Many of the weddings held in the Hunter are elopements. Most are very private, with just the two people, no guests and smart casual clothing, whilst others choose to wear beautiful bridal gowns, veils, bouquets and suits.
Some bring their children to share the day with them, and I have many ways of including children in their ceremony. In other cases, couples bring two friends who are their witnesses, and book a two-bedroom cottage.
The reasons for eloping are many, time-poor couples report the sheer time and energy required to organise a wedding don’t resonate with them, they just want to marry their partner, start a family, get on with life.
Private individuals are not always comfortable with sharing what is a very personal moment before an audience. For those together for long years, often with a family, paying a mortgage and school fees are higher priorities than a reception.
Many elopements are not secret at all, sometimes couples have told their families and have their blessings, often saying their families were relieved as no one was looking forward to “speeches and choosing outfits” and the stress was all gone.
Recent couples have come from Sydney, country NSW, interstate, the Hunter and Central Coast, Hong Kong, Asia, Sweden, UK and the USA. Some arrive alone, stay at a guest house, and ask staff to witness their marriage, or we can help you find witnesses. The Hunter also has photographers who have “elopement packages” of just an hour or two and they often act as witnesses to the wedding.
A number of couples booked a cottage for the weekend, married there at noon, lunched at a restaurant, then caught one of the Hunter’s open air concerts. Others come on weekdays when accommodation is more readily available, and rates lower.
Helping You With Arrangements
We can arrange everything at short notice (one month minimum), and by email/mail, not meeting until your wedding day. I will send you the legalities and procedure, what you need to provide, how to get it, etc.
I can recommend “elopement friendly” Hunter Valley venues, accommodation, etc., who will similarly expedite your marriage. I can also recommend other wedding suppliers if you require them (hairdressers, photographers, florists, etc.) and I’ll send an elopement pack including ceremonies so you can choose the words, and it can be as short or long as you wish.
Most elopements are private and remain confidential, so I thank those couples sharing their photos and stories.