Images by Lauren Sutton
When first meeting local celebrant, Tim Grimsey, Brodie and Madeleine shared their idea of a wedding, surrounded by their family and friends, in one of their favourite places in the world, Mount Field National Park. It was such an awesome idea and the three of them began discussing the details. As they chatted, Tim could tell that while the idea of celebrating their love for each other with their family and many friends filled Brodie and Madeleine with excitement; but that the thought of being the centre of attention, being stood there with everyone watching, made them a little bit nervous.
The sneaky suggestion that they could have two separate ceremonies; one very private wedding, followed by a joyful love party quickly gained momentum. What? You could have TWO ceremonies?
The couple reflects “We spend a lot of time in the outdoors and Tasmania’s landscape has been the source of many of our best memories together, so the idea of having a simple ceremony in nature was really appealing.”
And so, together with their hiking hitcher, they started to plan their walking wilderness wedding.
The concept of the walking wedding is simple. Take a short (or long) wilderness route; perhaps a lake circuit, a series of waterfalls, or a scenic hill climb. You can even choose an urban stroll if you like. The most important element is that the wedding is moving. A travelling conversation with space to breathe, reflect and enjoy.
And you can have short stops along your way. Pauses to share memories and stories of your past together, to celebrate who you are as a couple; your accomplishments and your dreams. And of course, one final stop to share your vows and get hitched. Simple, relaxed, memorable.
And so when the day came, on a beautiful sunny February morning, a carload of intrepid elopees made their way to Lake Dobson. Just Madeleine and Brodie, two close friends (who are also gun photogs) and their Hitcher.
As they pulled up, the heavens opened with buckets of rain and wisps of hail. But this didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits as they all headed deep into the pandani grove.
The beaming smiles on their faces tell the whole story. Rain, on your wedding day, is a clichéd dread and something that is a constant worry for more traditional marriage ceremonies. The dress will get wet, the flowers will be ruined, our guests will get soaked. Taking away all those pressures, and you have a ridiculously invigorating experience.
The party giggled as they walked through the sodden landscape, the puddles on the ground becoming larger with each footstep. With the rain on their cheek masking any tears of joy, Brodie and Madeleine took each other’s hands, looked each other in the eye and promised to be the best to each other, and to do things their way; always.
Post vows they took the time to pop some celebratory Tasmanian bubbles, and mindfully read through the secret surveys their Celebrant had had each of them complete, huddled together in the Mount Field hikers shed. Taking the time to get warm with mutual warm fuzzies to each other, was the perfect way to end a unique experience.
Their walking wedding was an awesome way to share some laughs, take some photos and most importantly, get married in the most care-free yet conscious way, amongst the landscape they love and will come back to many times.
Heading back to Hobart, it was then time to celebrate their marriage with their people.
The original idea of a larger celebration at Mount Field had evolved somewhat.
“We tried to balance the idea of a private, nature based ceremony with including a small group of our friends and family, so conscious of the impact on nature by having a large group of people, combined with the logistics, we decided that a small DIY zero-waste reception in Madeleine’s parents backyard (in Hobart) later that afternoon would be a wonderful way to celebrate.”
The backyard post-wedding celebration started with a short, light-hearted ceremony created by their Celebrant. Guests were treated to all the entertaining parts of a wedding, but the bride and groom could simply enjoy it, without any of the pressure.
And then came the amazing party.
“Everyone had a job to do – whether cooking a homemade feast, picking native flowers from backyards, baking the vegan chocolate wedding cake, or lending a spare gas bottle for the barbecue. In addition to that, we borrowed a bunch of decorations from friends who have had their weddings over the last couple of years so it was really nice to bring everyone together in that way and share a part in making the day special.”
Perfectly imperfect x
Story told by Celebrant Tim Grimsey.
Images by Lauren Sutton. Enjoy their full gallery below.