An elopement chapel, Elope 253, is the product of one entrepreneur’s dream. The Tacoma venue will offer couples an intimate wedding experience. The space’s bright yellow doors and charming atmosphere is fit for low-key but special weddings.
Owner and officiant Rochelle Bergstrom said she hopes the chapel will help couples in the community to marry the way they wish to.
It all started in 2000, when Bergstrom wanted to get married, and didn’t have an easy time finding the perfect venue.
“We didn’t belong to a specific church, and didn’t exactly feel like we belonged anywhere,” said Bergstrom. “And we wanted to feel taken care of and simply show up with everything ready so we could just focus on us.”
Without a convenient elopement chapel nearby, the couple traveled to Las Vegas for an experience that was small, memorable, and affordable.
Since then, Bergstrom has wanted to open a small elopement chapel for people to tie the knot in Tacoma. Thus, the idea for Elope 253 was born.
Bergstrom heard about the Creative Enterprise program while listening to an episode of local podcast Move to Tacoma, which featured Heather Joy of Spaceworks Tacoma.
Spaceworks provided Bergstrom with 14 weeks of training on local resources and how to start a business, during which she was able to design and pitch a full business plan.
“Spaceworks gave me the courage to express my dream out loud,” said Bergstrom.
She said community support is important for couples who may want to elope or have a small wedding but feel unsupported on how they decide to marry due to past societal pressures.
Three packages at Elope 253 aim to meet the needs of different couples. “Elope & Go” is the original elopement-style wedding, with a quick ceremony and a gift to go out and enjoy the city however they wish. “Let’s Elope” has everything for a tiny wedding, from venue, ceremony, and photos, to donuts and champagne. And, lastly, the “Elope & Celebrate” package comes with everything from the “Let’s Elope” with a small reception at the venue’s lounge.
Right by Fireman’s Park in downtown Tacoma, the elopement chapel is surrounded by historic landmarks. There’s also a gorgeous view of both the urban landscape and Commencement Bay.
You can follow along with Elope 253 on Facebook and Instagram: @elope253
Elope 253 is holding an open house celebration from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, April 29