Your Guide To a London Elopement
- 1 Your Guide To a London Elopement
- 2 Why Choose London for your Elopement?
- 3 A Few Great London Elopement Venues
- 4 The Cost of Eloping in London
- 5 The Legal Stuff
- 6 Recommended London Registry Offices
- 7 Weather in London
- 8 London Elopement Ideas
- 9 Start At A Registry Office
- 10 Create Your Own London Elopement Adventure
- 11 Indulge in a London Elopement Celebration
- 12 London’s Best Theatres
- 13 Splurge On A Bucket List Experience
- 14 Keep it Personal by Customising Your Ceremony
- 15 A Few Last Thoughts
Here’s your guide for your London elopement – full of details, information and ideas.
London is a great destination to choose for your elopement! It’s such a diverse city and has so much to offer for couples who are looking to elope.
If you’re wondering what eloping is all about, I dive a bit into why couples choose to elope over here. The best part about eloping is that it’s all about you and your partner so you get to do it however feels most authentic and true to you. Some couples choose to pack their bags and jet off to a freezing cold mountain in the middle of Norway to say ‘I do’, others keep it local and sentimental by choosing an intimate location while some use it as an opportunity to discover a new part of London they never knew existed!
To take a look at the most spectacular locations to elope in the UK, click here!
Why Choose London for your Elopement?
London may not be the first destination that pops to mind when you think of eloping but there are so many stunning destinations right on our back doorstep that are absolutely worth considering for your elopement adventure!
What I love about London is that it’s so diverse too. Whether you are looking for a spot with breathtaking panoramic views or perhaps something boho-chic and rustic, there is such a variety of unique and truly special locations to choose from.
A Few Great London Elopement Venues
You might be wondering what spectacular views and breathtaking locations London has to offer for the eloping lovers.
Here are a few of my favourite elopement locations in London but if you would like to see my Ultimate Guide to Elopement Locations in the UK, click here!
- The Asylum
- The Barbican Conservatory
- Kew Gardens
- MC Motors in Dalston
- Hyde Park
- The Italian Garden’s
- St Dunstan in the East
- Hampstead Heath
- Syon Park
- The Victorian Bath House
- The Gherkin
You can also take a look at the London wedding venues I love the most over here!
The Cost of Eloping in London
The opportunity to save tons of money is one of the biggest pros of choosing to elope!
Your elopement budget is completely up to you, to be honest. You can keep it super simple and affordable or you can choose to splurge on a few things that are important to you and your partner since not choosing a wedding might have left you with some extra cash to spend.
If you would like to do things a little fancier you are looking at anything from £195 for the ceremony or £3,300 for a pop-up wedding. But, since a wedding these days will cost you an average of £32,273, an elopement budget really doesn’t seem too bad!
The Legal Stuff
If you’re considering eloping in London, here are a few of the hard facts you need to know.
- Obviously you must be of age to get married which is currently 16 years or older
- If you or your partner are not British Citizens, you must have a valid permit or visa to marry. You can find more info over here.
- Eloping does require some planning, especially since it required to ‘give notice’ at the a registry office at least 29 days before so that your ceremony can happen within 12 months of your registered date. In some cases, you will need to get married at a registry office beforehand, you can read more about planning a registry wedding over here.
- You can give notice outside the UK to marry in the UK, take a look over here for more info.
- If you are planning to elope outdoors, be sure to check if you can get a permit from any outdoor parks in London.
- Legally, it is required to get married at a venue or register office in the UK which is why you may need to sign papers indoors before enjoying an outdoor ceremony.
- You must have at least 2 witnesses at the ceremony, this can happen at the register office before your elopement ceremony.
- You must exchange vows if you’re getting married, unless it’s a civil partnership in which case vows are optional.
Giving notice basically entails the following:
- A fee of around £35 per person
- Make an appointment with a local register office
- The details of the final venue or location for your ceremony must be ready
- Documentation required includes a valid passport, proof of your address and of any name changes or previous marriages.
Recommended London Registry Offices
If you’re looking for a register office to give notice to, here a few of my favourites in London.
- Old Marylebone Town Hall, London
- Hackney Town Hall, London
- Islington Town Hall, London
- The Old Finsbury Town Hall, London
- Chelsea Old Town Hall, London
- Merton Register Office, London
- Shoreditch Town Hall, London
I have a whole guide on planning a registry office wedding which you can read here!
Weather in London
When it comes to weather, it’s really up to you whether you would prefer to elope under the sun during the warmer months or snuggling up to each other so you can get some wintery.
It’s good to know that July and August is the peak season for venues, so if you are choosing a venue location then this is the period when the price will be the highest and their calendars will be more fully booked.
September is most probably your best bet for decent weather and you will come across more availability and more reasonable prices than during the summer months. The seasons in London generally fall into these periods:
- Spring (March – May)
- Summer (June – August)
- Autumn (October – December)
- Winter (January – February)
London Elopement Ideas
London really is one of the most incredible cities to be loved up in which is why it is also such a perfect destination to elope! The options of what you could spend your day doing are absolutely endless. It comes down to you and your partner and what would ultimately fill you both with overflowingg joy.
If you’re wondering what eloping is all about, I dive a bit into why couples choose to elope over here. The great thing about an elopement is there are no rules. You don’t have to follow tradition so have fun and enjoy the freedom to do whatever it is you truly want to do! Have a conversation with each other and remember that ultimately, the day is about you two. Chat about different scenarios and allow your imaginations and your excitement to guide you to what would feel best for you and then go for it!
You deserve a day that feels really special and authentic to the two of you! There’s something beautifully intentional about an elopement. Not only is it just the two of you sharing your vows and committing your love to each other, but it’s the two of you showing up for each other and knowing that your way is just as good as the traditional way!
A big thank you to Margot over at Petit Pearl Events who helped with some of these fantastic London Elopement Ideas!
Start At A Registry Office
If you’re eloping in the London, chances are you’ll need to do the paperwork at an actual registry office and you might even want to incorporate the registry office ceremony as part of your special day.
Create Your Own London Elopement Adventure
Whether you just popped into the register office to sign papers or you made it a part of your day and enjoyed an intimate ceremony, your elopement experience doesn’t need to end there!
It really depends what fills your cup as a couple the most but here a few fun things you could do in the electric city of London!
Stop at the ZSL London Zoo
The London Zoo offers incredible photo opportunities and quality time with some of the world’s most beautiful animals! They are also licensed for ceremonies so you could have your ceremony there before exploring.
Go on an Outdoor Adventure
Whether it’s something you already love doing or something you’ve been wanting to do. Go kayaking along a lake, hiking up a mountain to see the magical views or exploring a mystical forest that will make you feel like you’re in a fairy tale! What better way to start your marriage than by doing something exhilarating together?
Do All Your Favourite Things
Every elopement adventure looks different and you aren’t required to climb a mountain. You could even spend the day doing all the things that are sentimental to your relationship. Stop at your favourite place for breakfast, go for a stroll in the park you both love before stopping for ice cream so you can share your favourite flavours with each other. You could even end the day off with your favourite place to eat dinner or spend the evening in watching a movie you both love!
Book a helicopter ride
Book a helicopter tour and see London like never before after registry ceremony -follow it up with a romantic dinner and hotel stay. Or take it up a notch and book a helicopter to fly you out to a historic country retreat like the Ettington Park Hotel or go full luxury at Cliveden House (they both have their own helipads!)
Private London Eye Capsule
Enjoy a private capsule on the London Eye for you + your closest friends and family. Take a ride sipping champagne and taking in the view after exchanging vows at your local city hall or do the whole thing high above the Thames with one of the Eye’s wedding packages.
Take a private tour
Hire a guide and take a private tour for whatever it is you two love most – be it a foodie tour, museum or gallery, etc, London has so many options!
Get a house boat for the night!
Hire a canal boat or house boat for a truly unique experience -picture an intimate dinner on a rooftop deck overlooking the canal or river followed by a romantic stay for two. You could opt for a stationery boat or take one cruising along the canals for a little adventure. You can find some interesting options on AirBnb
Private Hotel Dinner
Get married at city hall in the afternoon or plan a symbolic ceremony in one of your favourite spots (a park, quiet courtyard or even your back garden) followed by a photo session rambling the city while a small team prepares, sets and styles an intimate dinner in your flat or hotel room!
If you’ve already got a few elopement ideas up your sleeve and you’re looking for the most gorgeous places to elope in the UK, take a look at some of my favourites over here!
Indulge in a London Elopement Celebration
Since you’re saving money on your wedding budget, why not spoil yourselves to a celebratory splurge?
Splurge on dinner in one of London’s best private dining rooms -there are so many options, everything from glam or trendy, to cozy, quirky or low key. Some favourites options are Sketch, Bourne & Hollingsworth, Paradise by Way of Kensal Green, 104 Notting Hill, London Shell Co (where you can eat while enjoying a canal cruise) or Duck & Waffle (where you can stay and party into the wee hours).
Having a luxurious hotel to return to after your ceremony might be all you need. You could enjoy a fancy afternoon tea and head out later that evening to a dining experience at one of London’s best!
London’s Most Romantic Restaurants
London’s Most Romantic Hotels
London’s Best Theatres
Splurge On A Bucket List Experience
What’s that one thing you keep saying you want to do but never seem to get around to doing it? Maybe you want to go skydiving, sailing across the ocean, or take a helicopter ride to a picnic in a picturesque destination!
This is the perfect time to do something that truly exhilarates you. Maybe you each have something on your bucket list that you want to do and you can spend the day doing both. Starting your marriage being open and adventurous enough to join each other for on your ultimate dream experiences is a really beautiful way to begin your lifelong journey together.
Keep it Personal by Customising Your Ceremony
Whatever you decide to do for your elopement experience, whether it’s keeping it simple or going absolutely wild, remember to remind yourself what the purpose of your union is. Keep the experience intentional and authentic by making it personal to who you are as a couple. Here are some ideas:
- If you are talented in a certain department, don’t be shy to serenade your love during your elopement ceremony by expressing your emotion through a song, poetry, dance, or maybe even something specially handmade for them.
- Consider doing a unique unity ceremony, there are so many great ideas on Google!
- Incorporate cultural or religious traditions that are meaningful to you.
- Write your own vows. Whether you believe you are any good at expressing yourself or not, handwritten vows are always so meaningful and moving!
Ready to elope? Get in touch with me and I can help you plan an amazing day.
A Few Last Thoughts
- There are no rules to an elopement. It’s all about you and doing what feels right for you! Enjoy the freedom.
- There is a misconception that you can only elope alone but you can absolutely invite your loved ones to be there if you choose. There is no specific number of guests that defines an elopement.
- That being said, inviting too many people can really take away from the day being all about you and your partner. You might want to opt to keep it as small as possible.
- Eloping does require some planning. Not nearly as much as a wedding but make sure you do your research so that you have a smooth experience.
- You don’t have to jet off to Iceland to elope, you can do it in your backyard if that’s what feels good to you.
- Yes, you are legally married when you elope!
- Having your elopement photographed is important, especially if you are not sharing the experience with others. Photos will be a souvenir that your friends and family who couldn’t attend will appreciate.
- Eloping is not only for those who may have family politics as a reason for their choice. Eloping is mostly for the couples who choose to focus their day on them, their marriage, and exactly how they want to do it.