How to elope anywhere in the UK

Adventure elopements in Wales

How to plan an elopement in Wales

Hey there!

I’m guessing you’ve landed on this page about elopements in the UK because, well – you wanna do things slightly differently on your wedding day and are looking for top tips on how to elope to Wales.


Maybe you’re a couple who just wants a super relaxed wedding in Wales with a focus on you as a couple and none of the stress but all of the excitement of getting married and are hoping for a bit of an adventure on your wedding day. You’re dreaming of a small but super meaningful and REALLY romantic wedding day, preferably in breathtakingly stunning surroundings.

Here’s my 2024 guide to the key things you need to organise if you’re wondering how on Earth you plan an elopement in Wales.

The Ultimate Snowdonia Elopement guide - updated for 2024

The obvious one first. To legally elope in Wales, you need to actually get legally married first.

Planning an elopement in Wales needn’t be daunting. You only need to follow these 5 simple steps to get the ball rolling – planning the rest of the day is the fun bit. Take some time out together and just think about all the things you love doing as a couple. You could start your elopement day with caviar on toast and the drink of your choice (tea, coffee, cocktails or mocktails, prosecco or champagne if you like it alcoholic) for breakfast. If you enjoy getting ready together – put on some of your favourite tunes, dance around the room then take your dog(s) for a scenic pre-ceremony walk. Enjoy a grazing board for 2 or a few after your ceremony and wash it down with a glass of prosecco or orange juice. Or both. Hire a Landrover or a camper van for the day and be driven around to some of the most stunning places Wales has on offer. When we’re done taking photos head out to a memorable Michellin-starred dinner or order a take-away and spend the rest of your evening in the outdoor hot tub star gazing with pizza. 

1. Legal Requirements

To make your elopement ceremony legal in Wales you have to get legally married in a licensed venue or register office first. Hop on over to the Government’s page on approved premises for civil marriages and civil partnerships in England and Wales to find one that works for you. For those of you looking to get married quite quickly – you may also want to take a look at my post on how to plan a simple wedding quickly

It’s a total myth that registry office ceremonies are less meaningful or romantic than those at beautiful venues because let’s face it – all that matters is how it FEELS and not what it looks like. Getting married at a registry office in Wales can turn out a lot more intimate than you’d think and it’s a really easy way to cut costs.

Once you’ve agreed on the ceremony venue or register office that works best for you, you’ll have to do the following:

  • Give notice – which means you have to complete and sign a legal declaration stating your intent to marry, this needs to be done at least 29 days before your wedding day and involves a fee that can range from £35 – £55 depending on where you get married;
  • Bring a valid passport, UK birth certificate, or national identity card if you are from the EU, EEA, or Switzerland; if you are not a UK citizen but want to get married here – apply for a marriage visa but do make sure you will be in the UK when it comes to giving notice as you’ll have to do that in person;
  • Provide proof of your address and of any name changes;
  • If you’ve been married or in a civil partnership before, bring your decree absolute or your former partner’s death certificate.
  • If you are a member of the US Armed Forced serving in the UK – you can get legally married in the US while being based in the UK by double proxy and then exchange your vows in a scenic location here. It sounds a little strange but it can actually work out beautifully!

2. Choosing the Right Location

Wales is famous for its stunning landscapes, we have the most dramatic coastal views here and plenty of historic castles and lush national parks. Choose a location that reflects your personal preference (be that an isolated beach, an enchanted forest or a picturesque mountain top) and suits your abilities. Bear in mind that some of the most idyllic locations can be a little remote and can require a walk.

3. Photography

Do your research and look for a local photographer who is experienced and has already photographed lots of elopements in Wales. They need to be familiar with different terrains and the ever-changing dramatic weather conditions here so that they react and advise you on the best things to do when things don’t go as planned. Try and plan the time of your legal ceremony around the best natural light on the day, typically during golden hour (early morning or late afternoon)

4. Outfits and Accessories

Weather-Appropriate Attire: The Welsh weather can be totally unpredictable. Choose your outfits to suit the location and weather conditions predicted for your day (i.e. what you wear on a beach in the summer is not going to work for walking up a mountain in winter), and invest in practical and safe footwear for outdoor settings. We often have 4 seasons in one day here so prepare for all weather eventualities with accessories like water-proof boots and socks, shawls to keep warm if the wind picks up and sun cream in case the sun comes out.

5. Accommodation

Book a cosy and romantic place to stay, whether it’s a traditional Welsh cottage, a log cabin in an enchanted forest with an outdoor hot tub so that you can gaze at the star-lit sky on your wedding night, a luxury boutique hotel, or a friendly B&B in the area – the choice is yours.

Other Considerations

Transport: Think about how you’ll get to and from your elopement location, especially if it’s in a remote area and you’d like to go on an epic adventure after your ceremony.

Food: Bring snacks on the day, especially if you’re planning to be in a remote area – there’s not always a shop around. Think about what and where to eat – booking a private dining experience or a table at a good restaurant can be a lovely way to celebrate but bear in mind that here in Wales restaurants are not open every day or 24/7 so do your research.

Witnesses: If your ceremony is legal, you’ll need at least two witnesses.

Budget: Decide how much you want to spend on every different element of your elopement day and then allocate funds accordingly. If you’re organised – write check lists and timelines to ensure everything is arranged in time for your elopement.

By keeping these factors in mind and planning carefully, you can have a beautiful and totally stress-free elopement in here in Wales. And remember, the key to a beautiful and meaningful elopement is ensuring that all elements reflect your personalities, your relationship and what you value most as a couple.

5 Top Tips for making the most of your elopement day if it rains | Wales Wedding Photographer
North Wales Wedding Photography | UK Elopement Photographer
Relaxed registry office wedding in Wales
Llyn Peninsual Elopement Photography
Best places to elope in Wales - 2024 Guide
how to elope anywhere in the uk

Why Elope to Wales?

Eloping, in the sense of a couple running away to get married in secret or without the approval of their families, has a long history that spans many centuries. The concept of eloping, as we understand it today, can be traced back to at least the Middle Ages. However, the specific nature and social implications of eloping have evolved over time. Given that we all had to stop & pause for a bit and take stock of our lives and how we do things after the pandemic, elopements are fast becoming the Number One way of getting married for couples who love to travel and don’t want an insanely expensive wedding day just to please, let’s be honest – mainly others. In 2024, elopements are often chosen for their simplicity, intimacy, and focus on the couple’s relationship, rather than for escaping societal norms. These days, an elopement is less about defiance and more about personal preference and the desire for a more private, cost-effective, and unique wedding experience.

Maybe a big family wedding could easily cause friction or be super awkward because some family relationships are just a tad complicated. You may worry about mass gatherings full stop. Maybe you’d much rather spend your hard-earned cash on an insane holiday or buy your first house. Or the thought of being the center of attention instantly makes you break out in hives. Big traditional weddings just aren’t for everyone and that’s totally okay!

If you’d much rather do things your way on your wedding day, I’ve written this post especially to help couples just like you plan a small & meaningful wedding or micro wedding in Wales, with the aim to help you elope anywhere in the UK.

How to plan an elopement in Wales | Wales Elopement Photography
The best places to elope in Wales - 2024 Guide | UK Elopement Photography

Let’s start with the basics – what exactly is the difference between getting married and eloping?

The main difference between getting married and eloping is probably the style and format of the wedding ceremony, the number of people involved, and the overall approach to your wedding experience – eloping can be a more intentional way of getting married, with emphasis on you as a couple and how you envisage your wedding day, rather than having to please others.


Getting Married: Traditionally involves meticulously planning, often followed by a small & intimate or large & elaborate reception, usually with family and friends, sometimes with +1’s you’ve never met and sometimes with people you haven’t seen or spoken to in years.

Eloping in Wales: no longer about secrecy (although some couples do elope in secret), but often without the knowledge of family and friends outside your closest circle which can make it kinda exciting! Eloping is more about the couple and less about the spectacle, and a simple but beautiful and intentional ceremony often followed by an adventure in the wild for epic wedding day photographs.


Getting Married: Can involve spending a considerable amount of time planning & doing research for the right wedding venue & often tedious admin tasks (think guest list, tricky catering decisions – you get the just). It can be a lengthy process, often taking several months to a year of preparation.

Eloping in Wales: Easy planning. The focus is on you getting married rather than pleasing others. Elopements can be planned petty quickly, sometimes in just a few days or weeks – you only need 29 days to give notice so theoretically you could easily plan your elopement in Wales in just over a month.


Getting Married: Typically means inviting a range of guests, from close family and friends to extended relatives, colleagues, and acquaintances, and quite often friends & acquaintances of your family members that don’t really mean so much to you.

Eloping in Wales: Usually just the couple, and your 2 legal witnesses. It’s a much more private affair but close family members & friends are more than welcome to be there for your ceremony.


Getting Married: Often takes place in a traditional venue like a church, register office, or a licensed event location.

Legal Elopements in Wales: Only in registry offices and licensed ceremony-only locations. Many couples decide on having a very basic legal ceremony followed by exchanging personal vows and their rings in a remote and scenic location in Wales.


Getting Married: The average UK wedding now costs £19,000 (excluding rings & honeymoon).

Elopements in Wales: Typically much less expensive due to the simplicity and lack of a large event with most couples spending the majority of their budget on exceptionally stunning and/or romantic accommodation and elopement photography and videography.


Getting Married: Family is often involved in the planning process and the event itself. Family expectations can play a significant role and not always in a good way, especially if there is tension in the family which can make things a tad awkward.

Eloping: Is more couple-centric, with less emphasis on meeting family expectations or traditions and more emphasis on getting married in a way that feels right to the couple and their expectations and dreams.

It’s probably fair to say that traditional weddings focus more on celebrations with family and friends, involving significant planning and expense while eloping focuses on the couple and the act of getting married, with minimal planning and a more private, intimate experience.

Couples that want to elope are combining travel & adventure with getting married and dreaming of staying in remote and super romantic places in stunning & exciting elopement locations and many are seeking out the best places to elope in Europe, Wales being one of them!

The best places to elope in Wales - 2024 Guide
How to elope anywhere in the UK | UK Elopement Photography
How to elope anywhere in the UK | UK Elopement Photography

What is the cost of an elopement in Wales?

Considering that the average cost of a wedding in the UK has now topped £19,000 (excluding ring and honeymoon) – eloping could definitely save you money!

The cost of an elopement in Wales can vary widely depending on your choice of location, accommodation, the services of your elopement photographer, any activities or experiences you plan, and other personal preferences. Here’s a breakdown of potential costs:

Legal and Administrative Costs: This includes the fees for giving notice of your intention to marry and the cost of the marriage license. In the UK, prices for getting married at a registry office start from £120 but costs do vary so do check. A church elopement starts from £500 (and does involve multiple visits to the church before your elopement day which is often just not practical) and elopement packages with a celebrant in the UK (not legal) are available from around £650. Celebrants’ fees do vary though, depending on your location and what type of elopement you have in mind so please check.

Ceremony Location and  Registrar Fees: If you’re using a specific venue for your ceremony or hiring a registrar, this can range from £46 for a simple service at the registry office to £86 for a service at a licensed ceremony venue. You have to exchange vows to get married but your service cannot include anything religious such as hymns or readings from the bible. You do not have to exchange rings though so could do this romantic part of the ceremony at a super scenic location after your legal ceremony.

Elopement Photography: Is probably going to be one of the more significant expenses. Prices vary greatly depending on the photographer’s experience and the length of time they’re required. For a full day with an elopement photographer based in Wales, rates could be close to a few thousand pounds as you’re paying for their local knowledge – they know all the best and/or secret spots in the area, can advise on the best time of year to go, when to get the best lighting, and also recommend local accommodation and suppliers, help with timelines and generally ensure you have the best day. Many also offer shorter packages during the week.

Accommodation: Again, depending on where you’d like to stay (a luxury hotel, a quaint B&B, or a cosy log cabin in the woods), costs can vary widely. Wales offers a range of options, with prices per night ranging from under a hundred to several hundred pounds. This is money well spent as you will make memories that will last you a lifetime.

Your outfits. The cost of wedding outfits varies greatly depending on your choices. Some couples opt for traditional wedding outfits, while others prefer something more casual. There are real bargains to be found on online shopping sites like Etsy, Ebay or BridalReloved, especially for those looking for vintage or second-hand wedding outfits. If your budget is a higher, you could also check out modern, sustainable wedding dresses at Rolling in Roses or Needle & Thread.

Travel and Transportation: If you’re travelling to Wales from anywhere in the UK you will also need to account for fuel or train costs. The nearest airports are Manchester and Liverpool with a charter option to Caernarfon Airport if you’re coming from abroad.

Food and Dining: Whether you choose a special meal at a Michelin-starred restaurant like Sheeps & Leeks or something more casual, dining costs will vary according to your preferences.

Extra Activities: If you plan additional activities like a trip to ZipWorld, a guided tour, a private picnic, or adventure sports, this will also add to your costs. But so much fun!

The pretty bits: you may also want rings, flowers, and a cake.

Considering these options, a basic elopement in Wales could potentially start costing a few thousand pounds, while a more elaborate arrangement with luxury accommodation, full-day (or multiple days) photography, and additional activities could run significantly higher. The choice is yours.

It’s important to research and plan according to your budget and preferences. Many couples find that elopements can be more cost-effective compared to traditional weddings, especially if they keep it simple and focus on what’s most important to them.

how to plan an elopement in Wales | Wales Elopement Photography
How to plan an elopement in Wales | Wales Elopement Photography
How to elope in Wales | Wales Elopement Photography

Who is an elopement for?

Like I said earlier, big traditional (white) weddings just aren’t for everyone and a lot of couples become slightly overwhelmed by the whole wedding planning process and the stress (and the cost) that comes with it. There’s good news though – there are no rules when it comes to eloping! You can do it whichever way you like and the options are endless these days. You could book a super romantic weekend away, just for the two of you, to relax in a romantic log cabin in Wales. Consider bringing just your closest friends or family members to be your witnesses. Or spend the first half of your wedding day with those who want to witness you getting married in a register office or licensed ceremony-only wedding venue such as Penarth Fawr, then spend the second half of the day just the way you really want to. Celebrate your elopement wedding day with your nearest and dearest after your ceremony, share champagne & cake with them but don’t feel pressured into spending all day with them. Let them go home after your ceremony and take yourself on a beautiful adventure in the afternoon, then end the day with a romantic dinner for two underneath the stars – campfire optional (where allowed, of course!). Who says you can’t? There are so many alternative ways of getting married out there these days and if you’re just not keen on being restricted by having a big wedding at a venue OR just a boring register ceremony – eloping could be for you!

Legal elopements in Wales are the perfect alternative to big white weddings and only one of many different options out there. While European elopement locations such as Iceland or other UK wedding destinations (I’m thinking Lake District, Ireland, or Scotland) may be a little too far to travel, you could easily & quickly start planning an elopement in Wales today! We’re only just over 4 hours from London and a super friendly & welcoming little country. And for those of you who want to marry alone but still want to celebrate with friends & families – do it later. Invite them to meet you in your favourite pub or restaurant and share all of your beautiful pictures and memories from your dreamy elopement day in Wales with them, I promise they’ll love it!

The Ultimate Snowdonia Elopement Guide - 2024
The Ultimate Snowdonia Elopement Guide - 2024

Is there such a thing as Just Us Wedding Packages in the UK?

“Just Us” wedding packages are designed for couples who wish to have a small, intimate wedding, often with just the couple themselves or with a very limited number of guests. These packages are becoming increasingly popular for their simplicity, intimacy, and focus on the couple’s experience. Often offered by smaller wedding venues with accommodation on site, these packages typically include a scenic location for the ceremony, often in picturesque settings like a country house, hotel, or a unique outdoor location. Many packages include a stay at the venue or nearby accommodations, ranging from a single night to a longer honeymoon-style stay. There’s often an officiant included in the package to conduct the ceremony, and sometimes a bouquet and a button hole. Some packages also offer a choice of ceremony locations within the venue.

Just Us wedding packages are tailored for simplicity and ease, making them ideal for elopements or small, low-key weddings.

As a wedding and elopement photographer based in Wales, I know some of the best backdrops for gorgeous wedding photographs and have helped lots of couples just like you already – I’m absolutely passionate about helping couples plan a super scenic elopement, romantic micro wedding in Wales, or a small and intimate wedding in Snowdonia. Wales is also a dream destination for vow renewals or proposals and I’ll happily help you find a totally dreamy location to have the best day. 

If you don’t really know where to start – here are my top tips on how to elope anywhere in the UK.

Llandudno Wedding Photographer
Llandudno Wedding Photographer
Llandudno Wedding Photographer

Decide if you want to legally elope or have a non-legal ceremony at a scenic location in Wales

Not sure where to elope yet? As with weddings, there are different options for different budgets – the choice is all yours. As it stands in January 2024, you cannot legally elope anywhere you like in England & Wales (i.e. the top of Yr Wyddfa | Snowdon, on Newborough Beach or by the side of a glacier lake). If you have your heart set on a legal elopement, you will need to book a ceremony at a registry office or approved ceremony-only elopement venue such as the ones listed below. Once booked, just plan all the other elements of your adventure elopement wedding day – such as accommodation, food, what to do, where to go for your photos – around it.

Eryri | Snowdonia is perfect for romantic run-aways, just book yourselves a super romantic weekend hideaway on Air BnB, get ready together on the morning of your elopement, enjoy your ceremony for two and pick a super scenic spot for an elopement day adventure afterwards. I’m happy to share some of my favourite locations with you, away from the busy tourist traps so do get in touch. Hike around rugged mountains overlooking Cadair Idris holding hands, have a First Look at an enchanted forest or twirl your heart out on a sun-drenched beach in your wedding dress. Wedding for two packages in Wales can be anything from shutting the world out for an entire weekend in your shepherd’s hut to visiting new places for a romantic dinner or tucking into a takeaway in your outdoor hot tub – make it an unforgettable one.

How to elope anywhere in the UK | UK Elopement Photography
How to elope anywhere in the UK | Wales Elopement Photography

Romantic elopement venues in Wales for legal wedding ceremonies

As things stand, you can exchange your private vows and your rings wherever you like in Wales (think dream beach, moody mountain, enchanted forest or epic waterfall) but you still cannot get legally married there. There was hope that the massively outdated Marriage Act (dated 1949!) which generally requires that a marriage must take place either in a register office, approved premises or in a place of religious worship that has been officially registered for marriages by the Registrar General for England and Wales would finally change after the pandemic, granting couples more freedom when it comes to where they’d like to get legally married. But that hasn’t happened yet, unfortunately. Which leaves you with 2 choices for a legal elopement in Wales – a register office ceremony (spoiler alert: they aren’t as bad as they used to be; in fact, register office weddings are pretty cool in 2024!) or if your budget allows, a ceremony at a beautiful ceremony-only venue, here’s some inspiration:

Penarth Fawr: a beautiful historic house on the Llyn Peninsula, not far from the Ty Coch Inn at Porthdinllaen – the best beach pub in Wales (and voted 3rd best in the entire world!). Stay in a romantic shepherd’s hut right next to where you’ll say your vows and enjoy the peace & tranquillity of the Llŷn Peninsula. I’ve already helped lots of couples plan their magical elopement there, often followed by an unforgettable adventure in the area for those all-important epic pictures. Best for wild coastal vibes and couples planning to elope without bringing any witnesses.

Tŷ Afon River House: Entirely enveloped in the great outdoors, this 18th-century house sits right in the centre of Eryri | Snowdonia National Park. It’s a pretty Welsh guesthouse retreat with an elevated mountain-side wooded area, practically made for enchanted elopements in Wales. Nestled in lands of myth and legend, Tŷ Afon is only a stone’s throw from the village centre of Beddgelert, known for its fascinating folklore and unmatched hiking terrain. Plan an elopement here if you want dramatic mountain views from your bedroom window and serenity with adventurous hikes right on the doorstep.

Nantwen: an intimate elopement venue nestled in the middle of the beautiful Pembrokeshire National Park, near Newport. Views over open meadows and a wooded valley, with the sea and mountains just moments away. Stay in a pretty little cottage right next to a small barn where you can exchange vows, just the two of you. Plan an elopement here if you value your privacy and fancy an adventure on any of the incredibly romantic Pembrokeshire beaches.

Fforest Coast: small, intimate & secluded coastal venue near the epic Ceredigion beaches.

Tyddyn Llan: a Michelin-starred restaurant with rooms for the foodies amongst us who would love to combine a simple wedding with Fine Dining!

how to elope anywhere in the UK | Wales Elopement Photography
The best places to elope in Wales - 2024 Guide | Pembrokeshire Elopement Photography

What are the most scenic elopement spots in Wales?

Wales is famous for its rugged coastlines and awe-inspiring National Parks and it’s a pretty cool country to live in or visit. We have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world (not to mention the 3rd best beach bar!) and the country is friendly, with distinctive traditions, heritage, and culture. We like a good sing song and myths and legends and Snowdonia’s rustic charm makes it the perfect destination elopement location for couples travelling here from the US, Australia, Asia or the EU. 

Eryri | Snowdonia National Park is a stunning and romantic destination for an elopement, offering a range of picturesque locations. Here are some of the most romantic spots within Snowdonia:

Yr Wyddfa | Snowdon: For adventurous couples, eloping on the summit of Yr Wyddfa | Snowdon can be a breathtaking experience. The highest peak in Wales offers panoramic views across most of the national park. There are various routes to the summit, catering to different levels of hiking experience. Things on Snowdon can get crazily busy, especially during the summer so this is perhaps not the best choice for those seeking solitude or an isolated spot to exchange their vows.

Betws-y-Coed: Known as the gateway to Eryri | Snowdonia, this charming village is surrounded by dense woodland and beautiful waterfalls, like Swallow Falls, providing a serene and romantic backdrop for an intimate ceremony with a good range of accommodation and a variety of places to eat nearby.

Llyn Padarn: This glacially formed lake near Llanberis with the most famous tree in Snowdonia is one of the largest natural lakes in Wales. Its crystal-clear waters and the backdrop of Snowdonia’s peaks create a picturesque setting for an elopement.

Harlech Beach: With views of the dunes, the sea, and the mountains, Harlech Beach offers a romantic coastal setting, especially beautiful at sunset.

Cadair Idris: For couples looking for dramatic landscapes, the area around this mountain provides stunning views.

Portmeirion: Although not strictly within Eryri | Snowdonia National Park, it’s close by and offers a unique and colorful backdrop, resembling a Mediterranean village, perfect for a romantic elopement for 2. It’s fully licensed for legal weddings.

Don’t have a favourite spot or not entirely sure where to start planning a UK elopement wedding or micro wedding in Wales?

Don’t worry, I’ve got you! Head to my post on The best places to elope in Wales and my Ultimate Snowdonia Elopement Guide next and let’s get planning!

How to elope anywhere in the UK | Wales Elopement Photography
How to elope anywhere in the UK | Wales Elopement Photography

When is the best season to elope in Wales?

There’s been a modern-day shift in wedding styles and couples love going away for weekends & adventure and it makes total sense to combine the two and elope! If you’re considering an elopement in Wales and are wondering when is the best time or season to elope – I can’t guarantee you’ll be basking in the sun on a hot sunny beach, not even in the summer I’m afraid. But our uncontrollable microclimates make for great photos.

The weather in Wales is (in)famous for often changing rapidly, and seemingly on an hourly basis. We’re pretty close to the Atlantic Ocean and so the weather is generally mild but can be quite unpredictable. The varied terrain, and the presence of mountains in Snowdonia, also affects the weather causing rapid changes in temperature and precipitation. As air masses move over the terrain, they can cool and warm quickly, leading to sudden weather shifts. So much for the science…..what that means for you is basically this – we have a lot of rain and wind here in Wales :)

Wales is (in)famous for its rainfall, which can be heavy and frequent. The mountains in the north and west particularly see a lot of rain, which can come and go quickly. Don’t despair and don’t let a bit of rain ruin your elopement day – some of my most dramatic elopement photographs were taken when the rain was heavy & coming in sideways and heavy. While we can’t control the weather, with a bit of good planning and a wet weather plan at hand, rain can be managed and the memories you’ll take home will be priceless. You can read more about my wet weather advice over on my post about my 5 top tips for making the most of your elopement day if it rains in Wales.

Things can also get quite windy, with winds coming in from the Atlantic. These winds can bring in weather fronts rapidly, changing sunny skies to overcast conditions in a short period. Wind is always a welcome addition in my books as it adds an element of drama and movement to your wedding pictures

The saying that you can experience “four seasons in a day” in Wales is often true due to these factors and it always pays to be prepared for various weather conditions, especially if we plan to be outdoors or in the mountains.

Planning a coastal elopement in Pembrokeshire | Wales Wedding Photography
Planning a coastal elopement in Pembrokeshire | Wales Elopement Wedding Photographer

Humanists or celebrants at elopements in Wales

Humanist & independent celebrants offer a personalised and meaningful but not legal ceremony for couples who are already married and dream of a post-wedding ceremony anywhere they like.

What are Humanist Celebrants?

Humanist celebrants focus on ceremonies that are non-religious and person-centered. They emphasize human values, personal freedom, and individual choice. As of April 2023, humanist ceremonies are still not legally recognised as marriages in Wales and so couples opting for a humanist ceremony would need to complete the legal formalities at a register office first.

Independent Celebrants

Independent celebrants offer flexibility in terms of ceremony content, that means they can incorporate spiritual or religious elements based on the couple’s preferences and like humanist ceremonies, independent celebrant-led ceremonies in Wales are not legally binding and legal formalities must be completed separately, at extra cost.

Having a humanist or independent celebrant perform a non-legal ceremony can be an option if your budget allows for it but if your budget doesn’t stretch that far – I have photographed many legal ceremonies followed by the couple exchanging their own private vows alone in a dreamy location and it’s always tear-jerkingly beautiful & romantic. As a side note – you don’t actually need to exchange rings at your legal ceremony and so a lot of my couples head out for an epic personal wedding experience straight after the legal bit for truly unforgettable moments!

There are plenty of other options available for couples wanting to bring an entirely hand-crafted and reflective element of their beliefs and values to their wedding day such as asking one of their relatives to conduct a very personal service. This could be done on the same day following the legal ceremony or any day thereafter if you’re dreaming about an outdoor wedding elopement in Wales. A humanist or celebrant-led ceremony may appeal to some couples but as they are not legal in Wales – unless you have an unrestricted budget and it is super important to you to have a humanist or celebrate say a few words – you may as well ask much-loved family members to do so in a location of your choice and spend the money on other aspects of your wedding day, such as elopement photography :)

If you would like to add a humanist or celebrant element to your wedding elopement day – it is worth contacting to find out more.

Snowdonia Wedding & Elopement Photography

Same-sex elopement package UK

Same-sex elopements are becoming increasingly popular in the UK and are perfect for adventurous LGBTQ+ couples wanting to start off married life with a once-in-a-lifetime wedding experience in Wales.

Wales welcomes the LGBTQ+ community with open arms and is progressive in terms of their rights and inclusivity. As a super friendly little country with an accepting and supportive attitude towards LGBTQ+, it’s a friendly destination for residents and visitors alike and hosts several Pride events, the biggest one being held in Cardiff.

Finding LGBTQ+ friendly accommodation here is relatively straightforward, thanks to the country’s inclusive and welcoming attitude. Here are some great LGBT+ friendly places to stay in Wales; some of these are also licensed which means you could get legally married there. 

LGBTQ+ friendly elopement packages UK | Wales Elopement Photography
LGBTQ+ friendly elopement package UK | Wales Elopement Photography
LGBTQ+ friendly elopement package UK | Wales Elopement Photography

Can family members come to elopements?

You love absolutely everything about the idea of eloping but you also want to include some family members? Who says you can’t? Once-upon-a-time elopements were probably considered a *Just Us* thing. Times are changing though and an increasing number of couples now want to elope with family and friends in tow. There are no definitive guidelines out there when it comes to how many guests you can bring to your elopement. Up to 10 is probably considered an elopement while up to 20 is considered a micro wedding and up to 30 is a small elopement wedding. Strictly speaking a real elopement in Wales is literally just the two of you and that’s it. But if you are considering eloping – or having a micro or small wedding – with family, here are my top 2 tips for eloping with friends and family.

Keep the guest list small

Having an elopement with 10 or fewer guests will give you more flexibility when it comes to planning your perfect elopement day and less stress on the day trying to manage friends & family so more time to concentrate on just the two of you! It is much easier to find and access beautiful and somewhat secret elopement locations in Europe and Wales if there is only the absolute minimum number of guests at your elopement wedding and it also involves a much smaller carbon footprint.

Get them involved!

If you do decide to bring friends & family to your elopement – the best thing is that they get to be an important part of your elopement ceremony. Maybe they get to marry you in a special ceremony after your legal service, or they are your witnesses – being involved in your wedding ceremony can mean the world to them!

The best places to elope in Wales - 2024 Guide | UK Elopement Photography
The Ultimate Snowdonia Elopement guide - updated for 2024
The Ultimate Snowdonia Elopement Guide
Snowdonia Elopement Photography

What to wear for your elopement in Wales

One of the key elements most couples tend to agree on when it comes to eloping is that even though their wedding day may be less formal – they still want to look special! If you are combining a legal ceremony with an afternoon adventure you will need to find a compromise between formality and function. Pinterest makes walking up mountains in heels or sandals (great for beach elopements though!) look easy and fun – things can go wrong in an instant though and you don’t want to ruin your day (or weekend at worst!) just because you chose the wrong outfit and/or footwear.

You can find more detailed information in my post on Elopement dresses – how to pick one that’s perfect for you; here’s a short summary:

* If you’re hoping to go on a bit of a hike on your elopement day in Wales – go for adequate foot wear. Walking boots should be super comfy (make sure you wear them in and don’t be tempted to wear them for the first time on your elopement day – it’ll hurt!) and give you a bit of support in rough’ish terrain.

* If you need to carry car keys, mobile phones, food items, extra layers etc – put them in a great looking backpack or rucksack and not in a tatty plastic bag. Looks so much better on pictures :)

* Pick a wedding dress that let’s you move around quite freely and doesn’t fully restrict your arms – you want to feel comfortable walking and even HUG your partner which is difficult if your dress looks ace but doesn’t let you move around.

* Veils add a different dimension. Especially if it’s windy. Which happens often in Wales…. Make sure you practise reattaching it easily just in case it comes off. 

* Suits. Are suits. They’re usually pretty restrictive so try and put together a suit look that’s comfy & a bit stylish – corduroy is a pretty classic looking material that’s pretty flexible.

Above all – wear something you like that makes  you feel good about yourself!

Pwllheli Elopement | Wedding Photographer North Wales | UK Elopement Photographer
Snowdonia Wedding & Elopement Photography
UK Elopement Photographer
How to elope anywhere in the UK

Elopement Photography in Wales

Absolutely! The right UK elopement photographer for you will have hourly wedding photography rates and other suitable elopement photography packages in Wales if you want to spend more time with them. And if they LOVE love and the great outdoors just as much as I do – they will work super hard to help you plan your dream elopement in Wales and give you beautiful images so that you can relive your super romantic elopement whenever you look at them!

My advice would be to book a local Wales elopement photographer and other local wedding suppliers rather than bringing them in from out of area. It supports local businesses and helps to reduce the ecological footprint. Plus you can be rest assured you’re getting someone who’s super passionate about their business in Wales and knows all the hidden gems to give you a once of a lifetime REAL experience rather than just wanting to add to their portfolio work.

how to elope anywhere in the UK | Wales Elopement Planning
dog friendly elopement at Penarth Fawr
How to elope anywhere in the UK | UK Elopement Photography
Dog-friendly Penarth Fawr elopement | UK Elopement Photography

Eryri | Snowdonia Elopement Photography

Serious about planning an elopement in Snowdonia or planning a simple wedding quickly anywhere in the UK and would like a photographer to get involved – I’m happy to help! I know the area like the back of my hand and am happy to help you arrange YOUR picture-perfect bespoke adventure elopement. I do have a dedicated elopement package so do contact me and let’s start planning your dream Wales Elopement today!

Babs xox

Find out if I'm free to photograph your elopement

more free elopement planning guides & resources

How to plan an intentional elopement in Pembrokeshire









The best places to elope in Wales - 2024 Guide









Eloping with your dog in Wales - your 2024 Guide









Snowdonia elopement guide









Snowdonia Mountain Elopement









plan your elopement in 7 simple steps









Llyn Peninsula Elopement with a dog and a riverside picnic









Becki & Steffan's Snowdonia Elopement









Fun-filled Elopement on the beach in Barmouth









The best things to do on your honeymoon in Snowdonia









Vicki & Stephen's Llandudno Elopement









Alice & Andrew's Dolgellau Elopement