January 06th, 2023
Inspiration for your wedding, civil partnership or vow renewal
3 Ideas – 3 Venues – 3 Suppliers
Eloping became is synonymous with Gretna when the 1754 Marriage Act prevented couples from England & Wales marrying under 21 unless they had parental permission, so many young lovers dashed to this first village over the Scottish border to be hitched without restriction.
Elopement is still popular, but for different reasons. Some couples like the secret rush of ‘running away’ to be wed; others see their union as something deeply personal and for them alone. Just as smaller weddings have become popular, some couples take the next step and dispense with the big do, and the fuss and expense of organising it, and keep things simple.
There can be more to it than popping to the local register office for 10 minutes. For couples who want a small but special event, there may still be planning to do – such as finding a wedding planner or travel counsellor specialising in elopement in your chosen county or country.
Some couples opt for a celebrant ceremony after the legalities, in a place meaningful to them or breathtakingly beautiful – atop a wild moorland, a dappled woodland, in an ice cave, or barefoot on a beach. Not forgetting the right photographer to accompany them too and record their magical elopement.
Weddings can be long events, and many couples give thought to how to keep their guests entertained (other than at the bar). Here are a few.
For the reception, there are lots of table activity options – from custom jigsaw puzzles, ‘Guess Who’ with guest pictures and ‘Find Your Partner’ clues on the reverse of the place setting. Many are paper based – such as best man speech bingo, betting cards or finish the sentence (also called mad libs), date night ideas/best advice slips to go in a wishing jar, trivia quiz on the couple, and I Spy or scavenger hunt challenges (such as taking photos of a kiss, a group selfie, chinking glasses etc) with a hashtag to share them with online.
For hired entertainment, how about a magician, fire eater, stilt walker, poi performer, arcade game or photo booth? Not forgetting the music of course – your musician, band or DJ to get the party started.
Of course, the newlyweds or couple are the star, and either your best man/woman or the celebrant (if you’ve hired them to stay) can orchestrate their games. A popular choice is the Shoe Game – a Mr and Mrs (or Mr/Mr, Mrs/Mrs) type quiz with each partner holding one of their own shoes and one of their partner’s to raise to answer the questions with.
The archetypal image of the start of a British wedding that we’re used to is of a groom waiting at the head of the aisle anticipating turning round for his first glance of his bride as she processes down the aisle to meet him.
There are no rules though; you can mix it up according to what suits you best, plus, the bridal-party style entry may not work for those wanting a more equal ceremony, same- or other-gendered couples, or those celebrating a commitment ceremony, civil partnership, or vow renewal who don’t want a traditional ‘weddingy’ feel.
Other ideas include:
Elsham Hall, N Lincs
Elderflower Events, Rural Lincolnshire
Elm Tree, Hundleby
Elizabeth Kate Bridal, Crowle
Enchanted Garden, Grimsby
Essence Flowers, Scunthorpe
Welcome to the blog - enjoy! Contact me if there's anything you'd like me to cover about celebrant-led ceremonies.