With the world at a stand-still due to COVID-19, Sydney couple Natalie and Jesse made the difficult decision to forge ahead with their marriage, despite paring the 250-guest list down to just two – a photographer and videographer.
“COVID certainly threw a spanner in the works for us,” recalls Sydney bride Natalie. “We went from a wedding of 250+ guests to an elopement with just Jesse and I.”
“Having to cancel our original wedding was extremely stressful and upsetting but it put a lot into perspective. In the end, we realised that we just wanted to be married, no matter the circumstances, and once we made the decision to elope, all the excitement came back.”
The Wollongong couple, who were smitten from their first Tinder date and who later went on to marry in a church ceremony following their July 18, 2020 elopement, discovered Observatory Hill overlooking Sydney Harbour just six weeks before they tied the knot.
“We were just doing some exploring during a weekend away in Sydney and fell in love when we came across Observatory Hill. When we decided to elope, we knew the rotunda would be the perfect choice.”
Following their emotional nuptials with Sydney celebrant Carla Davern, Natalie and Jesse went for an intimate dinner at award-winning Italian restaurant Pendolino. Their stay in a suite at Pier One Sydney Harbour before and after the elopement was the icing on the wedding cake they didn’t get to have.
“The service was amazing,” comments the bride.
“I wish we could go back to our elopement weekend as it was so perfect. Even though it wasn’t our original wedding, in terms of elopements we wouldn’t change a thing. The day was just so magical.”VISIT MARCUS RUSBOURNE MEDIA
BROWSE FORMAL WEAR
Groom Jesse donned a white custom made tuxedo jacket, with black pants and a black bow tie, tying in with the romantic elopement theme that Natalie describes as bohemian, elegant and modern. His outfit was from Sydney menswear designer Alex Goodman.
BROWSE WEDDING DRESSES
Natalie’s gown was from Jesse’s mum’s Wollongong bridal boutique, Sposabella. It was a customised Pronovias lace dress with sheer sleeves and an off-the-shoulder neckline. It comes with its own story!
“When I went in to try the dress on again, which I ordered months earlier, I was no longer in love with it,” says Natalie. “Within a space of a few weeks, the wonderful women at Sposabella helped me create my dream dress… And I somehow also managed to get it home without my mother-in-law getting suspicious of our secret elopement plan.”
BROWSE WEDDING FLOWERS
The rotunda at Observatory Hill Sydney was transformed into a luxe outdoor ceremony venue courtesy of stylists Romantika Floral and Event Styling.
“These guys were awesome. It is a family run business and they are just the nicest, genuine people. Again, we didn’t give them much notice and even though they were our original florist/stylist, my vision for our elopement was a bit different from my original plan,” explains Natalie. “But they understood our vision and what they created on the day was even more beautiful then I expected. Our florals included a mix of cream, quicksand and toffee coloured roses with touches on nina roses, which stood out beautifully on the day. Also had some pampas grass and beautiful candelabras to set the mood. They did similar for my bouquet also.
VISIT CARLA DAVERN'S PROFILE
Professional singer and Sydney marriage celebrant Carla Davern wed the couple at short notice for their elopement.
Natalie says, “Carla was really sweet, and even at such short notice (we organised our elopement in less then a month), she put together the most beautiful ceremony and included things that were personal to us which made it all that more special.”
BROWSE HAIR & MAKEUP ARTISTS
Natalie’s elopement look was naturally glamorous with soft waves resting on bare shoulders.
“I had Make Up by Tania Nasr and for hair, Peta Winter Bridal Hair. Both women were so lovely and friendly and given we eloped, I didn’t have anyone with me on the morning, but with Tania and Peta I didn’t feel alone at all.”
Dreamy photography was captured by South Coast and Southern Highlands wedding photographers The Evoke Company.
“I had always wanted Evoke to be our photographer and we were stoked that Matt was available for our original date, but even more happy that he was also available for our elopement,” says Natalie. “We just loved the candidness of his photos. They always look so natural and Matt always captures the best sunsets and creates the most beautiful photos with locations you would least expect. We were lucky enough to also get a magnificent sunset for our special day. Matt was also really easy going and great to deal with.”
VISIT MARCUS RUSBOURNE MEDIA
Given the couple’s elopement, video was a high priority to be able to later share the day with loved ones.
We picked Marcus Rusbourne Media based off some of his previous work which again, looked so natural, which was what we wanted. From day dot, Marcus was so easy going and friendly and he was genuinely interested in getting to know us and was super enthusiastic and creative, so we knew we were in good hands. He created magic on our day and we are so glad we picked him,” praises Natalie.
Brides Accessories: Amelie George Bridal, The Luxx Co / Brides Gown: Sposabella, Pronovias / Celebrant: Carla Davern / Ceremony Venue: Observatory Hill / Flowers: Romantika Floral and Event Styling / Grooms Attire: Alex Goodman / Hair: Peta Winter Bridal Hair / Makeup: Make Up by Tania Nasr / Photographer: The Evoke Company / Rings: Infinity Rings, Simons Jewellery / Transport: Queen St Car Hire / Videographer: Marcus Rusbourne Media / Wedding Night Accommodation: Pier One Sydney Harbour - Autograph Collection
Tanning Service: House of Tan
Photos courtesy of The Evoke Company.