The Rise of the Elopement

Elopement photography Nikki Kirk

Elopements are on the rise, and I love them!

Did you know that the UK wedding industry is valued at over £10 billion per year?! As life feels like it becomes more and more expensive as the years pass by and the pressure applied predominantly from social media for weddings to look perfect its no surprise that there’s a steadily growing trend starting to gain momentum

To add further credibility to this, Pinterest recently reported a 128 per cent increase in searches on their site for ‘elopement photography ideas‘.

Elopement photography Nikki Kirk

So why would you elope and what does it mean?

“Eloping completely takes off the pressure of planning the ‘perfect wedding,'” said Harper’s Bazaar social media editor and newly-engaged Natalie Salmon.

“Weddings – thanks in part to social media, and Instagram certainly comes to mind here – are so much more visible then they were in the past. It’s not just your friends and family who will see it; even people you haven’t even invited might be watching.”

Whilst the ceremony, traditions and larger celebrations of more traditional weddings are perfect for so many people (Mr NKP and I included – ours was mega!), for others its just not what they want. And I for one applaud those standing up and saying that they want something different. The world would be a very dull place if everything was the same!

Elopement photography Nikki Kirk

So why get married?

A marriage certificate legalises your commitment to each other and that is a very special thing indeed. For me being married does make a difference. I can’t explain it, I don’t feel different but I do!

You might not picture having a big white wedding to celebrate your union or following more traditional styles of weddings.

You might not want anyone there but each other.

You might want it to be a surprise and not tell your guests they are coming to a wedding.

You might just want a few family members there.

Being in the spotlight might fill you with horror!

But you want to get married. And this is why elopements are so great!

Elopement photography Nikki Kirk

Swerving formalities

Its exactly this, swerving formalities, that lies at the crux of the rise in elopements.

Hamish Shephard who is the founder of says that “Elopements historically took place if a couple needed to marry in secret because approval was unlikely to be granted,” .

“The modern couple are less likely to be dependent on securing permission in the same way nowadays, but the romantic idea of escaping hand-in-hand to exchange vows in secret still holds appeal.”

And with the cost of an average UK wedding in 2018 coming in at £30,355 according to the added financial attraction is obvious!

Elopement photography Nikki Kirk

Part of a broader trend?

Elopements aren’t right for everyone but they are becoming increasing popularity as part of the broader trend for more intimate, bespoke wedding ceremonies.

And yes there could be a mixed bag of responses from family and friends if you elope but those people in your life who truly love you only want whats right for you on your special day and will be delighted for you.

Should you do it?

If you feel that its right for you both then go for it. Its your life and your marriage. Make it work for you and enjoy every moment!

Elopement photography Nikki Kirk

Read about real life elopements and smaller weddings:

Richard & Poko at Thyme

Simon & Nozomi’s UK destination wedding at Lords of the Manor

Jess & Stacey ‘s UK destination wedding at the Pittville Pump Room

James & Lucy at The Slaughters Manor House also featured in the latest issue of Your Glos & Wilts Wedding Magazine!

Rachel & Simon at the Pittville Pump Room

Carol & Mark at Thyme

Pam & Prem at Cripps Barn

Richard & Marie at Lords of the Manor

Charlotte & Oberon at Stroud Registry Office


All images in this blog are from a recent winter wedding photo shoot at Glenfall House and are totally achievable for elopement wedding photography taking a limited amount of time.

The Dream Team:

Photographer: Nikki Kirk

Venue: Glenfall House

Hair: Charlotte Holder

Venue Styling: Cotswold Vintage Party Hire

Suit: Country Master

Wedding Dress: Dress from Boho Bride, Over skirt from Tailor Made Bridal

Make Up: Frankly Beautiful

Flowers: Lilyfee Floral Designs

Models: Emily & Steve





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