After 11 years (and one cute bub!) together, Kathryn & Ben tied the knot. But boy oh boy was there a lead-up! Due to their planned day falling right in the middle of April, the global pandemic had other plans. Cancelling the whole shebang just two weeks out, the duo decided to go ahead with an elopement, wearing their original outfits (M.J. Bale and Love Marie Bridal Boutique, guys!). “In some ways, it felt like we had been gifted with this unique opportunity to have the best of both worlds – an elopement that was just about us and our little family, and a wedding with all the people we love at a later date”, they share. We are loving their positive attitude! You can find more details, alongside Samantha Heather Photograhy’s snaps, below…

THE VENUE “We always wanted to have our wedding ceremony in the Pine Grove at Centennial Park, however, when we initially tried to book we discovered that there was a music festival scheduled in Centennial Park on our preferred date. When COVID-19 hit, the music festival, along with our wedding, got cancelled, opening up the Pine Grove as an option for us to go ahead with an elopement. It was special that we got to marry there in the end. It’s such a beautiful, romantic spot in the middle of the city and Centennial Park is a place where we have spent a lot of time together as a family. Because we no longer had to coordinate timing with the reception and guests, we had the freedom to time the elopement around the sunset, which made for this pristine afternoon light in the Pine Grove during the ceremony and afterwards.”

FAVOURITE DETAILS “We had our florist, Sarah from Pandanus Design, create an ‘arbour’ using two of the trees in the Pine Grove. It was stunning and I love that it made use of the natural forest setting. Sarah also created a flower crown for our daughter, Matilda, out of simple baby’s breath which I adored. I have since dried it and will keep it forever as a memento from the day, and of how small Matilda was at the time.”

FAVOURITE MOMENT “One of our friends had dropped off a USB on the morning of our elopement as a ‘gift’. We were instructed to set aside half an hour to open what was on it together. After the ceremony and photos, we settled in with some champagne and a cheese platter at The Intercontinental in Double Bay and opened the USB. It contained a video montage of messages from almost all of our wedding guests. It was a good thing we hadn’t had a chance to open it prior to the ceremony as I sobbed my way through the entire thing! It was so touching to see the faces of the people we were supposed to be celebrating with, and feel their love from so far away. I’m still in awe of her skill at coordinating so many people and getting access to our guest list without me having a clue!”

WE’RE GLAD WE… “Went ahead with getting married, despite having to cancel the wedding itself. I did have a lot of hesitations about whether to go ahead, and even up to the day before I was still questioning whether we should do it. Not having our closest friends and family there was tough, but we just kept reminding ourselves that we will still have that celebration with them when the time is right and the day was just about enjoying it for what it was.”

STANDOUT VENDORS “Our florist, celebrant and cake designer were all amazing and so supportive when everything was up in the air. A week out from the wedding date and we were still not certain we would go ahead with eloping, but they were all so understanding and happy to fit in with our plans, however they might look. Sam, our photographer, was amazing. We clicked with her from the first time we met her, and her presence on the day was so calming and warm. She brought great energy to space at home when we were getting ready, and kept us to schedule when we arrived at the Pine Grove. Plus she takes some seriously amazing photos.”

Inspired? Well, we’ve got more! Click here for more real wedding shot by the wonderful Samantha Heather Photography and here for some M.J. Bale groom inspo. But first…

CONTRIBUTING VENDORS Photographer Samantha Heather Photography Cinematographer & Stationery The Story of Us Florist Pandanus Design Ceremony Venue Pine Grove, Centennial Park Cake Butter & Fleur Celebrant Married By Adam Rings Georg Jensen (bride) GS Diamonds (groom) Transport HF Wedding and Hire Cars BRIDE Dress Alyssa Kristin via Love Marie Bridal Boutique Veil Custom made via Love Marie Bridal Boutique Loungewear Rowie the Label Shoes Senso Earrings Jennifer Behr Hair Willomina Makeup Jessica Paterson (friend) GROOM Suit M.J. Bale Bow Tie Declic Shoes Aquila Watch Panerai Flower Girl Dress Ralph Lauren Flower Girl Basket Olli Ella