The Lake District prides itself on being England's adventure capital, offering a huge range of adventurous outdoor activities including fell walking, mountaineering, gorge scrambling, wild swimming, rock climbing, 4x4 driving, kayaking, sailing and so the list goes on. So if it's your spirit of adventure that brings you to the Lake District for your wedding, then incorporating an element of adventure into your wedding plans might be just the thing for you! Whether you want a mainly traditional wedding with an element of adventure or want to eschew tradition altogether in favour of a full-on adventure wedding, then read on for some ideas for turning your wedding day into an adventure you'll never forget!
A traditional wedding with a taste of adventure
If you love an adventure but also want a traditional wedding, why not combine them and have both? Obviously, the smaller your wedding and more adventurous your guests are, the easier it is to incorporate a bit of adventure into the plan. This is where you need to know your wedding guests well enough to decide whether to take some or all of them with you or to go it alone! Either way, pick one of the many gorgeous wedding venues that are set in the heart of the Lake District, so you can enjoy a wonderful country house wedding with family and friends before escaping down to the lake or up into the fells - or even over to one of the many outdoor activity centres - for a bit of an adventure, either as part of your day or perhaps the following day, depending on how late a party night you're planning!
ROSIE & JEMMA - were married in a summer beautiful barn wedding at Cote How in Rydal. After their ceremony, reception drinks and group photographs with friends and family, they all enjoyed an afternoon cream tea. Then Rosie and Jemma bade farewell to everyone, changed their footwear and headed up to Rydal Cave and out onto Loughrigg fell before returning to their hotel via Rydal Water as the sun set.
AMY & TOM - were married at Cote How in June 2021. They enjoyed a beautiful outdoor ceremony followed by reception drinks and family photographs. Then Amy donned her wellies and they wandered down to the lake, through the woods and up to Rydal Cave for their portraits. Later, they met up with their families for a celebratory evening meal nearby.
A church wedding adventure
The Lake District has quite a few tiny, remote churches - like St John's in the Vale and The Old Church of St Martin - which are up in the fells, making them the perfect start to an adventure wedding day! After an intimate church ceremony, you might walk across the fells to your reception venue or erect a wedding tipi (or teepee) nearby - and in summer, your guests might even camp overnight for the ultimate adventure feel!
MELISSA & RICHARD - were married in the tiny Old Church of St Martin in Martindale. After their ceremony they took all their guests across the fellside and down to Ullswater, stopping for some epic portraits amongst the crags along the way. At Howtown they boarded a steamer for a lake cruise with canapés and drinks before returning for an evening meal together at the Howtown Hotel.
An elopement wedding adventure
Elopement weddings are becoming increasingly popular and, with just the two of you to consider, offer the ultimate flexibility in how you plan your day. You can either get married at one of several Registry Offices in Cumbria or choose from the many fabulous elopement wedding venues in the Lake District, all with easy access to the fells and lakes. So why not make the most of the location and enjoy a Lakeland picnic after your wedding ceremony by one of the lakes or head out into the fells and return just in time for your evening meal? You can choose to go dressed as you are if you don't mind your wedding togs taking a bit of punishment or get changed for whatever activity you desire - you can always take your wedding outfit with you in a rucksack for a quick change before some fell top photos!
EMMA & ROB - booked a Lake District elopement wedding at Lindeth Howe in February 2020 and planned to go down to Windermere afterwards for a lakeside walk and photos. It turned out that Storm Dennis hit the Lake District that weekend bringing storm force winds and torrential rain! Unfazed by the forecast, Emma and Rob decided to embrace the weather and went down to the jetties at Rayrigg Bay for an adventure in the wind and the rain, before returning to the hotel to get changed for their evening meal!
CLAIRE & DAVE - were married at Kendal Register Office in September 2021 before heading up to Rydal Water for a walk up to Rydal Cave, onto Loughrigg and then back to the lake. On returning to the lake, they were met by their dog sitter for some photos with their two dogs before enjoying a relaxing, late afternoon lakeside picnic.
A truly adventurous wedding day
While it's only possible to get married at registered venues in England and Wales under current law, all that's about to change! Following a period of consultation, the Law Commission expects to put recommendations to the government in July 2022 for changing wedding laws to allow couples to choose where their weddings take place, without unnecessary restrictions- as is already the case in Scotland and Northern Ireland. This will truly open up options for all kinds of adventure weddings in the Lake District, whether it's just the two of you or you and a small group of adventurous friends and family members!
In the meantime, it's still possible to have the Lake District adventure wedding of your dreams, at the location of your choice, by fulfilling the legal requirements for marriage in the presence of a Registrar and two witnesses and then having a celebrant officiate at your adventure wedding itself. In this case, you can design your own wedding ceremony with your celebrant and have it anywhere you'd like - on the top of a fell, out on a lake, down in a cave or even up in the sky - just take your photographer with you so you can relive your adventure for years to come!