Elope in Indiana | Turkey Run State Park

Bride and groom hold one another closely while standing in a gorge at Turkey Run next to a waterall.

For lovers in the Midwest who want an adventurous wedding day, you should elope in Indiana at Turkey Run State Park. With epic landscapes, covered bridges, a charming inn, and great hiking, to elope in Indiana near Turkey Run State Park is a nature enthusiast’s dream. We’ve got you covered with all the details so you can relax and enjoy a day in nature with the one you love most.

Bride and groom hold hands while brides veil flows.

Turkey Run State Park Wedding

Newly budding trees, the sun peeking in and out of the clouds, and a crisp spring day at Turkey Run State Park in Indiana made for the perfect backdrop for this morning with Lauren + Nathan.

Couple walk on a trail holding hands next to tall trees.

While looking to document an elopement styled session in Turkey Run, Lauren + Nathan volunteered and we are so glad they did! Being in the outdoors is our happy place so it is always a delight when we get to document fellow outdoorsy couples.

Floral bowtie sits on wooden table with green suspenders and bowtie.

Bowtie + suspenders from The Bold Bowtie.

Wedding rings rest on top of hiking boots.

Lauren + Nathan were completely themselves as they explored the sandstone gorge and babbling brooks—their love evident from the way they looked at one another.

Husband and wife elope in Indiana laughing while holding hands.

They hiked, wrote and read love notes to one another, and celebrated their love. It was a special day and a reminder of how beautifully nature and love stories go hand in hand.

Hiking couple stands in front of log cabin with packs on.
Hiking couple smile at one another with packs on.
Bride and groom sit on a log laughing.

Two months after spending the day with Lauren + Nathan at Turkey Run State Park, we had the privilege of documenting videography of their wedding day.

Groom stands in front of large boulder with hands in his pockets.

“The Vallosio’s were absolutely amazing videographers to work with! They were so helpful both before and on our wedding day. They are great with communication and always sent reminders or updates. Our wedding videos were beautiful and fully captured our day. I highly recommend!”

-Lauren
Bride standing on rock looks away.
Bride and groom share their first kiss.
Couple stands together in a gorge looking in opposite directions.

Leave No Trace

During our exploring, we made sure to Leave No Trace. This is so important to keep our parks and other wild spaces safe for years to come. We kept to known trails and were mindful of plants + wildlife. When everything was finished, we packed everything out so nothing was left behind.

Backs of bride and groom wearing their packs with just married signs.

If this aesthetic feels like a breath of fresh air, then eloping at a state park might be the perfect fit for your amazing day. If you still have a lot of questions, keep reading to learn how you can elope in Indiana.

Groom helps bride cross water as they hike on their elopement.

How to Elope in Indiana

What do we need if we want to elope in Indiana?

To legally get married in Indiana, this is what you need to do:

  • obtain an Indiana marriage license
  • hire an ordained officiant (or bring a friend who is ordained)
  • sign your marriage license (no witnesses required!)
Wedding rings in a grey case resting on a mossy log next to pink carnations.

First, you’ll need to obtain a marriage license. It is valid for 60 days from when it is issued and you can get married the same day. Both of you will need to visit the Clerk’s office in the county where one of you lives. If you’re visiting from out of state, then you’ll go to the office in the country where your ceremony will take place.

Bride and groom look at one another as they lean against a stone bridge.
Groom looks at smiling bride while they stand against a stone bridge.
Groom and bride walking on suspension bridge.

You will both need documentation that shows your date of birth as well as your Social Security Number. A marriage license in Indiana (as of 2024) is $25.00 for Hoosiers and $65.00 for those out of state. All that’s needed are both of your signatures and the officiant’s signature on the official license!

Groom writes his vows while sitting outside.
Bride writes her vows while sitting outside.
Couple writing vows on a log in the woods.

Something to note, depending on the county, they might require additional information or there might be additional fees so look ahead at the office that you’ll be visiting so you know for sure. Read this for additional marriage license information in the state of Indiana.

Bride and groom holding hands elope in Indiana.

PRO TIP: To keep things simple, you can get legally married where you live before the date of your elopement. This keeps things very simple on your end. At your elopement, you can still share your vows and enjoy a ceremony or epic adventure without having to worry about legal logistics.

Groom reads vows to bride.

What locations do you recommend in/around Turkey Run State Park?

Oh my gosh, you have so many beautiful options in and around the park to spend your time! Depending on the location you choose and the type of day you plan will determine if you need a special permit for your elopement.

Couple celebrate with a dip after their Indiana elopement.
Couple embrace next to trailhead and packs.

Be sure to look at the website of the location you are considering or give them a quick email or call if you are unsure. Respecting the rules of these beautiful places will allow for these areas to remain open, kept safe, and accessible to many for years to come.

Couple sits on steps in their wedding attire looking away.

Cool Lodging Options:

PRO TIP: *With these lodging options, it would be a smooth, simple place to get ready as well!

Bride fixes groom's bowtie.
Groom's hands zip up bride's dress.
Groom and bride laugh while he zips up her dress.
Groom rests his hands on bride's waist as they get ready together for their elopement.

Epic Spots + Trails to Explore:

  • Sugar Creek (play in the water or walk along it)
  • Crossing the Suspension Bridge (it’s a beautiful view of sugar creek)
  • Wedge Rock
  • Rocky Hollow (this could be a great spot for a vow exchange or a picnic break)
  • Punch Bowl (this hike goes through the water and is a lot of fun-just make sure you’re prepared to get wet)
  • The Ladders
  • The Log Church

PRO TIP: Here’s a list of the trails, how long they are, and their level of difficulty. There’s also a map! Make sure you pick the best trail for your experience level and know that if you’re unsure about which trails might make for the best lighting and scenery for photos/video, you can always ask your photographers/videographers.

Newlyweds share a dip kiss next to a huge boulder in a gorge.
Couple chooses to elope in Indiana at Turkey Run State Park standing next to a waterfall.

Places to have a Ceremony/Exchange Vows:

  • On a less traveled trail (if it’s just the two of you + your officiant)
  • Inside at the Inn (there’s a few options here)
  • At the Log Church
  • At a Shelter
  • At Your Airbnb (if permitted-you’ll need to check on this as some Airbnbs do not allow this)

NOTE: Depending on where you choose, you might need a special permit for your elopement or reserve/pay for the space. You can call the park to check on this.

Bride and groom laugh while sharing their vows during their elopement at Turkey Run State Park.
Waterfall flows behind husband and wife.

Turkey Run Weddings Checklist:

  1. Marriage License ($25-65 depending on the county and additional fees.)
  2. Wedding Day Special Use Permit (This depends on the location you choose—call the park to see what is required for the location you’re considering.)
  3. Park Entrance Fees ($7 daily fee for in-state vehicles and $9 daily fee for out-of-state vehicles)
  4. Officiant ($50-$200 depending on if it’s a friend or a professional and how long they will be there.)
  5. Photographer / Videographer ($3-8K)
  6. Photography / Videography permit ($100, but in our case this is included with photo + video cost)
  7. Lodging (~$150-250/night or less if you’re camping)
  8. Outfits (Depends on if you thrift your wedding dress or buy designer or rent—you do you!)
  9. Food (Whether you want a small cake or a picnic, a private dinner, or all 3, this price varies if you hire it out or make it yourselves.)
  10. Bouquet + Décor ($20-$500 depending on how elaborate you want or if you want to skip these things. Don’t leave ANYTHING behind. Some locations will limit how much décor you have due to Leave No Trace principles protecting the area. We encourage you to embrace nature as your décor and the “less is more” principle.)
  11. Activities (Ex: picnic, hiking at a park, horseback riding, kayaking, etc.)
  12. Bringing guests will affect the cost so think about if you want others to join or not.

PRO TIP: You can lower costs by getting legally married before your elopement or by getting married outside the park.

Bride holds her flowers.
Groom fixes floral bowtie.
Couple looks tiny next to large rock formations and creek.

When is best time for eloping in Indiana?

Well, the Midwest is quite unpredictable, but usually between April to November can have tolerable outdoor weather. When we were at Turkey Run with Lauren + Nathan, it was early April. The weather was a little chilly and had rained in the days before.

Couple looks at their hand-written vows as they share them.

Realistically, it depends on the time of day, but the most recommended times to elope in Indiana would be late May through October. Summer and fall provide beautiful weather, but are usually covered bridge festival season which means a lot of people visiting this area of Indiana. Choosing a week day can also help to avoid the festival crowds too!

Groom spins bride as they elope in Indiana.

To avoid the crowds (and the hottest parts of the day), you can plan something for sunrise or sunset. You’ll just want to make sure that whatever location you choose will allow for good lighting. For example, you don’t want to be in the gorges super close to sunset because the lighting is already gone at that time with how deep the gorges are.

Bottom of bride's dress covered in dirt from elopement hike.
Backpacks with just married signs rest in the sun again a mossy logs next to hiking books.

What activities could we incorporate when we elope in Indiana?

  • Hiking at Turkey Run State Park
  • Kayaking/Canoeing/Paddle-Boarding along Sugar Creek
  • Camping (definitely enjoy some s’mores by the campfire)
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking at Shades State Park (it’s just down the road and has stunning trails that are less traveled!)
  • Horseback Riding at The Saddle Barn
  • Visit covered bridges in the area (there’s 31 of them in Parke County)
  • Explore the nearby towns (Rockville looks to be very quaint!)  
  • Fishing on Sugar Creek
  • Stargazing

There’s lots of fun activities you can incorporate into your elopement and when you decide what you want to do, it will assist you in the time of year you want to elope.

Turkey Run Adventure Elopement Sample Timeline

  • 6:30 am – Sunrise mini hike to write vows in the outdoors (pack some breakfast snacks)
  • 9:00 am – Coffee + breakfast at the Inn
  • 10:00 am – Get ready together in room at the Inn with finishing touches outside together
  • 12:00 pm – Picnic lunch in a cute lil’ spot
  • 1:30 pm – Hike to where you want to share your private vows
  • 2:30 pm – Exchange vows + share your first kiss
  • 3:00 pm – Explore in wedding attire
  • 4:30 pm – Drive to Airbnb tiny home
  • 5:00 pm – Arrive at Airbnb tiny home
  • 5:30 pm – Official ceremony with officiant + signing of marriage license
  • 6:00 pm – Romantic private dinner catered outside at your Airbnb on a decorated picnic table
  • 7:30 pm – Dessert (cake, s’mores, or both!)
  • 7:45 pm – First dance + time exploring the Airbnb property (it includes 2 fields of evergreen trees and overlooks Sugar Creek)
  • 8:45 pm – Watch the sunset at the creek overlook
  • 9:00 pm – Walk back to the Airbnb
  • 9:20 pm – Change into comfortable hiking clothes
  • 9:50 pm – Enjoy champagne (or drink of choice) by the campfire
  • 10:45 pm – Stargaze at the Airbnb

You two deserve the day you’ve always dreamed of. If an adventure elopement in Indiana is what the you’re looking for, then that’s what you should do. No matter what kind of wedding you choose, make sure that it brings you both peace and joy. That is what matters most as you start your marriage.

Bride smirks while standing on large rock.
Groom laughing with hands in his pockets.

If this is what you’re looking for, you can reach out and contact Jonathan and I here. Then we can start talking about your peaceful, outdoorsy day and any photo or video needs you might have.

Husband and wife stand on logs looking in opposite directions.

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Newlyweds running through a state park while holding hands.

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We’re Jonathan + Ashley Vallosio,
videographers + photographers in Indianapolis, IN, ready to capture
photos + video of your next adventure.

Contact us at vallosiophotoandfilm@gmail.com.

Image by Made in the Mountains Photo

We’re Jonathan + Ashley Vallosio,
videographers + photographers in Indianapolis, IN, ready to capture
photos + video of your next adventure.

Wedding photography

Wedding videography

portrait Photography

elopements

(engagement, COUPLES, FAMILY)

Contact us at vallosiophotoandfilm@gmail.com.

Image by Made in the Mountains Photo