We love elopements and small weddings, so I am really excited to share this beautiful intimate Dandenong Ranges elopement of Aleksandra and Christian. This elopement was put together by the team at Elope Around Melbourne and features some beautiful professional photography by Emily Howlett Photography.
It took place at R.J Hamer Arboretum in the little town of Olinda in the Victorian Dandenongs. Olinda is located about an hour from Melbourne and is the highest village in the Dandenong Ranges. It is a very popular destination for tourists and the town has lots of little shops and lovely accommodation options. Being the highest village also means that it has some wonderful lookouts and views across to the Yarra Valley and out to the Warburton Ranges, which makes it a perfect location for a beautiful elopement.
“We are both in love with the outdoors and the natural world. We wanted to have our elopement somewhere we felt connected with.”
The R.J Hamer Arboretum is 120 hectares of stunning natural beauty and wonderful scenery. The word Arboretum is a Latin word that means a place for trees. And at R.J Hamer Arboretum there are over 150 different types of trees. Both native and international, and they have been planted so that they represent different forests over the hillside. A great location for an elopement.
Aleksandra and Christian had an increasingly common courtship. They first met incidentally online in 2016. They dated each other for two years with online dating, before meeting in person. And later that year moved in together.
“We didn’t have a proposal. We joked around about getting married a lot and in 2020, we just said whatever let’s do it!“
Like most couples getting married at this time, Aleksandra and Christian’s wedding plans were affected due to COVID. The state-level restrictions in Melbourne and the international travel restrictions definitely made an impact on them. As Sasha’s family are all in Russia, so, unfortunately, they were unable to attend. But eloping did work for them and their personal ideals…
“We wanted something small and intimate with close family members only.”
The marriage ceremony took place on a hot November afternoon. With beautiful clear skies and surrounded by trees.
“It was very emotional. We had a live feed going on Instagram and Facebook for family and friends that couldn’t make it.”
“Christian had a little tear or two… maybe three (he never cries).”
For some couples, telling your family and friends that you are going to elope can be a tricky situation. This is what Aleksandra and Christian did…
“We just told them during COVID we’re finally going to tie the knot. We’ve been living together for so long it wasn’t really a surprise to anyone.“
This is what they said when ask what the best thing about eloping was…
“The cost wasn’t as much, we were flexible in the location, we didn’t have to invite so many people and we had an awesome celebrant.”
When you are thinking of eloping, it’s always nice to get advice from a couple that have actually done it before. This is what they said…
“Do it! Why go through the stress and headache of planning a big wedding when you can have something just as meaningful but more intimate.”
Eloping has never been so popular and this is due largely in part to the current world pandemic. Couples who are wanting to have a wedding and get married are either choosing to postpone their wedding, till they can have a large wedding or downsize their plans. My advice would be to reduce your numbers and have a small intimate wedding or elopement.
Have something more intimate and meaningful and skip the stress and uncertainty of planning a large wedding. There is no need to stop your lives to have your big wedding. Start your new lives together sooner rather than later and elope.
And elopements are so much better in my opinion… but I might be a bit biased 😉
Elopement vendors & suppliers featured:
Elopement packages & planners: Elope Around Melbourne
Elopement Photography: Emily Howlett Photography
Marriage Celebrant: Lisa Newmann
Location: R.J Hamer Arboretum in Olinda, Victoria
Wedding Attire: “We got a lot of our clothes from ASOS.”