How To Elope In UK
Updated: Aug 20
Image via Lex Fleming Photo
Elopement - what is it exactly?
Originally eloping meant running away and getting married in secret. Think Romeo and Juliet aka forbidden love. Nowadays, it means something completely different. It has become very trendy and cool to ditch the tradition (and demanding parents) and tie the knot exactly the way you want. Elopements no longer need to be a secret nor without guests. And judging by the current climate of intimate weddings being the only ones happening this summer, elopement weddings are what loads of couples have chosen to do.
Most people, when asked, think of Las Vegas as the world's most popular elopement destination. In Vegas, you can grab a couple of people off the street and get married by an Elvis impersonator. Hilarious at the time, sure. Let’s not mention how many annulments happen after. But hey, if that is what you want to do, who am I to judge?
Where Should You Elope To?
You have brilliant options for eloping when choosing to do it in the UK. We have mountains, breathtaking coastlines, lakes, as well as beautiful cities. You are spoilt for choice really from Cornwall, Dorset, Devon, The Lake District, Scottish mountains and highlands, Isle of Skye, Wales to Northern Ireland.
When choosing your elopement destination in the UK, you should consider what season is the one for you. Consider when their busiest tourist season is and choose the dates either side of these busy months to avoid crowds.
If you think you can just elope on a whim, you can not. Even elopements need a certain amount of planning. You need to find your perfect attire, rings, book a registrar or celebrant, book the venue (at least 28 days before the date), decide on your witnesses (2 to get legally married), book a good photographer, book accommodation (if you’re not getting married in your home town) and think about transport or booking flights.
You should think about how you want your wedding day to feel like from start to finish, so it represents the two of you the best. What will the order of the day be? Music and how will you be able to play it or will you want to hire musicians? Find the perfect venue. Hire the right photographer to document your special day. Think about the logistics of the setup, will you need a florist or will you let nature be your backdrop? Etc.
Planning it small is what makes the elopements easier, cheaper, and exciting. You don’t have to think about planning for a large group of people anymore but focus on making it perfect for the two of you instead. You can be as free as a bird planning your day. Will you choose to go for a morning hike or horse riding on the beach, have a leisurely brunch, get ready at your pace then meet your pals and the celebrant in an abandoned chapel or by the waterfall for example. There are no rules and the possibilities are endless.
Reasons To Elope
As well as for the obvious reasons (not mentioning the dreaded C-word!), elopements can save you money. You won't have to budget for feeding 150 people, hire a big venue, and all the vendors that come with it. Instead, you can put more money towards your dream dress and shoes, hire the best photographer, hire a Michelin starred chef to cook up a storm for just you and your chosen few and have a bigger budget for your dream honeymoon.
And the best reason to elope? Easy. Not having to deal with the dreaded family politics! Listen, some people have the perfect family (I haven’t met them yet), but most of us are not that lucky. Eloping could be just the perfect excuse to avoid adding stress to your wedding day. Enough said.
If you fancy eloping and making your wedding about the two of you (and a few special pals), just do it. And if you need some guidance, give me a ring so we can start planning this adventure together (without the in-laws interfering!).
Love Zuza x