FAQ’S

You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers! Below are basic questions, but for more specific requests please fill out the contact form or email us at info@elopetochicago.com.

GENERAL QUESTIONS:

Why are your packages only offered Monday- Friday? Our entire team is made up of professional wedding vendors who own and operate their own businesses. Weekends are the most popular dates for large scale weddings and we book those dates months and even years in advance. Therefore Saturdays are reserved for larger scale weddings. Some of our vendors are not open on Sundays (it’s nice to take one day a week off! ) therefore these packages aren’t available on Sundays either. Photography packages are available for select Sundays.

** Please note that our services are not available on holidays even if they fall on a weekday. These include but are not limited to : New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day, St. Patty’s Day, Memorial Day (and the Friday before), Fourth of July, Labor Day (and the Friday before), Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Do you offer discounts? No. These packages offer professional vendors services, some at an already discounted rate so no additional discounts will be given.

How far in advance should we book?  Although the true definition of elopement is to “run away suddenly and secertly to be married” we do need a little notice to put all the pieces together for you. Keep in mind in Cook County there is a 24 hour waiting period for a marriage license. We ask that we have at least 3 days notice to allow our vendors to prep and consult with you on the planning. Our florist needs 7-10 days in advance for some of the bouquet options.

How far in advance is too far? Please note that we don’t accept bookings anymore than 6 months in advance. As mentioned before we all do weddings full time and large Friday weddings are becoming more and more popular. At 6 months we usually have a good idea of what large weddings are on our calendar and what our availability looks like for weekdays. We understand that if you are having guests or traveling in from out of town some advance planning is necessary, but we feel the six month window is still plenty of time to put the pieces together. My best friend got engaged on New Year’s and planned a 200 person wedding six months later in June AFTER her first venue suddenly closed a month out and she had to start over so anything is possible!

Can I have a wedding party? Of course! We never want to stop you from having your friends and family around on the wedding day! We do limit the wedding party to 4 people total (not including the two of you).

What do I need to do to legally to get married in Chicago? In Cook County you must head downtown and get a marriage license in order to be married. There is a 24 hours waiting period and the license is valid for 60 days. More information can be found HERE.

How do I know if you’re available for my date? To check availability please fill out the contact form with your specific dates and we will get back to you ASAP with our availability.

Can you help me find a location? We are happy to make suggestions and provide you with a list of venues that cater to smaller weddings.

What if it rains and we’re planning an outdoor ceremony? This is one of the top questions we get asked. Unfortunately we can’t control the weather, nor do we have a better idea of what the weather will be like than you do. We’re looking at the same radar!

Usually if Mother Nature doesn’t agree with us and it’s raining, or it snows at the end of March, or is -20 out we will move the ceremony inside to your hotel room or suite. Almost all of our couples, including those that live in the city, will get a room for the night. So when booking at place to stay (especially Nov- April) be sure to think about the size of the room and what is looks like if that ends up being the back up option.

We are happy to suggest hotels as well. One of our favorites is Trump because every room has a great view, if the weather is nice they will usually allow you to use the terrace for first look and the side walkway is covered which is great for photos on a rainy day. You are still outside, but not getting soaked!

Others we love are Public Hotel (there are a couple suites with amazing terraces), The Langham (right across from Trump), Palmer House (historic downtown hotel), Hotel Lincoln (a funky boutique hotel in Lincoln Park), the Wit (modern hip Mag Mile hotel) and The Thompson.  Usually since we are there during the week they are cool with us shooting in or around the hotel, but please know that isn’t always the case. If they have a wedding on site they will usually limit access to some areas to the wedding that is happening at the hotel. This is more of an issue for Fridays.

Of course there are a million places to stay, but those are some options. If you’re staying for a few days you may also want to check out Airbnb.com. A few of our couples have got some amazing downtown condos!

What if I’m getting married in the suburbs? All of the pricing is set up to include weddings in the city of Chicago. If you are getting married in the suburbs (we love a good backyard wedding!) additional travel fees may apply. Contact us for more information.

PHOTOGRAPHY QUESTIONS:

Do we get to choose where we go for photos? Of course! Becky can provide you with some popular locations and some of her favorites, but ultimately you can decide on the locations you would like to go for photographs. If any permits are required to shoot at those locations it up to the couple to obtain and pay for those ahead of time.

Can I book a package without photography? Sorry, but no. Since the site was founded by Becky (the photographer) all of the packages include photography.

What if I just need like a couple of photos? Can you do that? Sorry again, but no. I know it sounds easy to just show up for 20 minutes and take a few photos, but it’s easier said than done. In order to reserve our time and talent we require a two hour minimum. That allows time for the ceremony as well as portraits of the couple around the city and or any guests.

HAIR AND MAKEUP QUESTIONS: 

Will I get to do a hair and makeup trial? Trials are not included in the packages, but they are available as an add-on for $140.

Where do I go to get my hair and makeup done? Kate, our wonderful hair and makeup artist, or one of her talented team members will travel to you on the wedding day to do on location hair and makeup. You will work out the details with her on where you will be getting ready. Please note that her travel and parking is included in her fee within the City. If you are getting ready outside of the city please let us know that ahead of time as additional mileage fees may apply.

FLOWER QUESTIONS:

I see that bouquets and boutenierre’s are included – what if I want centerpieces or other flowers? No problem! If you would like to add centerpieces or ceremony flowers etc. please contact our florist directly (http://christinejanda.com/) Only the flowers listed in the packages are included. If you choose to add more you will be separately invoiced by Christine and may be required to sign a contract from them. She is also a planner so she can help you out with anything!

What if I don’t like any of the flower options? The idea of this site is to keep things simple for you by providing streamlined options that stay within a certain budget for the packages.We’ve done our best to choose gorgeous options that cover a variety of colors and styles. However, we still want you to be able to customize and get the right fit for you. Please note that some of the options do come in other colors aside from what is shown in the photos and Christine can always work with you to create something truly unique!

OFFICIANT QUESTIONS:

Can we write our own vows? Of course! Our officiants will work with you to personalize the script for the wedding ceremony before the date. You’ll have a chance to chat with them and make decisions to customize the ceremony!

Why should I choose an officiant over City Hall? I get this question often and I always tell couples that having an officiant really allows you to personalize the ceremony. Not only the script and the vows, but the time and location as well. The officiant will travel to your location in the city. So if you want to get married at sunset on the beach you can do that! If you want to get married with the city skyline as your backdrop you can do that! If you want to get married at your favorite hot dog joint we can do that too!

City Hall is only open from 9am-noon and again from 2pm-4pm. Often there is a wait as well so it’s much more unpredicatble as far as timing goes.  Keep in mind they are also closed on holidays.