. Which means that the idea of a grand, fancy celebration has lost a lot of its luster.

Not to be outdone, the wedding industry has tapped right into this latest trend. New websites like A Practical Wedding and Offbeat Bride not only offer engaged couples cost-cutting advice and DIY solutions, they also share ideas for eloping and real-life elopement stories. Because, you know, running away to get married isn’t just about leaning a ladder against the side of the house or a quick Vegas rendezvous anymore.

Couples elope to make a break for freedom. “The really hard thing to tell people about weddings is that they aren’t really meant for you. They’re meant for your family and your friends,” says Brandi Carrier, 38, who had a private ceremony with her wife, Suzanne, in Collinsville, Illinois. “We decided to make a very selfish decision that would make us both happy."

Resource : WashingtonPost and JournalGazette

Offbeat St Louis Elopement

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As the weather changes, finding a place to elope gets more interesting. Where can a couple go that is warm, unique, even offbeat and quirky for an indoor elopement location?

The answer is EASY. Just remember an elopement is 10 guests or less and you may have to pay a fee to use the space.

City Museum

Housed in the 600,000 sq. ft. former Intl Shoe Company, The museum is an eclectic mixture of children's playground, fun house, surrealistic pavilion, and architectural marvel made out of unusual, found objects.

Pin Up Bowl or Flamingo Bowl

Pin-Up Bowl is St. Louis’ original bowling and lounge located in The Loop.  It has 8 lanes of bowling, an eclectic art-deco with a classic and tasteful Pin-Up theme - fun and memorable from start to finish. The Flamingo Bowl in downtown St Louis is the sister site.

Chatillon DeMenil Mansion

The magnificent parlor of an 1863 Greek Revival house in Benton Park is great for the boho or vintage style elopement. Their fee to rent the space is affordable and includes many amenities.

Old Courthouse

Travel back in time as you take your vows in a majestic courthouse, built in 1828. Surrounded by artifacts from another time period, you’ll experience a wedding like no other, a permit is required.

Anheuser Busch Brewery

The campus has several indoor and outdoor options. Great place if you are a beer fan and want a unique and offbeat elopement idea.

Top of the Gateway Arch

Get married at the highest point in downtown St. Louis. Enjoy a spectacular view while you experience a day you’ll never forget. Vows maybe exchanged at the top of the Arch.
The Gateway Arch grounds provide another great venue for small weddings. Only very informal ceremonies are allowed on the Arch grounds and a permit is required.

Grand Hall Union Station

A landmark venue with historic charm, The Grand Hall offers a remarkably unique elopement space for guests staying or eating at the hotel.  Intricate details of stained glass windows and the historical elements of the space have been recently restored.

Magic House

Make your elopement magical by having the ceremony at the Magic House in Kirkwood.
There are many nooks and crannies where you can find the perfect spot.

Fountain on Locust

This venue has an Art Deco theme to it and the best ice cream and other sweet treats. Great spot for that offbeat couple with a vintage flair. Located in Midtown St Louis.

City Hall Rotunda

This french-styled building was inspired by the Hotel de Ville or City Hall of Paris. The square rotunda is very unique and its central interior feature is a white marble rotunda, about 100 feet square, with a colored glass skylight above and a marble grand staircase.

Ballpark Village

Located right next door to Busch Stadium in downtown St Louis.
Ballpark village is for the lovers
of baseball and sports.
This location has a lot of options.