Carolyn Burke - Wedding Officiant has been performing elopement ceremonies since 2005. She charges a nominal fee ($50.00) in Kirkwood because she lives and works there and considers her town to be the PERFECT place for a small and intimate ceremony.
"We have beautiful parks, a train station, bandstands, gazebos, restaurants, and even a bed and breakfast for the honeymoon night," says Burke.
Hazel Nichols, from Potosi, Missouri had the perfect plan. She called Carolyn Burke the morning of July 3rd wondering if she was available to perform an elopement ceremony for her and her soon-to-be-husband, Danny Goodson that same day. Because Hazel and Danny did not have witnesses, the choice of location would have to be PUBLIC - somewhere where one could ask two people to stand and witness the marriage ceremony.
"Most times we have no problem finding them. People feel privileged to be asked and usually help take photos during and after the ceremony," Burke adds.
There are many reasons why couples decide to elope versus a traditional wedding. Most want to stay away from the stress and expense of something else. One thing that is nice about Missouri is that a couple can apply for their Marriage License anywhere in the state and use it anywhere in the state. Burke states, "I have seen marriage licenses from Perry, Washington, Adair and Jasper." So even if having a "destination wedding" is in the same state you live in, it is still a destination, right?