On Leap Day (February 29th), women around the world will be dropping down on one knee to pop the big question and couples will be looking to tie the knot within the year- but is eloping really that simple?
Described as the most perfect house to survive the middle ages, stately home Haddon Hall specialises in small weddings and elopements, with the hall itself inextricably linked to a well-known elopement dating back to 1563, when Dorothy Vernon left Haddon and ran through the gardens to marry Sir John Manners, after her father, Sir George Vernon, opposed the marriage and kept her under lock and key, forbidding her to see her beloved.
The story follows that they met on the bridge, now known as the Dorothy Vernon Bridge, and headed off to marry (living happily ever after, taking up residence at Haddon Hall).
Haddon’s reputation on romance and beauty has continued to grow over the years and has since starred in a variety of romantic Hollywood films including Jane Eyre, Pride & Prejudice and The Princess Bride. Due to popular interest, The Hall introduced its wedding services in 2014 and is licensed to host civil ceremonies in two of its most magnificent rooms: the Elizabethan Long Gallery – reputed to be one of the most beautiful rooms in Britain – and the equally grand Tudor-panelled Parlour.
With small ceremonies become increasingly popular and couples continuing to look to elope, Haddon’s expert wedding team has pulled together their six tips on how to elope in 2020…
You can’t walk into a venue and get married…
Unless you’re planning on flying to Las Vegas, unfortunately an elopement in the UK cannot take place with less than 29 days’ notice. Give notice for your ceremony as soon as possible and read up on the legalities. All weddings at Haddon are officiated by the Bakewell Registrar and the venue can cater to weddings of all sizes whether it’s just you two or your furry friend too (only well-behaved dogs, of course!).
Do know whether you need to arrange witnesses
Haddon is happy to provide witnesses for small ceremonies, however, at many venues this will not be an option. Make sure you do your research and check whether you need to bring along a couple of friends for your big day.
Don’t forget a photographer
Due to the tight time frame, it can be very easy to forget to book a photographer. Make sure you make a private appointment with your chosen photographer before your big day to ensure the photos are right for you.
A reveal plan can soften the blow to family and friends
Whether it’s a big party, announcement cards or a quiet get together with your nearest and dearest, make sure you plan your big reveal and guarantee your friends and family find out directly from you (and not through Facebook!).
Expect some costs
A lot of couples choose to elope to save on the expense of a big wedding, however an elopement still comes with a cost. Your license, bouquet, outfits, hair, make-up and photographer will still cost the same so make sure you budget before you plan to say, “I do”.
It’s cool to arrive in a taxi, but don’t forget about the getaway car!
Ensure you have the most romantic ending to your love story and runaway with your partner after the ceremony in a getaway car- it’s the Haddon way! Don’t forget to pack a “just married” banner in your bag ready to stick on the rear bumper.
Haddon Hall Weddings
Haddon has welcomed visitors for hundreds of years and its beauty and atmosphere never fails to enchant. Haddon Hall Weddings, Haddon is licensed to host civil ceremonies in two of its most magnificent rooms: the Elizabethan Long Gallery – reputed to be one of the most beautiful rooms in England – and the equally grand Tudor-panelled Parlour…