Nelson Bay Elopement at Shoal Bay Beach

Scarlett and Jeff had a beautiful beach elopement at one of the prettiest towns on the east coast of Australia, Nelson Bay. They had a morning beach elopement, some photos and then an intimate lunch at Fingal Bay.

Nelson Bay is a stunning seaside town in Port Stephens. It is the largest town in Port Stephens and is located less than an hour north of Newcastle. Nelson Bay is a popular tourist destination as it offers beautiful beaches, National Parks and many whale-watching cruises. And it is a beautiful location for a gorgeous beach elopement.

“We wanted to get married on the beach but also be close to wineries so we could spend a couple of nights amongst the vines. Seemed like we got the best of both worlds at Nelson Bay with Hunter Valley close by.”

Couples choose to elope for all sorts of reasons. For Scarlett And Jeff, it was because their families live in many different parts of the world…

“Some in the States, some in NZ and some in Australia.  We chose not to have a destination wedding as long flights would be tricky for our older relatives.”

Their beautiful marriage ceremony took place on at Shoal Bay beach, which their photographer, Florent Vidal Photography, had scouted out previously for them.  

“We were married at Nelson Bay in a secluded part of the beach by a beautiful rock formation. Our celebrant Lou, is a good friend of ours who I’ve known for years. Our daughter Ada was our flower girl, she was 10 months old at the time.  Her nanny Lorna, who is also a good friend, helped her scatter rose petals on the sand. I walked down the aisle to Michael Buble, Feeling Good.  As we were saying our vows, a pod of dolphins appeared right in front of us. It was pretty magical. “

What we love about this beach location is that the outlook and the scenery is so different from most east-coast beach weddings. For most beach weddings, the backdrop is the ocean and the sky. At this Nelson Bay elopement, the backdrop is the ocean plus the stunning Mount Yacaaba in the background. This sort of backdrop really gives the photos a tropical paradise feel to them.

“I forgot my bridal bouquet but Lorna came up with the plan to take some flowers from the wedding arbour once the ceremony was done so I could have some photos with a bouquet.  It worked out pretty good.
The restaurant we booked for the reception lunch had the Christmas party for senior citizens at the same time.  We had lots of well-wishers and nice old ladies getting a little teary and giving us hugs.”

We love everything about elopements. But it’s always nice to hear a couples first-hand experience with elopements. This is what Scarlett and Jeff loved about eloping…

” The intimacy of it. It was very relaxed, low stress and was just about Jeff and I.”

Many couples worry that with an elopement they will miss out on celebrating their wedding and their marriage commitment with all their family and friends. Here is some advice from Scarlett and Jeff on this…

“Plan wedding celebration events post-wedding with friends and family.  I had a hens party a couple of months after the wedding so I could celebrate with my girlfriends.  We are still planning to do a celebration lunch in NZ once the borders open again. It’s a nice way to do it because you can keep celebrating.”

Elopement vendors & suppliers featured:

Photographer: Florent Vidal Photography

Wedding Dress: White Runway

Celebrant: Louisa Francis

Flowers: A Beautiful Occasion

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