Elopement - what is it and how do you do it?


Elopement used to be sudden and secret. Frowned upon.

But now, in today's noisy world, the definition of elopement has changed and now offers some couples the perfect escape.


What is elopement?

When a couple (and sometimes a few additional guests) travel to a destination to hold a small, simple but meaningful ceremony.


Why do couples elope?

There are various reasons why couples elope. These can include:

  • financial reasons - not able or willing to spend lots of money on a wedding day

  • daunted by planning a large wedding

  • tricky family situation

  • adventurous & spontaneous

  • have a favourite spot they want to marry at but it is not practical to hold a full celebration there

  • love the idea of it just being the two of them and nature



Is it legally recognised?

In England and Wales, couples wanting a legally recognised ceremony must follow Government requirements. Elopements are therefore not legally recognised and couples would need to visit a register office at some point for the legal paperwork.


In Scotland, couples can legally marry anywhere. The paperwork is still carried out by a registrar but the celebrant is then given permission to legally marry you at any chosen location.



How do you elope in England?

1) Decide on location - don't forget to check if any permission is required from a landowner

2) Check date availability of location where possible

3) Book celebrant and suppliers - keep organised and if you need help with logistics or budgets, you can book a wedding planner

4) Plan your ceremony content with your celebrant

5) Think about whether you want to speak with a registrar to legally recognise your marriage or civil partnership

5) Think about whether you want to celebrate with a party & how you will announce your marriage to friends and family


Elopement fees

I offer a reduced rate for elopements of £385.


Fee includes:

  • A planning meeting by phone or video call (this can be upgraded to a meeting in person if you prefer for £60).

  • Support with creating your personal vows/promises including access to my 6 Easy Steps To Write Your Own Vows e-course.

  • Access to my library of example readings.

  • A bespoke script for you to amend as you wish.

  • Readings and promises printed out onto cream hammer finish paper for your ceremony.

  • A presentation copy of the script as a keepsake (hammer finish paper).

  • Commemorative certificate (hammer finish paper).

  • My time on the day

Mileage will be discussed for each different client with elopements varying so widely. 40 miles is included in the fee, any mileage over that is charged at 45p per mile in line with Government advice.



So whether you are looking for fun, simplicity or something super romantic, and you think elopement might fit the bill, you can count me in!


Contact me for a chat >>


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Chat with me

07725 686 436

Lisa Bourne is an accredited Humanists UK celebrant, a member of the Humanist CeremoniesTM celebrant network and a member of West Yorkshire Humanists. For more information on Humanism, humanist principles and Humanists UK please see humanism.org.uk

©2020 Lisa Bourne Ceremonies

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