In a world that sometimes feels as if it’s gone crazy with lavish weddings, let me tell you about a couple who threw convention to the wind with a Yarra Valley hot air balloon elopement. Picture this: Jacquiline and Jordan, rising with the dawn, their fingers interlocked as they set off on a hot air balloon adventure in the stunning Yarra Valley. Their guest list was as unique as their venue. No throngs of well-wishers, no crowded aisles; just their faithful dog who joined them when their feet were firmly back on the ground.
Their “I dos” took place in the skies, a dizzying 660 meters above the quaint town of Coldstream, Victoria. It’s not your traditional walk down the aisle, but hey, tradition is totally overrated, am I right? Vanessa, one half of Coast & Pines, their celebrant and Harry, their pilot, were the only human witnesses to this sky-high marriage ceremony. No rows of teary-eyed guests, no deafening applause, just the subtle hum of the balloon, an amazing view and the world far below.
What happened after they touched back down to earth is just as lovely. Our couple chose to wander through a nearby rainforest, sharing heartfelt, handwritten letters. Just them, their love, their dog, and the trees – their very own slice of heaven. They capped the day off with a relaxed lunch at a cosy winery, inviting their awesome photographers to toast to their unique, unforgettable elopement journey.
This is how Jacquiline and Jordan love story first began… “We met 13 years ago at the skatepark through a mutual friend when we were both 15. It’s been love ever since and we both knew we wanted to be together forever, but we both never thought we would get married. Jordan asked me to marry him while strolling through the Redwood Forrest in Warburton accompanied by four legged best friend, Yeezy.”
Couples elope for a huge variety of reasons. This was their reason… “When planning what we thought our ideal wedding was, nothing stood out. We didn’t want the fuss of a big wedding, and we couldn’t agree on a guest count. I, Jacqui would have loved a micro wedding but it took joking to Jordan about getting married in a hot air balloon for him to agree that it is the most perfect way for us to celebrate our love. He was going to propose on a hot air balloon, but Covid had different plans for that. Once we decided what our plan was, we worked with 2 of the most amazing vendors in Melbourne- Coast & Pines and Celebrant Emily Hall (in our opinion) to curate the most special day for us, and we knew we were making the right decision.”
This is how they told their family and fiends… “We didn’t do anything grand or special, and we didn’t keep it a surprise we just told all our friends and family as soon as we had locked the date and photographer in. Of course some immediate family would have loved to have been there, but we kept those that were interested in our day updated with all our plans, dates and tried to make everyone feel as involved as they could.”
“Whether we got married in a hot air balloon or on the ground, the Yarra Valley was always going to be one of our top locations so it only seemed right to get married overlooking one of the very few places you can from a basket.”
A hot air balloon elopement is something so unique and special. This is how they described their marriage ceremony… “The most magical and beautiful days of our lives. We were married 660m elevated with our pilot and photographer as our witnesses overlooking Coldstream. There was tears, there was laughter and lot of love. Upon finishing our balloon ride, we were met on the ground with a surprise from Go Wild Ballooning who used their ‘Will You Marry Me’ balloon which amongst the fog some of our favourite photographs were captured. Shortly after our ceremony we were reunited with our dog and got to spend the rest of our day with him by our sides. It really was something out of a fairytale.”
What was the best thing about eloping… “Doing what we wanted to do for us. It was easy going, it was free spirited, and it was 100% drama free. We love adventure and trying new and exciting things- what better way to get married than to be fully encapsulated in nothing else but each others love. We got to spend the happiest day of our lives with our dog and each other without any outside pressures.”
Here is some advice from a couple who chose to ditch tradition and elope…. “Trust your intuition and what you and your fiancé want to do, not those around you. At the end of the day, it’s one of the only days of your life you can be truly selfish for all the right reasons. We have no regrets not inviting any guests, including our parents. Try not to let outside pressures sway your decision making, you are allowed to approach your wedding day however you want- even if that’s not how others would do it. It is also so important to not stress the small things, we wrote our vows less than 12 hours before we said “I Do”- you make the rules and can do whatever you want for your day, it’s really something special.”
Elopement vendors involved in this Hot Air Balloon Elopement:
Photographer: Coast & Pines
Celebrant: Celebrant Emily Hall- Bespoke Ceremonies
Hot Air Ballon: Go Wild Ballooning
Dress: I Do Dresses
Lunch Venue: Rochford Wines