vogue ballroom balcony kiss

Real Weddings elopement inspiration for you to go for it!

Real Weddings elopement inspiration for you to go for it! 


“We should just elope!” is a phrase that has probably come up multiple times when a couple is in the process of planning their wedding.


Some of us have always dreamed of a big, fancy wedding and then there are others whose spontaneity and free-spirit lead them to hold a simple celebration or none at all! Wedding planning can be stressful for even the most organised amongst us, so it’s no surprise that many entertain the thought of having a fuss-free, stress-free celebration that is intimate and precisely what the two of you want. Check out Boutique events group Wedding Venue for your ultimate wedding reception.


Congratulations on your engagement! Before you can fully launch yourself into the world of wedding planning, you and your fiancé will need to decide if you would like to throw a celebration that all of your nearest and dearest can attend, or if the idea of an elopement has captivated you.

Once upon a time, to use a fairytale introduction, most people thought of elopements as an exclusively Las Vegas concern.


For many couples, wedding planning can be overwhelming. With so many expenses, a wedding can become a hard task to accomplish while trying to include everyone. That’s when the idea of eloping becomes more of an alternative. For couples with prominent families, different backgrounds or from different countries, this may be the more natural way to have their dream wedding in a fantastic location. So if you’re contemplating the idea of just planning a wedding in a beautiful middle-ground, we have some elopement inspiration from real couples for you to go for it!


I, for one, have been engaged for over a year now but not a step closer to getting married than the day I got engaged. Being a perfectionist, the thought of finding the perfect dress, a venue that both the fiance and myself love, organising transport and accommodation for friends and family who are coming from overseas, is just too daunting. Don’t even get me started on picking our wedding theme! Despite my lack of actual planning, I have otherwise put a lot of thought into eloping and here are my pros and cons of having a wedding versus eloping.


There are massive benefits to either option, which we will share with you here. But remember that the ultimate decision should be what makes you both happy. This is the most significant step in your relationship, and you want to look back decades from now and have no regrets about either throwing that lavish affair or sneaking off for a destination elopement.


Think Elvis, glitz, glam and a great story to tell when you get home.

But these days, more and more couples are finding you don’t need to leave the country to flee. Because the most romantic place to pledge eternal love can be your very own backyard.

Julia Doeven, who runs Melbourne based Julia’s Celebrancy Services, says backyard elopements are perfect for couples who want a day that has no fuss and instead flows in a comfortable and relaxed manner.


They can be held in a backyard, a park or even her private studio and offer the best of both worlds – somewhere between a traditional ceremony and traditional notions of elopement.

After a fun engagement party, Ashleigh and Daniel knew that having a wedding at home would be incredibly expensive coming from large families. As travel lovers, they also knew they weren’t done with travelling just yet so they decided to plan a small and inclusive wedding overseas.


Reasons to elope

This is a difficult decision for many couples to make. Many, and I mean many, friends and family members will be hurt and disappointed, and they won’t be afraid to let you know! It is sweet that they want to be there to share the special occasion with you. The wedding day is supposed to be all about the marrying couple, but many married couples will tell you that is not the case at all! You need to make sure you get at least a photograph with every guest, everyone is fed, and everyone is having a good time, on top of making sure the day is going according to schedule. Some of us just don’t want to deal with the stress!


Intimacy plus

No matter whether you choose to flee as a couple or invite a few people along for the ride, an elopement is much more personal and intimate than a wedding. You can spend every moment of the day together, and not have to worry about moving around a room talking to every one of your guests. It is also incredibly romantic.


For starters, there are savings to be had, not only from a pared-down guest list but also because there is the flexibility to wed when, where, and how you like. There’s also the chance to cut down on stress, which is something you simply can’t put a price on.

“What I sometimes find is that couples are a bit overwhelmed by the process of organising a wedding, so they just want to get back to basics,” says Julia, who is one of Australia’s youngest celebrants.


The Geelong-based couple, married at their romantic elopement with ten people in Santorini, Greece. The couple’s number one priority was to find a fantastic wedding planner that could put them in touch with the best photographers and stylists for the day. A romantic and relaxed wedding day was necessary for the couple. Therefore they only invited a handful of people, and it was perfect, unconventional and beautiful

Another big reason why couples decide to run off and get married is the cost of having a wedding. Not all of us want to drop tens of thousands of dollars in one day despite the many up-sides to it that I will cover later on. Maybe the couple has kids, or they want to save up for a home, or they would instead use the money to travel. Regardless, people have different priorities in life, and it is ok!


cute married couple


Saving money

You will not have to pay for dozens or even hundreds of guests to attend, be fed and watered, and entertained. Instead, you can focus on you and your fiancé. Even if you choose to spend a little more to have a destination elopement, chances are this is your wedding and honeymoon rolled into one, and you will be able to take advantage of packages that will include everything you need for your elopement.


Among the common issues to arise are family tensions, working out a guest list and seating chart, and simply finding time to plan in a time-poor world.

So by staging a backyard elopement, couples can strip back any drama and focus solely on enjoying their journey to “I Do”.

But a wedding is so much more than its practicalities, and a backyard elopement combines the practical AND the pretty. Looking for the Best Photographers in Melbourne? We have compiled an exclusive list of some of Melbourne’s best photographers to capture your special day.


The newlyweds made sure to make the most of the overseas trip, by spending five weeks in America and Mexico before the wedding, then a six-week honeymoon across eastern Europe.

By eloping, you can be sure that every aspect of it is just for you and your partner and you don’t have to take anyone else’s wishes and preferences into account. Eloping can be incredibly intimate and romantic because everything you experience is shared between just you and your partner with no one else watching (maybe except your photographer!)


Minimal drama

While weddings are supposed to be what you and your fiancé want, they often become a juggling act to make sure everyone is as happy as possible on the day. When you decide to elope, literally all that matters is what the two of you want. You are the directors, producers, and stars of the day.

Julia, who has performed nearly 500 ceremonies – and covers everything from traditional celebrations to those with a theme – say a stripped-back, almost acoustic-style ceremony, can be incredibly romantic, as they open an avenue to the kind of heartfelt emotions couples may be too shy to offer in front of a bigger guest list.

It brings beautiful truth to the idea that sometimes, less can be more.

“I remember my very first elopement was on a beach, and there was just the bride, the groom, the photographer, two other people and their two daughters,” says Julia.

“It was a beautiful day, and I remember being in tears myself because it was just so romantic, so heartfelt and family-oriented.

On their second date, Tim told Lisa he was taking a year’s sabbatical from his job to travel overseas and do all of the things he had wanted to do after working so hard for so long incorporate. He asked her if she would come with him. The bride, being a very logical person, thought that dropping her entire life to travel abroad with someone she only just met would be a hard no… But without hesitation, she said yes!

Another reason to flee is, you can have your elopement AND honeymoon at the same place! That can save you money plus you can have an extended, romantic honeymoon. You get to enjoy the best parts of a wedding with each other, and there is nothing to distract you from the reason why you’re getting married in the first place – love for each other.


No location limits

With just a party of two, there are absolutely no limits on where you might choose today ‘I do’. It could be on the beach, in a lush rainforest, or on the peak of a mountain. Anywhere you can get a celebrant, you can get married.


What guest list?

The most significant sources of stress when planning a wedding is who to invite to share the day with you and then where to seat people at the reception. With an elopement, you can go with the flow and even pick a restaurant at the last minute if you wish. After all, you only need a table for two…

“I think having fewer people around can heighten the intimacy of it all because being one of only a few people to witness the vows makes them feel much more special.”

This is especially true if couples write their vows, which happens more than half the time, often with a little help from the confessed “lovey-dovey person”.

“I just love that feeling of being part of it,” Julia says. Of helping to translate their emotions into words to make such an important day perfect and a unique celebration of what their love means.

“It’s never about where the wedding is, or how many people are looking on, or how glamorous it is. It’s the raw emotions, the vows, the tears and the unexpected little bursts of happiness.”

The couple hired an RV and went to every state across the US and also travelled in Europe, for Lisa was the most life-changing year of her life. Back home in Tasmania, Tim proposed and the couple began planning their elopement in Paris.


Reasons not to elope

Elopement can sound tempting with all the money you can save and the hassle and stress you can avoid, but sometimes it may not be a smart thing to do. There is healthy elopement where you let your parents know beforehand, or you know they can forgive you and the reasons for eloping are genuine and practical. Maybe you and your partner are non-traditional, or you’re trying to save up for a house downpayment, so you want to keep to a smaller budget. Then there are unhealthy reasons for eloping, such as wanting to rebel against your parents’ wishes or running away from family drama. If you’re doing it for unhealthy reasons, it may cause problems in the future and breed resentment. Those are not very solid grounds to build your relationship on, is it?


Builds relationship resilience

Yes, planning a wedding can be simultaneously exciting and stressful, but one thing it is overall is a good testing ground for your relationship. You and your partner will have to work together, negotiate and compromise to create a wedding day that you are both proud of. There is no better foundation on which to start a marriage!


Backyard elopements also bring the freedom to focus on other aspects of the celebration.

“What you sometimes find is that people have a very intimate or small ceremony and then celebrate later with friends and family,” says Julia. Not necessarily at a traditional reception, but in a way that reflects their personalities and interests.

“For example, they might have the ceremony and then meet all of their friends at the pub later that night,” she says.


couple wedding reception
function center wedding reception melbourne


Alternatively, they might keep the whole day small, but ramp up the indulgence factor.

Lisa and Tom had a terrace suite at the Shangri La Paris, where they were staying and also having their ceremony. “The building is historic and the most enchanting place I’ve ever seen. Luckily, the grand ballroom was vacant in the hotel, so we were able to have our first look in the most incredible room I’ve ever laid eyes on”, says the bride.

We only get married once (here’s to hoping!), and we want memories and photographs to remember the special day by. Having your loved ones present to share the day with you and be in those memories might be worth the stress of planning a wedding. You would also get a chance to be a ‘Princess’ for a day and enjoy having a day in your honour.

Check out Boutique events group Wedding Venue for your ultimate wedding reception.


Strengthen bonds

When you marry your fiancé, you also marry their family. A wedding is an excellent environment for your two families to meet, interact, and build bonds. After all, they will see a lot more of each other in the future.


“I had one couple who took all of their guests – about 20 in total – to (famous Melbourne restaurant) Vue De Monde, where they sat down for a 12-course degustation meal, and it was just beautiful,” she says. “So that’s one of the advantages in that it allows you to go to town with other aspects.” It’s about creating your day your way.

Julia – who will help couples find another celebrant if she’s not available on their wedding date – says the legalities of a backyard elopement are the same in that couples must lodge an intention to marry at least one month and one day before the wedding.

But apart from that, the sky is the limit.

Ola and Rance met while they were both living their once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Just four dates later, Rance had to return to Perth, and the couple spent nine months apart before Ola made a move to Western Australia. A proposal followed, and the planning for their beach wedding began.

As the couple wanted an intimate ceremony with just family in the quiet town of Exmouth, where Rance grew up, they held a large engagement party in Perth to celebrate with a broader circle of friends and family. 


Having a wedding can also give you a chance to reconnect with family who is overseas that you don’t get to see often or international friends who have been there at pivotal moments of your life.


Makes it a real celebration

While marriage is between you and your partner, a wedding is something that others can participate in. You and your fiancé want to celebrate your love and what better way to do that than with your closest family and friends around you? Sharing the romance makes it expand, and everyone will be so happy to be a part of your big day.


“They’re incredibly flexible because couples can do it any time of the day as they’re not working with a venue,” she says. “It can be at 11.30 am, at 7.30 pm – basically whenever they want.

“Also,” she says fondly. “Guys don’t have to wear a suit, which I can tell you many of them think is a plus.”


One thing that does remain is the opportunity to encompass classical milestone moments. The bride can still make a grand entrance and walk down the aisle; the couple can even organise a musician or individual songs for the ceremony and, of course, they can still kiss their new husband or wife to rousing applause.

As Julia says – pointing out she always packs tissues in her own little emergency celebrants kit – it’s a day all about romance, about two people and about formally sealing a special and unique love.

Scroll to Top