A Note from the Photographer – Lulu & Lime
This is the third elopement giveaway I’ve done. Each year I get together with a bunch of awesome vendors, and we ‘give away’ an elopement.
This year we had two gorgeous brides on an alpaca farm with a nighttime bonfire ceremony. Dark Mofo vibes, green sequin dress, and some very cool lighting and tent action…
Words by Kate
Gab and I met five and a half years ago. I was traveling around South East Asia by myself. Gaby had booked a trip around Cambodia & Vietnam with one of her friends; however, the Vietnamese embassy lost her friend’s passport- so Gaby too ended up traveling alone. We were both booked on a tour around Cambodia. It started on Christmas Day, and to be more financially viable, the tour group made us roomies. And that’s where our romance began.
The tour was only eight days, but it felt like a whirlwind. Gab then came back home, and I kept traveling.
It was only when I came back to Sydney and was stranded a night [due to car troubles] en route back to Port Macquarie, where I was studying at the time, that I decided to catch up for coffee with Gaby. We agreed that it wasn’t just a holiday fling and maybe we could fit into each other’s lives. So after getting to know each other a bit more, we did two years of long-distance while I finished my degree. I came back to Sydney, where we both still live- in Erskineville.
I still remember the first time I saw Gab. How hard she made me laugh and how cool and adventurous I thought she was.
I guess what makes us ‘us’ and what encapsulates our relationship has been that we have always encouraged each other to be the best versions of ourselves. We challenge each other and aren’t afraid of the grit, the hard work, or the uncomfortable bits. Knowing we aren’t perfect, but we work as a team. We aren’t dependent on each other, but she makes me a better person, and there is no one I would rather experience the world with.
We love to travel. Our favorite adventures together are anything with new experiences. Whether that was our trip to India and Nepal, which was both beautiful and mind-opening, hiking the O trail in Patagonia, or going to Spain and eating our way through every local market of each city. Our favorite restaurants are the local ones, not the flashy ones.
We both don’t take ourselves too seriously and have been lucky to always being surrounded by supportive family and friends, which is why perhaps the plebiscite blindsided us a little more. I remember hiding in the toilet at work, checking the vote’s result the day it came out. And it was a victory but to think 40% of people still voted no is a bit mind-blowing.
Gab proposed to me just before Christmas last year. I have always been the ‘organized one,’ the ‘impossible to surprise one.’ But when she suggested we open some Christmas presents early I of course predictably obliged. I started blasting Christmas carols [aka. Careless Whisper by George Michael], Gab opened her gifts first and, for some reason, became really-obsessive about playing the ‘Yahtzee’ game I had gotten her immediately. She was acting weird, and I didn’t know why- because I knew she had gotten me an Apple Watch. But when she finally gave me my ‘Apple Watch,’ I opened the box and inside there was a ring and letter. I was so confused initially [I’m not surprisable remember]. But knowing she was as confident as I was that we would spend the rest of our lives together was pretty damn cool.
We started to try and plan our wedding. We spent moments fluctuating between feeling weird and awkward about it. When looking at venues that show beautiful heterosexual couples and us not imagining ourselves there. To the people that ask which one will ‘wear the suit.’ To feel surprised when we realized how excited people were for our engagement because I guess somewhere deep inside us, we were expecting that perhaps there was still 40% of people who disapproved.
To get the chance to elope, and it just is us, experiencing a new adventure together- like the time she first kissed me on a beach on New Year’s in Cambodia, and we stayed up all night listening to ‘Florence and the Machine.’ To me, eloping seemed perfect. And perhaps it was what we had been missing in the whole wedding idea all along.
We won our elopement and only locked it in five weeks before the date. Almost all of what was to come was a complete surprise.
Our day started with a tour of the farm and a chance to make some furry alpaca friends. We then spent the morning on lockdown in the house, hanging out with the glamorous Margeaux, who transformed our hair and did our makeup.
After lunch, we were ushered outside for our first surprise- the glamping tent styled by Good Day Club [Kate and Stevie], which all the wonderful crew had been setting up all morning. Inside we found champagne and a fantastic cheese platter. We then got to meet Esther, who had designed and made us the most incredible rings! It was then we got into our dresses together.
Both of our dresses were from Ginger and Gold Bridal. Gaby knew she wanted to wear something less traditional/wasn’t white, and as soon as we saw their green sequin numbers, we knew it was the one! Kate wanted something with minimal form and loved the sheer overlay’s elegant look, plus it was so comfortable to frolick in the entire day!
We spent the afternoon adventuring around the farm [accompanied by plenty more champagne]. Portraits were at Sunset on the Hill overlooking the national park. Dinner was amongst candles and roses and mossy logs [and REAL bird sounds, not speakers planted in the woods like Kate initially thought]. From here, we could see the tip of the bonfire as it was lit. This is where our ceremony took place!
Our ceremony was a complete surprise crafted off questionnaires we had filled out about each other, and then our vows we had written ourselves. We signed our papers in the back of Zena, our Celebrants super cool campervan. Then we’re left alone with more drinks and a velvet couch set up by the fire and obviously used this opportunity to dance nonstop to our favorite songs for nearly two hours.
We were escorted back to our tent [now with moodier lighting] to find the surprise of our incredible art piece of a wedding cake! We took some more post cake portraits before finally wrapping up the night and sharing a drink by the fire with our new friends!
The whole experience, unforgettable.
Photography by Anna Taylor @ Lulu & Lime
Cake Torte by Mirjana
Catering Fat and Skinny Catering, Plate Got Ate
Celebrant Zena Lythgo
Coats Yarn Yarns
Dresses Ginger and Gold Bridal
Flowers Flos Botanical Studio
H&MU The Distinctive Dame
Styling, Furniture, Linen & Small Things Good Day Club, The Small Things Co, Kip & Co
Tent Belltents [Camping with Soul] UK
Videography Bottlebrush Films
Wedding Rings Esther Weinberg Jewellery