Victorian Elopement Guide – How to plan your dream elopement or micro wedding
Elopement, mini wedding, micro wedding, intimate wedding.
So many names for an elopement – so many ways to celebrate your love on a smaller scale.
Maybe you’ve arrived on this page because you are planning your dream elopement or micro wedding you’ve seen my work on the wedding blogs and love my images, but what I love most is helping take the pressure off their weddings day, and it starts here with this handy little guide to help you start checking items off planning your elopement in Victoria, Australia.
Please keep in mind if you are planning on booking me for your elopement or micro wedding photography, please reach out sooner rather than later. I only take on a certain number of weddings each year to make sure my clients get the care they deserve. Visit my contact page for more info and package details.
Your Victorian Elopement Guide – tips to booking your special day
What are elopements and micro weddings and why are they popular for 2021?
COVID-19 shook up the wedding world in 2020. However, aside from throwing out the plans for an enormous number of couples, it created a beautiful opportunity for others. It gave us a chance to hit pause and reset. To really think about what is important to you and your fiance and whether the long guest list is really something you want.
Above all, for a lot of people, they really aren’t looking for that 200 person three-course sit-down dinner alternating chicken and steak. They want something smaller, more intimate with only their closest family and friends around them. Cue the 2021 elopement or micro wedding buzz.
So why elope?
Firstly, let’s just say, it’s less stress, less drama, less expensive and most importantly, it’s all about you, has a sprinkling of adventure and wilderness. What’s not to love?!
Where can I elope in Victoria?
Winery – garden – private AirBnB – Melbourne laneways – riverside – beach – clifftop mountain ceremony.
The options are endless. So where will you have yours?
Want to know where you can get married in Victoria? Here are ten fantastic locations that could be perfect for you.
- The Barn, Heathcote
- This gorgeous old barn is the perfect property for a country micro wedding. Aside from the rustic, charm of the barn which is clearly Pinterest and Instagram perfect. The property also has a dam set up with a permanent arbour for your ceremony. Let me just say as someone who stayed on the property for two days last year for a wedding shoot, it is all things perfect. Especially in winter with the roaring fire!
- East Warburton Redwood Forest
- Aside from celebrating human connection, you will see a clear theme of nature through my images. If you too are truly inspired by the idea of a wedding in nature and the outdoors, this could be your wedding location. Only a one hour drive from Melbourne CBD, the East Warburton Redwood forest is pure magic. Redwood trees, greenery and giant ferns as far as the eye can see and a running stream a short walk from the canopy. Book in your celebrant and Photographer (pick me!) and let’s go!
- Here is a wedding I had the privilege of shooting in the Warburton Redwood Forest last year!
- Springfield Country Retreat, Lysterfield
- This gorgeous property in Lysterfield sleeps up to 20 people and includes an on-premise barn to hold your perfect rustic ceremony. I photographed a wedding there in early 2020 and the families stayed on-site together there before the wedding and it worked perfectly with their rustic DIY theme. I can tell you the pool on the property was thoroughly enjoyed the next day for the family BBQ or ‘knees up’ when they took the day to rest and reminisce on how beautiful the wedding was. Here is a link to the wedding I photographed at Springfield Country Retreat in Lysterfield earlier this year.
- Carlton Gardens with a reception at one of your fave restaurants
- An oldie but a goodie. There are lots of sections of Carlton Gardens that are perfect for your inner-city elopement. You do need to make a booking with the council and if you’d rather have your wedding away from the public in the park, Melbourne Museum has some stunning locations for weddings and elopements.
- Melbourne Registry Office
- For those looking for a simplistic way to make it official before rushing off to an incredible dinner with friends and family, the Melbourne Registry Office on Spring Street (Treasury Gardens) is filled with tradition and offer classic ceremony and legal-only packages to work with your plans
- Erskine Falls, Lorne
- There is a hiking trail that starts right next to the Lorne Foreshore Caravan Park and leads all the way to the falls (its approximately 14km return if you decided to hike the whole way), but you could just grab your gown and hike on down the trail following the river bed until you come across the perfect opening to pop on your gown and start your ceremony. It’s definitely one for the wild at heart, but a story to tell the family for a lifetime.
- Bright Mountain top
- I’ll be honest. I’ve not had the privilege of photographing a wedding on the mountains near bright but it is so high up on my bucket list! If this is your idea of a grand adventure, reach out and let me know!
- Clifftop, Mornington – Cairns Beach
- This stunning secret clifftop hidden away in the Mornington Peninsula would make the perfect micro wedding location. It’s wild coastal views, the long seagrass, the rocky outcrops. Be careful of the winds but it’s oh so pretty and relatively secluded!
- Specialist venues with Elopement packages
- There are some goodies around like these two if you want luxe options:
- https://www.potters.com.au/elopements-micro-weddings in Coldstream
- https://www.jackalopehotels.com/ Jackalope on Mornington Peninsula
Unsure where to start?
Firstly, if you’re unsure of which area to choose, why not start planning some weekend roadtrips. Here’s a great resource to get you started looking for locations anywhere from the wild coast to the peaceful redwoods.
Tips and tricks to watch out for when planning your micro wedding for 2021
- Permits – a lot of areas will require you to get a permit for your wedding and sometimes your wedding photography. Make sure that you have these cleared up before you start booking in your dream wedding venue. Permits for some locations around Victoria can cost over $1,000 which significantly impacts your budget. If the permit cost is too significant, you could consider using a Private Property nearby with permission from the owners.
- Airbnb’s and private homes – take it from me. Booking an Airbnb or Private property to get ready, changes the whole vibe of your morning. No long drive to the property. No cleaning up all the background clutter for the photos on the big day. You can choose the right property with the right aesthetic for you to just start the day calmly and ready to enjoy every moment! I’m not sure if you’ve seen this one but this stunning location in Apollo Bay would be perfect for getting ready and for the wedding, overlooking Great Ocean Road and the stunning beaches, while having a forest appeal. If you are thinking of holding your micro wedding at the Air BnB just double-check with the owners before booking that they allow events. There can be extra fees to factor in.
- Live stream and internet connection. Yep in the age of technology, if you want your wedding live-streamed to your nearest and dearest who cannot be there in person, it’s worth driving to the location and trying to jump on a FB video call from the location with your bestie to test it out. Because let’s face it, rural secluded forests are not best known for their internet connections.
- Travel fees – when choosing your wedding celebrant, photographer and other vendors, always ask about any travel fees. Sometimes they are included in your packages and other times can be significant. Even distances like from Melbourne to Mornington Peninsula incur costs with some vendors (PS I don’t charge travel fees for Weddings in the Mornington Peninsula unlike some others).
Victorian Elopement and Wedding Photography Packages
You’ve probably had a look around at other Melbourne Wedding Photographers and found their 8 hour packages are a bit excessive for your elopement and micro wedding needs, but don’t stress. With six years in the industry, I’m well versed in photographing micro weddings. In fact, I’ve been offering elopement and micro wedding packages for years before it was trendy.
I have two packages, one that includes 1.5 hrs coverage and a secondary one that has cost efficiencies for including documenting your elopement and then on a separate occasion your celebration with family and friends (because some of you still want a party to celebrate). Prices start at $850 for locations within one hour drive of Melbourne CBD.
If you are looking for an all-inclusive elopement package, please reach out for more information. I am currently offering this service in conjunction with Sarah from Making Pretty.
Are we taking bookings for 2021 and 2o22 Weddings? You bet! Make an enquiry here to see if we have your date free!
Melbourne Wedding Photographer – Meet Marisa from Cadence & Grace
I’m Marisa from Cadence and Grace Photography and I’m not your average Melbourne Wedding Photographer. To me, a wedding is the greatest celebration of the depths of human connection. When you know in your core that ‘your person’ makes you light up inside and that you can’t imagine a world without them. A wedding is a celebration of you finding each other in this crazy world. It’s your declaration screaming ‘Hells YES!’ to a lifetime of daily adventures, holiday planning, long brunches, eternally lost socks, long drives, trying to keep indoor plants alive and fights over which movie to watch together on Netflix. It’s a celebration of the real you, together and the perfectly imperfect.
When I document your wedding, I’m documenting a story and connection that is unique to the two of you. I’m showcasing its beauty in a day filled with fresh florals, champagne toasts, smiles (and often tears), proud grandparents, first kisses, cheese towers, drunken cousins and dance floor antics. The big moments and all the little moments in between.
I only take a limited number of weddings each year. To see if I’m available on your wedding day, drop me a message on my contact page or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . Marisa xx