Should we just elope?
Updated: Jul 19
In 2020 the world of weddings changed. Couples were launched into damage control, some forced to postpone just days out from their dream day and some cancelling all together. It has been insanely unexpected and completely heartbreaking on so many levels.
But the rainbow in all those rain clouds has been the shift in perspective surrounding weddings and that glorious realisation (for some) that a wedding and a marriage are in fact two very different things. Who woulda thunk it?!
As a marriage celebrant and a person who planned my own wedding several years back, this is certainly not news to me. But for many couples riding that wedding planning train, it's easy for those lines to become blurred. The swoon worthy styling, niche neon lights and must have Jimmy Choos can be a confusing distraction from the actual destination you are trying to reach; the marriage.
Being married to your perfect person is in fact the ultimate goal in this whole adventure and a wedding is of course, a killer way to celebrate it.
I am in no way downplaying the importance of a shit hot shin dig. The biggest party of your life where all your favourite people descend on the one space to celebrate the fact you found your lifer is pretty incredible. You can't beat it. But you can also be married without it.
And that my friends, is why elopements are even cooler than Michael Jordan's new kicks.
But it's actually not the Rona that made these neat little celebrations of love the bees knees. Elopements have been the ultimate way for to do the deed for generations and here's a few reasons why they rock so hard.
1. Minimal fuss, maximum feels
Whether you like it or not, planning a wedding is a big gig. It can become like a part time job or side hustle in itself, particularly if you have chosen to go down the DIY path. Couples put pressure on themselves and sometimes outsiders can add to that bubbling stress, as you are trying to please so many, fulfil expectations and throw the best party your instagram feed has ever seen.
It's a lot and many couples don't really realise just how big of a project a wedding can be until they are right there in the thick of it.
It's no wonder really many couples feel a sense of relief when the day finally arrives, or perhaps more candidly, when it's finally over. And let me tell you, that is a very real, common and completely understandable response.
Elopements relieve so much of this unwanted stress. When you cut out all the extras and the need to make decisions based on other peoples needs and wants, you can truly focus on what is important to the two of you.
You can spend more time thinking about how you want the experience to feel and what you want to say to each other in that magic moment.
2. Endless possibilities and epic locations
All you need to get married in Australia is two people, two witnesses and a celebrant. That's a sweet little petite party of five who can go anywhere, any time.
This flexibility allows for the most excellent of adventures, whether it be hiking to an isolated waterfall, a picturesque lookout, a secret beach or the back yard of an epic bnb.
Your photographer and/or videographer can also be a witness, so if you want to keep it totally private, then perhaps think about using those suppliers.
When you elope, the possibilities are endless, adventures boundless and love filled magic moments limitless.
3. More pennies in your pocket
Who doesn't love a little more loose change to put towards a honeymoon, a house deposit or designer dog?!
When you ditch the big expensive wedding reception, the furniture hire, the drinks package, the tunes, the hair and makeup for all your tribe, the gifts and the signage, it's a no brainer that you are going to save a lot of cash.
Some of that you could instead splash on a big party later, an amazing frock or tailored chinos, some incredible accomodation, a rock star photographer and a top shelf marriage maker... but your Ing super saver account is still going to be the real winner.
4. Secrets are sexy
There's nothing more exciting than those initial moments when you become engaged and no one else in the world knows.
The moment you become married in secret is like that but on steroids.
It's completely yours, your moment for your memory bank only.
That's pretty wild considering we live in a world of complete over share.
And because of this, you will never forget it.
Also no one’s watching (apart from your witnesses) so bring on the ugly crying!
If you aren't into the spotlight or the thought of being the centre of attention makes you cringe, then perhaps you don't need to you put yourself through that. Elopements take down that fourth wall and bring the focus totally inward. They are private, warm, comfortable and so easily adapted to suit you as people.
5. You're married
The end result is a partner for life. You’ll be married to your person and that will be perfect.
Let me tell you the story behind these stunning pics by Shari and Mike Photography.
Katie and Mitch decided to elope in secret in their very own suburb of Manly, with the plans of having a big wedding in Canada down the track.
Lucky for them, there are some amazing spots in Manly, one being Store Beach which can only be accessed by the water.
It was so important to Katie and Mitch to create an experience which was totally reflective of them. So they went for a morning surf that day, had brekkie together and got ready in their flat. They walked down to the bay and jumped into their hired tinny and cruised on over to their magic spot, with their celebrant (me) and their two photographers who they had flown over from Canada.
Store Beach is just minutes from the hustle and bustle of Manly, but it felt as if we were a lifetime away, isolated and surrounded by nature.
There was not a soul to be seen as they chose to elope on a weekday (smart move), and with the beach to themselves we got them hitched in the most private and perfect of ways.
We drank champagne from Canadian camping cups, ate cupcakes, laughed and cried and discussed how they would break the news to their parents when the time was right.
It was a dream.
After portraits and beach hangs, they boarded their sea bound chariots and Katie drove her hubs back to the mainland.
But the fun didn't stop there!
With Shari and Mike in tow, they jumped on the ferry to Sydney Harbour for more photos and a beautiful dinner just the two of them.
Now that's how you elope in your very own backyard!
Don't believe me? Check these pics out for yourself.