An Intimate Courthouse Elopement in Gibraltar With Doughnuts

Amid the pandemic, Gagan, whose from the United States, and Raj, whose from the United Kingdom, had been separated for almost a year due to travel and

Amid the pandemic, Gagan, whose from the United States, and Raj, whose from the United Kingdom, had been separated for almost a year due to travel and visa restrictions. At the last minute, when it was clear they could both safely travel to Gibraltar, Gagan and Raj decided to elope to the courthouse in the British territory of Gibraltar off the southern coast of Spain. "After months of long-distance planning with a lot of uncertainty and constantly changing plans, we were so happy to finally get married albeit in circumstances neither of us would have expected a year ago," shares Gagan. "Despite all of the craziness of 2020, we still managed to overcome all the obstacles and have our special day. The wedding day wasn’t as planned—but we were together, we had a lovely stay in Gibraltar and we made the most of the situation, smiling all the way."

Gagan and Raj explain that their decision to elope was "more circumstantial than anything else. I am a US citizen and Raj is from the UK so getting married in either country was difficult due to travel bans and backlogs with fiancé visas. We looked into a few options in Europe and Gibraltar made the most sense as it was one of the few places that was still operating a travel corridor. It took a lot of patience and chasing up to get a date booked in as we weren’t the only couple who had the same idea! Fortunately, we were able to get an appointment with the registry office, we booked our flights a week later."

Gagan goes on to share that "we had planned to get registered married in the US in April 2020, and our Sikh ceremony was going to take place in December 2020. With the pandemic, all our plans changed and we needed to rethink it all. The Sikh wedding was postponed to July 2021 and we decided to get legally married in December to enable us to travel to the US together and spend time with Gagan’s family for the holidays. On top of all of this we were living in two different countries with a time zone difference of 8 hours so even talking about what to do was challenging throughout this period."

"During the pandemic, we had been working from home like many others and this was no exception on the wedding day! We started the day ironing our clothes and getting our outfits sorted (Gagan bought her wedding dress at the airport just before boarding our flight). Then it was off to the registry office with a laptop in tow (for the family zoom call). There was definitely a moment of ‘wow we really wish our friends and family were here’ but we quickly reminded ourselves that we would all be together once things return to normal for a proper celebration," explains Raj. 

"After a short walk, we were at the registry office where we met our photographer, Sheila, and Fiora from Rock Occasions (our second witness)," recalls Raj. "The ceremony itself was very short (minuscule compared to your standard Indian wedding) and it was nice to have a zoom call so that our family from the US and UK were able to join. We actually spent more time with our photographer after the ceremony around the beautiful streets of Gibraltar taking some photos and treating ourselves to ‘wedding cake,’ (a donut from a local cafe). Once we were done with the photo shoot we had just enough time to grab a quick lunch and before we knew it, we were back in our apartment dialed into our meetings—yes we were still working on our wedding day!"

Looking back on their unique path to the altar, Gagan and Raj encourage current to-be-weds to "be flexible, patient and resourceful. No matter how hard it may feel to get things done, there is always a way and as long as you work together as a team you can overcome even the most imposing of challenges. It’s always worth it in the end, and despite all the tribulations, you will have a great story to tell!"

Courthouse Pandemic Elopement in Gibraltar
Courthouse Elopement in Gibraltar
Couple on Zoom During Courthouse Elopement
Couple Eating Doughnut During Wedding Portraits
Couple Sharing Doughnut During Gibraltar Elopement
Couple Walking Down Stairs in Gibraltar
Couple Dancing During Elopement in Gibraltar