Weddings famously involve a lot of kerfuffle, so they’re not for everyone.
Whether because of money, the effort required, or ever-expanding guest lists, some couples prefer to abandon the traditional route and opt for bespoke, spontaneous, smaller affairs.
A few couples who wanted to elope have signed up with an agency, Simply Eloped, which helps them plan their small day.
Former brides Daisy Davies, Jordan Linton, and Lauren Wilson have all used the firm to arrange a minimal approach to their weddings.
They spoke to Metro.co.uk about why they wanted a low-key way to tie the knot.
Daisy and Jack, 25, from Southampton
‘Jack and I decided to elope due to many different reasons; money, having a big family that is spread around the U.K and the world and also for privacy.
‘We decided to focus on what was important about getting married – our relationship and focus on making it special for us.
‘I think if we had decided to have a traditional wedding I would have spent most of it worried about table settings and food and making sure everyone else was having a good time rather than myself.
‘We decided on New York City because we had gone on a college trip there seven years earlier and that’s where we started going out.
‘We planned on having a small BBQ party to celebrate when we returned. Everyone said the way we eloped was a big surprise but very ‘us’.’
Jordan and Jay, 26, from Dundee, Ireland
‘My husband and I had decided to elope for a few reasons; we had never felt like the emphasis for a marriage should lie on a big event that takes months (sometimes years) of planning.
‘We felt the most important people in a marriage should be the bride and groom and decided a long time ago that we’d one day get married on our own – in a way that felt intimate and special to us.
‘Whenever Jay and I had spoken about when and where we’d get engaged/get married we’d always agreed that these moments should be personal and special to us and a reflection of how we want to spend the rest of our lives together – we spoke about how sometimes the “boring” moments watching The Great British Bake Off were the best.
‘If we felt content in each other’s company doing the everyday boring stuff then – everything else in life was a bonus!
‘I’d always aspired to have a marriage like my mum and dad’s – I’ve never known two people more content with little but a loving family around them, a sentiment Jay was in total agreement with.
‘So Jay proposed in my most perfect setting – on the sofa in our lovely home just the way he said he’d wanted to spend the rest of his life with me.
‘From then on, intimacy and marrying for us became a bit more of a theme – neither of our families minded much when we had suggested eloping and after having spent an anniversary in New Orleans previously, we decided to make a trip of it.
‘Using our savings and gifts from our families we planned a coast to coast trip across America. Beginning in New York as a sort of pre-wedding holiday, then onto New Orleans for our ceremony, and then the honeymoon leg involving a road trip from Las Vegas through LA (and Disneyland) and up to San Francisco.
‘We wanted few frills, an intimate ceremony and mainly advice on what documentation we’d need, permits and licenses etc.
‘We’ve loved coming home and having the chance to tell people our story face-to-face and see everyone’s reactions which we might have missed out on if we’d thrown a big party or event.’
Lauren, 27, and Nick, 28, from Lincolnshire
‘So, we met at university and six years later, had our daughter Violet which inevitably adjusted our next steps.
‘All of our friends and my sister were planning extravagant white weddings and although we wanted to get married, we just knew it’s not how we wanted to do it.
‘I really dislike the way people judge weddings now, they seem to be for show or a topic of debate, and we didn’t fancy wedding wars or having to invite family members neither of us spoke to in order to keep parents happy.
‘We had visited New York before and just fell in love with the city. Nick proposed to me a year to the day we found out we were expecting Violet and suggested eloping in New York.
‘I thought it would be a really costly venture to pursue but after research I realised how wrong I was.
‘We asked only eight people to join us (our parents, my sister and her husband and our best friends). Once they agreed, everything started to feel real. I did a vast amount of research but realised essentially anything was possible.
‘First priority was where to stay, we booked an amazing three bed apartment in TriBeCa to give us the flexibility we wanted with a toddler.
‘We chose to get married in the Ladies Pavilion in Central Park, overlooking a lake and the famous NYC skyline. That cost us $25 to ensure singular use of the space for an hour with the local Manhattan council.
‘Nick and I had photos around the park and in Grand Central Station, then met our family for food at the iconic Tavern on the Green.
‘The day was perfect from start to finish and I would never change a thing. It was all about us and the closest people in our lives, not being pulled from pillar to post to greet ample guests and spend an absolute fortune.
‘We got a holiday and experience of a lifetime with our family and daughter. Of course we upset some people by making the choice we did, but despite feelings of guilt in the lead up to the trip, those feelings have well and truly been quashed.
‘We spent just over £5,000 on a five-day holiday with our wedding in the middle.
‘Weddings are personal and special, they’re all about the couple and it’s got to be reflective of you and your choice. No matter what anyone chooses to do, our elopement was incredible and we would urge anyone who doesn’t want the hassle to go and do something different.’