Ask Lolly – Elope or cantelope?


Bonjour my pretties! How has your Monday treated you so far? Did you spend the summer solstice weekend sunning yourselves in the glorious weather for a change? Or perhaps you ticked off some items from the wedmin list…

This afternoon sees another ‘Ask Lolly’ post where I try my very best to try to solve the wedding trials and tribulations of you lovely lot by offering my thoughts and nuggets of advice on your big day dilemmas.

This is also an opportunity for you folks to weigh in with your thoughts and opinions too – after all we love to hear what you have to say on wedding matters and I’m sure there’s more than one of you in a similar predicament.

So without further ado let’s hear what our latest bride in distress has to say. It’s something a little more unusual this month…

Hi Lolly

Sorry couldn’t resist a melon joke…

My wonderful beau and I have been discussing the pros and cons of weddings. While neither of us are considered shy by anyone we know, the idea of professing our love to a crowd is really intimidating!

Although we know we would have a celebration on our return, at my request as he’s not too fussed, both of us would rather avoid a ‘traditional’ setting. I suppose I should hurry up and get to the point!

Essentially there’s so little information about organising an elopement. We would like to do as much as possible by ourselves without giving the game away to our wonderful friends and family.

We would like to stay in England and would rather avoid a religious setting. What could we plan in to the rest of the day to enjoy our new marriage?

So far all I have is to eat at one of our favourite cafes!

I’m sorry this is so rambling,

Thank you for reading:-)

A melon.

Well hello there friend of the fruit variety. I have to say that this is the very first time that I’ve ever received a letter from a Melon but you made me laugh so at the very least I felt I had to respond to your plea for help.

So you’ve decided to elope have you? I have to say that I am more than a smidgen jealous of your decision to do so, the boy and I were a hair’s breadth away from packing our bags and dashing off on a marital adventure ourselves a couple of years back but somehow we just didn’t follow through. There’s always a big part of me that wonders what it would have been like though…

First things first I suppose there’s so little information about organising an elopement because it really is up to the couple themselves to dictate what it is they want to do on their wedding day. Since there’s no longer great aunt Betty to worry about nor a million and one family politics to battle with, the pair of you can indulge in what makes you happy.

So apart from the actual ‘marriage’ part, the world my dear is your oyster…or alternatively your fruit salad 😉

If we’re being practical then I would ask you if you’ve still looked at the legal bits and bobs related to getting married. I’m assuming that you’ve picked your registry office (since you mentioned that you’re not religious) and that you’ve given notice of your intent to marry and filled in the necessary paperwork or have an appointment to do so…If you’ve done all that then you must have your wedding date already pencilled in the diary which is a fantastic starting point if there was ever one.

You’ve not given too much away in your letter Miss Melon – of course I completely understand because you want to remain as anonymous as possible so as not to give your secret away – but it is difficult to gauge what it is that interests you and your beau or to tailor my suggestions for certain activities to a specific area/ city.

You’ve not said where you’re thinking of tying the knot – you mention that you’d like to stay in England and that scheduling in a meal at one of your favourite cafes is on your hit list so I’ve taken that to mean that you’ll be marrying either in your hometown or in an area that is familiar to you. If this is the case then you’ll have plenty of time to scope out a plan of attack before the day arrives.

An Ask Lolly Discussion Post On How To Incorporate Special And Memorable Activities Into Your Wedding Elopement._0001

If there’s one thing that I cannot stress enough then it’s to allocate some time and a bit of your budget for a photography session with an amazing photographer – there’s plenty to choose from either from our list of front page sponsors or from our handpicked directory – The Love Lust List if you’re stuck. Having some treasured pictures of you and your beau to pour over in years to come will be priceless – you could even mock up a ‘just eloped’ sign to use in a couple of images for your invite to your celebration on your return…

Since the day is just about the two of you why not make the ‘getting ready’ part of the morning super romantic. Is there a certain breakfast meal the two of you particularly love? Why not create a special keepsake box documenting the day so that your nearest and dearest can look through the contents and gain a sense of the occasion despite not being there in person. Fill the box with a newspaper from your wedding day (complete with date) and perhaps splash out on a polaroid camera to snap candid shots of the two of you as you dress for your ceremony. You can even add your marriage certificate and some dried flowers from your bouquet after the event is over.

In your letter, you indicated that a meal at your favourite cafe was high on your priority list. It might be worth ringing ahead to book your favourite table – if you have one – and ordering a bottle of champagne to be put on ice for when you arrive. They might even cater for private dining if this is your bag so it’s worth asking if is possible. I remember falling in love with a secret room at Prestonfield House in Edinburgh hidden off of a stone turret stair with only space for two people; it was the most perfect hide-away with a waiter just a bell-call away and I swore if I ever eloped then it would be here.

An Ask Lolly Discussion Post On How To Incorporate Special And Memorable Activities Into Your Wedding Elopement._0002

You could mark the event in other ways too – you could take inspiration from the team at Iscoyd Park who help brides and grooms commemorate their day by planting a tree; perhaps ask at your local park or arboretum if this gets your juices going. Alternatively you could pop along to a jeweller to get your rings engraved with your wedding date or a treasured phrase. Or if you’re feeling particularly adventurous when it might be worth booking an exhilarating hot air balloon experience.

Don’t think that the day should end when the sun goes down either, why not prolong the romance and dress up for the evening by splashing out on tickets to the opera or even organise your own fireworks display or indulge in a wine tasting for the two of you. Hell even room service in a fancy suite sounds right up my street.

I suppose the moral of the story here is to do what makes you happy. Sit down and take inspiration from your favourite memories or plan something that you’ve always wanted to experience and then do it! Don’t try to fit too much in either; you don’t want to feel like you’re rushing from one activity to another – after all it’s your wedding day.

Sit back and enjoy the journey!

What do you lads and lassies think? Have any of you eloped in the past or are planning to? What activities did you/ are you planning to incorporate into your big day?

We want to hear your thoughts and ruminations…

All my love Lolly xxx

Author: Lauren Gautier-Ollerenshaw
Lolly is a self-professed frustrated florist and styling maven with an endless passion for all things pretty.

11 thoughts on “Ask Lolly – Elope or cantelope?

  1. We eloped and it was the best decision we made!! Like Melon we weren’t crazy about the idea of having our wedding in front of a lot of people. After a year of talking about how we could please everyone, we agreed that when it came down to it, it was a personal thing we were doing that didn’t need anyone else to be there. We too started with the food! I booked a table at an amazing seafood restaurant in Scotland (we’re based in London, so it was all organised from here), found a beautiful guesthouse nearby where they were happy to hold our wedding and be our witnesses. We found a brilliant photographer who spent most of the day with us capturing it all for our family when we got home. The whole day was about us and the commitment we were making to each other and we are so happy we did it this way! Our families were surprised (we didn’t tell them before!!) but happy for us. The pictures were beautiful, they really captured how happy we were on the day and it was great for our families to be able to share it with us in that way.

    1. Amy your elopement sounds absolutely blinking heavenly!

      I love the sound of the food and holiday combo and am beyond happy that you had the whole day captured on camera too! Thankfully your family were chilled out about the whole thing – I have heard some horror stories about estrangements due to elopements which always makes me sad.

  2. Sounds amazing! Reading this reminds me of how much I always wanted to elope – no politics (my family is huge and lovely, but ridiculous and sad in the way they’ve held onto decades of rifts), no drama, no thousands of pounds, no worrying about the needs of 150 people instead of just your own.. we’ve now started planning our big wedding which is shaping up to be magical, but there is a tiny part that would love to disappear and do it just us.

    However, my mum raised us on her own and sacrificed her career and social life for 20 years, and would be absolutely gutted to miss out on my wedding day. Yes it should be about what my fiancé and I want, but I owe my mum so much so we have to consider her.

    1. That’s exactly the reason we didn’t elope in the end Amy – my mum was a rock during my wedding planning and was there every step of the way and was all for everything we wanted to do and to hell with convention so I couldn’t not have her there with me on my big day. I still love the romance of an elopement though!

  3. Aww I just love this idea! I think a good starting point would be to think about how you’d like to spend a birthday or another lovely day! I think the cafe idea is a great way to celebrate and if you’re not bothered about staying at home then maybe book into a fancy hotel for the night 🙂 I’d spend the afternoon in the spa of the hotel then the evening in the room with champagne and great food or at a relaxing restaurant! Good luck with everything xx

  4. We definitely have the same feelings about actually standing up in front of everyone and saying our vows. But we did want all our friends and family to be included in our celebrations. So we’re going to be having a very small intimate service, just mums, dads, sisters and brothers. Then we’ll meet up with our large loveable rabble afterwards for the reception. I guess that even if you elope you end up having a party at some point afterwards anyway. We just aren’t sneaky enough to orchestrate a secret wedding.

    1. Your plans sound perfect. The boy would like a not so off the cuff Vegas elopement but I would very much like both our close family and Godparents to be there. This seems like a great compromise as we have always planned to have a big party afterwards anyway.

      1. There is a part of me that would love to elope to Vegas. I think I’d end up feeling like I’d missed out on not having all my loved ones with me on the day. I prefer the idea of renewing our vows with Elvis in Vegas one day…I better get the actual wedding done and dusted before I start planning how to renew our vows though. 🙂

  5. The idea of eloping is such a thrill! I see it as going against all the expectations and traditions that family, friends and society so pressure you into feeling.

    I myself am bride-to-be and organizing my wedding has been a lot of fun, although when I sat down and took every minor factor into consideration, it was quite overwhelming.

    My fiancé and I are very laid back and are planning to have a very intimate wedding with only twenty or so people. We have chosen to go for rustic DIY and have the wedding ceremony and reception at our friends property in spring. We live in South Australia, and his family who are attending are from England so it will be their first Australian wedding, which they’re very excited about.

    With all the planning, sometimes it would be great to just eloped – my mum has even suggested it to us on a few occasions. I love the idea of elopement but I also love weddings. I plan to take all the stress out of the wedding by having no preconceived ‘traditional’ ideas about the day and we will just do what we feel is right for us.

  6. I love the romanticism of elopement, but I couldn’t do it. As much as the day is about just you and your other half, I think it’s a public declaration of love and you want to share that with your nearest and dearest.

    That being said, my Dad has offered my boy a set of stepladders and petrol money to take me to Gretna Green (we live an hour away!) instead of the ‘big’ wedding scenario haha! My grandad offered my dad the same, so it’s becoming a bit of a family tradition. I do feel like I’m worth at least a little more than that though!

  7. Congrats on deciding to elope Melon (and to all those who have taken the plunge to do so before her…)

    It’s kind of a big deal, especially when you have families and close friends’ emotions to consider. My partner and I decided to make the same decision and we’re eloping on March 13th 2015. We’ve decideded to visit New York and get married whilst we’re out there and we’ve both had a (mostly) positive reaction from those who know and love us. I get that warm ready-brek glow in my tummy when I think of how care-free our day is going to be, and how our marriage will be starting how I believe a marriage should; with a focus on the two of us, our love, and what we mean to one another. I struggled internally with questions like ‘I still want to look like a Princess, but am I entitled to wear the big dress?’ and the answer, I conclude, is hell yeah!

    I’ve found it near impossible to find any helpful advice on what to fill our day with, especially in a big bright city we’ve never visited before. It’s going to be an adventure, that’s for sure. But we’re getting married at City Hall and we’ve entrusted a photographer to capture those special moments the follow.

    We’ve toyed with the idea of cocktails on the rooftop terrace of our hotel, going for elopement cupcakes, having a sit down meal… but we’re still not sure and I wish there was someone I could ask who’s travelled from the UK to NYC who may have ideas to share. I know our day will start with a champagne breakfast and end with us being married, the rest, we’ll see.

    I’m in agreement that eloping is the way forward (for us, anyway) and we’re throwing a party for all friends and family in Brighton on our return where we’ll carry our NYC theme home with us, have a first dance and probably order some bad-ass wedding cake.

    Everyone’s a winner in my eyes.

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