Unique recommendations for your whole wedding day, not just the ceremony.
When you hear “Cleveland” as a suggestion for your elopement, it may not seem to be an ideal location but don’t give up on CLE just yet. You’re about to have your mind blown. Cleveland is just about as good as keeping secrets as Las Vegas, and likely a whole lot closer to you. You don’t need to hop on a plane to elope. You can get married right here in The Land, and we can help.
Elopements sound like they are going to be easy to plan, because they are way less detailed than a traditional wedding but because they are less common it sometimes makes it a bit harder to find a location that resonates with the two of you. Many times, finding an ideal location depends on how you see your wedding day coming to fruition. Many couples have a vision of their elopement and what will the day include, how do you plan on spending the rest of your wedding day? If you are looking for a destination that offers world class dining, unique and authentic cultures, and a wonderful night life, Cleveland is an awesome place to elope. It’s filled with niche areas, unique nightlife like Good Night John Boy in The Flats, Renown museums such as the Museum of Natural History and the Rocking Roll Hall of Fame, Concert venues like Jacobs Pavilion and The Agora, national sports arenas and it’s all located directly on the shores of Lake Erie. Cleveland is also just a short 45-minute drive from Ohio’s Wine Country, which boasts over 40 area wineries, breweries, and distilleries. Whew. There is a lot going on in this fair city.
In addition to all Cleveland has to offer it’s a quick drive from Detroit, Columbus, Erie, and Pittsburgh, just to name a few. With quick accessibility and all this city has to offer, it’s a no brainer to consider for an elopement in our books. Between Cleveland’s beautiful views of Lake Erie and its bustling nightlife, it checks many of the boxes for those who are looking to elope.
Although this isn’t an exhaustive list, we’ve included ten of our favorite locations to elope in CLE:
1. Cultural Gardens: The Cultural Gardens are situated surrounding the Rockefeller Gardens and stretches over 276 acres on Cleveland’s East Side. There are over 40 cultural gardens with more being added each year. Not only are the cultural gardens beautifully maintained but are an economical space to reserve for an elopement. These parks are open to the public but you can file a permit with the City of Cleveland to ensure you are the only wedding taking place in that garden.
Our recommendations are the Italian Gardens and the Hungarian Gardens. These gardens are most popular for wedding ceremonies and there really isn’t any wondering why when you see them. They are ordained with beautiful fountains, lush greenery and flowers, and glorious architecture. The photo opportunities here are not lacking. There are many unique locations within each garden that you will not miss out on the perfect wedding photography you were hoping for.
As with many outdoor spaces, the Cultural Gardens doesn’t have any Plan B locations in case of poor weather. If you aren’t willing to risk it or marry under an umbrella, you can also book our next recommendation for your backup location.
2. Rockefeller Park Greenhouse: You can reserve a space to host a semi private indoor ceremony and take some amazing photos among their indoor greenhouses and outdoor maintained gardens. The cost is minimal and highly recommended in months where the weather could be poor, especially because it’s so warm inside. Imagine getting married in December and having the lush greens inside for photos then popping out into a winter wonderland for the remainder of your photos. Truly that is a unique elopement. After your ceremony, you can walk or take a short drive over to any of the cultural gardens to grab a few extra photos if you love the garden feel.
After the ceremony, we suggest heading over to celebrate with a dinner at Cleveland’s Premier Seafood Restaurant, Blue Point Grille. This restaurant is well known for its Oysters Rockefeller, which we recommend to put you into a romantic mood. This restaurant also has lots of conservatory vibes that we feel brings the whole day full circle. Blue Point Grille also has private rooms to reserve for groups of 14-250. So, if you are looking to have some friends and family tag along, we recommend looking into the Mezzanine that looks out over the main dining room, or the Board Room. The BoardRoom is perfect for an intimate dinner for up to fourteen guests.
3. Nature Center at Shaker Lakes: This park, close to many museums, is twenty minutes from Cleveland’s Downtown center. We love this location because it has a lush wooded area and marsh. In addition, the Rose Foundation Pavilion is a beautifully handcrafted pavilion that is available to be reserved for your intimate ceremony and can be utilized in in climate weather. Not only is this location beautiful for photos but is dedicated to the preservation of green space and education, so when you book the location for your elopement, not only are you booking your wedding venue, but you are assisting a wonderful non-profit location.
We just love the intimacy of the space and photo opportunities that exist at this location. The park has many paved and natural trails and a long boardwalk around the marsh with tons of places to tuck in for some amazing wedding day pictures or just a smooch with your new spouse.
After this woodland elopement, we suggest heading over to Cleveland’s famous Little Italy to take in a martini and some amazing Italian cuisine. Skip the cake and head over to one of Little Italy’s famous bakeries, such as Presti’s Bakery, for chocolate dipped macaroons or a fresh baked cannoli to share.
4. The Foundry: This is a hidden gem. This newly released venue is located in The Flats and near many amazing restaurants. This location has a real industrial feel and is located on the edge of the Cuyahoga River Inlet. A beautiful location that is an intimate location that makes you feel cut off from the bustling city.
There are some real bonuses to this location. They offer two Airbnb’s so you can stay right there on property. You’ll have a place to get ready for your elopement and relax before, and spend a few days on site. This location sits right on the Cuyahoga River and is great for pictures. This location also boasts a famous Cleveland Script Sign for some epic photos to send to family to announce your big news. Our favorite part about this location is that all the funds paid for your wedding assist this non-profit is continuing to develop its education and training program to assist children in the Cleveland area to learn how to boat and sail.
Hop on over after your elopement to dine at the luxurious Marble Room, or go casual and grab a pizza at Sainato’s at Rivergate. Either way, it will be a meal to remember.
5. The Agora: This concert venue that has hosted such artists as the Grateful Dead, Alice Cooper, Chuck Berry, The Eagles, Beachboys, & Muddy Waters and is still a staple venue in The Rock and Roll Capital of the word. Artists these days are more geared towards indie artists, up and comers, burlesque shows and comedians and they provide couples with a chance to elope on the stage of this nostalgic Rock and Roll venue.
An elopement here comes with concert acoustics and stage lighting to make sure your whole experience is at Rock Star status.
When eloping at this venue, you get to hang out like a Rock Star. The Green Room is set up for you to relax & hang out before the ceremony. It’s a perfect space to get ready without being seen before the ceremony. After you tie the knot, you and your new spouse can sign the Green Room wall like rock legends. Then, when it’s all official you can head downtown to The Flats, AsiaTown, or Lakewood. All great locations for a night out on the town to party it up like a Rockstar.
The Agora also has a ballroom that can be rented for smaller micro-weddings and you can rent the entire facility for a more formal wedding, if that’s your style. We like to keep it simple, so we suggest the Rockstar Elopement.
6. Edgewater Beach: This beach is one of the most popular along the shores of Lake Erie. Located near Whiskey Island and another Cleveland script sign (for epic photos), this location is wonderful for a Lakefront or beach elopement. One of the many gems of Cleveland are its sweeping views of Lake Erie and its vast beaches. When you think of Cleveland you have to think of its beautiful sunsets over the city skyline. Capture the sunset as you say your vows. Nothing says elopement like a beach elopement.
After you say your “I Do’s” you can head over to Pier W for an epic meal. If you plan on a sunrise elopement you can head over to Pier W for their famous Brunch. This place is well known for its seafood and sweeping views of Lake Erie, but we suggest trying their Ricotta Cheese Blintz.
7. Solstice Steps: Located in Lakewood park, which cover about 480 feet of curved shoreline and named after the Summer Solstice, which centers the sun amidst these structured steps overlooking Lake Erie. These steps are open to the public but in a large enough area where you should get some privacy for an intimate ceremony.
Afterwards head on over to East 4th to grab a cocktail at The Velvet Tango room then a bite to eat at Cordelia. This restaurant was just ranked one of Cleveland’s Best Restaurants for 2023. Then afterwards the two of you can grab tickets for a comedy show over at Hilarities 4th Street Theater. This comedy club hosts some of the best comedians in the country. Don’t forget to take your photographer for some amazing on site photos on East 4th Street.
8. Cleveland Zoo: Did you know you can elope at the Zoo? These special events only take place after hours but this doesn’t keep the venue from being any less unique. The zoo and the Rain Forest are both unique and nostalgic locations to host your intimate elopement or small wedding. We love that the zoo contributes to Wildlife Conservation and lets us know that our money is going to something more than a rental on your wedding day.
The Cleveland Zoo is a short drive from a new restaurant in Cleveland that is making waves in the foodie scene. JaJa draws culinary inspiration from all over the world and it’s truly a dining experience. This restaurant boasts a retractable roof for open air dining at its finest.
9. Hedge Gallery at 78Th Studios: Looking for something totally different from the ‘norm’. Well, this baby is it. The Hege Gallery is an art studio located near Edgewater Beach and a 10 minute drive from Downtown Cleveland. This location is filled with 3 floors of art galleries and 100’s of opportunities, indoor and out, to get the perfect post-marriage photography.
The Gallery itself is located on the 2nd floor and is filled with a revolving theme of art, unique touches to make the space unique and beautifully exposed brick.
The Studios at 78th Street are open to the public and they host an event called Third Fridays, where you can visit the space after hours, soak in some artwork and tour their spaces. They do host larger events in their RAMP space and smART SPACE (pictured above) if you bail on your elopement planning and opt for a small wedding instead.
Hedge Gallery is located near Local West, a craft sandwich and beer bistro. Head on over after you make your marriage official to get some grub and spend your day your way. Don’t forget to clink pints and cheers over your new marriage.
10. The Colab: Right outside of the downtown areas, about 15 minutes from the city center is The Colab. This intimate elopement space is also good for small micro-weddings and business meeting space. Your thinking, if its good for all those types of events, how is it good for an elopement. Well, considering its in Lakewood near some fabulous restaurants and on our to-visit list, Rood, that has a wine bar and pie.
The inside of The Colab is adorably decorated with two indoor locations, including their newly renovated speakeasy. It’s a great location for cooler months and the rooms are ordained with romantic touches and comfy lounge furniture. The space also includes a bridal suite and a kitchenette. You have an intimate space to get ready and store snacks as you'll want to keep your energy up for your big (little) day.
11. BONUS VENUE: Cleveland Botanical Gardens-
In our list we just couldn’t leave out The Cleveland Botanical Gardens, located in University Circle. It is truly a sight to see. They have special installations all year long including their Orchids forever show, which is very popular and happens approximately in January each year.
This facility does host larger weddings but can host elopements as well. It might be one of the more expensive locations on the list but if you are looking for a greenhouse feel year round, this should be on your list of considerations. Plus, think of all the money you’re saving by eloping instead of having a big wedding.
Afterwards we suggest skipping dinner and head right into dessert. Head over to Cleveland Famous Mitchells’ Ice Cream. We’re big fans of the Cookies and Cream, but hey, they have over 20 flavors to choose from. And if you're feeling traditional, take a spin on the old Wedding Cake and order an ice cream cake instead. It’s your day and you can eat your cake if you want to.
You still haven’t found the right location to exchange your vows? No worries. We still have a few cards up our sleeves. When we locate a venue for your elopement it’s important that it’s the right fit for the two of you and reflects your personality and vision of your day.
We will find the perfect venue and build a custom elopement package to include the rest of your needs for your day including flowers, photography and officiation. Traveling from out of State or from across the state and need help with other elements like lodging and hair & make up? We can help with that too.
WE are a one stop, elopement shop, building special elopement and wedding packages to make your day stress-free and unique.
Our specialty is hosting no-nonsense elopements so that on your wedding day, you can spend it together, and not stressed about the details.
Click here to view our packages and services.