If your dream wedding day looks more like a campfire than a bouquet toss, a hike up a mountain than a first dance in front of everyone you know, and a stunning backdrop out in the forest instead of a fancy ballroom venue, an elopement might be for you! Whether you always knew that traditional wedding wasn’t your thing, or you’re realizing now as you think about (dread) making a seating chart and choosing a color scheme that it might not be right – you can elope in Oklahoma and have a day that feels truly perfect for you. Life‘s too damn short to allow your wedding day to be about anything but the two of you!
Maybe I’m a little biased, since Oklahoma’s my home state, but that means I’ve had plenty of time to explore all the hidden gems and magical locations! Oklahoma is an incredibly underrated elopement destination, and this guide will tell you how to plan your unique, one of a kind day. We’ll talk about the best places to elope in Oklahoma, making things legally official, and more!
The Best Places to Elope in Oklahoma
Choosing your elopement location is one of the absolute most exciting things about making this brave decision – because instead of looking at hotels, ballrooms, barns, farms, and vineyards, you get to choose from mountains, forests, waterfront views, and other stunning landscapes! As an Oklahoma elopement photographer, a big part of my job is helping you choose the perfect spot to exchange vows – so to get you inspired, here are a few of the best places to elope in Oklahoma.
The Gloss Mountains
The Gloss Mountains (also sometimes referred to as the Glass Mountains) are a jaw dropping sight. Though they aren’t really mountains – they’re a series of buttes and mesas that rise above the plains! It’s a really unique landscape, especially beautiful at sunrise and sunset, when the red rocks seem to glow. Nearby you’ll find the cute town of Medicine Park, a great resort town to stay in, surrounded by mountains and plains!
Salt Plains is one of the best places to elope in Oklahoma if you want a truly one of a kind spot! It’s made up of salt that remains from billions of years ago, when Oklahoma was covered by the ocean. All that’s left of the sea is Great Salt Plains Lake, a saltwater lake where you can take a boat or kayak out on the water. There are hikes in the area, and you can stay in one of the cute eco-friendly cabins in Salt Plains State Park!
Broken Bow is a little city tucked in the foothills of the Kiamichi Mountains. Tie the knot here, and you can explore one of Oklahoma’s most scenic lakes – Broken Bow Lake – or go hiking or camping at Beavers Bend State Park!
Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge
For nature lovers, this is one of the best places to elope in Oklahoma if you want to see wildlife. Amongst the 60,000 acres of granite mountains, grass prairie, and freshwater lakes and streams, you can see bison, elk, and longhorn cattle roaming, as well as countless species of birds flying over the gorgeous landscape as you hike, kayak, or camp!
Red Rock Canyon State Park
You don’t have to go all the way to Sedona to see red rocks – Oklahoma’s Red Rock Canyon is a gorgeous park with tons of adventures for your elopement day! You can hike along the canyon or through the forest, go rock climbing, and even stay in a glamping tent in the park.
One of the best places to elope in Oklahoma if you want to exchange vows in front of a stunning waterfall is Turner Falls, located in the Arbuckle Mountains. At 77 feet tall, the waterfall cascades into a gorgeous blue swimming hole (although getting in the water is only recommended for experienced swimmers).
Quartz Mountain State Park
Quartz Mountain State Park hugs the shoreline of Lake Altus-Lugert, and is one of the best places to elope in Oklahoma for those who want to be near the water! With beautiful views of the Wichita Mountains, you can boulder, have a picnic at the beach, or hit the water with a boat, kayak, or paddle board.
Ouachita National Forest
Spanning across Oklahoma and Arkansas, the Ouachita National Forest has plenty of outdoor adventures for your elopement! With streams, rivers, and lakes, and endless hiking trails, the forest provides a serene location for you to tie the knot. National forest land means dispersed camping is allowed – so while you can choose an established campground to stay in, you can also set up camp just about anywhere and find a more secluded spot!
Talimena State Park has several trailheads that mark the beginning of hikes through the Ouachita National Forest, and it’s also Oklahoma’s entrance to the Talimena National Scenic Drive – a paved road that curves through the Winding Stair Mountains, offering stunning views and lots of easily accessible pull offs and overlooks!
The Best Time to Elope in Oklahoma
When you’re setting an elopement date, be sure to think about the best time to tie the knot in Oklahoma! Of course, it’s a big state – so weather can vary throughout. Be sure to research your elopement location once you make the decision!
Summers are often very hot, so the best time to elope for most couples will be spring or fall, when the weather is more mild. Spring is wetter, so if you want to avoid the rain, opt for fall! You’ll see some amazing fall foliage if you elope somewhere woodsy.
Getting Legally Married When You Elope in Oklahoma
To get legally married during your elopement, you’ll need a marriage license! You both need to go to an office to apply in person, and you can do this at any court clerk’s office in the state – so if you live here, choose one close to home. If you’re traveling, find an office close to your elopement location.
All you need to apply is proof of age (birth certificate, driver’s license, passport, visa, or other government-issued ID), and $50 for the marriage license fee. You’ll get your marriage license right away, and it can be used the same day! It expired after 10 days, so I recommend picking it up at least a day before your elopement, to avoid any stress on the day of.
Oklahoma Elopement Packages – Ready to Elope in Oklahoma?
Your elopement is yours – that means you can do absolutely anything. Close your eyes and imagine the perfect day – are you hiking up a mountain as the sun rises? Getting ready together at a cabin in the woods? Celebrating with friends and family? Nothing’s off limits, so dream big, and picture what would make your wedding day that best day ever!
As someone who decided to elope herself, I believe every couple deserves a wedding day that they absolutely love. So, as your elopement photographer, I’ll be there to help you plan and craft a day that’s unique and personal to you, guiding you through location recommendations, places to stay, things to do, and so much more! My Oklahoma elopement packages include everything you need – and from the moment you inquire, I’ll be by your side cheering you on as you make the badass decision to ditch the traditions and expectations in favor of a wedding day that really reflects who you are.
Ready to elope in Oklahoma? Contact me!