Get Married on the Fly with a Pop-Up Wedding

A small pop-up wedding ceremony space set up with white chairs and greenery.

If you love the idea of a traditional wedding, but don’t have the time, money, or energy to plan one, you’re in for a treat. There’s a new trend in town called pop-up weddings. And judging from their popularity, it’s one that’s here to stay.

A pop-up wedding is similar to an elopement—but with all the fancy details and often at a public location. Depending on how it’s done, you can picture it as a flash mob type of affair, or as getting hitched in Vegas. In addition, it’s not necessarily limited to just you and your spouse; you’re free to invite guests if you’d like. Best of all, pop-ups can usually be arranged within a short period and for a fraction of the cost.

The Benefits of a Pop-Up Wedding

If you’re not keen on a complex wedding or a large guest list, there are many benefits to having a pop-up wedding. Couples who are busy, limited in budget, or just in a rush to get married will find many advantages in a pop-up wedding.

First, they’re incredibly easy to do, and all the details can be taken care of by a wedding planner. Second, even if you hire a service, pop-up weddings are incredibly cheap. Not including your clothes or rings, you can put everything together for under $1,000. Third, despite their low cost they can have all the elements of a traditional wedding. And lastly, they can be arranged in a fraction of the time. So if you’re eager to start your married life together, it’s the perfect choice for you.

Planning a Pop-Up Wedding

If the idea of a pop-up wedding is intriguing, you should definitely look into one. Because the idea of one is to make things easier than a traditional wedding, most couples usually go with a specialized planning service to arrange everything.

Such services provide an all-inclusive package. You’ll be given a venue, officiant, photographer, bouquet, and possibly a small after-party. All you have to do is buy a dress and/or suit, two rings, and “pop” in! This takes all the stress out of the planning process and is ideal for the spontaneous couple.

In some cases, a pop-up wedding business will coordinate several weddings in one day, and you can choose a time slot at which you’ll attend. In most cases, such events last no more than two hours. After, you’re free to run off and continue the celebration on your own terms.

Some pop-up specialists will give you some room for creativity, while others are more akin to a Vegas-style wedding. However, you can also plan one on your own. Either way, if you’re wondering how they work, here’s a quick guide that’ll help you.


A bride and groom kissing at their pop-up weddingin front of tropical leaves and flowers.

With pop-up weddings, the world is your oyster. You can literally get married wherever you want. Yes, it’s true, for many locations you need a license—but if you’re the adventurous type, you can literally say your vows in any location. Just be prepared to run off quickly if someone calls you out.

If you’re hiring a professional service, they’ll usually have a decorated venue already set up at a specific location. In which case, you might not have much room for creativity, but if that’s not a big deal for you, it’s a great option.

Guests and Invitations

Pop-up weddings are meant to be a small, intimate affair, so limit your guest list to around 10 people. You also don’t need to invite anyone at all. Unlike with traditional weddings, you don’t need to send an invite in advance. Half of the fun is planning one last-minute. If you want, you can tell people as soon as you know, or you can keep it a secret until the day of.


With most all-inclusive packages for a pop-up wedding, there will be a photographer on site that will do a quick photoshoot and provide you with a handful of pictures to take home. In most cases, you’ll get 30 minutes to pose and get a handful of photos in return. This is an advantage for couples who don’t want to be in front of the camera for hours, but might be a disadvantage if you want a full photo album. However, you can always hire a private photographer and do a shoot before or after you tie the knot.

Dress Code

A young modern couple wearing black leather jackets and kissing in front of an urban garden space.

Because this is a more casual affair, you’re free to make your own rules. There’s no need to wear a white dress or be fancy. On the other hand, there’s no one stopping you from being as formal as you want. If you want to wear a cathedral-length veil at your favorite fast food chain, so be it.

Skipping the Extras

As with the dress code, the rules do not apply to any other aspect of the pop-up wedding. You don’t need bridesmaids or groomsmen. You don’t need a wedding cake. And you don’t need anything you don’t want! The idea behind a pop-up wedding is that it’s supposed to be fun. No one will judge you for what you do or don’t do.

Legal Matters

Keep in mind that in some cases, the officiant may not be “official,” so it’s important to legalize your marriage at the city hall or courthouse afterward. This is especially important if you’re getting hitched in a non-licensed location.

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