A Non Traditional Elopement 17 Years In The Making

Whenever I get an enquiry, I am always ecstatic to hear the plans and stories the couple has. Nic & Jo’s email about their Non Traditional Elopement had me hooked from the start! It was clear that they were doing it all for them, and as you know, this is something I totally believe in! The fact they emailed photos of them and Elvis their ridiculously cute dog just sealed the deal.

As they are both creatives I knew that we were in for some fun, little did I know or expect that over the few months of knowing each other via emails and Skype calls, that they would ask me to be a witness! they have been together for 22 years and 17 of those they have been engaged…

The day started at Pentonbridge Inn leading onto Gretna Green where they said their “I do’s”. We then went on a small adventure to Talkin Tarn Country Park and to Netherby Hall! All with the amazing wedding Landrover “Larry” from B Spoke By Spike-Chauffeured Services! Michael Worsley who runs B Spoke, was the other witness. All in all, it has been an incredible day! 

If you would like me to photograph your big day, please feel free to contact me! If you’re thinking of Eloping why not read more about my thoughts on my blog “Elopement isn’t a dirty word” after you’ve seen this beautiful day in full.

I asked Nic to write some words and what he wrote is bellow, so keep scrolling to not only see their photos but also to find out more about their story.

Jo and I got together 22 years ago and have been engaged for 17 of those years! It’s not that we don’t believe in rushing into things, we fully expected to be married within a year or two of our engagement just as our friends were doing in their 20’s and 30’s.

I should’ve known that things weren’t going to be straightforward when, a couple of days after secretly buying an engagement ring, and for a bit of reassurance that I’d done the right thing, I turned the conversation to how lovely our friends’ recent wedding in Cornwall had been. Jo’s reply consisted of a couple of dismissive remarks about us not needing to get married which rocked me enough that, instead of patiently waiting to propose the following weekend on my birthday, in a lovely restaurant, surrounded by both our families as I’d planned – I found myself instead “panic-proposing” in our own kitchen that very evening before wandering down to the village pub for our regular Friday night drink with my brother!

We’re both creative people who didn’t want a traditional church wedding but quickly became disenchanted with so-called “alternative” venues. Even places that seemed a bit quirky on the surface were restricted by wedding laws. As a result the whole idea of getting married just fizzled out as day to day life resumed. Life was very busy but very good, and Jo had been right – we didn’t “need” to get married after all.

Over the years, the idea of getting married came up every now and then but never became a priority. Then, just this past June our family solicitor quipped how much more straightforward we’d be if we were married. In the half an hour it took to drive home from that meeting we both realised that we would like marry but we just didn’t want all the fuss of a wedding, neither for ourselves or our families. And then the idea came that as we’d already booked a holiday in Scotland just three months away we’d see if we could get a slot at Gretna Green on the way up – and do it, in total secret! Just us two ( and Elvis of course).

That was a Friday evening. Every now and then over the weekend we’d look at one another and say something like “Really? Are we going to do this?” and it just kept putting big smiles on our faces, like we’d only just got engaged. We talked about our big worry, that family and friends might be upset but told ourselves they’d be happy with what made us happy.

By 9:30 on the Monday morning we’d spoken with Gretna and our elopement was booked.

For years I’ve been saying to Jo that I’d like to have her engagement ring remade, or to buy an eternity ring but she’s never been that bothered – we’re not really jewellery people. So I was surprised when she was so specific in saying that she’d like to have a Russian wedding ring. I soon learnt that such a ring actually consists of three rings – so a new engagement ring, a wedding ring and an eternity ring all in one! But she’s worth it and deserves it (Jo wrote that last bit)!

We now have our own informal, personalised wedding. We’ve managed to keep it a secret, it will just be the two of us and Elvis – who’s even allowed into the ceremony and has a new collar and lead especially for the occasion. We’re staying in exactly our sort of place, an inn in the middle of nowhere where it’s all about the food and the ale is real. We have a Land Rover as a wedding car and the driver and our photographer will be our witnesses. We even have new wellies for photos in the countryside of the Scottish borders.

Vendor Love:

Venues: Pentonbridge Inn

Ceremony: Gretna Green

Shoot Locations: Talkin Tarn / Netherby Hall

Transport: B Spoke By Spike!

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