Spaceworks’ newest backed company is a Tacoma entrepreneur’s small-scale wedding chapel — a venture she hopes will give couples the courage to marry who and how they wish.

After 17 years of dreaming about the opportunity, Rochelle Bergstrom has started Elope 253, an elopement chapel adjacent to Fireman’s Park in downtown Tacoma.

The business idea grew out of a need Bergstrom experienced when she was getting married in 2000.

“We didn't belong to a specific church, and didn't exactly feel like we belonged anywhere,” remembers 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 affordable, small, and memorable experience. Since, she wanted to open a small elopement chapel to provide a modern, charming space for people to tie the knot.

Bergstrom, who will act as wedding officiant at Elope 253, heard about Spaceworks from a podcast featuring manager Heather Joy and subsequently reached out.

“Spaceworks gave me the courage to express my dream out loud,” said Bergstrom.

The business is located at 700 Court A in Tacoma.