Are you dreaming of royalty and thinking about heading off to elope in London? London is filled with royal gardens and elegant architecture, offering some awe-inspiring venues to make your wedding day picture-perfect.
This historic city is filled with vast culture and elegance, making it a popular wedding destination for couples everywhere.
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If you have been contemplating eloping, you have come to the right place. This article will walk you through some of the best places to elope in London, typical pricing, and key logistics.
Best Places To Elope In London
From lush gardens to castles, London has some truly enchanting places to elope.
Keep in mind that the weather is typically misty all year round, so you may want to consider this when deciding on your venue.
The best time to elope in London will be from March to May. The weather is mild, the flowers are blooming, and the amount of rainfall is slightly lower.
If you’re in a hurry, you can find some of London’s best places to elope below.
- Dalhousie Castle
- Kew Gardens
- Hyde Park
- The Italian Garden
- St Dunstan in the East
- Syon Park
For a further description of each destination, read on.
1. Dalhousie Castle
Make your fairy tale wedding come to life at the Dalhousie Castle. The grand architecture overlooks 11 acres of estate and is nestled beside the River Esk.
From spiral staircases to vast history and lush greenery, this is a truly enchanting venue. Dalhousie caters from grand and extravagant to simple and intimate.
They also have onsite accommodations and a full staff to assist you with your needs. You will have to contact the venue directly for pricing and availability.
2. Kew Gardens
This UNESCO World Heritage site is filled with over 50,000 different species of plants and stunning views.
If you’re looking for an indoor and intimate space, you can opt for a ceremony in the Cambridge Cottage. This is a quaint space with large bay windows and lots of natural lighting that accommodates a maximum of 80 people.
Prices for the venue space are as follows:
Monday to Thursday with the exception of bank holidays: £2,000 ($2,474 USD) + VAT
Friday with the exception of bank holidays: £2,500 ($3093 USD)
Saturday: £3,500 ($4330 USD) + VAT
Sunday: £3,000 ($3712 USD) + VAT
3. Hyde Park
This royal park is filled with lush gardens that cover 350 acres of land in the heart of London. The park dates back to 1536 and is the largest royal park in central London.
Say your vows in the rose garden or enjoy a lakeside ceremony and depart with your partner on horseback.
4. The Italian Gardens
Filled with fountains, lush greenery, original stonework and vast history, the Italian Gardens will truly captivate your senses. The 1900 century architecture and landscape were inspired by the royal Osborne house and a gift from Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
Say your I do’s at one of the four raised ponds, and make sure you check out the pump house with both Queen Victorias and Prince Albert’s names engraved.
5. St. Dunstan In The East Church Garden
St. Dunstan in the East Church Garden is a destination unlike any other. This space is what remains of the St. Dunstan Church that dates back to 1100.
While it had its repairs throughout the centuries, in 1666, it was severely damaged by the Great Fire Of London.
Today you can set your sights on ruins crawling with vines and what remains of the grand cathedral windows. As this is a popular attraction, you may want to opt for a morning ceremony to avoid the crowds.
Unfortunately, you can not have a legal ceremony here, but it is a great destination for a symbolic ceremony or wedding photos.
6. Syon Park
Syon Park is a privately owned venue with a profound history, neo-classical architecture and picturesque locations. Head inside to snap some stunning photos with a backdrop of golden cathedral ceilings.
You may be subject to conducting your ceremony in approved locations and must call Syon Park directly for the necessary information.
How To Elope In London
While finding the perfect place is essential in planning an elopement, getting the logistics down is a crucial step in the process.
Here is a highlight of what you will need to elope in London
- Must be at least 18 years old
- Proper identification (passport)
- Must give notice at the town registry
- Marriage Visitor Visa
- Two witnesses
- A wedding Officiant
How To Get Marriage Visitor Visa
If neither you nor your partner are UK residents, you will be responsible for receiving a marriage visitor visa. To receive this visa, you must complete the application online no earlier than three months before your planned travel.
The application fee is £100 ($121.81 USD). Once the visa is received, it will be valid for six months.
How To Give The Proper Notice
To legally elope in London, you must notify the Town Registry at least 29 days before your wedding date.
This requires you and your partner to appear together at the town registry and sign a legal statement. You will have 12 months to get married after giving the proper notice.
Typically, the fee is £35 ($43 USD) per person. You can find additional information here.
Religious Vs. Civil Ceremonies
You can choose between a religious and a civil ceremony when eloping in London.
A religious ceremony can occur at any registered religious building by an authorized member such as a priest, pastor, rabbi or minister. Depending on the religious denomination and church, you may need additional information or paperwork.
A certified office registrar officiates a civil ceremony in a venue that the local council has pre-approved. You can find a list of the approved locations here.
The cost of a registrar is £46 ($57 USD) at a registry office or £86 ($106.62 USD) at a venue or religious building.
Obtaining A Location Permit
If you opt for an outdoor location, such as a royal park, you will be required to receive a location permit. This will allow you to marry here and permission for a professional photo shoot.
To receive a permit for a royal park, you will also be responsible for obtaining public liability insurance. Typically the permit costs £100 ($121.81 USD) plus a £12 ($14.62 USD) VAT.
Permits are limited to a maximum of 10 people for one hour. You can find additional information as well as permit applications here.
Getting married abroad can be a tad tricky. Avoid the Marriage visa and other complicated factors of getting married in another country by opting for a symbolic ceremony.
Here’s how this works. You and your partner will legally marry in your home country.
This will be the easiest route if you are both citizens of the same country, and it will help you avoid lengthy paperwork and out-of-country calls. You then have a symbolic ceremony in your dream destination where you and your fiance have a ceremonial vow exchange.
This gives you the freedom and flexibility to plan your ideal wedding. As you will no longer be under any legal obligation, you will not be required to be a witness and can have whoever you would like to officiate your wedding.
Elopement Packages In London
Whether you want to make things legal in London or are looking for someone to plan your symbolic dream ceremony, several agencies can help you plan your elopement from start to finish.
If you decide on a legal ceremony, the package will likely be more expensive as it requires a bit more work.
If you want something simple and intimate, you can go for one of the smaller packages. The inclusions are along the lines of:
- A wedding officiant
- Ceremony location
- Transportation services for the bride and groom
- One hour of photography
There are plenty of additional add-ons if you want to be more extravagant.
A more inclusive package would typically include:
- Hair and makeup for the bride
- Videographer for two hours
- Photographer for two hours
- Dedicated wedding planner
- Onsite coordination
- Bouquet for the bride
- Hotel accommodations for the bride and groom
- Dinner for the bride and groom
The prices depend entirely on the inclusions of the packages, which will often range from $1,000 – $10,000 and beyond.
Final Thoughts On Eloping In London
If you’re looking for a truly elegant elopement, you can’t get much better than London. From castles to royal gardens, there are stunning locations to fit everyone’s needs.
While choosing the destination may come naturally, taking the required actions to make this a legal matrimony can be slightly tricky. To keep things as smooth as possible, you may want to leave the legal obligations to your home country and opt for a symbolic ceremony in London.
Want to explore more destinations? Read one of the following guides: