Elopements to trend amid virus chaos
ELOPEMENTS are set to soar as couples cancels weddings and look for alternatives during the coronavirus pandemic.
Prime Minster Scott Morrison announced all weddings would be cancelled but couples still wanting to tie the knot are permitted to elope, with just a celebrant and two witnesses.
Sarah-Jane Ryan, 34, wedding photographer and owner of Luxe Elopements from Bilambil Heights, is a both a vendor and a bride and had to cancel her own wedding to fiance Graham Waters, 35, scheduled for August 14 this year.
"Our Irish family can't travel, Aussie borders are shutting down and everyone losing their jobs, it's just not the right time," she said.
"We have chosen to postpone until next August."
"For us, eloping and live streaming wouldn't work due to the time difference between Australia and Ireland. I wish we could."
With the next four to six months of bookings cancelled, she said the wedding industry had "collapsed overnight".
"I have just lost any paid work for at least six months and I estimate a loss of $80,000 which is growing daily," she said.
"It's been very stressful trying to consider what's best for us, our guests and fellow wedding vendors.
"I am a part of an amazing wedding community who have been driving home the campaign "postpone don't cancel.
"This is so important for us as a community. This means we can offer couples a new date within 12 months without losing couples' deposits.
"Couples will need to be flexible and likely have to have midweek weddings."
She said the benefit of an elopement during this crisis was that it meant "love wins"
"What the world needs at this time is more love and good news, so for couples whose marriage is more important than a wedding, an elopement is an awesome idea," she said.
"We have been developing options to offer live streaming of the ceremony to guests who are isolated and what a better way to spread joy through our family and friends.
"Generally, elopements are a lot less formal and much more relaxed than traditional weddings, so couples have the option to have a bit more fun.
"Our elopements feature a beautiful, personalised and meaningful ceremony with our Civil Marriage Celebrant at a location chosen by the couple at a beach, rainforest, waterfall or mountain top.
"If the couple opt for live streaming, guests will be included in the magic of the celebration through this service.
"After the ceremony we capture their love glow with a photography portrait session."
She said an elopement was a perfect option for couples who had been displaced by the current crisis and don't want to wait to make their marriage official.
"The best thing about elopements is that couples can lovingly take care of their legal marriage, and still hold a reception at a later date, all the while adhering to the current policies but in place to keep our larger community safe," she said.
"Elopements are also perfect for anyone financially impacted by this crisis and may need to divert their wedding funds to other important aspects of their lives, but still feel getting married is really important to them."
For more info, visit https://www.luxeelopements.com.au/.
Originally published as Elopements to trend amid virus chaos