Emotional and Casual Brighton Elopement: Ash & Pat


March 19, 2014


Don’t you just love looking at weddings when the emotion completely pours out of the photographs? This is totally applicable for Ash and Pat’s Brighton elopement! They wanted a low key and budget-friendly wedding and so were married at Brighton registry office. It was just the two of them, two witnesses and their photographer Sassy of Assassynation in attendance. After the ceremony, they all went to JB’s American Diner for burgers and milkshakes.

“Pat and I had originally planned to do the traditional wedding with a large venue and a ceremony with lots of people, we even had the photographer and venue booked for August 2012”, explained Ash. “But life got a little complicated and we decided that it would be best to postpone for a while whilst we got back on track financially and as a couple.”


“I’d always said, as I’d been married before, that if I were to do it again I’d rather elope than go through the stress of organising something so big again, let alone the added stress of the financial implications of it all. But most of all I had come to realise that the only thing that I felt was really important about marriage and a wedding is what it means to us, as a couple. We so rarely made or got time to reflect on our relationship, the things we had gone through and the achievements we had made by being a grounding force for each other. And to me there was no better way to cement those feelings and our love for each other than to say it, with no fuss, no stress… just peaceful quiet contemplation, hearing every word that is said without distraction so that we can fully appreciate just how much the moment meant.”


“I know that many may think elopement is selfish”, she continued, “and yes to a point it is, but I hope they understand that we needed to be selfish, to cement what we have always known deep down and make it a focus of our relationship.  Weddings are so often focused on what is right for everyone else that the true message of the day gets lost in the chaos. We wanted a day that would reflect the most important thing to us, our love, in a way that we could appreciate it.”


“The one thing we both agreed on outright was that we wanted the day to be relaxed… no stress allowed! So, to alleviate my need to be organised, we planned everything up to the ceremony and after that we just went where the day took us. Of course, as always with weddings, things didn’t go exactly as planned… we were longer than expected in the hairdressers, I ended up needing to buy a coat with little time to spare (so we went to Primark that morning!) and when I arrived back at the apartment to start getting ready I realised my maid of honour and future husband had the keys so I couldn’t get in!”


“But we didn’t let it phase us, there’s no point stressing about the small things on such a special day! After the ceremony our photographer recommended the American Diner on the sea front as it would make for some great pictures, so off we wandered and had some lunch. Then we wandered along the very blustery Brighton Beach and did some more photographs. And at the end of the day we went back to the lovely apartment we were staying in, got into our pyjamas and watched a film with some popcorn, I can’t think of a more perfect way to end such a wonderful day!”


“I think a special mention should also go to our photographer, Sassy, because she is simply amazing! She not only took some of the most amazing photographs I’ve ever seen but she saved our butts by sorting out a second witness when ours pulled out a week before the wedding. She spent weeks before the wedding chatting to a very excited me about all of the details! It was like having a close friend taking our photographs and for us that made the day even more special.”


Ash’s stunning black dress was made by a friend who is a seamstress, Jo Le Vay.  She wore it with a necklace that she made herself, their only DIY project for the wedding. “I LOVE vintage, particularly the glamour of the 20s and 30s and wanted to bring that across in my outfit. But I didn’t want to enforce a particular style or era on the day and because of that the style just seemed to happen organically. On a random day out we found Pat’s wonderful 70s suit in a local vintage store and he fell in love with it instantly and I helped him find a shirt that would complement the suit and my dress. Pat is also a big comic book nerd and he’d always wanted to wear converse for the wedding so I customised him a pair with the Joker & Harlequin and on the back they say hey puddin’.”


“We also both put a lot of effort into our personalised vows, which were an integral part of the ceremony for us”, she concluded. “It turned out that both of us went for extremely geeky vows, which was great and meant so much to us. And finally, it’s worth saying that Pat actually took my name after the wedding! It wasn’t a decision based on feminism, simply vanity. I love my name and was loathed to change it from Ashley Scattergood to Ashley Challis (it just didn’t suit me!), and Pat wasn’t keen on us having different surnames so he decided to change his name just for me, which I felt was unbelievably romantic!”