What is an Elopement Wedding?

Top photo by Marta May Photography

Elopement Weddings at Pauntley Court

 Pauntley Court is a family-owned private estate, on the edge of the Cotswolds and stands as a quintessential country house wedding venue, offering a unique and picturesque backdrop for your elopement wedding day. 

Our venue is perfect for couples seeking an intimate, romantic celebration in an enchanting setting, surrounded by magical grounds and stunning formal gardens.


What is an Elopement Wedding?

Traditionally, elopement meant a secretive and spontaneous marriage, often without family approval. But nowadays, an Elopement Wedding is about intentionally choosing a smaller, more private ceremony that focuses on the love between partners. 

You might choose to include direct family members only, or, you may prefer to invite just a few close friends.

An Elopement Wedding allows you all of the romance and atmosphere and allows more of the focus on you and your immediate close family and friends, with a very personal exchange of vows without the formalities of a traditional wedding. 

Photo by Duncan Cox Photography

Elopement weddings are all the rage for the rich and famous! Celebrity Elopements include;

Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin

Lilly Allen and David Harbour

Ryan Reynolds and Scarlett Johansson

Rachel Weisz and Daniel Craig


What Can Pauntley Court Offer You for your Elopement Wedding?

  • Exclusive use of the gardens and grounds from 9am on a Tuesday or Wednesday until you leave the next day by 11am
  • The private estate includes 20 acres with a croquet lawn, petanque court and tennis court and as well as a lake with access to a boat house and boat on the lake.
  • A one-night stay in our romantic, luxurious and private wing – Elinor Fettiplace – with its own sitting room and kitchen downstairs. Upstairs a large and vaulted bedroom with a sumptuous bed with The White Company Linens and fluffy towels and fresh flowers from our cutting garden, an ensuite modern bathroom with 100 acres toiletries, dressing gowns and slippers.
  • Use of all of the downstairs of the main house including the Ballroom and the Panelled room and grand main staircase with its hand painted ceiling.
  • Your chosen caterer can use our main house kitchen and all crockery, cutlery and glassware for a wedding breakfast for up to 8.
  • Use of our fantastic tentickle stretch tent and all tables and chairs required.
  • A locally sourced breakfast hamper for your morning breakfast after your Elopement Wedding.
  • 4 hours with a dedicated wedding coordinator to offer any help or advice you need to plan your Elopement and a member of the Pauntley Team present on your wedding day to ensure all goes to plan.


Reasons for Choosing an Elopement Wedding

Every couple will have their own reasons for choosing an Elopement Wedding but here are some of the most common:

Intimacy and Privacy

You might prefer a more intimate setting where you can focus solely on your commitment to one another without the pressure of a larger event. This privacy and closeness is exactly what an elopement provides.

Personalised Experience

Elopement weddings are ideal for individuals who value authenticity and personalisation. This is because they allow you to craft a day that reflects your unique relationship and preferences without adhering to traditional wedding expectations.

Reduced Stress and Costs

Couples looking to minimise stress and expenses often opt for elopements. We know that planning a large wedding can be overwhelming, therefore, eloping offers a simpler and more cost-effective alternative.

Second Marriages or Renewal of Vows

Entering into a second marriage or celebrating a milestone anniversary? If the answer’s yes, an elopement will allow you to cherish the intimacy of the occasion without the formality of a larger ceremony.

Photo by Faye Taylor Photography

Is an Elopement Wedding Right for You? 

We have hosted a number of Elopement weddings at Pauntley and each one has been personal and individual to the couple.  

So, how do you know if an elopement is right for you?


  • Do you have a sense of adventure?
  • Are you slightly more introverted with a preference for smaller gatherings?
  • Do you prioritise financial prudence?
  • Are you seeking a more personal and meaningful experience?
  • Have either of you been through the traditional wedding process before and decided you want something different?
  • Are you seeking privacy and tranquillity?
  • Are you looking for the exclusivity of a celebrity?
  • Are you searching for a unique and one of kind backdrop for your wedding photographs?

Do you look to set yourself apart from the crowd with unique and original ideas?

If you’ve both said “I do” to any of the above questions, an Elopement Wedding at Pauntley Court could be the perfect fit for you!


How Much Does it Cost to Elope?

The cost of an elopement at Pauntley Court for 2 to 8 people ranges between £1,450 to £3,250.



Elopements can be arranged for Tuesdays or Wednesdays.


The Essence of an Elopement Wedding at Pauntley Court

Imagine a peaceful setting like Pauntley Court—a charming beautiful venue where you can both say your vows in a quiet garden or a cosy indoor space.  After your ceremony, wander through the magical gardens, with a glass of fizz in hand, have your photographs taken and then dine under the hornbeams or in our elegant ballroom.  Retreat to the cosy and romantic Elinor Fettiplace wing at the end of your wedding day.

Our Elopement Weddings strip away the fuss and allow you to focus solely on your commitment to each other.

Photo by Emotions in the Frame Photography

Legal Bits - Can You Elope in the UK?

Yes, you can elope in the UK! Elopement weddings in the UK involve a process that, while simpler than planning a large wedding, still require fulfilling certain legal obligations. Here are the steps and requirements for eloping in the UK:

Notice of Marriage / Civil Partnership

  • Couples must give notice at their local registry office at least 29 days before their intended ceremony. This involves stating where the ceremony will take place and paying a fee.
  • Both parties must be at least 16 years old and not currently married or in a civil partnership.

Required Documents

  • Valid passports or birth certificates
  • Proof of address (e.g., utility bills or bank statements)
  • If applicable, proof of divorce or dissolution of a previous marriage/civil partnership.


Couples must choose a venue that is licensed for marriages or civil partnerships like Pauntley Court.  Pauntley Court has two indoor licensed spaces and six outdoor licensed spaces to choose from.

Appointment with Registrar

Couples will need to attend an appointment with the registrar to complete legal formalities, typically including a declaration of no legal impediment to marriage.

Two Witnesses

You'll need two witnesses present at the ceremony who are capable of understanding the proceedings and are willing to sign the marriage register.  Melissa and one other from the Pauntley Team can be your witnesses if you so wish.


Be aware of and ready to pay applicable fees for giving notice, registrar services, and the ceremony itself.

Marriage Certificate

After the ceremony, the registrar will issue a marriage certificate. This document is necessary for legal purposes and may be needed for various administrative processes, including name changes, visa applications, etc.


Planning Your Elopement Wedding

As you can see, an Elopement wedding celebrates the heart of the union—the love shared between two people. It is an intentional choice to celebrate in a small, personal setting, emphasising the emotional significance of the day above all else. 

At Pauntley Court, we’re on hand to help you celebrate your love in a private yet meaningful way, creating unforgettable moments in a serene and beautiful environment. If you’d like to find out more, we warmly invite you to contact us.

Civil ceremonies gallery

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Pauntley Court is a beautiful wedding venue and their staff is exceptional. 

They also have a great list of vendors that make planning your wedding and reception stress free, even from the United States.

 My daughter’s wedding was like a fairy-tale.

 Thank you,


Cindy P. (Mother of the Bride) from the USA

June 2023


Photos by Siobhan Beales

- Haley & John