Anyone else on that Suits binge watch since Netflix brought it back? We can’t help but keep our eyes on the incredible Meghan Markle as Rachel Zane, bringing our wandering mind over to England. Can you IMAGINE telling Ms. Markle in 2011 that seven years later she was to MARRY England’s bad boy prince? Hey, if Megan can have the WEDDING of the century, you can have the elopement of the year. Travel and Leisure call the United Kingdom the DESTINATION OF THE YEAR in 2023. Pinkies up and teacups raised because we are getting into how to have an England elopement.
The United Kingdom compasses England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Find our guides Eloping in Ireland and Eloping in Scotland. Now it’s time for our sassy sister across the pond, England. While Wales hasn’t made it to the top of our research list, comment on the blog if this is somewhere you want the 411 on.
Get that paperwork in check to LEGALLY elope in the destination of the year.
Can Americans elope in the UK? It’s a resounding YES! TBH we applaud the efficiency of the UK. They created a printable checklist on how to elope in England. This is why we love a London boy.
- You will need to apply for a marriage visitor visa – assuming you’re not going to live in the UK and will stay less than 6 months.
- Plan your TYPE of ceremony: religious or civil.
- Plan WHERE to have your ceremony.
- After you get all the deets, you’ll give them notice of all of your great planning! You’ll sign a legal statement at your local register office saying you intend to get married or form a civil partnership. This must include details of the final venue for your ceremony. You must hold your ceremony within 12 months of ‘giving notice’.
Reach out to the registrar to learn when your marriage certificate will be issued, bring all the necessary documents (venue details, passport, proof of home address, proof of name change) and then you are good to go! Again, this is only if you want your certificate from the UK and want to use the checklist above personally. OR! Hire Honeybee Weddings and we can be your personal paper shufflers. OR! Marry stateside and have a symbolic wedding in the great land of the royals. We got you.
Destination of the Year – When to Elope in London
What is the best season to get married in UK? In line with eloping in the US, in the UK, the peak wedding season is between May and October. During the height of summer, June, July and August, the majority of UK weddings are taking place. Dine UK shares, “Due to the increased demand during these wedding fever months, which is largely down to the school holidays and abundance of sunshine, those saying their nuptials during this time can expect to pay much more compared to other months of the year. Summer dates are quick to book up, so if you are hoping for a summer wedding get your wedding date confirmed and booked as soon as possible.”
Destination of the Year – Where to Elope in the U.K.
Tunnels Beaches are a gorgeous place to exchange vows. Described as a “unique and stunning bespoke wedding venue, nestled within the cliffs, overlooking our private beach, offering unspoilt rugged coastal views, is the perfect location for your special day.” TBH it gives us Costa Brava flashbacks.
If you’re eloping at Tunnels Beaches, we recommend staying nearby. ENJOY the area! This rental unit on Air BnB has our vote. It’s described as a “beautiful spacious apartment, tastefully renovated for the perfect family holiday. The property was formerly an original “boarding house”. There is a wide staircase going up 2 flights of stairs to the 2nd floor. There is a car park next door, a supermarket nearby and it’s only a 5 minute walk to the famous Tunnel Beach and wedding venue! Town centre location with easy access to shops and restaurants.”
Old Timber Store
If you are looking to elope in a more classic London, the Old Timber Store is a true gem. The historic railway arch is in Bermondsey’s best-kept secret: Maltby Street Market. “The cobbles of the ropewalk are host to weekly street food fusions from all over this wonderful world. Still, this dedicated arch for wedding ceremonies and private events is like stepping into 19th-century London. Get whisked away from the bustle of the big smoke and experience old London meeting new beginnings, in this exposed, antiquated space.” A unique blend of history, urban chic & gastronomic delights await, bringing you a truly special, unforgettable day.
For your place to stay in London, we recommend the Peaceful and Stylish Cabin in Central London. Also known as a Zen retreat! “Wake up to bird song through the skylight, lounge on the deck under the trees with a cup of coffee. The cabin is a true get-away! Nestled in the Brockley conservation area, you would never guess that you’re only 20 minutes from London Bridge, 15 minutes from Canary Wharf, and 30 minutes from central London. Super cozy and–did we mention? Romantic!”
Destination of the Year – Two Day Adventure when you Elope in London
Say “Yes!” to a two day adventure in the destination of the year. Honestly, we spent nearly a week here in 2023 and STILL left some things on our bucket list. Here’s what you can’t miss.
Tour of Buckingham Palace
WORTH THE FRICKEN HYPE. Regardless of who currently occupies the palace. Visit Buckingham Palace to get your tour tickets. With or without the tour, we insist you stay for the Changing of the Guard ceremony. It happens once a day, outside the palace. City Wonders explains it best, “This is when the Queen’s Guard changes over with a new infantry battalion to protect Buckingham Palace and St. James’s Palace. While the pomp and splendor of the ceremony are hugely impressive and provide an insight into traditions of the Royal Court, these battalions are considered public units and therefore have a military as well as a decorative function.”
Attend a Performance Shakespeare’s Globe
Shakespeare called his theater a ‘wooden O’. In inspiration Shakespeare’s Globe mirrored it with their own open air, 360° auditorium. This creates a unique viewing experience that you can’t miss! Shakespeare’s Globe explains, “seats are arranged in galleries all around the wide, open stage, so spectators and performers can see each other at all times. The Globe Theatre is a space where the audience has always been a vital component of the performance.”
Set Sail on the River Thames
Take a ride with the London Eye River Cruise. You will embark on a captivating journey as the 40-minute river boat excursion navigates through London’s most famous landmarks, offering iconic views of the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben (Palace of Westminster), St. Paul’s Cathedral, Tate Modern, Tower of London, Shakespeare’s Globe, Tower Bridge, and more! Our secret photography skill is definitely boat photos. You’ll look great at the destination of the year.
Have a Spot of Afternoon Tea
If you’re visiting the U.K., destination of the year, you should immerse yourself in the culture. Dubbed by the Conde Nast Traveler as one of the Best Afternoon Tea in London, The Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon at Fortnum & Mason is a must visit. They describe it as “Dressed in trademark eau-de-nil, right down to the tea plates, Fortnum & Mason’s Tea Salon is a peaceful oasis (accessed in a lovely wood-paneled lift) off Piccadilly. An oasis of tea and cake! It seems as if it hasn’t changed in decades, in a wonderfully old-world way, but in fact was refurbished and subsequently reopened by the Queen in 2012. It remains a traditional affair and, located on the fourth floor of the iconic Fortnum & Mason shop (where London afternoon teas have been served for almost 100 years), it’s a delightful place to while away an afternoon.”
They continue, “And who knew there were so many different types of tea? If Willy Wonka ever swapped chocolate for tea, the menu might resemble that at the Tea Salon, listing around 45 fantastically-named infusions like Jasmine Dragon Pearls, Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe, and Hattialli, which takes its name from the Assamese words ‘Hathi Alli’, meaning ‘Elephant Road’. Terrifically knowledgeable ‘Tearistas’ are on hand to help narrow down the choice.” Any tea spot with a reference of Willy Wonka has our vote. Also have you seen the new movie? Clearly, we will always be team Gene Wilder, but Timothee Chalamet was more impressive than we expected. If that kind of luxe just ain’t for you and you crave a different kind of buzz, check out our pub recommendation next!
Cheers! Post Nuptials
The Royal Oak in Southwark in South London features green glazed bricks on the outside, timeworn wood on the inside, real ales aplenty and net curtains protecting the privacy of the jolly locals… is there a more perfect old pub in London? It’s conveniently close to London Bridge but the backstreet location means that only those in the know end up on one of its seats. It’s a capital outpost of Sussex brewery Harvey’s, so a pint of its Best Bitter is always a fine choice. The Royal Oak is the definition of traditional and all the better for it. We bet the U.K. is the destination of the year for charming pubs like this.
So what are your thoughts on eloping at 2023’s destination of the year? I can’t EVEN with how much fun it is! We are ready to book your elopement package to be your London guide, your photo capturer, your friend with a tissue when you say I DO! If you’re ready to take the next step, contact us.
And now I love high tea, stories from uni, and the West End
You can find me in the pub, we are watching rugby with his school friends
Show me a gray sky, a rainy cab ride
Babe, don’t threaten me with a good time