This Hyde Park, Perth elopement of Ellie & Paul is brought to you today by marriage celebrant Sally Bruce and their amazing photographer Kat from Red Eclectic. I just love it because it shows how joyful, meaningful and beautiful an elopement can be. A beautiful elopement at their local park with just their mums as witnesses.
Ellie and Paul got married in Hyde Park in Perth, Western Australia. It is their local park which is within walking distance of their home and it is a special place for them for many reasons. They said their vows near the lake, ate doughnuts and celebrated their day with their family and closest friends. It is everything an elopement should be!
So how did this love story begin? This is what Ellie said…
“We met at a little bar in Perth, over seven years ago now. We were friends for about a minute before all the love feelings took over! In terms of the proposal, there was no fanfare or getting down on one knee. We had already started discussing the idea of eloping – and then I had the honour of being a bridesmaid at my best friend’s wedding. After bearing witness to such a magical and love-filled day, Paul and I continued the conversation at the reception and decided we wanted to ‘take the plunge’ too. This does mean that technically, yes – we got engaged at a wedding. No-one was any the wiser though!”
Their wedding photographer Kat and marriage celebrant Sally met them at their home. From there they walked as a group, down the familiar urban streets of Perth to Hyde Park, with their mums who would be the only guests and also acted as ring bearers and legal witnesses.
Couples choose to elope for a variety of reasons. This is why Ellie & Paul decided eloping was perfect for them….
“As soon as we decided to get married, there was no question that we would elope. The idea of a big – or even small – wedding didn’t appeal to either of us, as we just wanted to do our own thing and make the day wholly ours. Personally, I’m also a sentimental old fool (much as I’ve tried to deny it in the past) and think the idea of eloping is just so romantic.”
Telling family and friends can sometimes be a tricky situation for couples. This is how Ellie & Paul told their family that they were eloping…
“We told Paul’s mum on Christmas Day, and I will always treasure the memory of the moment we then asked her to be one of our witnesses. A big bear hug and many happy tears followed. I also love remembering the warmth in my own mum’s voice when I told her the news.
When it came to our friends, we kind of told them in dribs and drabs – it was meant to be a big secret originally, but I failed at that pretty quickly. When I think back on everyone’s reactions, the general consensus was just that they were all stoked for us. We are very lucky to have the wonderful friends and family that we do.”
Hyde Park in Perth was the location for this wonderful elopement. And this is how they decided on the location…
“It was pretty organic, as I don’t remember a specific ‘a-ha’ moment…the idea of having the ceremony at Hyde Park, our local park, was just right. On top of being a lovely spot (we’ll never tire of it), it’s played an important role in our relationship. We were there having a picnic the day we realised we were falling in love. I used to live on one side of the park and Paul on the other, and I have countless memories of walking through its beauty to go to his place. And we still haunt it to this day – going for runs, visiting the ice-cream van, or simply strolling around the lake.”
Ellie beautifully describes their marriage ceremony below…
“We eloped on a Friday afternoon in October. It was an uncustomarily hot Spring day, even by WA standards – 31 degrees! Everyone met at our place, where together with my mum Robyn, Paul’s mum Di, our celebrant Sally and photographer Kat, we all walked across to the park. We chose a shady spot by the lake very quickly, and with both our mums – the sole witnesses – comfortably seated on a bench, the ceremony began. Sally had written a gorgeous introduction about us as a couple, including why Hyde Park is so meaningful to us – and that’s about when I started tearing up. She also read a poem that I’d written for Paul, and we then exchanged our handwritten vows and rings (and one hell of a kiss). When it came time to sign the paperwork, we all walked over to a bench that’s dedicated to Paul’s late aunt, Karen (‘Kazzy’s bench’) and signed everything there – a bittersweet and poignant moment. After the ceremony, Paul and I had heaps of fun roaming around the streets of our beloved Northbridge with Kat, getting a bunch of awesome shots and also some donuts (way better than wedding cake IMO – an inspired idea from Kat!)”
“There were so many little funny and sweet moments that made our day what it was – from the man who tipped his hat to us when we were all walking over to the park and said “what a day for it!”, to another kind dude (in high-vis no less) who shouted out his congratulations both during and after the ceremony.
On the day, my sister Olivia came over to get ready with me, help decorate the house (where a champagne toast was happening after the ceremony), and just be part of the day. I love that she’s documented in Kat’s photos, with some of my favourites being her waving us off from our front door as we all left for the park. I was so happy that both our grandmothers could join us in the champagne toast, and our cat Hendrix was a big hit in his tux!
Lastly, we also got to celebrate with friends and family at our local pub after the ceremony, which was great. Despite booking some tables in advance, there was only one bartender working – however, he was an absolute champ, making everyone’s cocktails with a smile on his face! He even shouted some mates a round of shots at the end of the night. Suffice to say he made our thank you card list!”
There are so many benefits and amazing reasons to elope, and it is a really personal decision that couples have to decide for themselves. For Ellie & Paul, this why eloping was right for them…
“I guess overarchingly, the best thing was that through eloping, we had the freedom to incorporate elements that mattered to us and ditch everything that didn’t. As I said above, our day was wholly our own – there’s not a single moment that either of us would change or do differently, and I think that’s really special.”
Thinking of eloping? Some of the best advice you can get is from a couple that have actually eloped. Here is some advice from Ellie…
“The beauty of eloping is you can pick and choose what you do and don’t want. No-one else needs to have a say (although some will still try, I learned)! As an example from a purely aesthetic sense, I decided I wanted to do my own make-up, but still get my hair professionally done. I also decided I wanted to carry a bouquet on the day, so I custom ordered one from my favourite florist.
Also, eloping or not, you’re getting married! It’s a big deal, and you’re allowed to get stressed and overwhelmed at times. I would downplay these emotions in the lead-up, feeling like I didn’t ‘deserve’ to be stressed. This also led to me not really taking enough time off work. Trust me, you’re going to want some downtime beforehand and afterwards. Take at least a week!”
“Back at the house, some more family arrived, the cats in tuxedos investigated the new smells, champagne was poured. Ellie and Paul returned to a big cheer and many hugs, and some more family shots of the celebration were captured. After family time Ellie and Paul went to their local pub to celebrate with their mates.” – Sally Bruce
Here is the list of your elopement vendors & suppliers that were involved in this Hyde Park Perth elopement:
Flowers: The Flower Run
Wedding Dress: ASOS
Shoes: Doc Martens (bride) & Converse (groom)
“I would also like to shout out Lee Reader, a friend of ours who made Paul’s wedding ring. Lee had only just started jewelry making when I approached him to create Paul’s ring, and he did the most incredible job. Thank you Lee!”