LOVEBIRDS who met for the first time at a local gym have enjoyed their secret elopement ceremony in the Lake District. 

Rebecca Cross, a 31-year-old beauty therapist, married Chris Whiggam, a 35-year-old building surveyor.

The couple are both into fitness and met in a local gym for the first time 11 years ago. 

"I'd say the thing we love most about each other is that we know how to make each other laugh, and we do, constantly," said Rebecca.

The pair decided to get married in secret and eloped at the picturesque Cote How in Rydal, Ambleside on July 7. 

Rebecca said: "Neither I nor Chris are big on being the centre of attention. We entirely skipped the engagement part of our courtship and made the decision to get married in secret after our 11 years of being together.

"Our day was very short, sweet and simple. We made our own rules for our wedding day and threw out superstition by getting ready together at a local hotel.

"We made our way to the beautiful Cote How, where we met our lovely witnesses, Caroline and Rachel who greeted us and handed us a glass of Prosecco - it helped take the edge off."

After their ceremony, the couple reflected together and walked to the edge of Rydal water. 

Later the couple went back to our hotel to get changed and walked into Grasmere.

"We picked out and bought a slate number plate for our house and, of course, some of Sarah Nelson’s famous gingerbread," said Rebecca.

She added: "For us, the standouts of our wedding day were the beauty of the venue, the surrounding scenery, and ultimately just the meaning of getting married, which for us was committing to each other completely without the bells and whistles and stripping it back to basics.

"We would like to thank our parents for taking the news of our secret elopement so well and respecting our decision."

The pair, from Poulton le Fylde, have not planned their honeymoon as they are renovating their home.