DAVE & LAUREN,
Eloped at Harold Boas Gardens, in Perth, Western Australia
Real Wedding Inspiration
It was a case of fourth time lucky for Dave and Lauren who eloped in a tropical garden park in the heart of Perth. After planning big weddings in Adelaide and Perth they kept meeting roadblocks with borders closing and Covid restrictions changing their plans.
They decided that the most important thing was not the big wedding itself but to be married. It turns out eloping felt like the perfect way for them to get married. They spent the morning getting ready together. The day was just about them. It was an embodiment of their relationship and how happy they are together. They shared their first dance in the middle of the tropical gardens and celebrated with a low key steak dinner afterwards.
They are just thrilled to be finally husband and wife. They pulled off this dreamy, inexpensive elopement in less than three weeks. After 3x heart breaking wedding cancellations they truly believed fourth time was perfect in every way.
Lauren awoke on their 4 year anniversary to David saying lots of lovely and amazing things, but he didn’t propose, (much to her disappointment.) Instead we went out for lunch, where the food was AWFUL and we joked about how terrible it was. I had given him his anniversary present in the morning and asked “so when do I get my anniversary present” and David said “I have to ask you a question first” and I was confused and said “okay….” he then nonchalantly said from across the table “will you marry me?”
I didn’t register that he was actually proposing and responded with “what, here?” he stared at me for about 2 seconds and then it dawned on me and I said “oh, of course I’ll marry you” and he said “Good because we are going to pick your ring today” and then I piped up with “Will you marry me?” and he said yes. I don’t like big scenes and it was very David to be so casual about the whole thing.
David’s pre-wedding shenanigans
David’s best mate lives in Canada so my brother organised a bucks night for him in Adelaide but unfortunately because we couldn’t travel there, he didn’t end up doing anything. We are thinking of doing something for him in the future, something to look forward too.
Lauren’s pre-wedding shenanigans
We had to cancel our wedding 3 times due to COVID and it got pushed back and pushed back so once we made the decision to elope, my MOH who is in Adelaide scrambled together a virtual hens party for me.
Intimate, sweet and no fuss. Farm to table and supporting local people/businesses.
It was just us and our two witnesses in a gorgeous tropical paradise park in the Perth CBD. We had our celebrant, our photographer and two videographers so we could stream live to our families and friends who are all over Australia.
As I walked down the aisle a very close friend recorded a version of La Vie En Rose for me (he was originally going to sing me down the aisle in Adelaide.) I heard it for the first time as I walked down the aisle, it was a very special moment.
David and I spent the morning together just the two of us but once we started to get ready he was kicked out to go to the bar with his mate while I got in my wedding dress. This meant that when I walked down the aisle, he was seeing me in my dress for the very first time. My original wedding dress is still in Adelaide so the dress I wore on the day was my backup dress, I love it so much and it was perfect for the day.
When we finally got to see each other it was like no one else was there, we only had eyes for each other, we held hands while our celebrant Candice talked about us. I was on the verge of tears but David just kept reassuring me “not yet, not yet”.
We each said our own vows and they were beautiful. We also had some friends and family explain what love means to them (sent in advance) which Candice weaved into our ceremony. Was such a lovely touch.
After our first kiss (which was actually like 3 kisses) we signed the certificate, we had a short first dance in the park and then we were able to address our friends and family back home. We then popped a bottle of champagne and made a toast with just the two of us and our witnesses.
David organised our low key reception, at the Firewater Grill in Perth. We had a gorgeous steak dinner with our two witnesses. The food was delicious, and my cocktail was ridiculously strong.
We chose a venue in the CBD so we could be sure that we would have coverage for our live stream, it was really important that our closest friends and family would be able to watch our wedding. We chose Harold Boas Gardens because it truly is beautiful, it’s like a tropical oasis and it is such a quiet seemingly unknown place. There are waterfalls and beautiful natural scenery, the light is gorgeous and it feels like you are somewhere exotic. We could have been anywhere in the world.
This was our fourth time lucky. Our original wedding in Adelaide got cancelled due to Covid, we then planned a wedding in Perth but an hour after booking it in, Adelaide slammed shut their borders so we had to cancel again. We planned a full wedding again in Adelaide at our original venue and all seemed to be going well until 3 weeks before the day when we could see the borders were going to be shut again.
We made the hard decision to cancel AGAIN and I contacted Candice the celebrant (or as I call her wedding wizard – seriously she’s amazing) who was super supportive but also secretly thrilled that we were eloping. Together with Kat (photographer – and all around wonderful woman) Videographer Bayley (Unfinished Productions) they became my wedding team. Along with Alison from Alison PS Gowns who helped me find a dress, Tahnee from Miller Rose Botanic who did my dried flower bouquet and button holes and Jess Ferrelli who did my hair and makeup we pulled together a gorgeous elopement in less than 3 weeks.
It was perfect from start to finish and with the support of everyone it went flawlessly. After 3 heart-breaking cancellations, our fourth time lucky was so beautiful. The day was just about us, it truly was an embodiment of our relationship and how happy we are. 6 and a half years after meeting through friends, two years of that engaged. Two interstate moves and two rescue cats we are finally husband and wife.
Where did you save?
We saved on everything. Everything was so reasonably priced and our vendors were worth every penny and more. My dress cost me $350 with alterations which was amazing. We got so lucky with the people we chose to be a part of our wedding and we saved so much money eloping. We didn’t have to spend money on a big reception, on food, Gifts for our guests or any of those other costs that a big wedding brings.
Where did you splurge?
David and I gifted ourselves a stay at the Crown for a few days around the wedding.
Most memorable moment of the Day
Seeing David as I walked down the aisle for the first time, our first kisses as husband and wife, going for a walk with him around the gardens. Kat (our photographer) joked that she couldn’t give us any direction because we are just so in love. It was so nice just spending the day finally marrying my best friend and starting the next part of our lives together.
What will you never forget?
How it felt to finally say I do and to finally be married.
Impromptu Funny – looking back any funny things happen on the day?
Our breakfast in the morning was rubbish, so overpriced, awful and we hardly ate anything! It was full circle to our proposal where the food was also terrible. Also me forgetting our bottle of champagne and my friend having to run back to our room to get it – oops.
Big Surprises – anything you totally didn’t expect?
How much eloping felt like the perfect way to get married, how even though it was sad that our friends and family weren’t present, it ended up being a day truly about us. If we hadn’t eloped we wouldn’t have had the morning together because we would have been with our families. In our heart of hearts I truly believe it was the way we were always meant to be married.
Would you change a thing?
I would have loved to have my dad walk me down the Aisle
What was quintessentially you?
The small intimate ceremony and our vows.
What was the most important thing for you when planning your wedding?
That our family and friends could be a part of our day, even if they couldn’t physically be there.
Did Covid hinder your plans?
Absolutely! we had to cancel 3 times because of it!
Special thanks to
Candice (celebrant), Kat (photographer) and Bayley (videograper), I don’t know where I would have been except drowning in tears if it hadn’t been for you three superstars. I rave about them to everyone that will listen. Our witnesses Aiko and Brendan, such amazing friends and such great support to jump in last minute and make us feel so special.
Advice to other couples
Write your own vows, they don’t have to be perfect, they don’t have to be poetic, they just have to be you. Truly see the person you are marrying and remember the reasons why you are marrying them. Things might go wrong in the lead up to getting married, it might be a long, challenging road but at the end of the day you are marrying each other and that is pretty special. Remember to enjoy it!
FRENDORS – Vendor Friends
Celebrant: Candice Bydder
Photographer: Red Eclectic
Videographer: Unfinished Productions
Hair and Make-up: Jessica Ferrelli
Livestream: Unfinished Productions
Planner: Candice and Kat
Florist: Miller Rose Botanic
Reception Venue: Firewater Grill
Ceremony Venue: Harold Boas Gardens