If “pivot” is the official word for 2020, then “elopement” might be a close second for those folks looking to get married in this WILD year. Many couples have shifted their wedding plans and pivoted into a micro wedding or elopement. For me, micro doesn’t mean small by any means and these intimate celebrations of love are just as magical if not more because you’re surrounding by your core people! I’ve been loving capturing these intentional gatherings for my couples and helping them navigate it so they can fully enjoy their special day.
Some advice I’ve been telling all my couples looking to plan a micro-ceremony or elopement here in Atlanta is to double check if you need a permit. The city is really your oyster and there are a ton of hidden gems in public spaces where you can do a pop-up elopement. The possibilities are truly endless, but it’s important to make sure it’s legal and safe for everyone.
While my complete Elopement Checklist breaks down ALL the things to know when planning an elopement or micro-wedding, I wanted to talk about eloping here in Atlanta. After a handful of beautiful sessions and weddings, I’ve narrowed my picks down to 5 incredible venues where you can have an intimate celebration that still celebrates your big time love. Here’s the scoop:
1. Piedmont Park:
Quintessential Atlanta, Piedmont Park is one of my FAV locations for elopements in Atlanta and here’s why: beautiful Gazebo vibes, awesome skyline views, stunning greenery all around – you simply can’t go wrong with it. I’ve shot regular sessions and elopements here and it never dissapoints.
The Lowdown: The park itself is free as long as it is for personal use only and you don’t need a permit to get married here. In addition to the variety of open-air spaces, the park also has packages at their Dockside location starting at $250 on weekdays and $500 on weekends. These dockside specials are only available during weekdays business hours. For more details on the Dockside Wedding Packages, click here!
2. Cator Woolford Gardens:
Featuring a mix of stunning gardens and regal staircases perfect for portraits, Cator Woolford Gardens is one of my absolute favorites for sessions. Comparing this venue to Piedmont Park, I’d say that Cator Woolford Gardens is a bit more luxe and refined as an elopement location. There’s a sense of old-school grandeur throughout this venue that mixes Italian-style gardens with that Southern charisma. It’s truly magical and I love it more and more every time I have a session there.
The Lowdown: Elopements range from $900-1200 depending on the day of the week. They currently have a special going on through December 2020 due to the ‘Rona called the “We’re in this Together” package. It’s a little more extensive than the basic elopement package and includes seating set-ups, a site coordinator, and a food and alcohol permit. This package starts at $1500 on weekdays and $3500 on Saturdays for prime weekend coverage. Check out the full details surrounding their offer for Covid-couples!
3. Historic DeKalb Courthouse:
For the couple looking for a more traditional route, the DeKalb courthouse offers a gorgeous elopement vibe, but with style! Covered in clean white walls and marble throughout this landmark, the courthouse is a great backdrop for a small elopement and reception for those who would rather be indoors.
The Lowdown: Prices start at $950 for weekdays during business hours and for evenings and weekends the packages range from $1500 – $3900. Of the options on this list, the courthouse is the venue that accepts the most amount of guests at 150 people maximum. For me details on the amount of guests and amenities offered, click here.
4. Atlanta Botanical Gardens:
While one of the pricer options of the five venues, the Botanical Gardens are a staple here in Atlanta — especially in Springtime when the blooms are on point! There are multiple exhibits with all kinds of flowers and gardens, including a stunning Japanese Garden. Whenever I’ve done sessions we take advantage of the wide variety of foliage and flowers and move around a lot during the photoshoot!
The Lowdown: The venue is currently running “Summer Ceremony” packages for Covid-couples. This offer is good for new couples to the venue only and starts at $2000 for a guest list of no more than 25 people. Some highlights include use of the gazebo and/or terrace for the ceremony, white ceremony seating, Prosecco for all attendees and a brief reception with cupcakes. This package also includes a rain plan in case the weather is uncooperative, just like 2020! Click here for all the details.
Looking to elope in Atlanta with a gorgeous rooftop city view? Ventanas is your spot then. offering an up-scale, bougie vibe, Ventanas is for the couple who’s looking to have a quick, urban ceremony and afterward they can continue to party downtown and carry out the fun!
The Lowdown: Ventanas is definitely the most expensive option of these elopement venues coming in at $1500 plus admin fee and taxes. The total hour and a half time frame allows for 30 minutes for guest arrival, 30 minutes for the ceremony and 30 minutes for pictures. You can add on passed hors d’ oeuvres and passed champagne at an additional cost. It’s a speedy timeline and definitely not for everyone, but if you’re craving those big city views and a modern, chic vibe – this is the spot.
If you’re planning an Elopement in Atlanta and have any questions about these venues, PLEASE don’t hesitate to reach out. Even if I am unable to shoot your wedding I’m always here to offer any insight I have on these fabulous locations and am happy to make the planning process easier in any way. Also, be sure to check out my Elopement Checklist for tips and insight!