Everything you need to know about eloping in Houston

Where To Elope in Houston

November 15, 2019

bride and groom at grand texana wedding venue in hempstead texas | outdoor wedding beautiful floral alter

Where To Elope in Houston

So you’re thinking about eloping in Houston, yay!

I love the idea of eloping because you get to do whatever it is you want. Give yourself permission to think outside the box of what your wedding day could look like instead of worrying about what it should look like.

When you let go of all the expectations family members, friends, and even society put on you and your wedding day, a world of possibilities open for creativity to flood in… Where you get married, what your venue looks like, who gets to be invited, who witnesses your vows, when you get married, how, all of it. If the world were your oyster, what would it look like? Create a wedding day as unique as your love story.

Many elopement photographers will happily help guide you in crafting your best day ever! I happen to know one you can get in touch with here 🙂

split image: bride and groom at grand texana wedding venue in hempstead texas | outdoor wedding beautiful floral alter

 

Where should I elope in Houston?

I’ve got 5 suggestions for you! Covering from east to west, north to south, and finally right inside the city… believe it or not! All of these are under an hour outside the city. It’s so hard to pick locations for “Houston” because Houston is so, so, SO gigantic, and continues to encompass more and more, every day it seems like! Anyway…

I’m going to be honest here. If you’re looking for small indoor venues, halls, or gazebos to elope in. You might want to skip this section (or skip to Huntsville State Park). If you’re open to amazing gorgeous parks and nature areas that have grounding trails and gorgeous views…. keep reading!

Houston Arboretum

In the heart of the city lies a place like no other. The Houston Arboretum. I love this place for so many reasons. It’s very diverse and I find that extra amazing because it’s literally in the middle of the city. Right at 610 and i-10 near The Galleria. They’ve got a few piney woods trails and a couple of really cute decks alongside their lily ponds! There are several different trails here, most of which are under half a mile long. The longest trail is 1.76 miles, the outer loop.

This is a perfect spot if you’re wanting to include a few family members as well. You can find a gorgeous spot with minimal walking, the trails aren’t paved but most are pretty accessible, if you’re worried about grandma Betty 🙂

They’ve recently done a huge renovation (that’s still in progress on some of the trails) and added a lot of nice touches to improving the trails, parking, and facilities. They have a couple of dedicated locations for small weddings if you’re wanting to host something larger than a two person elopement. Or if you’re wanting to celebrate with friends & family afterwards with a party they have both indoor and outdoor options!

There is no camping allowed here.

PRICE: Free to enter the park  (they have implemented paid parking as part of their improvements at $1/hr with a $5 max). There is a $175 fee to have a 2-person elopement here. If you’re wanting something larger than a 2 people, the fee varies depending on number of guests and accommodations. Learn more or inquire here.

Stephen F. Austin State Park

About 45 minutes west of Houston. There are about 6 miles of trails that wind around the Brazos River. This state park is a great place for hiking, camping, and has some amazing bike trails.

They have a Recreational area that makes for a great (and inexpensive) venue if you’re looking for a place to host something larger than a two person elopement. Or if you’re wanting to celebrate with friends & family afterwards with a party. The venue is called Raven Lodge, and you can learn more about that here.

The camping options they have are plentiful! From primitive camping sites to RV hook-ups and even cabins to rent. They do also have group camping sites which could be a fun option for a larger celebration with adventurous guests!

PRICE: $5/per person to enter the park. There are no additional fees to have a 2 person ceremony at the park.

The only pictures I currently have are from a camping trip we took early last spring. We brought the whole fam so didn’t make time for blog shots, working on having better boundaries with my work/life balance 🙂 We are planning another trip there soon though, so I’ll get these updated. Until then, enjoy a few cell phone pictures from our family camping trip at Stephen F. Austin State Park!

Trails at Brazos River at Stephen F. Austin State Park | Where to elope in Houston Texas

 

 

Galveston Island State Park

About 45 minutes east of Houston is the lovely Galveston Island. I don’t know about you, but I think Galveston has a bad rap. With recent improvements I’ve noticed a significant difference in the way I feel about taking trips to Galveston. It feels cleaner and better taken care of these days. So that’s why I’ve included it! A lot of the time people think of eloping or destination weddings it’s at a beach… for whatever reason. And lucky for you, there’s a beach super close to Houston!

This state park is a great place for hiking, paddle boarding, camping (tent or RV–or they have lodging), biking, canoeing, fishing, and bird watching.

They have a Recreational area that makes for a great (and inexpensive) venue if you’re looking for a place to host something larger than a two person elopement. Or if you’re wanting to celebrate with friends & family afterwards with a party. The venue is called Raven Lodge, and you can learn more about that here.

The camping options they have are plentiful! From primitive camping sites to RV hook-ups and even cabins to rent. They do also have group camping sites which could be a fun option for a larger celebration with adventurous guests!

PRICE: $5/per person to enter the park. There are no additional fees to have a 2 person ceremony at the park.

 

 

Brazos Bend State Park

In Needville, Texas, about an hour south of Houston, with not much else around. This park is awesome because it has a lot of diversity in it’s trails! There are even swamps with tons of wildlife! Birds, bugs, fish, lots of different critters…. They are especially known for their alligators (hope that’s not a deal breaker).

They have GIGANTIC oak trees that would make such a gorgeous ceremony location. There are a lot of spanish moss on the trees too, idk if you’re like me, but I absolutely love spanish moss. Or, if you’re up for an adventure, you could totally climb this fallen one (that’s still alive!!) and share your first kiss up there! Talk about dreamy.

There are also amazing campground sites for you to stay in. A few of them are “primitive” and require a small hike. There are no RV sites here.

There’s also the George Observatory within the park. They have some great education there, especially on the weekends. Great for stargazing since it’s out of the city!

Lastly, if you go in the fall months… Not only is it cooler outside (huge plus for Texas, amirite?) but there are many trees that change color there for an amazing display of fall colors!

PRICE: $7/per person to enter the park. I have talked with a park ranger and there are no additional fees to have a small ceremony at the park. Talk about a win!

 

Beautiful elopement location with fallen tree at Brazos Bend State Park in Houston. Family standing on top of tree for family portraits.

This is an old family session I did… but you get the idea 😉

 

Huntsville State Park

About an hour north of Houston, this is another great local option. The trails wind through over 2,000 acres of the piney woods in Sam Houston National Forest. There’s also trails along Lake Raven which offers some great views AND there are canoes & paddle boats you can rent! This state park is a great place for hiking, bike trails, fishing, swimming, and canoeing.

They have a Recreational area that makes for a great (and inexpensive) venue if you’re looking for a place to host something larger than a two person elopement. Or if you’re wanting to celebrate with friends & family afterwards with a party. The venue is called Raven Lodge, and you can learn more about that here.

The camping options they have are plentiful! From primitive camping sites to RV hook-ups and even cabins to rent. They do also have group camping sites which could be a fun option for a larger celebration with adventurous guests!

PRICE: $7/per person to enter the park. I have talked with a park ranger and there are no additional fees to have a small ceremony at the park. Anotha win for ya!

Beautiful location to consider for your Houston elopement. Huntsville State Park walking trail with piney woods.

 

 

 

Elope in Houston | Final Thoughts

There’s a lot of other parks around & in-between these suggestions that would make great options to answer the “Where should we elope in Houston” question. But these are definitely some of my personal favorites.

If none of these tickle your fancy… There’s always the gorgeous Texas Hill Country 🙂 You can to some really great spots in just under 3 hours from Houston. OR, if you’re open to an adventure, there are tons of great options if you venture out and explore all that the great lonestar state has to offer. Read more about the variety in topography that Texas has to offer here.

 

 

Read more elope Houston resources…

Having a Party Instead of a Reception

Tips for Eloping in Texas Summer

 

Top 5 places to elope in Houston | Where to elope in Houston, Texas | Houston Arboretum Wedding | Texas State Park Wedding | #elopeintexas #houstonelopementphotographer #samanthaschaubphotography

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