Elopement Guide: How To Plan An Epic Cornwall Elopement
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 to planning your Cornwall elopement. This is your Cornwall elopement guide, that I have put together for you.
Your Cornwall Elopement Guide
What is an Elopement?
Why Elope in Cornwall?
How to choose your Cornwall Elopement Location?
What Season to Elope in Cornwall?
What day of the week?
Cornwall Elopement Planning Checklist
How much does it cost to elope in Cornwall?
What to wear to your Cornwall elopement?
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.
Eloping is unique to everyone. The meaning is made up by you, to tell your love story.
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 sky diving or climbing up to the top of a mountain to say your vows.
Make it a day of excitement, adventure and fulfilment.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
Best places to elope in Cornwall
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 old Cornish fishing port of Porthleven definitely should have made it onto your list of Cornwall elopement choices. It has a charming high-walled harbour dotted with colourful fishing boats and some outstanding seafood restaurants with ocean views.
This lively town, centred around a charming square harbour and watched over by a watchful clock tower, is located in the Cornish Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the dramatic sweep of Mount’s Bay.
It is also surrounded by beautiful landscapes and fantastic coastal walks for those who want to experience a bit of Cornish rural life.
Porthleven Elopement Venue
The Beacon Crag has its own entrance to the sea and the rocky coves below and is situated within five acres of secluded clifftop gardens. As you celebrate the most stunning of small weddings, guests may take in the breathtaking scenery of the rugged Cornish coastline from the terraced garden’s lawns that slope down to the water.
The venue’s elopement package includes the use of the hot tub, a private deck with sea views, and lodging in a brand-new, elegantly furnished self-contained apartment with private access.
You can choose to use their ceremony room or elope outside. If you choose to elope outside to make the most of the stunning surroundings it has to offer, you can get ready inside and stay over at the Beacon Crag.
They have a range of packages to choose from, to fit your needs and budget!
One of Cornwall’s best and most well-known tourist sites is the harbour town of St. Ives. It offers a lot of top-notch restaurants that are worth visiting after visiting the Tate, a modern art collection near the sea, in addition to boats and beaches.
Although it is popular, you will for sure get your intimate moment in a gorgeous venue of your choice.
St Ives Elopement Venue
For your Cornwall elopement, the Carbis Bay Hotel & Spa, Britain’s only hotel with a Blue Flag beach, is in an amazing, award-winning waterfront location. The ideal setting with easy access to the sands is provided by breathtaking views, exquisite terraces, and gardens.
Newquay is home to nine sandy beaches. It has a long history as a fishing port in addition to being a popular tourist destination on the stunning North Atlantic coast.
You can sit back, unwind on the beach, stroll the promenade while enjoying an ice cream, explore the stunning neighbouring coast, or, go surfing and participate in other water sports.
There is something for everyone in Newquay making it perfect for those of you looking for an adventurous elopement because you can fully create your day in a unique way.
Newquay Elopement Venue
At Lusty Glaze they offer a beach lounge, with its driftwood bar, sand floor, and wood-fired pizza oven and is licenced for ceremonies; alternatively, for those looking for a special location for an elopement, you can exchange your vows inside one of their beach huts.
Whatever choice you select, the staff will go above and beyond to make sure that your Cornwall elopement is as unique as their little cove.
Although not as popular, Torpoint is a newer, smaller, and lovely tourist site that is well worth a trip. You might be shocked by some of the unique things and locations you can discover in this undiscovered location.
Torpoint Elopement Venue
Polhawn Fort is at a special venue with panoramic views of the Cornish coastline and Whitsand Bay. The old Fort has lovely gardens, its own beach, and a breathtaking roof deck.
You can have a laid-back wedding and holiday in total seclusion with accommodations for up to 24 guests. Play tennis, garden games, go swimming or have a BBQ with your loved ones to celebrate your big day.
The Polhawn Fort wedding staff is available to help you with as much or little as you need. You can stay for a few nights to make the most of your stay and so you are in no rush at all.
Although there are a large number of people who visit the sandy beaches and shoreline, Bodmin Moor is a severely underappreciated place with many gorgeous locations to discover.
There is truly something for everyone here, including historic standing stones, smuggler’s dens, flowing waterfalls, Arthurian legends, and beautiful hikes along the moor.
Bodmin Elopement Venue
As you coast gently downhill from the granite-speckled heights and wild, sweeping contours of Bodmin moor, the open expanses give way to a dense wooded valley.
The Green is located in a gorgeously remote area where lush hills plunge into the river valley below and a picture-perfect mosaic of orchards and meadows covers the horizon.
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.
January and February
Getting married in January is the way to go. You can ensure that prices will drop to an all-time low because very few couples choose to get married in January!
An indoor elopement may be your best bet as you can’t be promised good weather at this time of the year.
March and April
In the UK, March is when spring truly comes alive and gives everything an extra-fresh, delicate, and romantic appearance.
But British weather is anything but predictable; over the past few years, numerous locations in the UK have had 6 feet of snow on the ground by the time March is set to arrive.
A benefit of having your spring wedding in April is that many venues still view this month as being “off-season,” which means you may still take advantage of some very affordable prices.
April showers? The weather tends to be a lot better in April as opposed to March!
May and June
May is beginning to warm up, and even though it may still be spring, the long days and even longer nights give this month a distinct “summery” vibe.
Even while May is a very popular month for weddings, you could still be able to find venues for a little less money because it isn’t quite wedding peak season yet.
June is a particularly popular month for wedding planning because it’s still off-peak season and you don’t need to be as organised. Contrary to weddings in July and August, where you must book quickly, you may actually book caterers and other vendors much later!
July and August
The season for weddings has arrived! The summer season is here, and in Cornwall, July and August will be the greatest months to host an outdoor wedding.
It seems sensible that this time of year is the most popular for getting married, with temperatures reaching great heights and the possibility of outdoor adventures being endless.
September and October
September is a lovely month since the weather is just starting to become cooler. A September wedding may be the best option if you want a ceremony with just the right amount of chill in the air.
This month should give you a little more flexibility as it isn’t as in demand as the months before.
An October wedding will undoubtedly set your heart beating if you’re looking for an autumnal wedding with lots of drama and atmosphere. In the UK, the leaves are dropping swiftly and have warm hues, making the setting ideal for an outdoor photo shoot.
With Halloween being at the end of October, it is the ideal time to get creative with your decorations. One significant drawback of getting married in October is the unpredictable weather.
November and December
A November winter wedding is the epitome of a “cosy winter night.” There will be plenty of warm blankets and hot chocolate available.
The fact that November is not the busiest month for weddings means that prices will be a little bit lower this year as well. In November, there will also be Diwali and Bonfire Night, so make sure you stock up on sparklers like there’s no tomorrow.
December is an exciting time of the month for your Cornwall elopement as you feel all the good Christmas vibes and there will be plenty of beautiful fairy lights!
What day of the week?
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 invite your guests.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
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 though, so be sure to check out the prices before you get too excited!
What to 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 your 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.
Here are some ideas:
- Food and snacks
- First aid kit
- Spare shoes
- Extra layers
- Wedding rings
If you plan to have a beach elopement then your gear may look a little different but you should definitely prepare for this too!
- Fancy a dip? Swimwear
Who am I?
I am a Cornwall elopement photographer and I love joining couples on their wedding adventures. I love the individuality each couple bring to their elopement and capturing them so they have memories to last a lifetime, is something I will never get bored of!
You’re well on your way to planning the perfect Cornwall Elopement. I’d love to hear all the ideas you have so far, and how I can help you plan and photograph your epic Cornwall Elopement.
Here are a couple of useful articles that I think will help make your elopement even better: