Updated: Jun 13, 2020
Our lives have been on hold for three months, some restrictions are starting to lift, some of us can spend time with our loved ones but the big plans; weddings; house moves and starting a family have had to be paused or re-evaluated. Many of my clients have already postponed 12-18 months after their original wedding date and are now planning their post coronavirus wedding. For some, the thought of also postponing starting a family or buying their first home, as well as their wedding is too upsetting to think about. It is these wider issues that has led them to reassess what is important in their journey together and the ways in which these major life events take place.
I suspect that for couples who don't want to wait a further 18 months, to be married or begin a civil partnership, the idea of elopement may be a solution that they hadn't previously considered, but now seems an attractive, romantic and practical solution. An elopement was traditionally a secret, not always romantic, short notice wedding away from home without the knowledge of parents, family and friends. Nowadays, an elopement by a couple who is legally allowed to marry, is more about a deep and private expression of love. Eloping is also a practical way to marry without possible associated family pressures and is a way to save money. Elopements take place both at home or abroad. Historically, Gretna Green is famous for elopements, with thousands of weddings at year taking place. The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the wedding industry is likely to result in more elopement weddings. Couples are adapting their plans to hold a legal ceremony in private and then a family celebration and honeymoon, when the effects of the pandemic have calmed down, restrictions are lifted, people feel safer gathering and the world is settled into its new normal.
Less traditional, private ceremonies and civil partnerships can be very emotive and intimate for couples. A couple eloping makes their marriage all about them; their special day, just the two of them, to focus on their promises and future together. It is likely to be something that you either know you want from the outset, or maybe considering due to the cancellation of large gatherings and religious ceremonies. Even when weddings are permitted again, the backlog of services that will take place over the next few months and probably years will make planning a wedding more time consuming and more expensive. Venues may restrict guest numbers and seat less guests per table to accommodate social distancing. Couples may hold larger celebrations over several days or add additional guest tables to their seating plans. Decisions and supplier choices will likely be made with little time for consideration, for fear of losing a reserved date; without knowing what will happen to the virus and infection rate and how we will need to react, elopements might just be the way forward as these decisions will not need to be made.
If you're considering elopement, you're likely to have discussed the concept with your immediate family. They'll know your plans and maybe involved, but elopements can be done in secret and can be fairly spontaneous. You can marry, with just the two of you present, or you can invite a few guests as witnesses. Not all family members may be happy with your decision, family politics have always existed where weddings are concerned and each couple's experience will be different and different considerations will need to be made. Elopement take away the need for complicated wedding plans and logistics, so if you're not keen on the planning side of a wedding, this may appeal to you.
OK, so how do you mark the celebration and what wedding elements do you need? The answer is as much or as little as you want! You'll want something special to wear and if you're a bride looking for a little traditional, you'll probably want a bouquet. You could find a local florist to create a wedding bouquet or have your favourite florist make up a dried bouquet or artifical bouquet that you could take with you. You could involve an event stylist to set up and style a private picnic like the one above (may I suggest myself?) or choose a special private dining establishment and mark the occasion with a delicious meal. You might like to hire a stylish vintage wedding car for the weekend to drive you to your destination of find a local wedding car hire service to chauffeur you to your wedding. It's also nice idea to appoint a photographer to document your celebrations or a videographer to stream the ceremony to your family and friends.
Whatever, your plans, an elopement is still a wedding and you need to get your wedding vision sussed. If this seems like a difficult or time consuming task; you're not that creatively minded, have too many ideas or you're not sure how to style your elopement, I'll be able to provide ideas and inspiration for stylish details that are unique to you both as a couple; take a look at my get in touch to find out how I can help. I am here to help and really love talking about your plans and celebrations. I have worked with lots of different suppliers over the last three years on weddings and styled shoots will be able to personally recommend trusted suppliers that are a good match for you. Drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the contact form on my website.