When Don temporarily moved to the Sunshine Coast from Canada to attend a few close friends weddings, he had no idea it would lead to his own. With plans to return home, they were quickly cancelled after meeting his now wife Kristen at a Sunshine Coast bar. However, for this couple it wasn’t the big and extravagant wedding they had planned due to the current regulations surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic. Instead, this couple eloped in an intimate and simple ceremony at the Sunshine Beach Surf Club.
Flashback to a month ago, Kristen and Don were in the final stages of preparing for their big day when the new federal regulations were issued. With a lot of mixed feelings, the couple considered eloping, but that wasn’t without rebate. “I had a lot of mixed feelings about this as I really wanted to have the big day I had been planning for over a year, and most importantly I wanted my family and closest friends to be a part of it,” Kristen said.
“We actually postponed the wedding and made an announcement that our wedding would be held in a year’s time, sharing with everyone the new date,” she said.
Three days prior to their original wedding day, the couple rang their celebrant and decided to tie the knot and elope. “We have kept our new date for next year and plan on having a huge party will all our guests at the same venue,” she said, “I’ll wear my dress again, and I’ll be the lucky lady who gets to wear it twice and still be with the same man.”
The most memorable moment of their special day was the sharing of their vows. “They were so personal and intimate. We didn’t have to worry about anyone else listening to them so it definitely took away some of the nerves,” she said.
Like many other couples eloping in these times where social distancing is required, they still wanted to share in the celebrations with family and friends. “We set up a live stream via Zoom for our immediate family and our bridal party,” she said, “It was so great as they all felt a part of our special day.”
“Our celebrant contacted our parents and asked them to write something special that he could read and share with us at the ceremony, making it super personal and had us all in tears – the celebrant included,” she said.
Kristen wore a Made with Love bridal gown featuring lacing. “I was obsessed with the 3D lace effect on the dress,” she said, “I just knew it was the one from my first appointment.”
When asked to share advice with other couples looking to elope or scale-back their wedding during the pandemic, Kristen said:
“The only advice that I would give that I didn’t really take into account was the quality of the live streaming for the ceremony. Although my family and friends who Zoomed in and watched were so happy to see it, they couldn’t hear what was being said as we only streamed via the mobile phone app. This didn’t bother us but if that’s important to you I’d suggest maybe looking into other programs or devices to record.
Just remember that the day is all about you and your partner and it will make you embrace the moment.”
Now married, Kristen and Don look forward to buying a house and starting their own little family. “One great thing to come from our elopement is that we saved a lot of money which will set us up a lot quicker than we had initially planned.”
Venue: Sunshine Beach Surf Club
Photographer: Kayla Temple Photography
Florist: The Orange Blossom
Stylist: Made to Match (she will be styling the party next year)
Cake: One of my dear friends surprised me with a home made cake which was really beautiful
Caterer: My now-husband’s boss paid for us to pick up some take away pizza and some of their finest red wine from a local Italian restaurant called Cinque Terre
Hair: The Mane Label
Makeup: My original makeup artist couldn’t do my makeup due to the restrictions, but thankfully my good friend Katie Burton offered to do my makeup last minute on the day when I told her I had to do it myself (she deserves a shoutout)