Meg and Adrian went from a 200 strong wedding to a 20 guest, midweek elopement and it was incredible. “We were sick of feeling helpless and at the mercy of the politician’s border wars. We just wanted to be married with immediate family and our best friends,” said the bride (who had her makeup done by none other than Makeup by Megan) and the groom (who wore the impeccable M.J. Bale). “While it was absolutely not what we had originally envisioned our wedding to be, we naively, accidentally rediscovered what a wedding is actually about.” A silver lining to the pandemic, eh? Matt Ashton Photography got all these epic pics and we chatted to the happy couple, so scroll down for all…

THE VENUE “Whether it was for 20 or 200, we still had the same vision for our wedding – intimate, relaxed, and to be able to make our own rules. Eagle View Park in Foxground, Gerringong, ticked every box and was outside the Greater Sydney COVID restrictions (not a search parameter you’d ever think you’d have to consider!) Luckily the owners, Helen and Bernie, were incredibly friendly and understanding, and we were able to lock in a refundable midweek booking.”

FAVE DETAILS “Invitations by Something from Sarah – we were lucky enough to have a friend create our Save the Dates/ Invitations/ Itinerary/ Thank you cards. She hit the brief perfectly and exceeded expectations, her attention to detail was incredible. Bridesmaids dresses – my favourite visual outcome of the day! I was always in love with the idea of mismatched dresses, and when we finally settled on floral it all fell into place.”

DIY “The individually-cut, heart-shaped leaf confetti. Hundreds of hours were spent collecting the leaves and hole punching the little hearts, it was a much bigger task than anticipated, but it was actually a good stress reliever when it felt like everything was out of our control! Mum even commandeered the time of their long time cleaner and friend Ronda to help instead of cleaning the house.”

THE DRESS “My wedding planner Cate always raved about Darb Bridal Couture, and at first, I held off because his signature style is incredibly bold, whereas I am anything but. But after meeting Brad I realised that he is at heart wildly talented and understands design. My go-to style is a maxi skirt and a t-shirt tied off at the side, so I wanted to emulate and elevate that for my wedding dress. The boys deserve a big gee-up too! They looked so damned handsome. M.J. Bale luckily had exactly our vision and somewhat uncharacteristically for a very unshowy Adrian, he decided to lean into this being his day too and chose a beige jacket and navy tie which was just perfect.”

REFERENCES “The wedding planning process is a daunting beast, I found a Hello May magazine in an airport news agency and I found that to be the best soft open into the wedding world! I tracked down some of the featured vendors on Instagram and from there it all opened up as this industry loves to cross-promote with other vendors which is really wonderful. The South Coast Wedding Fair in Nowra was on and from there we found the unassuming but incredibly talented Matt Ashton Photography. Once we had him locked in everything else fell into place. He became our very own South Coast wedding directory!”

MEMORABLE MOMENTS “An absolute highlight was my mum and dad busting out ukuleles OUT OF NOWHERE and performing ‘Simply the Best.’ They have never played the guitar or any sort of instrument in their lives! It blindsided everyone and ended with everyone standing on chairs dancing and singing (screaming) along, and my brother thumping the table so hard he got a fork stuck in his palm. Speaking of my brother, he lives in London and made the trek over, enduring two weeks of hotel quarantine. But the overwhelming joy from the day was the love that was flowing out of Adrian. While not super out of character for him, it was just so out there for everyone to see, so pure, unfiltered and unapologetically real.”

WE’RE GLAD WE… “Went ahead with a micro-wedding/ elopement, the day was beyond perfect. Weddings are getting bigger and ‘better’ every year, and I think COVID was the reset button that the wedding industry needed. We both love a big party more than the next person, but if anyone is having half a thought of throwing an intimate event, 100% go with your gut. With the day being so intimate it meant that we really had the time to take it all in and enjoy this incredibly special moment in our lives. We were so focussed inwards to each other, instead of running around trying to say a quick hello to the 200 of our wonderful friends and family.”

STANDOUT VENDORS “Our photographer Matt Ashton Photography and videographer Above Below Visuals. I don’t like to throw around the word ‘legend’ lightly but in this case, it is well deserved. Matt wore many hats during the whole process, from woo girl to wedding planner to hairstylist (he literally has a bum bag with bobby pins – he fixed my veil to my hair and it did not move once no matter how many fences he made us climb and fields we walked through). Both Tim and Matt surpassed all expectations for the passion and talent they exhibited. Our entertainment, Holly and Will from Top Shelf Live are at the top of their field and let me tell you they Bring! The! Noise! Their range is phenomenal, they command crowds at music festivals and club dance floors, but they also nail the intimate moments. They should absolutely be on your radar. Our hairstylist Chelsea Taylor Hair Stylist and Eagle View Park owners, Helen and Bernie.”

Lastly, if Meg’s makeup or Adrian’s suit has caught your eye, make sure you take a look at the talented Makeup By Megan’s Directory listing with us here, and the super stylish M.J. Bale’s, here. But first…

CONTRIBUTING VENDORS Photographer Matt Ashton Photography Cinematographer Above Below Visuals Event Planner Mother of Weddings Stylist Jenny Rylance (Bride’s Mum) & Frances Dragicevic (Groom’s Mum) Florist Jessica Lea Floral Design Stationery Something From Sarah (Save the Dates, Invitations – Friend) & Engrave It Studio (Wine charms, Place Tags) Ceremony & Reception Eagle View Park Catering Mingle Meals Cake Delaneys Cakes Lighting Go Hire Entertainment Top Shelf Live Celebrant Nick Bone Wedding Rings Bill Hicks Jewellery Design Transport Coastline Limousines THE BRIDE Bridal Gown Darb Bridal Couture Robes Kmart Shoes Wittner Accessories Edward Swaab Designs via Certified Diamond Network (Custom Pendant) Hair Chelsea Taylor Hair Stylist Makeup Makeup by Megan Bridesmaid Dresses Ted Baker, We are Kindred, Shona Joy, Esther & Co Bridesmaid Gifts The Traveller Series (Earrings) THE GROOM Jacket, Shirt & Bow Tie M.J. Bale Seaman Boutique via Etsy Shoes Julius Marlow Grooming Al’s Barber Shop Groomsmen Suits M.J. Bale Groomsmen Gifts My Brand and Me (Stubby Holders)