When wedding plans kept changing, Elise and Jen decided that an intimate elopement on the beaches of Byron Bay would be the best thing for them.
The love story didn’t start as a love story, right?
Nope! We met 3.5 years ago via Tinder; it was more of a work catch-up as Elise was new to Australia from the US, living in Brisbane, and I was in Sydney and just out of a relationship.
Elise’s Tinder said she was looking for friends, insight on the industry we both work in from an Australian perspective and learning about Brisbane, which is where I’m from. She was in Sydney for two nights for work, so we met for a wine and a chat to tell her what I knew. Next thing, we’d spent the rest of her time in Sydney together, and we’d already planned her next trip down.
Tell us about the proposal.
Elise: I was the one that first proposed. My plan vs. the reality wasn’t quite how I imagined. I did it at sunrise at Barrenjoey Lighthouse in the Northern Beaches of Sydney and had been planning it for four months, even with the help of Jen’s sister, Alicia. Everything was magical about it, except the weather.
I woke Jen up at 4:30 am to watch the sunrise, not something uncommon for us. However, what was uncommon was that it was downpour raining, and I still wanted to proceed! Also uncommon, I wanted to proceed after narrowly avoiding three HUGE spiderwebs! As Jen does, she went along with it with no concern, as she is up for anything. We reached the top, and it was still pouring down rain. So I moved locations a few times, eventually reaching a spot where it was beautiful and even stopped raining momentarily. It was here I proposed, and it was definitely unforgettable for so many reasons!
Jen: The proposal was beyond perfect, even with the spiders and the rain. So perfect, however, that I couldn’t beat it, so I decided to do ‘me’ when I had organized Elise’s ring. I asked Elise at sunset at a beach near Bondi called Tamarama Beach. I tried to say something really beautiful, but all that actually came out between my tears was, “I just really love you.” Not my finest moment, lucky she still said yes!
Why did you decide to elope?
We had a whole week-long event planned given half our wedding guests were traveling from the US. It was going to be epic. But with Covid, we postponed it. Then we tried to set it for a year later, but people still couldn’t travel. So we decided to elope.
It was a tough decision, but we are so glad we did. Reading our vows to one another, just the two of us, and having that moment with so few people, it’s our most cherished moment, and it wouldn’t have been the same with a big crowd.
We got some advice; when you’re there, use all your senses to help you remember the occasion. Now, every time we smell the ocean, it takes us right back to that magical moment.
Tell us about telling your loved ones that you’re now married.
Jen’s immediate family was at our dinner and were there as we got ready, so that part was easy. For Elise, though, it was hard telling her Mum and sister in particular. Jens’s sister, however, had them on FaceTime during the reception, and they were able to join in the speeches.
Talk us through the actual elopement.
Well, Bird and Boy Films did such an incredible job with our wedding video. I’m not sure words can even do it justice!
But we wanted it to be simple, with just our witnesses, the beach, and our vows. And it was! All the days surrounding the wedding were raining and forecasted for rain, but our wedding day ended up being clear and beautiful. We still watch back our wedding video with smiles, remembering how magical the elopement and experience were.
What does the future hold for you both?
Well, we are actually expecting a little baby boy in October, so the next few years are going to be a wild ride! But we are so excited and grateful to be a mummy and doing it together.
Other than that, we don’t know. We were just commenting the other day that for two really planned, organized people, we actually have no plan right now, which is strange for us! But we think it’s because, for the first time, we’re just super content being exactly here, at this moment, together.
Accessories Little White Couture
Cake & Catering Harvest Newrybar
Celebrant Byron Bay Celebrant
Dress Grace Loves Lace
Engagement & Wedding Rings Affinity Diamonds
Florist Lola’s Wildflowers
Hair Anita Bauer Hair
Kombi Byron Bay Kombis
Makeup Marley Hammond Makeup Artist
Reception Venue Harvest Celebrations
Suit Zink & Sons