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Run away with me… and make it a day to remember forever. Elopement for the 21st century, by Nicola

I love an elopement more than anything… and as the magazines tell us weddings are getting ever more expensive, couples are embracing the latest trend and running away together again. But times have changed and we all want our lives, Instagram feeds and elopements to look amazing… so I asked Nicola from Ever After – A Dartmoor Wedding to share her very modern take on elopements with us! Enjoy. claire gould calligrapher signature

“Elopement weddings, intimate weddings, runaway weddings, micro weddings – whatever you call them, they’re becoming increasingly popular.

Running a wedding venue I have regular contact with our local Wedding Registrars and they’ve been telling me that elopements are on the rise for couples. You don’t need a crystal ball to guess some of the reasons why…

According to a survey published this year by You and Your Wedding, the average cost of a wedding in the UK is over £20,000. That’s a lot of money for most couples. Add to the mix family politics, the fact that the average wedding takes 36 days to organise and you begin to see the attraction. Take a look at a previous feature on the English Wedding Blog  for some of the reasons couples choose to elope.

Styled bridal shoot Amanda Karen Photography (2)

Elopements have been with us for decades – running off to Gretna Green is the stuff of romantic legend. Couples have always been able to get married quietly at the local Register Office and pop out for lunch with a group of friends – elopement done!

The modern elopement – running away in style!

But what seems to be different is couples want an elopement with all the style elements of a bigger wedding. They want more than a selfie with an iPhone, a bunch of flowers from the local florist and a pub lunch to mark their day.

They want luxury – professional photos to treasure, a proper bouquet, a celebratory wedding breakfast just for two. Of course couples can still check into a hotel for a special meal and a night away, maybe even get married there too but it’s not quite the same as having a venue which specialises in elopements, a place where a tiny wedding is welcomed and celebrated.

Styled bridal shoot Amanda Karen Photography (3)

Couples contemplating an elopement wedding tell me they want everything in one easy package, a great photographer who’s willing to turn up just for an hour, a fab florist who will supply a gorgeous bouquet, a venue that can offer exclusive use with fine dining for two and a luxurious overnight stay on site.

They want the option to invite a few guests to share their day, maybe just for champagne or to join the wedding breakfast. It’s good to have the choice of a micro guest list if you want one.

Styled bridal shoot Amanda Karen Photography (4)

If you’re going to elope and want to add a few special touches here are Claire’s top tips:

  1. Keep things simple – stick to a sensible budget and you’ll still avoid financial and planning stress!
  2. Plan as a couple – your elopement really is about the two of you so make sure you only buy / do things you agree on.
  3. Elope on a week day. Photographers are more likely to have an hour or two free on a Monday – Thursday!
  4. Don’t skip the bouquet. Grab one you love: just choose a creative florist or a grower whose style you trust – and don’t be too prescriptive!
  5. Invite a few friends or your closest family to celebrate with you soon after. Book a table in a great gastropub or restaurant and enjoy a relaxed, memorable meal to celebrate.

* * *

Nicola writes for Ever After – A Dartmoor Wedding. “At Ever After we listened to what couples told us and we now offer exclusive use of our wedding venue for mid-week winter elopements. That comes complete with a professional photographer for an hour, a bridal bouquet from a Chelsea Gold Medal winning florist, champagne and canapés followed by a 3 course meal cooked on site by your own private chef and a night’s accommodation in our luxury honeymoon cottage – photos, fizz and flowers, what more could you want? That’s why we’ve called our elopements, Elope and have it all.

Download our elopement brochure with information and prices.

Full image credits:

Amanda Karen Photography, Daydreaming Bride, Mode Bridal, Heart A Flutter Bridal Boutique, Debbie Carlisle, AM Hair and Makeup, Marc Wallace
Calligraphy for weddings, Ivy Pip & Rose, The Looby Lou Cake Company, Kate Cullen Styling, Jones Hire and 9ice events at Belair House

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at www.byMoonandTide.com. Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in 2011 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.

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Styled shoot managed by the fabulous @jessicastottphotography Flowers by @flowersbycarys Dress by @wildernessbride Stationery @vanillaretro cheese wedding cake by @the_cheese_yard_
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