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What is an elopement wedding?

By March 1, 2022April 3rd, 2022elopement wedding

What is an elopement wedding?

If you read in a Victorian novel about a couple eloping, it meant they ran away and had a secret wedding somewhere and didn’t tell anyone they got married.  Pffft.  Not any more.   Elopement weddings are big news, particularly since Covid and now with the cost of living crisis when people are looking to save money.

We call them elopement weddings but you’ll see people call them intimate weddings, runaway weddings, justthetwoofus weddings, micro weddings.   Whatever you call it, they’re weddings on a small scale.

Are elopements legal?

In England elopement weddings are as legal as any other wedding so long as you get married by a Registrar.  Here at Ever After, Tavistock Registrars look after our elopement weddings and you can book them directly online to come to the venue to marry you here on the day.

There is some paperwork you have to do.   First of all you have to book Tavistock Registrars which you can now do online.   Secondly, you have to go along in person and give legal notice of marriage at the Register Office where you live.  Provided the Registrars agree you’ve done both those things, you can have an elopement wedding and be legally married.

You can get all the details of the legal requirements by downloading our handy guide to Wedding Ceremonies which also includes details of the Registrar’s fees.

Are elopements secret weddings?

Uh, no.   Not unless you’re a character in a Victorian novel.   You can tell whoever you like, whenever you like.   Tell everyone, tell no-one, tell a select few.

We have quite a few couples who don’t tell anyone in advance they’re getting married.   Some couples tell family/friends on the day after it’s all done.  Sometimes they save it for an announcement later when they see people in person.   Or maybe at a big party at a later date when you can show all your wedding pics as evidence that yes, you got married – honestly you did! Your wedding, your choice.

Is it still legal if we have no guests?

You’re very welcome to get married, just the two of you.   Lots of our elopement weddings are for the couple only.   No guests.   You do need 2 adult witnesses to your elopement wedding to make it legal so if you decide to go #justthetwoofus we’ll provide your witnesses – no charge.

Can we have guests to an elopement wedding?

You can.   It still counts as an elopement wedding with a few guests.   How many?  For us that depends on the month you get married.   In the colder months, March, November and December it’s strictly no more than 6 guests (plus the two of you).   In the warmer months, April, May, September and October, you can have up to 10 guests.

There’s no magic guest number for your wedding to count as an elopement but I see venues offering ‘elopement’ weddings for 20 or more guests and for me, that’s not really an elopement.   I think an elopement needs to be intimate and that means no or just a few guests, everyone sharing the same space and being together to share this magical moment with you – your wedding.

Do you want to elope?

So now you know what an elopement wedding is – is it your kind of wedding?   If so, your next step is to read through our elopement brochureWhen you’ve had a chance to read through it, decide which season you want to get married and then drop me a line at to check available dates.

Let’s get you on the road to getting married!