Meet Caitlin and David, who swiped right on each other eight years ago and were each other’s first and only Tinder dates! Describing themselves as a “classic COVID couple” (uh-oh!), these two were put through the wringer trying to organise their big day… Eventually giving up on their plans for a wedding in Brisbane (where the pair are originally from) after several stop-starts and choosing a super-intimate Sydney elopement instead. “We got to a point where we thought, ‘We just want to be married!'” Caitlin tells us. “We couldn’t guarantee Brisbane would be open to us, so we decided to throw together the elopement, with another more formal wedding event to follow.”

Using local businesses they already knew and loved for the vast majority of their vendors, these two threw together a bloody brilliant (little) big day practically in their backyard, with just a handful of friends on hand and the talented Tom Coburn capturing every loved-up moment. Read on to find out how it all came together for this cute couple.

THE VIBE “Our original wedding day was a sleek, modern black tie function and based on available funds, location, time to event we decided to pivot and make the whole thing a lot more fun! Once I saw the blue in my dress, it helped me pull together the colour scheme for the rest of the day.”

THE DRESS “I have a wedding dress (a big fluffy blush thing) that I’m still planning to wear to our [formal] celebration, but wanted something more low-key for the elopement, to work with the venue. My mother saw someone on Instagram (maybe Busy Philipps?) wearing this Dōen dress and we knew we had to have it. We tracked it down online and purchased. Fit like a glove! Realised after I tried it on for the first time it was very Bridgerton… not mad about that though.”

RESOURCES “We used people in our neighbourhood. People local to the venue made it so easy. Even though our wedding was on a very small scale, having vendors a short walk or drive away made it a lot easier to lean on mates to help out (‘can you just nip down the road and grab the cake?’). You should be working smarter not harder on your wedding day and have time to enjoy it!”

MEMORABLE MOMENT “We created a group on Facebook and did a live stream so our families could watch the ceremony and the cutting of the cake. We interacted with the camera a lot and when I checked my phone, I had all of these pictures of aunts, uncles, cousins, my brothers, drinking champagne in front of a laptop, watching on. When I spoke to my parents the next day they’d really felt like they were a part of it. Devastated to be separated by borders of course, but I slept easy knowing that we did what we could to make sure they were included.”

A WORD OF ADVICE “BUDGET FIRST. Budget dictates everything else. Number of guest, venue, food, EVERYTHING. It’s one day! The other thing I wish is that we’d had the budget for a wedding planner. We found a fantastic one but couldn’t stretch the budget any further so what we did was get her to do some consulting for us and help us find a venue. There was still a cost involved, but in amongst the sea of venues and me not really knowing where to start, it was a huge help and absolutely worth every dollar.”

WE’RE GLAD WE… “had some mates there. We were thinking about doing it as just us and some witnesses, but having a small collection of friends there did make it a fun party atmosphere which is absolutely should have been.” 

STANDOUT VENDORS “Our vendor list (besides legendary photographer Tom Coburn) is a real love letter to Darlinghurst – our home and our heart! And they were all standouts. Honestly. If you love a café or restaurant, ask if they could cater. If you have a local florist, ask if they’ll do the wedding. If you have a local venue that means a lot to you and your partner, get married there. It’s not worth making everyone drive hours out of town for no reason. Have a day that means something to you, that’s memorable for the right reasons… Not because you wanted photos on a farm and ended up ruining a $5000 dress because there was rain and mud (as there often is on a farm).”

CONTRIBUTING VENDORS Photographer Tom Coburn Florist Mark the Florist Venue Private Property Catering The Rusty Rabbit Cake Darlo General Rings Martin & Stein (engagement) Percy Marks (wedding) Table Linen Bed Threads. THE BRIDE Dress Dōen Hairpiece Morgan & Taylor via The Iconic Earrings Shrimps via Matches Fashion Hair Sydney Hair & Beauty Makeup Mecca THE GROOM Jacket Cambridge Shirt T.M. Lewin Pants Uniqlo Shoes R.M. Williams