Jess and Beau’s elopement got us right in the feels, friends – it was super-intimate, in a ripper of a setting (hello, Blue Mountains incredible scenery!), and they had a very special guest along for the ride with the bride finding out she was pregnant just a couple of months before the big day.

With a “nature and chilled” vibe, everything about this day was exactly as Jess and Beau dreamed, and keeping it super-small only ramped up the special factor. “Having no bridal party or guests, I feel like we were able to connect a bit more with all our vendors on the day,” says Jess. “Margaret Albia (hair/make up) and I were chatting and laughing the entire time. Even Kim, our celebrant, was so down to earth and made us feel really at ease.”

THE VENUEThe location was a really easy decision for us. We wanted it to be tranquil and isolated. When I stumbled across Damien Milan’s photographs on Instagram, we fell in love with the way he captured these intimate moments amongst these breathtaking natural landscapes that just felt so epic yet peaceful and relaxed. It seemed like the perfect complement to our personalities so we decided right away that we would get married in the Blue Mountains. We hired Damien to capture our elopement and he and his wife Nastia helped us scout locations.”

FAVE DETAILSAside from helping photograph our day, Nastia created a beautiful bouquet arrangement which featured flannel flowers and a matching boutonnière. Our ceremony location had also been blooming with flannel flowers after damage from the recent bushfires, and we thought this was an amazing detail and metaphor for us starting our new life together. Coincidentally, Beau was also sporting a custom-made flannel suit.”

THE DRESSMy dress was actually a last-minute backup dress. I initially got a customised dress from We Are Mancini, which I was in love with and fit me perfectly. However, I fell pregnant in July and a few weeks before the wedding, my bump had decided to show itself and the dress no longer fit. So I scrambled to find another dress online, and came across the Shona Joy La Lune tie-front dress and bought it straightaway. It arrived a week before the wedding and it was perfect – and bump friendly!”

MEMORABLE MOMENTOur accommodation was dog friendly, so we decided to bring our dogs and include them in the ‘first look’. Walking over to where Beau and our dogs were waiting was a sweet moment. Our dogs are so involved in our lives and even though they weren’t very well behaved on the day (eg. barking at our photographers constantly!), it was really nice having them be a part of it.”

A WORD OF ADVICEThink about what you really want on your day and just go for it! We toyed with the idea of having a bigger wedding so our families and friends could be involved, but ultimately we really wanted our special day to be intimate and easygoing so that we could have the time to enjoy it together, and we couldn’t have been happier with the decision.”

WE’RE GLAD WE…decided to elope! The whole day was stress free and really fun. Not only did it feel so much more intimate and special, but we couldn’t imagine planning a big wedding with our busy schedules.”

STANDOUT VENDORWe definitely have to give a special shout out to our photographers, Damien Milan and Nastia, who also doubled as our witnesses on the day. Beau and I would often joke that they were also our wedding planners, as they also scouted the perfect ceremony location, organised most of the itinerary for the day and created our amazing bouquet and boutonnière!”

If you want Damien Milan to help out making your special day one in a million, def head over to his directory listing and give him a buzz. The man’s a gun behind the lens!

CONTRIBUTING VENDORS Photographer Damien Milan Florist The Flowerhead Desserts Black Cockatoo Bakery Celebrant Married By Kim Rings Natalie Marie Jewellery THE BRIDE Gown Shona Joy Robe Cotton On Body Shoes Wittner Hair & Makeup Margaret Albia THE GROOM Suit & Shirt P. Johnson Tie Calvin Klein Cufflinks Hugo Boss via David Jones Shoes Aquila Barber Taboo Hair Studio