Gillian and Stephen eloped at Scarborough Registry Ofﬁce in October. They had a minimal budget, no formal reception and no guests bar their photographer, Laura. After the I dos they went for afternoon tea at Francis Tea Rooms.
The couple met in America when Stephen’s band were on tour. Despite living on opposite sides of the world they decided they just couldn’t let each other go! “We eloped because of a visa process and all the costs that and an international move racked up”, began the bride. “We spent about two years doing long distance between England and America. I then decided I wanted to pursue a ﬁancée visa so I could ﬁnally settle in England with Stephen. It was supposed to take about six weeks but it ended up taking seven months! The visa process also required both of our passports so we weren’t able to make visits to each other the whole time! Without knowing when (or if) the visa would return to us, we couldn’t plan a proper wedding. We eventually got the visa and I planned my return to the UK, but we were only given six months to get married, so we went ahead with an elopement.”
“We decided on Scarborough because we had spent some time here together while Stephen was doing a guest lecture at his old university”, she continued. “It was such a special, quiet day where we could focus just on each other after so much time apart. Before we got married we always spoke about getting matching tattoos, but never followed through with it. Stephen has some old friends he met at university still living in Scarborough, so on a whim we tracked down a mutual friend who is a tattoo artist and got matching moons on our ring ﬁngers and he got our wedding date on his knuckles.”
The bride wore an Alice Temperley dress with a flower crown made from spray roses and gypsophila. “We didn’t choose a theme, but it ended up feeling that was somewhat vintage. My dress was 1930s in style. After the ceremony we went to an amazing little tea room that used to be a hair salon and the building has been preserved and feels like something out of that time period.”
“Stephen’s favourite part of the day was the ‘ﬁrst look’ before the ceremony”. Gillian continued. “He walked down a path outside of our hotel that leads to the sea to wait for me. Laura took some photos while I nervously walked down to meet him. I was so worried he wasn’t going to like my dress! He remembers asking Laura if it was OK for him to turn around to see me, and I just remember the look on his face! We were so nervous and excited but everything felt right that we were together. It was such a connected moment. The ceremony itself was also really special. I’m not usually one for ceremonies, but getting to the registry ofﬁce was really exciting. After the morning of nervously getting ready separately, it was so comforting to walk in together. Being there gave me the best kind of butterﬂies. We walked into the ceremony room together holding hands and exchanged our vows.”
“Our only main costs were my dress, his suit, and our photographer. We’re hoping to have a reception/ vow renewal so all our friends and family can celebrate with us soon and we can get the opportunity to have the party we weren’t able to have the ﬁrst time. The photographs were incredibly important to us so we could share our day with everyone who couldn’t be there.”
“While it would have been nice to do a proper wedding where we could pick the time of year, venue, events, and have family and friends in attendance, we have absolutely no regrets with our day! It was perfect for us”, Gillian concluded. “So do whatever makes you and your future spouse happy. People will give you their unsolicited opinions and someone will always end up angry, upset, or offended. Decide what is important to the two of you as a couple, make compromises and enjoy your day! We look back on our wedding with such fond memories, even though it wasn’t exactly what we would have chosen if we didn’t have our unique circumstances.”