for fun, relaxed & adventurous couples.
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Elopement Photography by Adam Cavanagh
Elopement photography around NSW & Australia wide
Are you looking for an elopement photographer? We offer elopement photography packages, capturing relaxed intimate weddings, all over Australia & New Zealand. For couples that are a little adventurous and looking for something a little different and quite unique. On this page, I’d like to give you some information on elopements. Why elope, how to elope and also give you some awesome ideas on where to elope around Australia & New Zealand. Amazing places. Places that rarely or have never had weddings or elopements.
An Elopement is my absolute favourite event to photograph. When a couple elopes, the day becomes completely about them and their relationship together. And for me artistically, I love capturing those little moments of them together and creating some beautiful photos for them.
If you want to get married you don’t just have to have a wedding…. you can elope!
The best thing about eloping is that there are no rules and no stress. The day becomes completely about the two of you.
What is an Elopement?
An elopement simply means to get married without any guests (just the couple themselves) or with just a very limited amount of guests. How many guests is for debate, but for us personally, an elopement is when you have less than 20 guests, and intimate wedding is when having under 50 guests.
There are so many reasons couples choose to elope. For some people they don’t want the stress of planning a traditional wedding. For others “wedding” are just not them. By eloping you can avoid complicated family matters or any religious or culturing conflicts.
Planning a wedding takes a lot of time. Normally around 12-18 months. Some people just want to get married now and start their new life together sooner.
There is also the potential financial saving. Having an elopement means you don’t need to feed 100+ people a three-course meal and canapés at $160 per head. This is not to say that people who elope do things on the cheap. It means they spend money on the things that really matter to them. You get the dress/suit you want, get the rings you want. And of course, the photographer you want.
Photographically speaking, I love elopements beacuse you can elope in incredible locations. With traditional weddings, you are often limited to where you can get married due to the logistics involving everyone. A wedding venue has to meet these requirements. But for elopement… you can get married anywhere! Top of a mountain, at the bottom of a waterfall, on a tropical island, in the desert or even on a Volcano! You are only limited to your imagination.
On a personal note, we had a very intimate wedding of only 20 people. On an island on the Great Barrier Reef. We are a little introverted and the whole idea of a big traditional wedding just didn’t appeal to us. Way too conventional and formal. We just wanted the people closest to us, in a beautiful location without all the fuss.
Combine your elopement with your honeymoon.
Go to the destination of your dreams or a destination that has significance/meaning to you. Elope, and then continue to explore the region on your own. Or move onwards to another destination not too far away.
How to elope
1. Pick a location & date
When you elope, you can literally get married anywhere. Australia and the world is your oyster. Get married in your dream destination.
Pick a date. Something that has meaning to you. Maybe your current anniversary. It doesn’t have to be a weekend. Mid-week elopements may also mean more privacy if you are getting married in a public place.
Pick a location. The location is the most important factor and will dictate everything. Think of the type of climate and season you love, the things you like do and the kind of destinations you are naturally drawn to. Think of exactly where you would like to do say your vows. Mountains, beaches, forests, waterfalls, deserts, vineyards, cliffs etc. Think of National Parks and State Forests.
Your elopement can be combined with your honeymoon trip. So you could pick a destination that is in the region where you would like to honeymoon or is a location on the way to your honeymoon.
2. Book nearby accommodation
Find some nice accommodation nearby where you can do your “Getting Ready” and “Elopement Reception/Dinner”.
Think of beautiful rental properties, luxury villas, glamping, guest houses, lodges, farm stays or anything totally unique. Big hotels & resorts to a lesser extent. They can be overrun with people and often the rooms aren’t as big as they look on their websites. Try to find places that are more isolated and away from the crowds & mass tourism and in a great location.
Having great nearby accommodation also allows you to go out and explore the area photographically and you can come back to a beautiful, relaxing place.
3. Celebrant & Photographer
Bring along an awesome Elopement Photographer. We know a pretty good one ;) And get an awesome celebrant.
If you are going to elope, have someone amazing do your marriage. They can be someone you know personally. Or someone local to the area, which can be awesome as they can possibly assist you will some beautiful places to say
Choosing a celebrant is incredibly important, not only from a legal
An awesome celebrant will find out details about each person, personalise your love story, encourage you to say your own vows to each other. And show you how momentous this occasion is, and to get you to emotionally commit your lives to each other.
If you are an Australian getting married in Australia, then you will need a registered civil celebrant to legalise your marriage. If you are an Australian getting married overseas you need to bring back the foreign marriage certificate so that Australia will recognise it. Most Australian’s will find it easier to do it legally in the registry office and the overseas vows will be more ceremonial.
You also legally need two witnesses. These can be two of your guests. Or I have signed many, many marriage certificates. If you don’t have guests, the other person could be someone from your venue, a videographer if you have one.
uests or no guests
There is no right or wrong answer. Do what works for you. If you bring guests, make them your nearest and dearest only. You can always have a dinner or party with the rest of your family & friends later.
Research the location and area as much as possible. Try to find out about accessibility, the weather, seasonal closures etc. Work out how you are going to get to your ceremony location. Do you need transport? Drive yourself or get someone local to drive? Will you walk or hike? Take a helicopter?
It can be a good idea to get someone local to help with any of the elopement logistics involved. Event staff or managers from your accommodation, coordinators, tour operators or concierge can be very helpful. By arranging transport, getting local flowers, arranging hair & makeup, finding beautiful secret locations for the ceremony or just offering general advice on the area. You may or may not need assistance, but by asking them you can give yourself more options.
5. Permits & rules
Find out what permits and rules you need to follow to have your ceremony at the location you want
If you are having an elopement on public or private land, you will probably need a permit of some sort. Assume that you need permission. At the very least you need to get something in writing saying that you are allowed to have your ceremony there. And a photography permit may or may not also be required, we can assist with this and in some cases i.e NSW National Parks, we already have a yearly permit.
Some places may not allow a ceremony at all. At Uluru for instance, there are no wedding ceremonies allowed inside the National Park itself. It is a very sacred site for our Indigenous Australians. You can, however, have the ceremony at the top of one of the sand dunes that look onto Uluru. But you can get a photography permit to allow you to do photos within the National Park around Uluru and Kata Tjuta.
6. Work out an itinerary
An elopement is not just a ceremony and a few photos. I like to do it properly to tell a much fuller story with our elopement packages Australia. This is just a sample of what could be done and it would naturally differ from elopement to elopement depending on location, travel time, sunset etc. You could add in parts, take out parts and so on, but don’t rush the day. Keep it relaxed and spontaneous.
– Casual afternoon shoot. Do a fun activity together that you enjoy… swimming, riding, kayaking or just exploring the area.
– Getting ready preparations. Either separately or getting ready together. You can get ready at the accommodation or take everything to the ceremony location and get ready there.
– First Look. Beautiful location, where you see each other for the first time in your wedding attire.
– Elopement ceremony. Somewhere beautiful and epic. Depending on the location, probably an hour or two before sunset.
– Champagne Spray. Pop some champagne to celebrate, bring some music to dance together and celebrate!
– Epic photos. Do photos around the area at sunset.
– Night time. Romantic dinner under the stars.
– Possible “day after” shoot if you want more photos of the two of you in different location.
Amazing Elopement ideas in Australia (My Bucket List)
– Elope at Wave Rock in WA
– Stay at a luxury retreat on Lord Howe Island and elope there.
– Go to the white sands and pristine waters of Whitehaven Beach.
– Elopement ceremony at sunrise in a hot air balloon.
For the lovers of ultra luxe travel Wolgan Valley One & Only could be for you.
– Get married in the Capertree Valley the worlds second largest canyon and spend you wedding night glamping in a Bubble Tent.
– So I do in the grand Cathedral Chamber or the stunning Orient cave at the Jenolan Caves.
– Stay at Pole House, on the great ocean rd and get married around the 12 Apostles and explore the area.
Mountain top elopement in the Blue Mountains.
Explore the Red Centre and get married at Uluru.
– For something truly special get married amongst the spectacular formations at Mungo National Park
– Elope to Cradle Mountain in Tasmania.
– Top of Sydney Harbour Bridge.
– Go to Kakadu National Park and get married at Gunlom Falls.
– Elope in the amazing landscape of The Pinnacles in WA
– A luxury resort in The Kimberleys and explore the area.
– The Daintree Rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef at Cape Tribulation and the Alkira House Resort House and Rainforest Retreat could be the perfect spot for your special day.
– Get married in the stunning Bungle Bungle.
– Toast to your nuptials overlooking Wineglass Bay in the Freycinet National Park.
– Say your vows at Cathedral Gorge Bungle Bungles
– In Tasmania’s Bridestowe Lavender Fields
– Go to Port Arthur Tasmania and get married in the convict chapel.
The magical Sugar Pines Walk. Unfortunately they burnt down in the 2020 bushfires :(
– Simpsons Gap in Alice Springs.
Amazing Elopement ideas in New Zealand
– Take a helicopter to the top of a mountain in Wanaka or Queenstown and get married in that mountain backdrop.
– For the ultimate Lord of the Rings fans, Hobbiton is the perfect place to tie the knot. Or in a more subtle nod the breathtaking Earnslaw Burn featured in The Hobbit/ LOTR is and epic location for a wedding.
Elopements are awesome because it’s all about you. You can express who you are as a couple. Be as goofy, crazy, sexy, romantic and fun as you
Get married in incredible locations, exploring together. It’s all about you.
The beauty of eloping is that the possibilities are endless. There are no rules. All you need is the two of you, a celebrant and two witnesses (Adam is happy to be one if needed). So let your creativity run wild!
If you are looking for an elopement photographer anywhere in Australia or around the world, we would love to be considered. Please have a good look through our portfolio and if you feel a connection to my work then please contact us.
Hey, I’m Adam. A wedding & elopement photographer who loves to shoot fun, relaxed couples in a natural and candid way.
I shoot weddings and elopements all over Australia, so if you are engaged and looking for a photographer, please check out my work. If you can see yourself in these photos, feel free to get in contact to check my availability. Thanks :)