How to Elope Online: Step-by-step Guide to Virtual Weddings

March 9, 2023
6 min

Eloping online has become an increasingly popular choice for couples looking to tie the knot with ease and convenience. This virtual approach to weddings comes with numerous benefits, making it an attractive option for those seeking a stress-free and meaningful marriage experience. With the right tools and resources, online weddings can be just as significant and memorable as traditional in-person ceremonies.

One excellent option for online marriages is Courtly, a platform that facilitates legal and binding marriages from anywhere in the world, even if the couple is thousands of miles apart. Since 2020, the United States has recognized and legalized online marriage applications, with Utah leading the way by eliminating the need for physical presence during the ceremony. This development has opened up exciting opportunities for couples seeking virtual weddings.

Eloping online with platforms like Courtly has become a modern and practical way for couples to join in matrimony. It eliminates the geographical barriers that may have hindered traditional weddings and offers a simple yet meaningful experience for all couples, regardless of their circumstances. With a comprehensive step-by-step guide and professional support, virtual weddings can be a beautiful and legally binding way to start a life together.

The advantages of eloping online

In recent years, online weddings have witnessed a surge in popularity, attracting couples with their convenience, cost-effectiveness, and eco-friendly nature. This modern option of eloping online provides a hassle-free and efficient way for couples to tie the knot, catering to the needs of the contemporary world.

Privacy is one of the key advantages of choosing an online elopement. With a low-key approach, couples can keep their marriage private and intimate without the need to inform everyone. Despite being non-traditional, online elopements still allow couples to incorporate meaningful traditions, like writing their own vows or selecting special music for the ceremony.

Financial benefits also make eloping online an attractive option. By avoiding the expenses associated with booking a traditional venue and catering for numerous guests, couples can save a considerable amount of money. Additionally, eloping offers the freedom to choose a location that holds personal significance, adding sentimental value to the occasion.

Furthermore, eloping grants couples the liberty to create a truly unique and personalized experience that reflects their individuality. From selecting distinctive wedding outfits to choosing breathtaking outdoor settings, couples can curate a wedding that represents their personalities and interests authentically.

The intimacy of an elopement allows couples to share a profoundly meaningful experience. Without the presence of a large audience, the focus remains solely on each other, enabling couples to be fully present at the moment and savor every aspect of the event. Moreover, eloping empowers couples to take control of their wedding timeline, ensuring that the occasion is tailored to their preferences.

free elopement checklist

Choosing the right platform for online elopement

There are two distinct types of online wedding services available to couples:

1. Wedding Planning and Streaming Services

These services focus on assisting couples with planning and streaming their wedding online. They offer various tools and resources to help couples attain their dream wedding, whether it's an intimate ceremony between the couple or a grand celebration shared with family and friends. Through these platforms, couples can make use of video conferencing with an officiant, allowing them to invite their desired guests from around the world to witness the ceremony from the comfort of their homes.

2. Legal Online Marriages

Also known as virtual weddings or e-marriages, these services enable couples to complete the legal requirements for marriage online, without being physically present in the same location. This option provides a convenient and affordable way for couples to get legally married without the need to hire a wedding planner or an officiant. Online marriage services often offer a range of tools and services to assist couples in planning and executing their wedding, saving them time, and money, and reducing stress associated with the process.

Couples seeking a more elaborate wedding can find assistance through platforms like SimplyEloped, which offer pre-set packages for online ceremonies. These platforms provide access to various venues and vendors, making it easier for couples to find the perfect location and services for their special day.

Choosing the best online marriage service requires careful consideration. Couples should review and compare different platforms to ensure they align with their specific needs and preferences. To assist in making an informed decision, it's beneficial to explore resources like articles or reviews on the top online marriage services.

Steps to elope online with Courtly

Eloping online with Courtly offers a seamless and convenient process for couples to obtain a legitimate US marriage certificate quickly and easily, often in less than 48 hours, and without the need for extensive documentation.

1. Sign Up and Create an Account

Registering with Courtly is a breeze. Simply click the "Get Married" button located in the top right corner of the website and follow the on-screen instructions. Once you've created your account, you can start filling out your application immediately.

2. Choose Ceremony Details

Now comes the exciting part – selecting your ceremony format, setting, and officiant. Browse through the options and pick the venue and style that resonate with you. Depending on your chosen time and date, Courtly will pair you with one of our legally qualified US officiants.

3. Make the Payment and Receive Confirmation

After choosing your desired wedding package, proceed with the payment. Once the transaction is complete, keep an eye on your inbox for Courtly's email confirmation. With that, the wedding preparations are well underway! For complete information on our available wedding packages and add-ons, please check our Pricing Page.

4. Celebrate Your Online Marriage with Loved Ones:

On the big day, gather your family and friends online to celebrate your union. You can tie the knot from the comfort of your home or any location with a stable internet connection. The ceremony typically takes around 15 minutes to complete.

Following the online wedding, you'll promptly receive a digital copy of your US marriage certificate. Within a week or two, a printed copy will be sent to your address. Additionally, you'll be able to download your digital marriage license shortly after the ceremony.

Couple getting married remotely in a bridge with licensed officiant


Courtly offers a seamless and budget-friendly option for couples from all walks of life to legally tie the knot online. The platform's inclusivity allows couples of any nationality, sexuality, or physical location to embark on this journey together, regardless of the miles that may separate them. Courtly's dedication to simplifying the process ensures that even those with unique circumstances, such as military personnel or incarcerated individuals, can obtain a valid US marriage certificate.

With Courtly's personal concierge and step-by-step guidance, couples can navigate the online elopement process with ease and confidence. The platform's flexibility in ceremony timing allows couples to choose a date and time that best suits their needs, making the experience truly meaningful and tailored to their preferences.

In embracing Courtly's services, couples can embark on their marriage journey with peace of mind, knowing that they are participating in a legally recognized and celebrated online elopement. Courtly's commitment to providing a meaningful and accessible platform for online weddings ensures that love knows no boundaries, and couples can create unforgettable memories regardless of their physical location or circumstances.

Let us handle the paperwork.

Getting married is complicated. Courtly simplifies the process and provides everything necessary to get married online, including providing a licensed officiant who can perform a remote ceremony.

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