How To Elope In The UK And Abroad
For some couples, it’s better to spend money experiencing a cool new place rather than an elaborate wedding. For them, eloping is an adventurous, fun, romantic, and pragmatic option. Nonetheless, while it’s much simpler than hosting a big wedding, it can be quite difficult to figure out the logistics of running off and getting married. Basically, you can’t just elope without knowing how to elope. This post aims to clear that up.
What Is Eloping?
Technically, eloping means running away in haste from somewhere to never return. However, it has a more nuanced definition in the wedding parlance – getting married without telling anyone, especially the parents. Eloping can also suggest forgoing the ordinary wedding and eloping for a ceremony instead.
However, in our modern times, eloping doesn’t necessarily mean running away to some far-flung destination and marrying in hiding. Some couples who choose to elope will actually inform their families and friends before the ceremony, though they might choose not to invite them for the same.
This modern version of eloping is in many cases driven by the economics rather than forbidden romance, considering how the costs of weddings rise every year. Many young couples are choosing to skip the traditional route in favour of a quick ceremony in some exotic destination. It’s much easier, cheaper, and holds the magical thrill of running away just to be with someone you truly love.
There are lots of reasons why couples choose to elope. Once of the classic ones is when their families or parents don’t approve of their union. Naturally, weddings are an occasion where friends and relatives come together. However, if there are jealous friends, warring in-laws, or general approval is non-existent from either side of the family, a couple can decide to side-step the drama and elope.
Another major reason is when a couple feels they don’t have enough money for the conventional wedding. Weddings are expensive and stressful to plan, and if they don’t have the funds, they may decide to elope and avoid the financial and stress burden altogether. Others elope to save the money for their future instead of spending it lavishly on a wedding.
Eloping is also an opportunity for the couple to make their relationship more intimate, do things your own way, and nurture what you think marriage is all about – commitment, love, and an agreed upon percentage of times to do the dishes.
How To Elope
Here are a couple of things you need to have in mind if you’re considering eloping.
When it comes to eloping, you have two options, save a lot of money and do a simple thing, or blow the budget on a dream holiday combines with the elopement. You could elope to Africa and marry on the savanna before your head off on a safari. Go to an Icelandic adventure and experience the auroras. You could elope to Las Vegas and then proceed to do an iconic U.S. road trip. Or even choose to visit an exotic beach somewhere in the Caribbean and do your vows in the sunset. The world is yours!
If you’re on a small budget, you can just go to the local town hall and officialise things, and then go for lunch at your favourite restaurant. You can enjoy some lovely afternoon tea somewhere, or plan a fairy-tale champagne picnic on a beach or hill. Decide the budget you’re willing to splash out on the eloping adventure and then work out the details.
2. Making Things Legal
For your eloping to be successful, you need to tick all the legal boxes needed for the marriage to take place. The UK marriage requirements can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/marriages-civil-partnerships.
If you prefer getting married on a beach somewhere or on the side of a mountain, you can have a celebrant or humanist led ceremony and do the official bit at a different, more convenient time. This is especially true if you want to get married outside, which is not legally allowed in the UK. For instance, you can just do the legal part first and then have a friend or family member conduct the ceremony on the day.
If you’re eloping abroad, research more about the marriage license requirement for the destination you’re planning to elope before you head for the trip. Consider checking out the elopement planning services available in the destination. Some services specialise with elopements, and will have the fine details (and some fun stuff) all ironed out. Take you time to plan and have the paperwork, IDs, and other arrangements done before you make the trip.
3. Documenting your Day
For a small, intimate elopement wedding, having a photographer might seem a bit unnecessary. Contrary, it’s honestly as important as having a photographer for the traditional weddings. Keep in mind that there will be no guests, so you probably won’t have many people to share those “remember when” stories with.
A professional photographer ensures that you can share your day with people who couldn’t be at your elopement. If it’s just you and your partner, or you just have a few guests, professional pictures will come in handy to show people what they missed. Plus, just as with any other wedding photos, you will cherish those pictures as a reminder of your day long after your memories of your elopement has faded.
4. Have a few Witnesses
When you’re planning a wedding in the UK, you are legally required to have two witnesses. If it’s just the two of you, you can grab a random person on the street or request the photographer to act as your witness. In most cases though, your elopement venue will be able to offer more information on who can serve as a witness.
Don’t forget that whoever acts as a witness might have to closely observe some parts of the ceremony. For instance, if your photographer acts as a witness, they may be unable to take some pictures of the ceremony.
5. Let People Know
It’s certainly a good idea to consider the people you need to tell in person. If your elopement ceremony was held without best friends or parents present, they might be hurt by your decision. In fact, their feeling might even stand in the way of them being as happy for you as you would probably imagine. And while they might be thrilled for you, it’s good to be prepared.
Once the most important people know, you can then start thinking of how you will break the news to everyone else. You can simply organise a small, secret elopement party and announce to everyone there, or just post a picture on Instagram or Facebook in your elopement outfits.
In closing, remember the reason for your eloping and stand by your decision. You alone are aware of the reasons, and you are only looking after you and your relationship. So, enjoy every moment of it, and have an awesome time.