Real Elopement with Sweeter Than Honey Photography
It’s no secret that recent social gathering restrictions have created a huge resurgence in the popularity of elopements and micro-weddings.
Whether an elopement or small celebration is your first choice, or COVID has forced your hand – it’s an absolutely amazing way to tie the knot and begin your happily-ever-after.
Small but mighty, that’s how we’d consider the wave of 2020 weddings taking place!
Knowing all about nailing the small, simple (but just as special) celebrations, is one of our favourite photographers, Rach of Sweeter Than Honey. We sat down with the clever creative behind some of our favourite and most moving wedding imagery, and got the lowdown on eloping – see how, where and why by reading on.
What is it that you just love about elopements?
Elopements are an incredibly simple way to focus on the meaning of marriage and commitment to one another. Without the stress of guests and sometimes difficult family dynamics, couples can go ahead with an intimate ceremony without the pressure that a large wedding can bring. I love the emotion at elopements, they are always such an incredibly special and breathtaking moment to witness and there are lots of circumstances where they just make sense as the best option for a wedding.
You were recently involved in an elopement during COVID-19, tell us how it all played out?
Jess and John had originally contacted me earlier in the year about their Ballarat wedding that was due to take place in May. When the Covid-19 situation worsened their original plans for a large wedding were obviously not going to be able to go ahead. On top of this Jess was working as a nurse, running a creative business and together they were renovating a house. I did not imagine the wedding was going to happen! However, the couple decided that being able to go ahead with their vows on their original date was important and decided on a small ceremony at Jess’s family farm.
At this point they were only going to be allowed to have five people at the wedding and as their photographer I was completely honoured that they wanted me to be one of the five. Thankfully one week before their May 18thdate the restrictions were relaxed allowing ten guests and this meant they were able to have their parents and grandparents present. The weather was incredible for Autumn and the ceremony was humble with a lot of emotion as everyone was extremely grateful to be there. We then ran off into the paddocks for sunset photos whilst the guests huddled around the fire enjoying great food and hot cups of tea. Candles twinkled as dusk fell and Jess and John then headed back into the farmhouse for a cosy family roast dinner.
From a photographer’s perspective, what are the benefits when it comes to imagery when considering an elopement? (ie – no group shots, hours of family photos etc)
I love the freedom that elopements can bring to push the boundaries with photography. There is more time to adventure to unique landscapes and space to experiment with ceremony location. With careful planning couples will end up with imagery that emphasises their unique style and is entirely focused on them and their love and commitment to one another.
You are based on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, what would be your favourite locations for an elopement?
There are so many amazing locations around the Great Ocean Road and Otways and couples are really spoilt for choice here. The Californian Redwoods at Beech Forrest have become a popular location for elopements but there are also amazing waterfalls, secluded stretches of coastline and stunning properties to choose from. It is hard to beat Wye River for it’s laid back beachy vibes and its got to be one of my favourite spots. I’m also completely in love with the rustic township of Forrest and think it’s the perfect place to elope.
How long would a couple require a photographer for their elopement?
From my experience two hours is generally a perfect timeframe for an elopement and covers a short, simple ceremony and plenty of time for photographs afterwards. It is also definitely worth considering making time for more portraits at sunset if you are having an earlier ceremony. This is when the real magic will happen! If you are eloping in Winter plan your ceremony for the late afternoon directly before sunset.
Do you have some top tips you can share for pulling off the perfect elopement?
If you are planning an elopement style wedding my advice would be to focus on the parts of the day that you can make really beautiful. Your photography, flowers, outfits and all the little details that you plan will make a massive difference to how your special day will play out. Carefully consider your photographer and videographer. Think carefully about how your elopement will look visually as this will make a massive difference to the way in which your day is recorded. You will end up with an incredibly special day and memories that will last a lifetime.
See how the stunning Sari and Mark recently celebrated their engagement, and how they dealt with a COVID date change, by clicking here.