Most celebrity weddings are multi-day lavish affairs in dreamy destinations, complete with over-the-top outfit changes, extravagant details, and star-studded guest lists. Think Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s fairy tale ceremony in Italy or Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ $48 million nuptials.
While some celebrities pull out all the stops planning their nuptials, others forgo the fanfare in favor of a smaller, more intimate ceremony—sometimes just the two of them. While celebrity elopements may be the exception, many A-list stars who want to keep the details of their personal lives private opt for a low-key ceremony to avoid criticism or critique on what should be the most special day of their lives.
From courthouse ceremonies to backyard vows, here are some of our favorite celebrity elopements.
Demi Moore and Bruce Willis
Demi Moore and Bruce Willis dated for just three months before eloping in a suite at the Las Vegas hotel back in 1987. The couple ended their 12-year marriage in 2000 after having three children together: Rumer, Scout, and Tallulah.
Kim Kardashian and Damon Thomas
The Keeping Up With the Kardashians alum admitted she was high on ecstasy when she eloped with her first husband, music producer Damon Thomas, in 2000. She was 19 years old, with Thomas 10 years her senior. Kardashian and Thomas split in 2004, with the reality star alleging claims of domestic violence in the divorce filings.
Billy Bob Thornton and Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton’s whirlwind romance started on the set of the 1999 film Pushing Tin and culminated in a Las Vegas wedding just two months later. Thornton was actually engaged to actress Laura Dern when he married Jolie, who was 20 years his junior. The pair’s passionate romance served as tabloid fodder for years (they famously wore vials of each other’s blood around their necks), but eventually, the flames of passion burnt out. Jolie and Thornton divorced in 2002, but remain good friends to this day.
Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin
Gwyneth Paltrow and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin tied the knot in 2003 in Santa Barbara, California. The news of the secret ceremony came shortly after the couple announced that they were expecting their first child together, whom they later named Apple. They were married for 10 years before announcing their 'conscious uncoupling' in 2014.
Britney Spears and Jason Alexander
In what could possibly be a record for the shortest length of any marriage ever, pop star Britney Spears eloped with childhood sweetheart Jason Alexander in a Las Vegas wedding on January 3, 2004. In the annulment papers, the reason cited for the dissolution of the marriage is that Spears "lacked understanding of her actions to the extent that she was incapable of agreeing to the marriage."
Jessica Alba and Cash Warren
Actress Jessica Alba met film producer Cash Warren on the set of Fantastic Four back in 2004. The couple eloped on a whim back in 2008 when the actress was nine months pregnant with their first child, Honor, and have been married for over 13 years. In a post on Instagram celebrating the couple’s 11th anniversary, Warren looked back on the surprise nuptials: "It wasn't the dream wedding you deserved, in fact, it was laughably awkward."
Ryan Reynolds and Scarlett Johansson
This Hollywood power couple tied the knot on September 28, 2008, in a private ceremony at a remote wilderness retreat outside of Vancouver, B.C with only a handful of family and friends as witnesses. On December 14, 2010, after just over two years of marriage, the duo decided to part ways and announced their amicable split. "After long and careful consideration on both our parts, we've decided to end our marriage," the joint statement read. "We entered our relationship with love and it's with love and kindness we leave it."
Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon
After just a few weeks of dating, Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon pulled off a surprise wedding in the Bahamas. "We only told people who had to know. [To everyone else] we said we were [going to the Bahamas] for the video. If we brought a million people with us, it would’ve been obvious we weren’t shooting a video," Carey told People. The couple was married from 2008 to 2016 and share two kids together: a set of twins named Moroccan and Monroe.
Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen
Supermodel Gisele Bündchen and quarterback Tom Brady secretly married at St. Monica Catholic Church on February 26, 2009, in front of 20 of their closest family and friends. "I think you always have this idea that weddings need to be 200 people and you invite everybody, and I'm all for it if people want to do that, but I think there was really something special about just having our parents there," Brady told GQ. The couple shares two children together—Benjamin Rein Brady, 11, and Vivian Lake Brady, 8—and remain happily married over a decade later.
Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem
In July of 2010, The Telegraph first reported that Cruz and Bardem wed in a secret, low-key ceremony at a friend's house in the Bahamas. The bride wore a dress designed by John Galliano before saying "I do" to her longtime beau, who first met when they starred opposite each other in Bigas Luna's 1992 film Jamon, Jamon.
Sacha Baron Cohen and Isla Fisher
Isla Fisher and Sacha Baron Cohen met at a party in 2001 and have been together ever since, which is the closest thing we have to a Hollywood fairytale romance. After a six-year engagement during which they welcomed their first child, Olive, into the world, the couple wed in Paris in a small ceremony on March 15, 2010, with only six guests. According to the New York Times, Cohen tricked the paparazzi and had his father pretend to be a famous chef celebrating his 70th birthday to avoid having photographers at the real event—their wedding.
Orlando Bloom and Miranda Kerr
The actor and supermodel kept their decade-long relationship extremely quiet. They dated for three years before getting engaged in 2010 and tying the knot later that year in a low-key ceremony in Los Angeles. Their son, Flynn, was born the following January, but a few years later in 2013, the couple decided to separate. They finalized their amicable divorce in 2013, with Bloom telling Katie Couric in a 2013 interview they would always "love each other."
Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz
James Bond actor Daniel Craig first met Love Actually star Rachel Weisz at university after they both performed in the same play at the National Theatre Studio in 1994. The two reconnected on the set of the 2011 thriller Dream House and quietly got married in New York just six short months later. The couple welcomed a baby girl in 2018, whose name they have chosen to keep under wraps for now.
Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell
One of Hollywood’s most beloved couples had a rocky start before getting hitched at the Beverly Hills courthouse in 2013. Dax and Kristen broke things off in 2007 early on in their relationship before making it stick. The two got engaged in 2009 over the holidays but waited to tie the knot until same-sex marriage was legalized in California in June of 2013. On October 17, 2013, Kristen wore an all-black outfit to marry her beau, who traded a wedding band for a wedding tattoo: a small bell on his ring finger. The couple has two children, Lincoln and Delta, and talk openly about how important couple’s therapy is in their marriage.
Emily Ratajkowski and Sebastian Bear
Model, actress, and activist Emily Ratajkowski broke tradition and wore a mustard-yellow suit and a black hat for her courthouse wedding with film producer Sebastian Bear-McClard. The two were married during a civil ceremony in New York City on February 23, 2018, in front of a select group of close friends.
Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas
The middle Jonas Brother met actress Sophie Turner through mutual friends in 2016 and proposed a year later in 2017 with a $150,000 diamond ring. The couple shocked fans when they got hitched at the Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas following the Billboard Music Awards on May 1, 2019. Diplo streamed the ceremony on Instagram Live, which showed the couple exchanging Ring Pops as wedding bands. The following month, the newlyweds did it all over again in front of their family and friends in a gorgeous 18th-century French château.
Lily Allen and David Harbour
The Stranger Things star gave musician Lily Allen something to smile about when the two eloped in a secret Las Vegas ceremony on September 8, 2020, after a year of dating. Lily wore a veil and a vintage Dior belted, A-line mini dress to say "I do" to David Harbour in front of two guests: her daughters Marnie and Ethel. The new family of four decamped to In-N-Out Burger following the festivities for refreshments.
Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher
The journey from co-stars on That 70’s Show to husband and wife took Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher nearly 17 years to complete. After Aston left the show in 2005, the two didn’t reconnect until 2012, where they kept things casual before moving in together in April of that year. Aston popped the question with a 5-carat Tiffany solitaire diamond engagement ring worth a reported $250,000 in February 2014. The couple made things official at a private ceremony in Oak Glen, California, on July 4, 2015.
Cardi B and Offset
Cardi B shocked fans in June 2018 when she revealed that she and Migos rapper Offset had secretly gotten married in September 2017. The impromptu ceremony took place in the couple’s bedroom, with her cousin as the only witness.
"There are so many moments that I share with the world and then there are moments that I want to keep for myself!" she wrote on Twitter confirming their nuptials. "Getting married was one of those moments! Our relationship was so new breaking up and making up and we had a lot of growing up to do but we was so in love we didn’t want to lose each other, was one morning in September we woke up and decided to get married."
Their relationship has been rocky in the years since the elopement, and Cardi B even filed for divorce in September 2020 following allegations that her husband was cheating on her, but she had a change of heart and filed to dismiss the case two months later. The couple share a 3-year-old daughter Kulture Kiari and welcomed a son—whose name the couple has yet to make public—on September 4, 2021.
Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker
Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker finally made their relationship official after secretly eloping on April 4. Just hours after walking the red carpet during the 64th Annual Grammy Awards, the power couple tied the knot at a wedding chapel in Las Vegas. The pair said “I do” at 1:30 a.m. while an Elvis Presley impersonator officiated the intimate ceremony. The iconic twosome has been engaged since October 2021.