How to elope anywhere in the UK

elopement packages UK

why elope?

With COVID-19 bringing the whole of the UK to a standstill and all weddings being postponed until the end of the year or even moved to 2021, thinking about how to elope in the UK has probably never sounded more tempting than it does right now. Many couples find themselves frustrated and disappointed and worry that restrictions to mass gatherings could be here to stay.  

One thing is for sure – a lot of couples don’t know what to do next and having often spent years organising their perfect wedding day, they are feeling slightly overwhelmed by the thought of having to postpone their entire wedding (ceremony and reception). Many of them find that the suppliers they lovingly sourced for their once in a lifetime wedding are now rapidly running out of available dates with suppliers to the wedding industry frantically trying to do the right thing for their COVID couples while simultaneously desperately trying to secure new bookings to make up for lost income.

Many new brides are fearful that the pandemic will extend into Autumn or Winter and are scaling back their plans for planning a big wedding to avoid the risk of larger weddings having to be postponed.

Elopements and humanist ceremonies seem like the obvious choice with many couples planning on just the two of them taking care of the legal side and having a big party with friends & relatives once mass gatherings are deemed to be safe again. If that’s you and you are currently planning your own elopement – here are my top tips on how to elope.

so, what’s the difference between getting married and eloping?

So basically eloping just means “running away in secret to get married”, which sounds a tad outdated, right? In this day and age it’s probably more appropriate to call it a super small wedding with no or only a very few guests that focusses just on you two rather than guest lists or seating arrangements.

In these modern times, couples love travel & adventure and it makes total sense to combine the two and elope! If you’re considering an elopement in the UK you might not be basking in the sun but one of these perfect love shacks may just be the ticket! A romantic weekend away, just the two of you, in a seriously scenic location and you’re getting legally married – what could be better? Maybe you’re looking to save money. Or maybe you’re trying to avoid family issues. Whatever your motivation to look into eloping – there are plenty of options out there for you!  

what are the best places to elope in the uk?

Naturally, being a Wedding & Elopement Photographer based in North Wales, I’m gonna be a little bit bias here and I’m gonna say – Snowdonia!!! If you want to pick a couple of epic locations, go for a super romantic pre-ceremony wander or exchange your vows at the foot of a beautiful mountain, on a beach or in your own back garden, you totally can!

Maybe a humanist, or non-religious, wedding ceremony is for you? It offers the perfect opportunity to have a personalised ceremony wherever and however you want to and the whole occasion can be made so much more *just you* with handwritten vows and other little personal touches such as handfasting. Plus – there is no need to bring witnesses to far away register offices, photographers are always happy to put their name to a happy union and random strangers love the honour of being asked to be a witness! I’ve been a witness before and it was an absolute pleasure and a total honour!!!

bride and groom walking towards Llyn Gwynant by Snowdonia Wedding Photographer

other amazing places to elope in the UK

Wales

Nantwen: an intimate elopement venue in Pembrokeshire.

Fforest Coast: small, intimate & secluded coastal venue in the Ceredigion Beach.

england

The Millbrook Estate: set in 32 acres of beautiful North Devon countryside.

The Cow Shed: a tranquil and rustic venue in Cornwall, close by the sea.

BoHo Cornwall. Stunning elopement venue in Cornwall.

scotland

Wee Weddings: the most stunning Scottish coastal views!

The Lodge on Loch Goil: Get married in a treehouse!!!

bride and groom with beaming smiles on their faces walking towards Snowdonia Wedding Photographer

What is the cost of elopement wedding packages?

Eloping could definitely save you money! 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 elopement packages with a celebrant in the UK are available from around £650 but celebrants’ fees do vary depending on your location and what type of elopement you have in mind.

It is well worth contacting www.humanism.org.uk to find out more. How about a super intimate ceremony at the foot of a mountain – just the two of you!? Add your own mini-adventure and spend your first night in one of these perfect love shacks – it really doesn’t get more romantic than that!!

Planning your elopement anywhere in the UK needn’t be daunting or difficult but it does take a little planning and some preparations so here are some practical tips:

what you need to know to plan your own uk elopement

The obvious one first. To legally elope in Wales, you need to actually get legally married first. You have to give notice at least 29 days beforehand and the registrars in North Wales are SUPER nice, most couples read their own vows & bring their own tunes and, after a morning exploring some of the best views Dolgellau has to offer, this couple’s ceremony was heartfelt, emotional & super special! They married a couple of days before the nation officially went into lockdown with only 6 of us allowed in the same room at the same time so there were social distancing and plastic gloves involved and it was a little unusual but super special at the same time!

You love absolutely everything about eloping but you want to include some family members? Who says you can’t? This couple travelled to Wales from Scotland and brought the bride’s brother, his family and the kids with them! They got ready together in the morning, threw some confetti after the ceremony, listened to some tunes in the car while we went off to take some pictures, happily posed in the rain with their umbrellas and shared dinner with the couple in the evening and everybody loved it!

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the location

As with weddings, there are different options for different budgets but the choice is all yours and Snowdonia is perfect for romantic run-aways! If you want to go on a hike around rugged mountains overlooking Cadair Idris holding hands or twirl your heart out on a sun-drenched Barmouth Beach in your  wedding dress – you can!

groom holding bride wearing a flower crown and Wellington boots twirling on Barmouth Beach by North Wales Wedding Photographer

most scenic elopement spots in snowdonia

Llyn Padarn – glacially formed lake in Llanberis with a famous tree!

Cwm Idwal – probably the most scenic circular walk featuring a mountain and a lake in the UK!

Snowdon – the highest (and busiest…..) mountain in Wales.

Beddgelert – picturesque village with picture-perfect views.

bride and groom on their Snowdonia Elopement day hugging on a tree stump above Barmouth by North Wales Wedding Photographer

what to wear

Go ALL out and pick one of the most beautiful wedding dresses in the world! Get glammed up in a colourful dress. Be like Alice and wear 2 different ones! Pick a short one, a boho one, a jumpsuit one or one with pockets.  If your budget isn’t massive (or you’d rather splash the cash on something else) – there are some absolute bargains to be had on the High Street. Let out your inner fashionista and treat yourself to a Needle and Thread or The Vampire’s Wife design. Or keep it low key, wear something that makes you feel super comfortable and make it all about the love. Wear whatever you like – as long as it makes  you feel good about yourself.

elopement photography

Absolutely! The right photographer for you (pick me!!!! haha) will offer hourly rates and if they LOVE love and the great outdoors just as much as I do – they will work hard to give you beautiful images so that you can relive your super romantic elopement whenever you look at them.

black and white image of bride and groom holding hands by a lake by Snowdonia Wedding Photographer

celebrate your elopement!

Bring your squad with you and party hard or enjoy dinner for two in a restaurant. Have caviar & bubbles for breakfast and arrange an adventure in a kayak on a beautiful Welsh lake in the afternoon.  

bride putting caviar on toast with her groom watching on behind her with a smile on his face and a piece of toast in his hand by Snowdonia Wedding & Elopement Photographer

snowdonia elopement photographer

If you now can’t stop thinking about planning an elopement in Snowdonia and would like a photographer to get involved – I’m happy to help! I know the area really well and am happy to help you arrange YOUR picture-perfect bespoke adventure. I do have a dedicated elopement package so do get in touch to find out more!

Babs xox

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my latest work

Alice & Andrew | Snowdonia Elopement

Alice & Andrew | Snowdonia Elopement

What Alice & Andrew had to say about their Snowdonia Elopement. There are a few reasons why we decided to elope. We've already had a big formal wedding in Russia and for our legal UK wedding we just wanted a relaxing day where it was all about us and no one else...

read more
Alice & Andrew | Snowdonia Elopement

Alice & Andrew | Snowdonia Elopement

What Alice & Andrew had to say about their Snowdonia Elopement. There are a few reasons why we decided to elope. We've already had a big formal wedding in Russia and for our legal UK wedding we just wanted a relaxing day where it was all about us and no one else...

read more

WANT more Info?

I’m a professional Elopement Photographer and Welsh Wedding Awards 2020 Finalist and cover elopements in the local area and further afield, throughout Wales and the whole of the UK.

Babs Boardwell is a wedding and elopement photographer based in Llangollen, North Wales. Servicing the local area of Llangollen and the surrounding areas. Often provides services for weddings across the whole of the U.K. Specialises in capturing artistic portraits paired with unique storytelling moments to produce natural, romantic wedding photography. The Clwydian Range is home but available for travel across the whole of the U.K.