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Eloping in Northumberland.

May 4, 2020

A Practical Guide.

Why Elope?

Imagine spending the day hiking with your best friend, in an amazing landscape, to make vows of marriage to one another, overlooking the most amazing and tranquil views. When you elope to Northumberland it can be just you guys, a photographer to capture your journey and ceremony, and a celebrant with some walking boots is as simple as it needs to be.

Eloping gives you the chance to do it your way, to exchange vows in a truly authentic way, in a meaningful and special place. Maybe a traditional wedding does not hold much meaning for you or you want to avoid family politics or being judged. May be you want to elope to avoid the cost of hosting a wedding for lots of guests. For what ever reasons, eloping can be a truly unique experience, an adventure instead of a wedding.

When you Elope to Northumberland you be in the most remotely populated county in England. Northumberland is not as busy with tourism as other counties, such as Yorkshire or Cumbria. It’s a vast empty landscape with long reaching views.

Steel Rigg

How to Elope.

You can choose to have either a religious or civil ceremony. To get married or form a civil partnership in England or Wales, you must:

  • Be 16 years or over (you’ll need permission from your parents or guardians if you’re under 18)
  • Not already be married or in a civil partnership
  • Not be closely related
  • Be a British Citizen, have indefinite leave to remain in the UK, or have a valid permit or visa to marry if you’re a foreign national

You can’t elope quite as spontaneously as you might think. You must ‘give notice’ to marry at the local registry office at least 29 days before, which includes details of your final venue.Once you’ve given notice you most hold your ceremony within 12 months, but you cannot marry with less than 29 days’ notice.

To give notice, you’ll typically need to:

  • Pay a fee, usually £35 per person
  • Make an appointment at your local registry office (and have lived in that registration district for the past seven days)
  • Have the details of the final venue/registry of your registration of marriage.
  • Bring a valid passport, UK birth certificate or national identity card from the EU, EEA or Switzerland
  • Provide proof of your address and of any name changes
  • If you’ve been married or in a civil partnership before, bring your decree absolute or former partner’s death certificate

In England, a registrar or church officiant is the only person able to legally marry you. But that does not mean you cannot have an adventurous and unique elopement. You can exchange your personal vows with a celebrant later that same day or a later time. This is where you can get creative with your location. A celebrant can work anywhere, indoor, outdoors, or in your own back garden. So as long as you do the legal bit with a registrar (or vicar) to actually be married, you can have your personal ceremony anywhere.

Great Places for an Adventure Elopement in Northumberland

What could our elopement Time Line Look like with Unfurl Photography?

  • In advance (at least 29 days) give notice at your local registrars and tell them where you will legally sign your marriage documents.
  • Discuss your plans with Unfurl Photography, to check availability for one or both ceremonies, and give time for location scouting for the best locations for your vow ceremony and photography.
  • Choose your celebrant who will help you write your unique and personal vows. Arrange the location, date and time for your personal ceremony.
  • Day 1. Arrive in Northumberland at your choice of accommodation (there’s luxury spa to clamping pods and everything in between).
  • Day 2: I will meet you at your accommodation with flowers and button hole if ordered. (I Source your bouquet from local grower and florist extraordinaire Kate at Northumbrian Flowers) To tell the story of your day I will photograph your preparations, vow writing, gift giving and all those little moments leading up to your ceremony.
  • We could then travel to a Northumberland Registry Office or small venue for your legal ceremony with the registrar.*
  • Once you are legally married, we will drive to the National park for one of the many amazing hikes to iconic views. Having been a walk leader I know many of the excellent walking trails in the National Park. You are in safe hands.
  • At our chosen location of outstanding beauty, we will be joined by your chosen celebrant for a personal vow exchange, ring giving and a toast. We can be out for a few hours or all day to catch the sunset.
  • The evening could be spent star gazing at Kielder Observatory, or just from your accommodation in our designated dark sky park.
  • *Alternatively you could have your legal registration of the marriage with the registrar the following day.
  • Some time after…. tell you family and friends, have a whoping party if you wish to share your news & photographs of the day. And wouldn’t be even better to also have a film made too!

Some hotel’s in Northumberland offer an elopement package, where the registrar will be able to marry you (Langley Castle has a package just for the two of you). Afterwhich you could head out into the rugged Hadrians Wall country for your adventure wedding hike with me as your guide and photographer.

Escape to a Hut

There are many wonderful and remote places to stay in Northumberland to elope and escape, but here I will just feature some of my favourite huts which you can retreat to after your legal ceremony and your adventure instead of a wedding!

Huts in the Hills
Image Courtesy of Huts in the Hills

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