My now husband and I never planned on eloping. Our big family wedding was all set to take place in October 2020, but we all know 2020 did not go to plan.
We pushed the big party back for one year and felt good about that decision. Yet as the original date got closer, we realized we really did not want to keep waiting to be married.
So, I said, “maybe we should just get married anyways?”. We called our parents to see what they thought, and they agreed we should do what we wanted to do, but they wanted to be able to Zoom in (virtually be there). We were okay with this, but decided not to tell anyone else. We didn’t want a big group on Zoom. And we really wanted to keep this day just for us.
Choosing to elope is a big decision. And as hopefully lockdown eases here in Australia, I wanted to share our experience in case anyone else is looking for help in how to plan their own small elopement.
Once I had the idea in my head, I couldn’t shake it. But I was also unsure how to even go about it. My first step was reaching out to Kat Rollings, a photographer friend who did a marketing shoot for me in August 2020. I asked if she did small weddings and she wrote back quickly saying of course and that she worked with a team called “Weekday Wedded Bliss” who specialized in small weddings on weekdays.
This felt like a sign.
We next reached out to the Weekday Wedded Bliss team and it moved pretty quickly from there. We met with Andrea Calodolce (the officiant) for coffee to chat logistics. We chose a Monday morning (in November) at sunrise right here in Bondi because we loved the idea of getting married on the sand. That meant the “Short & Sweet” package option. Andrea sent us from that meeting with all the information we needed to apply for our marriage license and make this happen!
The make-up artist on the team, Sandra/Eternal Elegance, had done my make-up for my other shoot, so I felt comfortable with her. She does hair too, so I decided to pay for both. I wasn’t thinking about the 3 a.m. wake-up call when I chose a sunrise ceremony, but it worked out okay. She had the best energy for that early of a start time!
I ordered three white dresses online from The Iconic. One fit well, so I went with it. We only had about 30 days to get this together and I didn’t want to be picky. Spending about $100 on a wedding dress felt like such a steal. And The Iconic is so great about returns!
Kyle got a cheap tan suit from H&M. The pants may have been a little big, but we didn’t care.
I got a small wedding band from down the street at Mezi. He ordered a $10 band online that got here the week of.
We got the marriage license approval, which made it all feel real. I never thought I’d have an Australian marriage license, but truly love that we do.
Flowers came from Tulipanna just up the road. I pre-ordered a bouquet for myself, and a small corsage for Kyle that we picked up the Sunday evening and kept in the fridge.
We needed two witnesses in-person to make it official, so we asked our friend Julia if she’d be willing to get up super early and be a part of the morning. She said yes. And we asked Kat (our photographer friend) to be the second.
The Zoom link was set-up ahead of time and sent to our families. The time zones worked out well, since it was a Sunday afternoon for them. I know they loved being able to watch, even though it was sad to not be together in-person.
After the ceremony, we had the whole day ahead of us. So, I had asked my Mom to organize a scavenger hunt style day. She went above and beyond to write clues, set-up surprises, and have everything paid for. We had the best day and I was so so happy she was able to plan this from overseas. We ended the day with a small get together at our place with our local friends. It was everything. Best Monday ever.
The quick version:
- Find an officiant
- Find a photographer (if you want one)
- Choose your outfits
- Find a florist (if you want flowers)
- Find a local make-up artist or hair stylist (if you want one)
- Register for your marriage license one month in advance of the ceremony
- Set up a Zoom link (if you want to include anyone overseas)
- Ask your two witnesses
- Choose the location and time
- Write your vows (if you’re writing your own)
- Photographer – Kat Rollings
- Officiant – Andrea Calodolce
- Make-up & hair – Eternal Elegance / Sandra
- Flowers – Tulipanna
- Team – Weekday Wedded Bliss
I can’t recommend the Weekday Wedded Bliss team enough! The process was pretty much stress-free and we could not have asked for a better day.
If you are looking to plan your own elopement and have questions, I am happy to share more. Just reach out!