Having a guest post on the blog is a first for me but for good reason. There’s a whole group of people out there that I wasn’t aware of. A group that love the idea of marriage and what it stands for but don’t want the glitz and glamour of a big wedding ceremony or reception. They simply want to elope.
I knew people eloped all the time but I wasn’t aware that it was so popular and I thought it went on in a registry office. I made this discovery recently when I had the energetic, loud and laughter filled shoot with Johanna Hayes of ‘Vows Now’ who specialises in elopements on the Central Coast, Newcastle, Sydney and the Hunter Valley.
Anyone that know Jo, knows she loves a chat – and chat we did… before the shoot, during the shoot and following the shoot. I discovered a whole new world of Central Coast weddings going on around us – every weekend! The elopers.
Instead of me writing about a topic I now little about, here’s Jo as our first ever guest blogger, take it away Jo:
Close your eyes and think about what your ideal wedding day is. If the mental photo that pops into your head is a couture wedding dress, a multi-tiered wedding cake, doves or a grand reception with 200 guests, this may not be a post you’ll want to read. If however, you picture just the two of you; bride and groom, relaxed, in love, holding hands, smiling and sharing your commitment – maybe you’d consider eloping?
He wanted our wedding to be “just like going to the accountants… I want to sign the papers and go!”
Gone are the days when eloping was the domain of young, pregnant and foolish; running off to marry in secret. Today, eloping can be the wise choice for couples who prefer to avoid being the centre of attention, who’d rather save for a house or who want to keep the most romantic day of their lives to themselves.
Australia isn’t Las Vegas
It’s important to remember that Australia isn’t Las Vegas. You can’t decide on a whim you want to marry and run off to the nearest chapel. In Australia you must file a Notice of Intended Marriage Form with a Celebrant or Minister at a minimum of one month prior to the wedding date. It like a ‘cooling off period’ for those who’s love can’t wait.
As a Civil Marriage Celebrant, specialising in elopement style ceremonies, I’ve helped hundreds of people have the wedding day of their dreams. Short, fun, legal, elopement style weddings; similar to those held in a Registry Office, but with the bonus of your choice of a Central Coast location. Couples have travelled from as far as Victoria and Queensland, even London, just to combine a simple ‘Vows Now’ ceremony with a special Central Coast Honeymoon.
Photographers make fantastic witnesses
Most of the wedding ceremonies that I’ve officiated have only the bride, groom, Celebrant and two witnesses present. When the wedding is a secret, we often supply the witnesses too. Photographers make fantastic witnesses as well as guaranteeing you some beautiful memories that you can share with family and friends.
The couples that I marry are generally pretty laid back. They aren’t in to flashy pomp or ceremony, they are practical people with a romantic underbelly.
I would know… I eloped when I married my husband. I had my wish to have a professional wedding photographer act as one witness so he could capture our wedding day… we wore jeans and our ‘reception’ was a shared hamburger!
We had some fantastic photos taken that we had made into postcards & magnets. We mailed them to our family to announce our wedding after the fact. Everyone was really happy for us. I highly recommend having a professional photographer even if you elope.
I prefers to stick to weddings with 30 guests or less. There are many other wonderful Central Coast Wedding Celebrants who are fabulous with the ‘big stuff’; it’s just not my style.
Recently we pulled off the best surprise wedding
The Bride, Groom, Celebrant & Photographer were waiting at the end of a 1km bush track at Mount Ettalong, overlooking Broken Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The bride’s brother (who was in on the secret) took five unsuspecting guests on a bush-walk, only tohave them squeal with delight when they stumbled upon this secret wedding.
A wedding party for seven of their nearest and dearest, none of whom had suspected a thing. Everyone was delighted, everyone cried happy tears and best of all a simple fuss-free wedding was totally owned and planned by the Bride & Groom. Every part of the day was theirs.
There are plenty of couples who for whatever reason want their wedding day to be just that their day. And for them and perhaps you, that means no guests, no gifts, no cake, no poems, no confetti, no waltzing, no huge expense and most of all no fuss.
Contrary to popular belief you don’t even need to exchange rings on your wedding day if you don’t want to.
Want to elope?
If you’re still reading, chances are, Johanna may be the right Celebrant for you! If you want a simple, no frills marriage ceremony that is short, to the point and covers all the legal requirements of getting married then Johanna Hayes is your girl! With Vows Now you can Get Just Married ® when you want, where you want and be off to enjoy married life in as little as a few minutes.
Written by Johanna Hayes of Vows Now Civil Marriage Celebrant, JP
Want More details?
Want to speak to Jo or do you plan to elope, get more information by calleing her on 0429 2 ELOPE.
Not only that, Jo has her very own iPhone Ap – very cool!
Lastly, if you are considering eloping and want some fantastic wedding photography of your special day, we’ll be able to customise a beautiful small photography package to suit you, your day and your budget.
You can see more of our work at the Impact Images website. And yes, we can offer photography coverage for your elopement in any of the areas that Jo services – The Central Coast, Newcastle and the Hunter Valley Vineyard.