For Lee and Ryan, marriage was about way more than just a frilly dress or a multi-tiered cake. “It represents a belief in a magical future together and a mutual vision of us old and grey and surrounded by books, yarn, cats and great-grandbabies,” the pair tells us, adding that having a ‘fuss-free’ wedding was key. So fuss-free in fact, that the bride’s gorgeous gown was actually second hand! See all the pics by the wonderful Barefoot & Bearded below. The Anteloping crew sure can pull a wedding together!

THE PROPOSAL It was so low key and so unexpected. It was on our fifth anniversary- we were at home, he was sitting on the couch with our cat and I was sitting on the floor. He pulled a ring out of his pocket and casually asked me to marry him. I was so confused, but so happy! We expected to be one of those couples that seem to be engaged forever but then we found the Anteloping crew (who create ‘Adventurous Elopements’) and everything fell into place pretty seamlessly.

THE VENUE The venue we had locked in actually fell through when the business was sold without our knowledge and we really wanted something fuss-free. I started researching elopement options. Then we came across Anteloping, who had only just launched their website and were based in NSW. It was everything we could have wanted- a team of professionals who take care of business and are besties. It was the best decision. We decided on a destination elopement, as we’re from Melbourne, so we all road-tripped up to the Blue Mountains and hired out an eco retreat in Blackheath, NSW and catered a huge plant-based banquet outside in the garden. Joel (Barefoot & Bearded) took Ryan and I up the mountain for our photos at sunset. It was the most magical experience.

THE VIBE Ryan and I have been vegan for about six years now. We just wanted the wedding to reflect how we live our every day lives. A mellow, loved-up, cruelty free, nature wedding with our 15 nearest and dearest. We were going for more of a family getaway vibe in the bush, with a wedding thrown in the middle!

FAVOURITE DETAIL The flowers by Ash from Film and Foliage. They were so beautiful. I salvaged as many as I could and they’re currently stacked up in between our heaviest books to dry out and preserve for display. Also, the feast! It was a Middle Eastern- style banquet (think pickled cucumber and cabbage salad with macerated cranberries, blackened corn, salsa verde and toasted grains, then spiced chickpea tagine with Israeli cous cous and maple charred pumpkin, and blueberry and apple crumble with vanilla bean ice cream for dessert). So ridiculous! Shout out to the Wilderness Chef, Cooper!

THE DRESS My dress was purchased second hand from Still White. I wish I had found this website sooner! Somehow I managed to find my dress without stepping foot in a bridal store. My mum watches ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ and I was just like… nope.

REFERENCES We actually found Anteloping via the Hello May blog! It was maybe the day after the blog was published, and it was the first time I’d ever visited Hello May. Timing is everything. They have a list of recommended vendors, and we just went with the whole crew.

1. Book Anteloping to plan it for you!
2. Don’t overcomplicate it and don’t sweat the little things.
3. Ensure your wedding is about you and no one else. Just do what feels good and feels right for you as a couple.

CONTRIBUTING VENDORS Photographer Barefoot & Bearded Event Planner Anteloping Florist Film and Foliage Stationery Dream Day Invitations Reception Kanimbla View Clifftop Retreat Catering Wilderness Chef Cake Cherry Cakes Celebrant Kim Oakhill Rings J.Kashi Jewelry Design BRIDE Bridal Gown Sottero and Midgley Bridal Boutique Still White Hair & Makeup Chic Artistry Earrings YCL Jewels Engagement Ring Studio 41 Shoes Avesu Vegan Shoes GROOM Suit H&M Grooming Fade & Blade Barber