As a wedding planner I cover all sorts of weddings from the opulent and extravagant to the chic and intimate. The most intimate of all weddings has to be an elopement. The ditching of traditions and forgoing the restraints of guest lists, leave couples to be free to say their vows in front of only witnesses and have a day that is truly theirs.
When you think of an elopement you imagine couples running away to tropical shores or the films where young lovers would travel to Gretna Green, but why not head to my home city of London, full of gorgeous registry halls, amazing restaurants and quirky venues for you style savvy couples. Here are my top tips for a London Elopement.
Although elopements conjure up images of spur of the moment decisions, there does need to be some pre-planning and thought put into the process. To legally get married in England notice needs to be given and a license obtained. Follow this link for more legal info https://www.gov.uk/marriages-civil-partnerships .
The simplest and most cost-effective option is to get married in a registry office, and wow, is there some stunning options to choose from. Many London Boroughs still house their registry offices in their old Town Halls, so the architecture and history are pretty special. Make sure you do some research, many registry offices have a choice of rooms, at different prices. Don’t be fooled by the gorgeous Pinterest image, there could be more than one room option at the venue you are looking at. Some of my favourites are Islington Town Hall and Chelsea Old Town Hall Office.
Pick your witnesses carefully. Legally you have to have two witnesses. You don’t want to be running round the streets of London persuading people to sit in your ceremony so give this area a little thought. Why not ask a couple of close friends or family members to accompany you, or your photographers? Which brings me onto my next point.
Capture the Memories
This is one day in your whole life and hopefully one that will never be repeated so you want to remember and capture it. I strongly recommend my couples to hire a photographer even if just for an hour. Let them capture those intimate moments and fleeting looks as you say your vows and with London having such a wealth of gorgeous diverse photo opportunities it would be a shame not to make full use of them. Suggest a stroll with your photographer around the streets and parks of London, find some quirky hidden streets, some bold and bright backdrops and capture beautiful images you will treasure forever.
Food is a must! You can’t elope to London and not sample some of its culinary delights. Your first meal as man and wife must be a special one so head to some of the cities stand out restaurants, treat yourself to a meal you will remember and leisurely sip champagne, this is your wedding day after all.
Wear what makes you feel wow! You may not want the full-on white wedding dress and morning suit but you still want to feel amazing, make that little bit extra effort and suggest your partner does the same. You are entering into legally binding vows with your partner and you want to build on the sense of excitement, what better way to do this than take your time getting ready, possibly separately and having a mini revel to each just as you are about to leave for the ceremony. What’s more, get your photographer to capture it so you will always be able to look back on THAT look as you both set eyes on each other.
An elopement is the spirit of adventure and the carefree approach you take to your day, there are no set rules and it is about casting of most of the formalities of a traditional wedding, it should be relaxed, personal and most of all memorable. London is my playground so if you need help with the wheres, or maybe an extra witness for your Elopement in London than get in touch to see how I can be of help.