Images by Chase The Light Photography
As told by bride Rhian;
“We stayed on Nusa Lembongan for 5 weeks when Shannon was doing his yoga teacher training. It was so where that was special to us, and prior to Covid, we had planned to head over to elope. For a few reasons: the first being that we hadn’t holidayed since having kids, and also we really wanted to have an experience over an event.
Before uni, I worked on Daydream Island and saw first hand how wasteful, expensive, and also stressful traditional weddings can be, but also how a day that is meant to be about two people coming together became about everything but that: too much stuff, and not enough meaning.
So in keeping with our desire to have an experience than an event, we started looking for beautiful places we could visit in our own backyard.
Enter Whalesong Shack on Tasmania’s East Coast. There were many air bnbs in this area, but Whalesong tugged at all the heart strings; the outdoor fire pit over looking the Tasman sea, the secret pathways to some of the most beautiful beaches, the record player and indoor fireplace: it was everything we are about beauty, romance, and simplicity.
Initially we had invited our immediate family to join us, but sadly most were not willing to make the trip. So we asked two of our closest friends and their partners, who no questions asked came along to Tasmania.
I was a really easy going bride, I knew Whalesong was the place, and Imagen Hyland from Chase The Light Photography had to be with us to document the day – they were really the only 2 things I needed. Imagen as the one who showed us that our day could be whatever we wanted it to be, and is all about #lessstuffmoremeaning , she is actually how I stumbled across your page and the Wedding Footprint Calculator!
So we booked Whalesong. Ingrid (who can I say is the worlds best host) put us in contact with their incredible personal chef Doug Herring Kitchen 7216. He then put us in contact with the wonderful Kate Tujela of Wilderness Weddings, who had a team of talented locals. Kate is also all about sustainability, and caring for our environment and this was really important to us.
Whalesong in all it’s natural beauty needed no decorations, no arches or backdrops, or an alternative venue to hold the reception. Kate from Wilderness Weddings foraged the native flowers and made my bouquet (which I’ve dried out and framed). I had purchased my Grace Loves Lace Avril Dress four years prior. It was a discontinued design that I adored, and a girl was selling it on Gumtree having only worn it once. Shannon’s outfit was from my brothers wedding 2 years ago (he looked so damn good in it then, it seemed silly to buy a new jacket just for one day), and his ring was his fathers wedding ring which we had resized.
We exchanged ‘ninja vows’ – so we wrote each other’s vows, and only saw them for the first time as we were reading them in front of everyone – probably one of my favourite things of the day! It kept everything light hearted and made from an amusing, short and sweet ceremony, facilitated by Rachael Calvert, Celebrant.
By having a small elopement we were able to focus on what was important to us; a day that was a true representation of our love and to experience the things we enjoy; being in nature, laughing, not taking life too seriously, music, dancing, good food + great company, and our day couldn’t have met this criteria any more, and it was nothing short of magic!
Another benefit to having a small elopement was that we were also able to focus on the things our guests enjoyed – so having a selection food + beverages they/we loved, which aside from the fact you know nothing will be wasted, was really lovely to be able to do for those who were just so willing to show up and celebrate our love.
We had the most relaxed day ever, and the only stress we encountered leading up to, and on the day was 3 days prior waiting for borders to re-open. Having a team of people who share a similar ethos as you (for us that was treading lightly, and having a good time no matter what) really makes your day what it is, so choosing your vendors is just as important as your guest list. Staying true to what you both want for your day is also key, for anyone who has been thinking of eloping but worried about the conflict it can present: my best advice is : “those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind”.”
Enjoy Shannon and Rhian’s full gallery here:
Rhian and Shannon’s Wedding Footprint Calculator results:
Head to the WEDDING FOOTPRINT CALCULATOR to see how you can tread more lightly when planning your wedding.