Lake District is a super popular place in the UK especially for elopement lovers.
This area is famous for the spectacular views of the mountains, fells, the lakes spreading all over the national park, waterfalls and caves, and it has so much to offer!
If you are thinking to elope here, but you don’t know where to start, fear not! I got you!
In this page I will give you advices about what you can do useful tips, venue suggestions, and guidance.
To go with this mini guide, I created this elopement inspiration reportage showing that it is not necessary to be hiking lovers, or do everything outdoors to elope.
Ready? Let’s go!
First of all, I want to debunk some myths that have been going around for too long and are confusing ideas when we are talking about eloping.
Until now you probably saw photos of couples eloping, walking on the top of a mountain or a desert, and perhaps you got the feeling that basically it was all a photoshoot day.
I can assure you, it is not like this!
Yes, you could get married on a mountain, but it is not a must.
Substantially, those myths say:
Elopement is only for adventurous people>> Not true!
Elopement is just for two people>> Not true!
Elopement does not mean:
“Spend all day modelling in epic locations”
But it is instead:
“An intentionally small, intimate, meaningful, and authentic wedding experience that is a true reflection of your relationship where the focus of the day is really about you two.”
Cit. Adventure Instead
We are not talking about hiking, or being adventurous, you could elope in a wedding venue and do completely different things.
It depends on your personality, and there are no precise rules.
The best way to start planning the day is this:
Close your eyes, and imagine your perfect day.
Not your wedding day, but if you could have an ideal day, filled with your preferred activities, food, drinks, music, etc. what would that be?
Where are you? What are you doing? How do you feel?
This is the secret that will guide you with the creation of the day.
In this case, we are talking about Lake District, which is a perfect place for nature lovers and the possibilities are endless, whether you are wild camping passionates, or that you like to enjoy mother earth with a bit of comfort.
There are different options for the ceremony, each one with its pro and con.
Option 1: Commitment ceremony
A Commitment ceremony is a symbolic ceremony, where the couple celebrate their commitment to each other without legal boundaries.
– You can do it wherever you want, so you will not need to find a “Licensed Structure”
In the UK a requirement to consider the marriage legally recognised is to have the ceremony under a licensed structure, which can be a gazebo or venue besides the church or register office.
– You can personalise the ceremony however you want!
For example with vows reading, alternative ceremony rites like the sand rite or hand fasting rite, or reading poems.
– Unfortunately it is not considered yet legally recognised in UK, so you should explicate the legal formalities before/after the day .
This option can be a good one for those who dream of an outdoor wedding in a place that means something to them, or in the backyard of your house, or wherever you want.
Option 2: Civil ceremony in a licensed venue
– Whether it is just the two of you, or you with families and friends using a wedding venue would solve the “Legally recognised” problem.
– You will have the comfort of a cozy place which is a good plan B in case of rain.
– Some venues tend to prioritise big weddings.
For elopement/small weddings there are options but it is possible that you will have to compromise having a midweek date or being aware that the venue does not include exclusivity.
This is not a rule, and does not apply to every venue, but it is a possibility.
This option is indicated especially for those couples who are planning to have families and friends with them (talking about 25/30 guests attending).
Ceremony in a church or in a register office
The same as option 2.
It is legally recognised, and provides a comfortable space for you and your guests.
Depending where you go, the ceremony is generally following a standard model and does not leave much space for personalisation.
Wether you decide to have a civil ceremony or religious, or even in the case you want a symbolic one, and get the legal part done before/after, there are some steps to follow and requirements.
You will need a person authorised to register marriages in the district.
The marriage register must be signed by both of you, two witnesses and the person who conducted the ceremony.
You have to give notice to the local register office, at least 28 days before the wedding and state where the marriage will take place and pay a fee.
The amount of the fee depends on the register office.
Once it is done, you have twelve months to get married.
A positive aspect about a civil ceremony in a register office is that it is pretty fast around 15/30 minutes.
This means that if you don’t want to do it before/after the wedding day you could do it the same day, and then you would be free to have your special moment wherever you desire.
As you can see you don’t have to be an intrepid explorer or hike to elope.
But you can for example, rent a small wedding venue, have a nice ceremony and reception there or use the place just for the ceremony and then go to a next location keeping the venue for accommodation at night.
A little note about wedding venues: don’t think they are necessarily big hotels or manors.
Lake District has so many options, like cottages, and small wedding venues.
To make an example, the venue you see in the reportage is called Hause Hall and it is a small farm house renovated to host tourists and weddings.
Here there is a little list with suggestions for you:
Once the ceremony is sorted, here comes the fun part.
What to do now?
Whatever you want!
If it is just the two of you, it would be certainly easier planning some activities to do together, like a boat tour, a relaxed wine tasting, or a luxurious Spa treatment.
Just remember the “Perfect day” trick, and everything will be more clear to you.
On this reportage, we couldn’t do much unfortunately due to the pandemic situation, but we had a nice walk in a lovely place with waterfalls and beautiful view of the valley!
Timing to get there from the car? Ten minutes walking!
If your families and friends are with you, consider their needs and limits.
Perhaps using a venue would be easier, to make sure your guest enjoy the day with all the comforts, especially if there are kids or older people
This does not mean you have to do everything there, you could have for example a beautiful symbolic ceremony, just the two of you in a place that you prefer, and then have a second one, with your guests the same day.
You could even split the wedding in two days!
The first one is dedicated for you, and the second for your families and friends.
It is your wedding after all, you can think big!
If you don’t want to use a venue, you don’t have to.
Depending on the number of guests, you could rent some cottages close to each other and pick a location outdoor for a beautiful blessing.
Make sure that the location is close to the cottages.
My personal recommendation would be a place thirty minutes away by car.
If you book a venue depending on which one you choose, most of them offer elopement and small wedding packages all inclusive.
In this way you just have to choose what you prefer for the menu and they will take care of the rest. Easy peasy!
In case the venue works on a rent basis, the best solution would be hiring an external catering service, or private chef.
A private chef is also a perfect fit for those who goes for “Just the two of us”.
I booked one for my elopement day, and he was incredible!
If you need: Outsauced Chef
Make a timeline of the day.
It will help you to keep things organised, and if you want I can create a personalised one for you!
I in fact love to help my couples planning their day, giving locations ideas, vendors suggestions, ideas to make the day special, and a complete “How to elope” guide with more than 50 pages explaining step by step, everything you need to know!
Wether you are wild lovers, or couch passionates, whatever your tastes and tendencies are, remember:
Eloping is about creating an experience that truly reflects you.
There are no rules, or must.
It is about you two, committing to each other’s lives, and starting the journey with a kick ass experience that screams “This is us!”.
If you need more information or extra help, drop me an email, or message me.
I would love to chat and create together the best personalised, authentically yours, wedding experience!