FAQs

What is an Elopement wedding?

Elope is the term given to couples who have historically ‘run away’ to get married in secret, however, in recent years it has taken on a whole new meaning! More and more couples are choosing to elope as appose to running away in favour of a hassle free day which is just about the two of them, whilst some couples opt to invite their nearest and dearest.   

Why Elope?

There are many reasons a couple may choose to elope or opt for a smaller, more intimate wedding. Some couples simply feel a large scale wedding is not what they want. Family disagreements is also another common reason as couples don’t want family politics overshadowing their day or have to leave out family members who may live too far away, meaning the logistics just wouldn’t be doable.

Couples are choosing to ditch the traditional idea of getting married in favour of eloping for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common are;

1. To avoid family politics or those without the traditional family set-up

Some couples do not have the traditional family set-up for various reasons and may simply feel a large scale wedding is not what they want. Another common reason is certain family members may not get along, this doesn’t only overshadow the entire day it also makes things like seating arrangements near impossible! Another consideration is family members who are spread over a large area or live abroad meaning the logistics just wouldn’t be doable.

2. To save money

With the average wedding now costing in excess of £30,000 an increasing number of couples are instead opting to elope with just a few guests to vastly reduce the overall cost, putting the rest of their money to better use, be it a dream honeymoon, deposit towards a house or in raising a family. Things they will get enjoyment from for many years to come as appose to spending a large amount of money for one day, the majority of it being on other people!

3. A stress free day to remember

There’s no denying planning a wedding can be extremely stressful with lots of things to consider, often entailing never ending lists of names, venues, colours, likes/dislikes the list truly is endless! Generally elopements are much more straightforward. Venues typically offer a choice of elopement packages leaving just a few of the finer details for you to decide, such as flowers and the all-important cake!

4. Previously married or a later in life marriage

Those who have been married before or those getting married later on in life may not want all the fuss of a ‘big day’ and wish to enjoy a much smaller celebration either on their own or with close family members.

5. Wish to celebrate at a later date

Many couples who choose to elope for their wedding often choose to hold a celebratory event at a later date with their wider circle of family and friends. This means the couple can enjoy celebrating with everyone having already enjoyed their ceremony and time together. Some couples even choose to do a ‘wedding reveal’ to surprise their guests!

6. Want to legally marry without all the fuss

This is perhaps the most popular reason for eloping!

Couples wish to legally marry but they want it to be about them instead of having to worry about everyone else on ‘their day’

Eloping still offers the couple the option of including their own special touches to make the day memorable hence why couples seeking a small, intimate ceremony often choose to elope in favour of a standard registry office. 

What are the legal considerations when deciding to elope?

With the average wedding now costing in excess of £30,000 an increasing number of couples are instead opting to elope with just a few guests to vastly reduce the overall cost, putting the rest of their money to better use, be it a dream honeymoon, deposit towards a house or in raising a family. Things they will get enjoyment from for many years to come as appose to spending a large amount of money for one day, the majority of it being on other people!

Within the UK you can decide whether to have a religious or civil ceremony. To do so in England & Wales the following must apply;

  • You must not already be married or in a civil partnership
  • Not be closely related
  • Be a British Citizen or have indefinite rights to remain within the UK. If you are a foreign national you must hold a valid permit/visa
  • Be aged 16 years or over (parental/guardian permission required if aged between 16-18 years)

(Slightly different rules apply in Scotland & Northern Ireland)

Do we still have to give notice when eloping?

Absolutely! In England and Wales you are required to give a minimum of 28 days’ notice at their local registry office before the date you plan to marry. If you or your partner are not citizens of a European economic area, you will be required to submit evidence of immigration status when giving the notice to marry (fees apply) the information required to give notice is:

  • Evidence of name & address
  • Evidence of date of birth
  • If one/both partners have been married before evidence that the marriage has been legally ended will be required (decree absolute or death certificate)
  • Evidence of nationality

Once you have both successfully given your notice to marry it will be valid for 12 months after which time you would be required to renew. Also, should you decide to change the venue of your ceremony your notice would have to be re-submitted detailing the new venue. The approximate cost of giving your notice is £35 per individual. 

Eloping abroad?

Elopements abroad are subject to the laws in the country you have chosen. This link https://www.gov.uk/marriage-abroad will provide you with the information you require when considering getting married abroad.

Will you be required to provide your own witnesses?

This is definitely a question to ask the venue where your ceremony will be held. Most venues which cater for elopement packages offer to provide two statutory witnesses, usually staff members, however it should definitely be something on your checklist!

Where can you elope?

You can elope within the UK or abroad to a country of your choice, however you must ensure you are fully aware of the residency requirements prior to deciding on a specific country. For example, in Spain civil ceremonies require that one of the couple have been resident in Spain for at least 2 years continuously before the wedding can take place unless it’s a catholic wedding via the church, in which case there is no minimum residency requirement.

10% of all listing fees go to the Gift Of A Wedding charity

"Quite simply, our charity is about bringing joy, love and happiness to those with a terminal or life-shortening illness. We do that by gifting wedding services and vow renewals to people regardless of age, race, religion, gender or sexual orientation with the help of the generous UK wedding and hospitality industry and gifted volunteers all around the UK."

https://www.giftofawedding.org/

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“We decided on a ‘Just us’ elopement wedding over-looking the Lake Windermere”

It was perfect from start to finish! Naturally, we were a little apprehensive but we needn’t have been, everyone was so incredibly welcoming and helpful. The whole day went without a hitch, it was completely stress-free having no guests to worry about or consider. It also meant we got to spend the entire few days together to enjoy being ‘husband & wife’. We wouldn’t have changed a single thing and recommend eloping to everyone- after all a wedding is about two people not two hundred!! We didn’t even miss out on the celebrations as we had organised an evening of celebrations with our family and friends on our return!

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