Covid ruined my wedding plans, should I just elope? 5 Tips from a couple who decided to elope!

Updated: Jul 22, 2020

Elope / intimate ceremony or postpone for a year or two?!

With 5 Tips from a couple who recently decided to elope during covid!

South Coast Elopement couple dancing in the sun. Shot by Wedding Photographer Matt Ashton Photography

Should change my wedding to an elopement or intimate wedding?

I feel like that is the question just about everyone who is currently organising a wedding is thinking! Myself included, not only am I a wedding & elopement photographer but I was meant to be getting married myself this year! So I feel all your confusion, frustrations and pain.

With what is currently happening in the world, all these uncertainties around covid. We know that having a large wedding will be tough to make happen, especially if you want the wedding that you have always dreamt of.

Because of covid it doesn't that mean weddings or our lives should be put on hold. At the end of the day, a wedding is only a wedding because you and your partner want to get married, you want to say I do. You want to spend forever together!

South Coast elopement of a couple on the south coast in Kiama nsw. Shot by Wedding and elopement photographer Matt Ashton Photography

Does an elopement or intimate ceremony mean you can't have an epic day?

Heck no!!

In fact, you may even enjoy yourselves more! By changing your wedding to a smaller more intimate wedding / elopement it means you will not be rushed at all! You will be able to talk to all your guests properly and most of all you will be able to have fun exploring different locations for some EPIC photos

Not only we still get to take these photos, you guys still get to be married and you can have a big celebration / reception once this is all over. I'm sure by then everyone will need a boogie on the dance floor and a drink or two.

The beauty for me personally about being a Wedding & Elopement Photographer means I get to travel around to some of the best locations in Australia and tell the story of these beautiful couples that choose me to be their third wheel, maybe their witness and of course newest best friend! Having an elopement allows more time to travel to some epic locations to get those photos you want!

A few weeks ago Kisha & Don decided to elope during covid, I asked them why and the experience of eloping. This is what she had to say

5 Tips from Kisha & Don who eloped on the

4th of July during Covid:

Pretty Beach NSW Wedding South Coast elopement of a couple on the south coast. Shot by Wedding and elopement photographer Matt Ashton Photography

My fiancé and I spent nearly a year planning our perfect wedding but in the end, we scrapped it all and still had the best day ever. 

In March, we couldn’t wait for our friends and family from the US to fly in for our beachy wedding weekend. We’d already been through some challenges — the original venue we chose at the quintessentially Australian Pebbly Beach in the NSW South Coast was badly damaged in the bushfires, so we found a new location north of Sydney at Seal Rocks. We replanned everything in three months, booking fun activities for our guests like surf lessons and bowls at the local RSL. We thought of every little detail, from custom cocktails, to hand painted oyster shell name cards and welcome baskets for our guests.

With less than a month to go before our wedding, the government closed the borders due to COVID-19, so we decided to postpone to 2021. However, after a few more weeks, we started to question our decision to wait, and replanned again. This time, it’d be just the two of us on July 4, three months later than our original date. We had just a few weeks to nail down the details, and in the end we had an even better day than we could have imagined.

Although our elopement was not what we had originally planned, we had a romantic and special day that was all about us and our love, but still gave our friends and family an opportunity to participate. We’re so glad we didn’t let the uncertainty in the world stop us from getting married, and we can’t wait to celebrate in person with our loved ones when the time is right.

Thinking of cancelling your wedding and eloping? Here are our top five tips:

1. Pick a place that is meaningful to you!

We chose to get married in the beautiful Murramarang National Park, not far from where the bushfires had come through just months before. To us, it was beautiful and symbolic. The burnt trees represented the challenges and hardships we lived through this year, while the green shoots represented resilience and growth. We stayed in a holiday cabin on the beach with views of the ocean, and worked closely with the venue and our vendors to organise the details

South Coast elopement of a couple on the south coast at Depot Beach. Shot by Wedding and elopement photographer Matt Ashton Photography

2. Incorporate your loved ones with technology

(or in person if you can!)

I “got ready” with my best friends in the US, who watched me get glam with a local makeup artist and hair stylist; our parents and siblings got dressed for the occasion and watched our wedding ceremony via Zoom with decorations in their living room; and our closest friends and family members shared their congratulations and advice ahead of time through a video montage via Don and I watched it together after we got married.

Image 1: Getting read with my best friends - Covid Style!

Image 2: Our Zoom wedding ceremony, projected on my parent’s television in the US.

Image 3: he audio wasn’t great, but our videographer Ben, shared the ceremony recording with us the next day!

Image 4: Our Family recorded video for after our ceremony to congratulate us!

3. Don’t forget the special touches!

Just because you aren’t having a typical wedding, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the fun frills! I ordered custom vow books and menus from etsy, a personalized bridal robe from Home Bodii, and we used abalone shells we’d collected from the beach for decoration. We bought a polaroid camera and film from eBay to capture candid shots throughout the weekend. We also worked with a local catering company to design an eight-course tasting menu paired with wines we selected and ordered ahead of time. I still ordered flowers, but was able to cut down a lot here as we only needed my bouquet, Don’s button hole, and flowers for the wedding arch. 

South Durras Beach Elopement shot by wedding and elopement photographer Matt Ashton Photography

4. Invest in photography AND videography

Hire a photographer and videographer you trust so you can capture all the special moments and share them with your loved ones who can’t be there.

We stuck with our original photographer Matt Ashton Photography who was incredibly flexible and understanding with us through all of the changes. He also recommended we hire a videographer (Ben Rainford), something we were not originally planning to do, but it ended up being invaluable! Matt and Ben captured all the moments of our day, doubled up as our legal witnesses, and filled the standard bridesmaid duties of adjusting my train and holding my flowers. They were total legends.

Pretty Beach Elopement and wedding shot by Matt Ashton Photography.

5. Write your own vows 

We worked with a local celebrant that a friend recommended to design a short and simple ceremony that centered around our handwritten vows. Since we didn’t have an audience, we were able to weave in several inside jokes and meaningful stories that I know we will both remember forever. My vows compared our future marriage to a road trip we took in the Aussie Outback -  a fun adventure with some challenges we’d get through together. Don vowed to let me have my cake and eat it too. 

Best of luck with your wedding plans!

Couple celebrating that they eloped, Elopement on the south coast shot by Matt Ashton Photography Wedding and elopement Photographer.

~ Kisha and Don xx

Looking for a Elopement or Wedding Photographer on the South Coast, Southern Highlands, Sydney or Beyond?

Let's Chat!!

- Photographer: Matt Ashton Photography - Videographer: Ben Rainford

- Makeup: Teneilles Beauty - Hair: Mikaela Quealey - Flowers: Joycies Flowers

- Accomodation: Murramarang Resort - Dress: Abbey Bridal (Maggie Sottero)

- Veil: Affordableb Suit: Hickey Freeman - Private Chef: Citrus Catering

Polaroid camera & film: @fujiinstaxaus via ebay Bridal Robe: @homebodii

Groom’s shoes: Lou Boutin World - Rings: Australian Diamond Brokers

Bracelet: Varoujan Jewellers - Video Montage:

-Custom Menus and Vow Books: rabbitlovesgraphics via etsy

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