More and more couples are choosing to elope rather than have big wedding ceremonies, particularly the 'millennials' who see it as a way to save funds that they would rather use as a deposit for a new house.

The reasons for eloping shared by the couples in this article are varied, because of course the decision to marry and where is very personal to them.

I would just urge couples thinking about eloping to do their legal research before they go ahead so that they can get the right arrangements in place.  

I've had clients in the past who thought they were married and acted as if they were married, and only found out that they actually weren't legally married when it came to starting divorce proceedings.  

This can have significant consequences on a separation, not just emotionally, but also when it comes to the division of their finances.

For example, couples travelling abroad to get married should bear in mind that different countries can have different requirements to have a lawful marriage, so it is worth finding these out by contacting the local authorities.  

A marriage that takes place in accordance with local law should be recognised in England and Wales, without any requirement to register it here.  On a practical note, it is probably worth getting a few copies of your marriage certificate at the time, because if you need to produce a further copy later it is often time consuming to get this when you are in another country.

In the same way, there are certain processes in England and Wales to have a legally recognised marriage.  One key step is to give notice with the local register office and another is to check that the official performing the ceremony will be able to register it.  

If the person officiating at the wedding isn't able to register it, which happened for one of my clients who had a Pagan wedding, then one option is for the wedding to be followed by a civil ceremony at a local Registry office to create a legally recognised marriage.

Of course,  the most important step of all is for the couple to have a truly special day, wherever and with whoever they choose to share it!

If you or someone you know would benefit from a chat about any of the points above, please do contact me on 01865 781115 or gemma.nicholls-webber@freeths.co.uk