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Elopement Guide: How To Plan An Epic Cornwall Elopement

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Eloping in Cornwall is one of the most magical experiences, purely because Cornwall has so much to offer. Cornwall is a wonderful destination to get away for a romantic getaway with your significant other because of its world-class beaches, dramatic coastlines, rocky moorlands, and beautiful woodlands.

It is not surprising that so many people elope to Cornwall each year, given the abundance of options available to suit every couple.

Knowing how to elope, where to elope, and how to prepare to elope is essential knowledge for planning your Cornwall elopement. This is your Cornwall elopement guide that I have put together for you.


  1. What is an Elopement?
  2. Why Elope?
  3. Why Elope in Cornwall?
  4. How to choose your Cornwall Elopement Location?
  5. What Season to Elope in Cornwall?
  6. What day of the week?
  7. Cornwall Elopement Planning Checklist
  8. How much does it cost to elope in Cornwall?
  9. What to wear to your Cornwall elopement?

Best Places To Elope In Cornwall | Cornwall Wedding Photographer | Bottle of Champagne in front of wedding couple

Black and White Couple standing by the sea

What is an Elopement?

An elopement is an intimate, purposeful, and experience-driven celebration of your relationship that puts the emphasis on what really matters: two people saying "I do" and committing their lives to one another.

You can let go of worry, expectations, and any traditions you don't feel a connection to when you elope. You have the option of eloping with just the two of you or with all of your closest family and friends present.

Eloping is all about making the day truly and uniquely yours. Whether you choose to tick off an exciting activity on your bucket list together on your elopement day, or you choose your own traditions that make you happy - it is all about you.

Why Elope?

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Eloping is unique to everyone. The meaning is made up by you, to tell your love story.

Be yourself

You are free to be who you truly are when you elope. There isn't any stress, pressure, or obligation. Many couples who elope desire something more simple instead of a large wedding.

Elopements provide you and your partner the chance to celebrate your love in a way that is totally authentic to you two. A large, traditional wedding may not be what many people want.

No expectations or criticism

You are under no obligation to host a large party with all of the attention being focused on you if the thought of it makes you uncomfortable. If speaking about your deepest emotions and most private vows in front of others makes you uncomfortable, don't.

Elopements give you the chance to speak your vows exactly how you want to in a setting where you can be totally at ease. It eliminates the pressure of others watching you as well as any fear of criticism.

More time together

You have a lot more time to spend with your partner when you elope. It can be quite difficult to find even a brief moment of alone time with your partner to enjoy the day on a traditional wedding day because there is so much going on.

Time can pass quickly when there are about a hundred people wanting your attention. You can spend the entire day with your partner if you elope.

It is exciting!

You can elope to your desired destination and have the best intimate day together. If you have something on your bucket list that you would both love to tick off, then do it on your Cornwall elopement!

Whether that is skydiving or climbing up to the top of a mountain to say your vows.

Make it a day of excitement, adventure, and fulfilment.

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Why Elope In Cornwall?

Cornwall is renowned for many things, including its stunning coastline, world-class ales, delicious local produce food, and kind welcome. As soon as you step into Cornwall there is something in the air that just feels right and with the many stunning outdoor spots and venues it offers, you are spoilt for choice!

Cornwall is the ultimate outdoor wedding destination

If you are an adventurous, free-spirited couple then Cornwall is your elopement destination. The first thing you should think about is the location of the wedding, followed by the season.

Cornwall's popular beaches are especially crowded throughout the summer. So might not be the best option if you want a private ceremony. In the summer, I advise choosing cliff-top spots since you won't likely be bothered by people.

However, if you want a beach wedding, Lusty Glaze is the only venue in Cornwall where you can legally marry on the beach which is available to hire on an exclusive-use basis.

The independent suppliers

Cornwall has some of the most passionate suppliers you will ever meet. We take pride in working to create stunning weddings for our eloping couples, and we make sure that your wedding day will be unlike any other.

There are only suppliers who genuinely care and want to add those little extras to make your day as memorable as possible.

The Weather

Every year, Cornwall can experience up to 1,600 hours of sunshine which is nearly 200 more than London! The weather is also the mildest in Cornwall, with winters not being as harsh as they are in many other places.

It is the place to be if you want to increase your chances of having beautiful weather for your Cornwall elopement.

The unique venues

You won't be shocked to learn that Cornwall is brimming with distinctive and spectacular venues given its reputation as a county with plenty of character.

Elopement | Cornwall Elopement Photographer | Beacon Crag Elopement

He made us feel comfortable and relaxed, and was clear in his methods.
Jake certainly loves his job...and it shows, as there were constant updates and communication leading up to the wedding.

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How to choose your Cornwall Elopement Location and Venue

There are many wonderful places to elope in Cornwall. Whether you are adventurous, prefer a bit of luxury, or both, Cornwall offers it all! Many people ask, why is Cornwall so popular? Well, I may be biased, but Cornwall truly is one of the most gorgeous places in the UK.

If you don't thoroughly understand your needs before starting your search for a venue, then you will need to understand what they are. Once you do, you'll be on the right track to finding a location and venue for you.

Your location

Once you know where in Cornwall you want your elopement, you can then look at the venues in that area. Decide whether you want to be by the beach or surrounding the woodlands.


A realistic budget should be determined by each couple before they start wedding planning.  Although a budget may not sound like the most interesting thing to think about, without one you're off to a more complicated process and risk falling victim to several wedding planning faults and errors.

Start by deciding how much you want to spend on your Cornwall elopement overall, and then start breaking down your budget into individual categories while doing research on each element, such as your venue, food and drink, photographer, dress, cake, and flowers, among others.

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Guest List

If you are having an elopement wedding then you are likely to have very few to no guests. So check out some Cornwall elopement venues that are perfect for intimate celebrations.

Know Your Style

Your wedding should be held in a venue that fits your vision. Consider a castle, villa, or country house if you want your Cornwall elopement to have a fairytale feel. If you want an ultra-modern celebration, an industrial venue might be more your style.

If you envision a rustic wedding, a location in the middle of the countryside is the ideal choice; however, if you feel more at home in the city, there are many locations where you can have your Cornwall elopement.

Even an elopement location on the beach, above a mountain (well, big in hill here), or by the sea is possible!

List Your Must-Haves

While the majority of venues offer the same types of services, there are some that have unique policies that you should be aware of. It is a good idea to sit down and make a list of all the requirements that you will have for your wedding venue, and those are non-negotiable.

Elopement to Chapel Porth, Cornwall - Say ‘I Do’ in Style: How to Plan a Destination Wedding that will leave your guests speechless

There are so many different places to elope in Cornwall, you are spoilt for choice. Here I have suggested some amazing Cornwall elopement spots and venues, however, I do have more suggested Cornwall elopement venues here for you.

The bride is looking into the camera as the groom leans on her.

Wow. What can we say? Is 5 stars enough? Jake is an exceptional photographer! He went above and beyond what we could have ever asked for to capture all the special moments of our wedding day. He kept in communication from start to finish and answered any questions we had and gave us some amazing tips!

Rosie & Matheu

What Season To Elope In Cornwall

One of the most crucial choices you will need to make during the planning process is the date of your Cornwall elopement. Every part of your day will be influenced by the date you choose, including the weather!

So, what season is best for your Cornwall elopement?

Most frequently, newly engaged couples end up selecting a date that is very important to them both, like their anniversary. Alternatively, if there is a particular season you adore together, picking a date that falls during that season gives the big day an extra special touch.

A Berry Head Hotel Wedding - The Beautiful Celebration Of Rosie & Matheu

What Day Of The Week To Elope?

The ideal day of the week for a Cornwall elopement is not something that can be determined with absolute certainty. In reality, you can get married any day of the week if you can reserve your venues and any guests you'd like to bring along on your adventure.

According to statistics, Saturday is the most common day of the week for weddings in the UK. Due to job commitments and the freedom it gives guests to leave on Friday night and/or stay until Sunday, most couples decide to get married on a Saturday.

However, if you choose to have an intimate Cornwall elopement, then inviting guests may not be a problem, as just the two of you need to attend!

Of course, there are some factors you need to consider when choosing the day of your Cornwall elopement.

Your Cornwall Elopement Guide


Despite the fact that it is your special day, you should consider who you want to celebrate it with and whether the date you chose would prevent them from being there.


The availability of the venue can differ between weekdays and weekends. For instance, if a venue in the centre of a city or town is busy on the weekends, it might not close for your wedding.

So you might only be able to book specific days of the week depending on the type of venue you choose.


Wedding venues in the week tend to charge less than a weekend wedding. Understand what your budget is and work around what price works best to suit it.

Married Couple At Beach In Cornwall
Touching hands on your wedding day

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Cornwall Elopement Planning Checklist

It is so important to be organised in the planning process of your Cornwall elopement. Creating a planning checklist is a great way to stay on track, organise and understand what your elopement will look like.

Set your budget

Elopements often cost a lot less than a regular wedding. Before going into specifics, you and your partner should establish what budget makes the most sense for your Cornwall elopement.

Choose your location and venue

Put your minds together to pick where you want to spend your special day after you have decided on an elopement budget.

Pick your date

Consider what weather you would prefer and what time of year you prefer. A lake surrounded by fiery autumn colours or a view of a mountain covered in snow could win your heart.

It is simple to choose the best time of year for your elopement once you have decided on the backdrop and feel for your elopement.

Cornwall Wedding & Elopement Photography - Jake Timms Photography

Make any necessary travel and accommodation bookings

If you are not local to Cornwall, you should schedule all necessary travel and lodging as long in advance as you can. You will have the best chance of getting your first-choice options with early bird discounts if you make your reservations early.

I highly advise you get to your destination a few days ahead of time to avoid any problems with travel delays and to give yourself time to relax and unwind in a new location.

Decide what you want your elopement day to look like

Most likely, your elopement won't last the full day. It's time to celebrate after you exchange vows, and you get to choose how to do it! Maybe you would rather have a lavish five-course meal or a picnic in a nearby park.

Perhaps the thought of cutting a cake still appeals to you. A debut dance? Wherever you choose to elope, there is probably a tonne of alternatives available for your perfect reception. Do not skimp on the post-ceremony receptions; it is your special day.

Watching the sunset on your elopement in Cornwall

Legal Requirements

If you are not from the UK and you want to elope in Cornwall and you want to make your elopement legal, it can take a little bit of planning ahead, but it will save you a lot of headache.

Imagine taking a flight to your desired destination, arriving at the clerk's office, only to discover that you forgot to bring a key document with you.

Decide if you want to have photography and/or videography

In addition to serving as wonderful mementoes of your Cornwall elopement, having photos of the occasion will enable you to share your day with any loved ones who didn't join you on the big day. In my experience, couples never regret having photos of their special day.

Choose a photographer whose style you love and who understands Cornwall elopements, like me!

Close up on the details of the hands on the bride and grooms elopement.
Couple portrait on their wedding day beneath the canopy of a tree

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Beach Elopement at Chapel Porth, Cornwall - Say ‘I Do’ in Style: How to Plan a Destination Wedding that will leave your guests speechless

Decide what to wear

Choose an outfit that makes you feel your best, and you should have no trouble deciding what to wear to your Cornwall elopement! You should wear whatever you want because it's your day, whether that's a formal white gown or suit, a flashy jumpsuit, or your pyjamas.

Just make sure you're dressed properly. You may want to think about packing extra layers, comfortable shoes, and perhaps a change of clothes if your elopement location is off the main road if you're eloping outdoors or during specific seasons.

Related to that, if you have to walk or hike to your destination, try to avoid wearing something too constricting.

Choose your rings

Do you and your partner want rings? If so, do you like traditional gold bands or something more distinctive? What is your spending limit on things like this? If you decide that rings are your style, be sure to get them before you leave and bring them along with you for your Cornwall elopement!

Announce your elopement

It's time to tell your family and friends that you have eloped now that you have done so!

How much does it cost to elope in Cornwall?

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At a registry office, getting married starts at £120, but expenses might vary, so be sure to check.

A church elopement costs £500, and elopement packages with a celebrant start at about £650 in Cornwall.

It does vary venue by venue, so be sure to check out the prices before you get too excited!

What should you wear for your Cornwall elopement?

What to wear for your Cornwall elopement will all depend on where and when your elopement will be held.

Dress for the location and weather


In the spring and summer, choose lighter materials for your dresses and suits. Bulkier suits, shawls, jackets, longer-sleeved dresses, and warmer textiles are ideal for elopements in the winter.

Choose a comfortable style that allows you to climb over any rocks for a beach elopement or any icy slopes you may come across!


Choose appropriate shoes, so if you choose to hike to your elopement, you will need comfortable hiking shoes! Think of the season, location, and safety when choosing your shoes.


For safety, you could wear something like a flower crown rather than a veil, as you do not want to trip. As well as this, if you have a flowy dress, you may want to reconsider if it means you will be restricted when hiking or bring a change of clothes.

Gear for your adventure:

Make sure you pack everything you need! If you are planning to hike up a mountain, then make sure you have a comfortable and reasonably sized backpack with all the essentials you need.

Hoping across stones on your elopement.

Here are some ideas:

  • Water
  • Food and snacks
  • First aid kit
  • Spare shoes
  • Extra layers
  • Wedding rings
  • Raincoat
  • Accessories
  • Torch
  • Rope
  • Lighter
Bride and Groom walking along a beach in Cornwall after eloping from London.

If you plan to have a beach elopement then your gear may look a little different but you should definitely prepare for this too!

  • Water
  • Suncream
  • Towel
  • Sunglasses
  • Fancy a dip? Swimwear
  • Rings

4 Wedding Planning Tips To Organise Your Dream Wedding With Ease | Stunning Rustic Wedding At Chycara | Cornwall Wedding Photographer | Jake Timms Photography

He communicated well before the day and was really unobtrusive during the ceremony etc. Absolutely love all the action shots and the emotion in the photos - it really feels like he captured the day so well

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Who am I?

Meet Jake Timms Cornwall Wedding Photographer

I'm Jake, an award-winning Cornwall elopement photographer (voted best Cornwall Elopement photographer), and I'm so excited to hear all about your wedding plans. Let's get your Cornwall Elopement adventure started today.

I'm here to provide you with the best experience and help you create lifelong memories that you will want to put in an amazing bespoke wedding album.

Let's book a discovery call so you can tell me all of your plans ... So excited!

Get In Touch

Drop me a message below and go into as much detail as you'd like, and I'll get back to you within 24 hours.

Super excited to hear all about your elopement plans.