After over a decade together, these guys eloped privately (with the help of one of Hello May’s faves, ELOPE) and then “partied the night away with 22 of our nearest and dearest,” adds the bride, who wore a stunning two-piece from Sphere Bridal Gallery. Thanks to COVID, she adds, “we lost a significant sum of money when our original overseas wedding date had to be cancelled rather than postponed.” Then it was a “comedy of errors,” having to replan yet another day when they were told Liam Hemsworth (of all people) had purchased their second wedding venue. Third time lucky, eh! Scroll down for all the details, plus loads of pics by Rabbit and the Bear

THE INSPOLockdown and international border closures came to fruition about 10 weeks out from our original date. We made the decision to postpone [our Bali wedding] for 12 months and see where the state of the pandemic and world was. When it became apparent that international travel was not going to be on the cards by the time our second date rolled around, we made the decision to cut our losses, get married in Australia instead and rebook a second wedding in Byron Bay. Little did we know that when we finally found a new venue, Liam Hemsworth would decide to buy it and we’d be back to square one again! By this point, our ten year anniversary had come and gone and we’d been planning (and paying for) a wedding for two years – we just wanted to be married and to start a new chapter as husband and wife. It was more important for us to go ahead with the ceremony elopement style than to continue waiting and planning.”

THE VENUE “We ultimately decided to elope at Villa Rustica Byron Bay after having originally booked it just for our photos because we loved its aesthetic and character so much. It was absolute heaven. The venue could have been right at home in Morocco or Spain and had such an old-world charm so I wanted an understated but elegant neutral and white palette that would let it speak for itself. Modern romance was my vision. We added lots of warm and organic textural elements like white urns, clouds of roses, and a tablescape with layers of organza, stone and crystal.”

FAVE DETAILSI was really adamant about the florals (by Wilderness Flowers), which I wanted to be centred around stems of phalaenopsis orchids in memory of my late grandfather. We had a very special bond and they were his favourite flower. I had cascading amaranth in my bouquet, and our florist added some bleached palm leaves to it and our ceremony installation as a nod to the Bali wedding that would have been.”

THE DRESS “I knew from the outset that I wanted to wear a two-piece, and I had always wanted to wear a gown by Chosen by KYHA, so I booked to try on a few options at Sphere Bridal Gallery’s trunk show. I loved the ensemble that eventually became my wedding dress and as soon as I walked out – everyone agreed it was the one. It’s a show stopper.

REFERENCESOnce we had made the decision not to wait out COVID and to get married in the Byron region, I knew we had to work with Emily from ELOPE who I followed on Instagram and who I knew worked with some of my dream venues. All of our vendors were part of ELOPE’S collective and came highly recommended.”

MEMORABLE MOMENTThe whole experience of getting to enjoy and be deeply present in the day together as a couple, without having to hold space for anyone or anything else except each other was one of the best parts of eloping. Nick absolutely floored me and knocked it out of the park!”

WE’RE GLAD WE… “Eloped! After having lived the day, and planning both a big destination wedding and a smaller elopement, my biggest piece of advice would be to put forethought into making it entirely a reflection of who you are as a couple. Pressure around what you should do, whether it be from family or social media, shouldn’t factor into your decisions.” 

STANDOUT VENDORS “Because we eloped, our planners were our witnesses, and our celebrant and our photographers were our hype men and women – our day was absolutely made by their presence. Nick and I really connected with Jordyn and Andy from Rabbit and the Bear – from our taste in music to travel, they just got our vibe, and this truly shows in our photos and video.

Love the look of Sarah and Nick’s nuptials? Check out more from ELOPE on their Directory listing with us here and also more from the incredible Sphere Bridal Gallery here. You will not regret it, people. But first…

CONTRIBUTING VENDORS Photographer & Cinematographer Rabbit and the Bear Event Planner & Stylist ELOPE Florist Wilderness Flowers Stationery & Printer Niche Print (Groom) Ceremony Villa Rustica Byron Bay Reception The Mez Club Catering Fig Tree Hire Items The Wedding Shed Photo Booth Polaroids Celebrant Benjamin Carlyle Celebrant Engagement Ring James Allen New York Wedding Bands Secrets Shhh (Sarah) & Argyle Jewellers (Nick) Transport Steve’s Ballina Byron Transport Hairdresser / Colour (Pre-Wedding) White Gold Boutique THE BRIDE Bridal Gown & Veil Chosen by KYHA Bridal Boutique Sphere Bridal Gallery Shoes Ego Shoes Accessories Swarovski (Earrings & Tennis Bracelet) Hair & Makeup Alex Ouston Beauty Bridesmaid Dress Rat & Boa THE GROOM Suit, Jacket, Shirt & Pants ASOS Shoes Connor Grooming Tommy Guns