Aileen Watson

Independent Celebrant

Glasgow, UK

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Have you ever just wanted to run away?


In the year before I qualified as a celebrant, I personally knew three couples who did exactly that. They eloped, ran away to get married. For the first time, I had to work out what I felt about that. Was it a wonderful romantic statement? Or was it selfish of them to exclude their loved ones, something that they will regret?


These three couples’ reasons for eloping were each very different.


The first couple had been together long enough to build a happy and contented family. They had always wanted to be married but were desperately uncomfortable with even small parties or family gatherings where they would be the centre of attention. So off they went on holiday with their children for a true whole-family elopement.


The second couple were quite young and completely devoted to each other. Their elopement was a whirlwind romantic adventure and it captured everyone’s hearts, but there was an unspoken acknowledgement that marrying in front of their family and friends involved complications which they would rather not have to deal with. Eloping was the simplest solution.


The third couple were the biggest surprise. They were modern, sociable and well-connected, just the type of people you would expect to have a grand, statement wedding, and that was exactly what they were planning. But then they realised that they were drowning in the arrangements, would be paying for it for many years to come and didn’t really want it anyway. In their minds they did the only sensible thing, the thing they really wanted to do. They put a stop to the wedding and just got married.


These were all couples I knew quite well, but not well enough to be part of their wedding plans. In each case, having a wedding was the one thing casting a cloud over their heartfelt wish to be married. But did they do the right thing?


As an independent celebrant, I know that only the couple can make that decision for themselves. They know best what kind of wedding will work for them. But how can I help? Can an independent celebrant can turn an elopement into the perfect dream wedding?


Yes! And here are my two main reasons.


Firstly, even the tiniest of weddings can have a truly meaningful ceremony at its heart. It’s wonderful to show the couple that the simplicity they crave doesn’t have to exclude poetry, prayers and deeply symbolic moments created just for the two of them. An elopement ceremony can be every bit as unique and personal as a ceremony shared with dozens of people.


Secondly, once they are married and the pressure is off, couples often feel so overjoyed that they want to hold a ceremony at a later date to affirm their marriage before their family and friends. This is a great way to include loved ones who weren’t at the elopement ceremony, and can be a much more relaxed affair because the wedding has already taken place. Affirmation ceremonies like this are also a great choice after a destination wedding where there are only a few guests.


What would your perfect ceremony be like? Contact me now and we’ll plan it together.

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