A wedding planner's guide to eloping in the English countryside
If you’ve been toying with the idea of a London elopement, Amber of Rock & Stone Weddings has you covered. She’s a native Brit that now calls the Pacific Northwest home, so she knows all about what US brides want to see, even in their weddings abroad. She hooked up with PNW-based Carley Jayne Photography, Colibri Blooms and the team below to show us all how to actually pull off an English elopement while planning from here in the States. It all takes place in the picturesque English countryside, in a spot that’s super convenient to London and everything you’d want to see during your trip!
Wedding stationery for elopements is more for a keepsake than actually mailing out invites. More and more couples love to create bespoke designs like these from Wonderland Invites and rather than mailing out 100s of copies, they have a commemorative suite full of details that represent their day. So pretty and such a good little reminder of the overall design!
Colibri Blooms dreamt up this gorgeous English-countryside-inspired bridal bouquet, using blooms from the local market (more on that below!).
BTW, you can actually snag this Needle & Thread embroidered dress on sale at this very moment! Needle & Thread is a London brand that you can find at ASOS (along with all the groom’s attire!). They offer 24 hour delivery across the UK so it’s perfect if you need to pack light and shop when you get there!
Such a unique bridal headpiece, right?
Amber of Rock & Stone Weddings says, New Covent Garden Flower Market in central London is the largest wholesale flower market in Europe with 20 traders under one roof and an incredible selection of local and imported flowers. The market is open to the public so if you’re a DIY bride you can get the same access and pricing as a florist would. The market is open from 4am to 10am Monday to Saturday. We were advised to get there early and went around 6am when there was an incredible selection. We wanted the color palette to feel soft and fresh and capture the essence of Spring but also pull in some of the dried flower trends that are really big in the PNW right now.
Most gorgeous dried florals on this modern wedding cake!
Finding vendors abroad is easier than ever with the magic that is Instagram! I had followed our UK vendors for some time and was so excited to work with them. If you’re thinking of getting married in the UK I would recommend looking at UK blogs and searching for UK vendors via hashtags on IG and just reaching out to discuss your vision. Tiny Sarah’s Cakes created a boho cake of dreams, creating a floating effect with the top tier and Folky Dokey made an incredible statement headpiece using dried and preserved flowers.
Hampstead Heath in North London is such an idyllic spot. Although it’s just a few miles from the heart of London, it has a leafy village feel with cute cobblestone streets and beautiful countryside. We love that it feels so quintessentially British while still being really accessible. If a larger wedding is more your vibe they also have some beautiful venues in the park that can be rented. The area is home to some gorgeous boutique hotels and Airbnbs but its proximity to central London and its tube station mean that you can easily travel from anywhere in the city and see all the sights during your stay. From historic landmarks, museums and galleries to shopping and afternoon tea, an unforgettable experience is guaranteed, and if you want to add a little extra romance to your trip, you can catch a train to Paris from London St Pancras.
One thing to note is that getting legally married in the UK isn’t quite as laidback as in the US—you’ll need to be in a licensed venue (either religious or one approved for civil partnerships). A lot of US couples do the legal part in the states before they leave, or go to a registry office to do the ceremony in the UK, if they apply for a marriage visitor visa ahead of time. Good tip!
Thanks to Amber + the talented crew below for showing us how to pull off a gorgeous elopement, right outside of London! Can’t wait to see one of our brides use this as a guide!
Photography: Carley Jayne Photography / Planning & Design: Rock & Stone Weddings / Florals: Colibri Blooms / Hair & Makeup: Pacific Brides & Li Sun Goh Beauty / Stationery: Wonderland Invites / Cake: Tiny Sarah’s Cakes / Flower Crown: Folky Dokey / Dresses: Needle & Thread