The best decision we made was eloping to An Island Hideaway
First of all, I’m not going to bang on about my life story, nor am I going to write a long-winded blog filled with adds and links to different products.
This is a true, real-life account about the reasons why we went from planning an 80-100 person wedding celebration (of which we had already sent out save the dates) to deciding on eloping at An Island Hideaway and getting married within 31 days. Oh yes, we saved a TONNE of money & we got married at one of the most gorgeous beach wedding venues!
Perhaps this will give just one person the inspiration and/or courage to make the same decision if that is of course what you want.
My name is Erin and my now husband is Andrew. We have friends & family from ALL OVER THE WORLD. Andrew is a South African born, British Citizen and we have both lived nomadic lifestyles for the last 5 or so years. Combined we have lived, travelled & worked through over 50 countries.
There are so many important people in our lives, our immediate families first and foremost which spread across the globe. Some in Australia, some in the UK and some in South Africa. Very special & important friend groups that we have had not only since childhood but those who we have met later in life, bonding over strange drinks, deep thoughts and conversations in faraway lands.
When we got engaged we decided that we will have a big party! We weren’t looking for a traditional wedding or a cocktail event. We didn’t want formal dinner or cake cutting or bouquet tossing. We wanted a simple blank canvas celebration with all our favourite people. Easy? Not so much.
We were looking down the barrel of a starting price of $20,000 (and that was on a budget). Obviously, having such a large guest list of 80-100 people impacted the price a lot. This is the basic costs we were we were looking at:
- The Venue
- Alcohol was the big $$$
- Accommodation for us, for our bridal party, for parents
- Transport to & from, picking up people from the airport etc, taxi’s
- Dresses, Shirts, Trousers, Hair, Make-Up etc
- Celebrant (pretty important)
The money we would spend when everyone was arriving the week before, after the wedding; entertaining, eating, drinking & generally being in merry
We didn’t have this sort of money set aside for a wedding. Sure you can save up and/or pay it off and for many people, this isn’t a huge amount or a big deal. But for us personally, the looming debt that hovered over our heads like a thick blanket, for a 1-night party that hadn’t even happened yet, was suffocating.
The stress and worrying of trying to “make it easy for everyone else” started to weigh a tonne on our shoulders. We started to lose sight of what was important to us.
On April 12th 2019, over a couple of (bottles) wines, we decided to elope and move to Greece. We instantly avoided 15,000+ a debt. We got a mid-week wedding special on all the services we used.
We put the money that we would have spent on the wedding towards moving back to our nomadic lifestyle. It meant that we could pay for our own wedding in full, not go into debt and most importantly do what we wanted to do. And so it was set, we brought the date forward to the 15th May 2019.
EVERYTHING WAS SO EASY!
Our celebrant Nicole Craze of Craze for Love Weddings, was beautiful and so chilled. I put a call out on facebook and she replied within minutes and on the Sunday 14th, we met at her home, sat at her dining table while her kids ran around naked and we completed the NOIM ( PS you need to do that 1 month & 1 day before you want to get married). I reached out to my lovely and super talented childhood school friend, Jess of Bella Lei Photography who was only too happy to shoot our wedding at short notice.
My parents & brother were with us at our little teeny beach ceremony at An Island Hideaway. Andrews parents & sister joined us via Whats App Video Call. It was emotional, it was raw, it was simple and it was perfect. Michele the legend that she is, whipped up a cheese board for us to enjoy after the ceremony with some bubbly and beers. We had about 2 hours on the island before making our way back to Runaway Bay Marina, where we met the extended family and close friends for dinner.
WHY AN ISLAND HIDEAWAY – SOUTH STRADBROKE ISLAND
The Island has a special place in my heart and ever since getting engaged, I couldn’t get the image of Andrew & I tied the knot on that beautiful front beach out of my head. So when we chose to elope, Michele was one of the first people I called to see if this was possible, and her response was “let’s get you married in a month”.
An Island Hideaway is just the most gorgeous setting; secluded beaches, a plethora of photo opportunities, natural raw beauty, rainforest, wildlife and sunsets that will leave you breathless. Having the venue all to ourselves was magic and it allowed us to really take it all in.
The super amazingly beautiful Michele of An Island Hideaway made everything so simple and easy. Michele has the unique ability to make things happen and she does it ever so calmly, everything just flows. We couldn’t be more thankful to her for making this happen for us.
IT HAPPENED SO FAST
Our big day happened so fast! We are both so grateful that we got to truly enjoy it with each other. Eloping allowed us to enjoy and appreciate that we had just become Mr & Mrs without any distraction. It was pure bliss and one of the happiest days of my life.
As the invitations were due to be sent on the same date as our wedding day, we sent a cheeky surprise email “invitation” to our guest list letting them know that we had tied the knot! We received an abundance of love and support from our global tribe and a lot of comments along the lines of “this is the best idea ever”.
So I sign this off as I sit, sipping on a cold beer on board a 50ft yacht in the beautiful Lefkada, Greece. I encourage anyone that is having doubts or mixed feelings about planning a potential big wedding, that you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. Do what’s best for you as a couple & not what’s best for everyone else.