Real Bride: “We cancelled our wedding, just after we had sent out the save the dates!”

I spotted Katelyn & Jack’s wedding a few weeks back, and it really stood out to me because the timing of her beautiful photo.  At a time when every single photo was a ‘flashback’ or a ‘remember when’, their wedding was in real time; so I knew that behind those gorgeous photos was a story of how they navigated a marriage through the insane time of COVID-19.

I know so many us have found this time incredibly stressful and sad, so I wanted to share their story about how they managed to celebrate love in one of the most challenging times in history.

Tell me about your love story!

Jack and I met just under 6 years ago and have been engaged for just over 2 years. We live with our two fur babies, Zeus and Jett, who were the stars of the proposal. Jack tied a little letter to Zeus’ collar, and the ring to Jett’s, and had them come in to our bedroom the morning before we went on an overseas holiday.

How much of your wedding was already organised when COVID hit?

We had initially planned a big wedding for August 2019, however the more we reflected on it, the more we thought that we could better invest that money.  Whilst we loved the idea of celebrating with our friends and family, we also had so many other hopes and dreams that we wanted to achieve, and didn’t want to put these off because all of our savings were going towards one day.

So instead, we cancelled the wedding (just after we had sent out the save the dates!) and spent the remainder of 2019 executing our long awaited house renovations.

We had spoken about an elopement since we became engaged, and loved the idea of it just being the two of us and our fur pals.  So luckily for us, the COVID wedding restrictions did not affect us as we had planned all along for our videographer and photographer to be our witnesses!

Leading up to the day my main stress was just ensuring that everyone was still on board to go ahead. We had the most incredible team, and all of them were so supportive and made the time amongst all the craziness to ensure our day was a success!  The only plans that weren’t able to go ahead was a family dinner after the ceremony, and that we haven’t yet been able to get all of our friends together to celebrate.  We also weren’t able to travel to Italy for our honeymoon in April.

How did you handle it with your family and friends, were they supportive?

I think everyone enjoys a wedding and sees it as the traditional thing to do, however our families were supportive of our plans and could understand where we were coming from.  I’m sure my mum thought that she would get a last minute invite but the COVID restrictions literally meant that we couldn’t invite anyone, even if we wanted to! I think at the end of the day our friends and family were happy because WE were happy.

Tell me about your big day! 

Our day was beautiful!  We wanted the whole experience to be relaxed, and that’s exactly what it was. The sunshine coast holds a special place in both Jack and my hearts.  I have been venturing up to Kings Beach since I was a baby for our annual Christmas holiday, and Jack is up there almost every weekend surfing.  We wanted somewhere quiet and coastal, so thought it would be perfect.

We didn’t actually choose our ceremony location until the morning of the wedding. We walked the dogs and looked at some potential options before settling on a spot that overlooks Kings.  The only stress I had on the day was the ever-changing hairdresser restrictions. At one stage there was the 30 minute ruling but lucky for me (and my hair!) that got lifted the morning of the wedding.  Jack and I were in the same house but chose to get ready separately so there was still an element of surprise.

I knew I didn’t want to walk down an aisle so we had our first look at the house, and then made our way to the waterfront where we said our vows.  Our celebrant, Caitlin Healy, gave the most BEAUTIFUL speech just before we got into the formalities.

After the ceremony, we made our way down to a nearby beach and had a champagne picnic before having our photos taken.  Jess (from Wilde Visual) and Megan (Megan Kelly) were the most incredible team.  The just let us do our thing and be in the moment on the beach and captured the most incredible photos and video.  After all the photos were taken we made our way back to our accommodation and enjoyed some (more!) champagne, cake and pizza – it was perfect.

What did you learn and do you have any advice for other couples in the same position?

I’m so happy that we stayed true to what we wanted. It’s so easy to get swept away with pinterest boards of the perfect wedding, but at the end of the day, it’s the marriage that is most important.  I know elopements aren’t for everyone, but for anyone who is considering it, I say go for it!  You partner gets your undivided attention as you make your vows and promises, and you can celebrate with your friends and family afterwards!

A HUGE shoutout to our incredible vendors who made the day so amazing:

  • Makeup: Makeup Artistry by Lauren
  •  Hair: Evalyn Parsons Salon
  •  Celebrant: Caitlin Healy
  •  Photographer: Megan Kelly
  •  Videographer: Wilde Visual
  • Pet Sitters: Pet Wedding Assistants